What to do if an Intruder is in your Home
Every year millions of burglaries happen in South Africa, as well as all over the world. And almost all of these burglaries occur in normal residential homes!
While you can take all the necessary steps to prevent a break-in, there is still a chance that you may be a victim, so here’s what you need to do if you ever wake up with an intruder in your home.
Confirm that there really is someone in your home. Sometimes it is possible for your imagination to run wild! Whatever the case is, if you wake up and suspect that there really is an intruder – stop, take a deep breath and listen carefully. If you can distinguish strange sounds like footsteps, breaking glass and doors opening, then you can confirm that there really is someone in your home.
Don’t move! It might be tempting for you to run out of your room with a Taser, baseball bat or a gun, but doing this can really endanger your life. Rather choose flight instead of flight because you don’t know if the burglar is there to simply steal your valuables or cause you harm.
Call the police. Once you know for certain that someone is inside your home, contact the police as well as press the emergency SOS button on the PatrolMan app and your neighbourhood crime watch will be summoned to your location immediately!
Try be as quiet as possible. You don’t know what kind of intruder is in your home – they may be dangerous, so if you need to move around at all make sure to do it really quietly.
Alert the people in your home. Whether you are staying with your family or housemates, you need to let them know what is happening! Your best bet is to send them an SMS, WhatsApp message or creep silently into their room. If you have small children, the best thing to avoid panic is to let them continue to sleep but lock their door or confine them in a safe location.
Secure your pets. If you have a dog, you probably won’t have an intruder problem. However, there are plenty of pooches that aren’t afraid of strangers. If your dog didn’t alert you initially, but is making noise once you’re awake and agitated, try to calm him/her. Also, keep your pets with you if you can. If they run toward the intruder, they could be harmed.
Do you need to escape? If it sounds like the person in your home is there to hurt you, find a way out immediately. Look for windows you can safely exit, or places to hide if you can’t make a getaway. You don’t know how long you’ll be waiting for help to arrive, so hang tight and do what’s best for your personal safety in the meantime.
Keep your weapons close. You can keep your gun or weapon in your bedroom, but make sure you know your rights. If you shoot and kill someone, will you be protected under a self-defence clause? All gun owners should know proper safety and laws about their firearms. Educate yourself if you have a gun or weapon, so it doesn’t come back to bite you if you use force.
Keep calm. Panicking can cloud your judgement and cause you to make mistakes. It would be impossible to keep your heart rate down and adrenaline from spiking during a home invasion, but you’ll need to take control of your nerves. One way to do this is to take 10 deep breaths. It’ll give your brain more oxygen, give you time to think, and keep you from making any spontaneous decisions.
Take notes. If you’re in a position where you can see the intruder, memorize everything. In the chance he/she gets away before police arrive, you’ll want to be able to give a detailed account of weight, gender, height, and attire. It’ll make it easier for police to track the intruder down and prevent them from victimizing other homes.
A break-in can be an unnerving and traumatic experience. Although, being prepared for the worst can help tremendously. Memorize these steps above and practice your break-in protocol at home!