Tuesday, August 27, 2013

INFORMATIVE - Home Invasion - What Would You Do?

Home invasion is a scary thought, but many people confuse the term with burglary. Burglary is when people enter your home while you're away and take your things. A home invasion is where people enter your home WHILE YOU ARE THERE in an effort to either use you for information as to the whereabouts of the valuables in your house or for more nefarious purposes such as rape - particularly in residences they have identified as being the homes of young women living alone.

Now, as with most things on this blog, the first and obvious step for avoiding a home invasion is preparedness, and there are certain things you can add to your house that will significantly reduce your chance of a successful home invasion taking place:

Motion Sensor Lights

Ever thought you heard someone outside, but couldn't quite see anything from the window? A motion sensor light will confirm it for you - particularly if you have positioned it correctly, or have multiple in key places.
Don't be afraid to put them around the back of your house, as well, as most invaders won't come knocking on your front door.
If you're daunted by the electrical wiring side of having them installed, the solution is to find and purchase self-contained, solar-powered units, which simply need to be attached to a wall or door frame and are ready to go.

Peep Hole

Peep holes are inexpensive, simple to install and save you from having to open the door to see who's outside. Hear a knock at an odd time? You can check first. Use in conjunction with motion detector lights and you'll have a clear, fully illuminated view out of your front door at any time of the day or night.

Chain Lock

When used as your only line of defense, these are fairly weak and easy to bypass, but when combined with an alert and prepared resident, these will buy you valuable seconds/minutes to arm yourself or escape. They are inexpensive, simple to install and will allow you to safely open your front door to see who is outside without anyone trying to force their way in. Remember that most home invasions start with a "salesman" or "neighbor" knocking on your door before forcing their way inside when you open up. This little accessory will stop them from doing that for a good while.

Personal Alarm

Trust me when I say that these little things are LOUD. Keep one of them near the front door where you keep your keys, and if someone is trying to break in, set it off. The screeching noise will alert your neighbours and the intruder will likely decide that this house is too hard and leave.

Now, with that aside, what do you do when they make it inside? Well, if you've taken the precautions listed above and they've managed to get inside, it's likely been because you were asleep at the time. Can you imagine being woken from sleep by a noise, only to realize that there is someone in your house? The thought is terrifying, but there are things you can do.

At this point, you have to ask yourself what you're prepared to do. Depending on where you live in there world, local laws are in place to prevent you from taking things too far, however, in my book, "too far" is a subjective term. People don't "accidentally" break into a person's house. If they're moving around your house in the dark while you're at home and asleep, then you need to be prepared to do WHATEVER you have to do to keep you and yours safe.

Sleep with your bedroom door closed and locked

It may seem odd, but this may save your life one day. An invader won't assume that a bedroom door will be locked, and when they go to open it, the rattling will likely wake you from sleep, giving you valuable time. Think of it as a last line of defense.
Did you know that there have been multiple cases in the past of serial killers who break into their victims houses while they're at work to learn the layout, find where the bedroom is and come back later while they're asleep to kill them?

Keep a tactical torch by your bedside

When I say 'tactical torch' I mean one with a optical disruptor or strobe functionality built in. If you're fighting for your life in your own home, you need things that will afford you the upper hand, even if it's for a couple of seconds. A high lumen strobe, especially one that is built precisely - such as in torches like the Fenix RC10 - which has a flash frequency designed to cause disruption of motor skills. When I say high lumen, I mean REALLY high lumen. At the bare minimum, your torch should go above 300 lumens of brightness. Preferably closer to 600. The brighter it is, the longer you can stun the invader.

Keep your mobile/cell phone by your bedside

Remember... When seconds count, police are only minutes away, so you'd better call them sooner rather than later! Otherwise, keep your phone handy to be able to call the police AFTER you've dealt with the invader. You don't want the invader to be between you and your line to the outside world.

Sleep with a weapon

Depending on where you live, you may have legal access to guns, knives, or other. Find a weapon that you are particularly comfortable with, which you can legally own and operate, train with it, and keep it next to your bed while you sleep. If it's a knife, keep it sheathed. If it's a gun, keep it un-cocked. You don't want sleepwalking accidents. But also be prepared to use it. In combination with your tactical torch and a locked door, you should have the upper hand, as an invader will not be expecting an armed resident, ready to immediately respond and fight back.

Learn to move silently

Learn to move quietly through your house. Learn where the creaking floor-boards are. Make a mental map of where the furniture is. If you can get close to the invader without them realizing you're there, you'll have a massive advantage. As someone who has used this to bring someone down in a house I was taking care of, I can attest to its importance.

Memorize the locations of means of restraint

If you subdue the invader, you're going to need to hold them until police arrive. Remember where you keep things like rope, zip-ties or similar, so that you can quickly retrieve it for use.

Follow these tips, and you should have a more solid plan to prevent - and, if necessary, deal with - home invaders.

Remember. Be prepared, not scared.

- CumQuaT

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