Dealing With a Home Invasion – What Do I Do If My House Is Broken Into?
Home invasions are a terrifying invasion of privacy. Your home should be your safe haven, and yet some people choose to completely violate these boundaries. Home invasions often occur during work hours, when no one is home. However, it is important to be prepared for a possible home invasion at any time. Contact Jay360 if you have any questions about preventing burglaries and protecting your home.
Always Be Prepared
As the old saying goes, “better safe than sorry.” In the event of a home invasion, it’s best to be prepared. SGI Canada reports that break-ins happen every 90 seconds, and 80% of home invasions occur during daylight hours. According to the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board’s Police-Reported Crime Trends in Waterloo Region 2015 report, there were 1,952 reported break and enters in the Waterloo Region alone.
Have a plan
As soon as possible, create an in-case-of-emergency plan. This plan should outline emergency exits, safe hiding spaces, and even emergency drills.
Practice what you would do in the case of a home invasion. Include your whole family or roommates and devise a plan in which everyone works together.
Keep your home secured
Don’t hesitate to reinforce your doors and windows. Deadbolts and sliding locks can be enough to deter an intruder. Some even opt to add bars to their windows for extra security.
Do not keep large amounts of money in your house. Consider buying a small safe and keep expensive jewelry or cash in the safe.
Keep your yard secured
Keep the outside of your home well-lit, and make sure your outdoor lights are not easy to tamper with. Consider planting thorny bushes around low windows, to deter intruders from sneaking in through easily accessible windows. Security fences are also a great way to keep unwanted visitors out.
An added bonus of thorny bushes is that in the unfortunate event of an invasion, bushes can collect DNA samples from blood or torn clothes. Keep your garage doors locked and secure, as many burglars and intruders enter through the garage.
Be wary of strangers
In some cases, it’s okay to be skeptical of strangers. Never open your door for strangers, even if they look official or well-dressed. Some intruders will disguise themselves as a company employee. Call the company they say they represent to find out if they are truly a worker.
If you have a way of viewing your front porch without being seen, observe the person at your door for a few minutes before answering. An intercom system is the best way of communicating without putting yourself at risk of forced entry.
Call emergency services (9-1-1)
If you suspect something suspicious, do not be afraid of calling 9-1-1. If you are wrong or the intruder leaves, you will not get in trouble. Once again, better safe than sorry. If you call 9-1-1, stay on the line, stay calm, and provide all the information requested of you.
If an intruder is in your home, you do not need to continue speaking – just stay on the line and wait for police arrival.
Install a home security system
A great deterrent for home invasions is home security systems. A camera alone, whether it is on or off, real or fake, can deter a burglar. A camera can also record the perpetrator, allowing you to submit that to the police, hopefully leading to an arrest.
An alarm will also deter intruders, as it’s easier for them to find a home without one than to deal with your alarm system.
What To Do If You Are Home
Although unlikely, in the unfortunate circumstance that you are at home during a home invasion, here are some ways to stay safe. This is where your emergency plan might just save your life.
Call 9-1-1 immediately
Do NOT wait to find out who is in your home. Trust your gut. If something is not right, call emergency services immediately. As mentioned above, you will not be penalized if you are wrong.
Flee the scene
If you can safely leave your home without getting caught, leave immediately. No possession is worth your life. Having a pre-made exit strategy is important in this scenario.
Designate a safe space
If you cannot leave, go to your designated safe space. If an intruder is in your home, you may find yourself panicking. As important as it is to stay calm, that is not always possible in the case of an emergency. Before an incident occurs, designate a safe space and make that space known to your whole family. This space does not have to be large but should be large enough to fit you and anyone else in your household. Keep a flashlight and landline in this space, as well as a secure door hinged outwards.
If you find yourself dealing with the suspect(s), cooperating is the best way to avoid getting hurt. It may be difficult to part with some beloved items, but as mentioned above, no possession is worth your life. In this event, you may have a hard time staying calm, but try your best and do everything you can do memorize everything about the suspect. Gender, height, eye colour, hair colour and length, clothing, weight, tattoos, etc. This will help police track down the suspect and ensure it does not happen to anyone else.
Home Invasions – The Aftermath
If you are a victim of a home invasion, whether you were at home or not, you may face difficult emotional trauma. In August 2014, the Windsor Star reported on a violent home invasion. The suspects, looking for drugs, tortured a man and a woman until they discovered they were at the wrong house. The following quote outlines the trauma this woman faces every single day.
“The woman still lives in fear in her own home. “I am unable to sit in the dark or alone,” she said. “I am easily alarmed by unrecognized sounds. I have difficulty staying out past sundown…I always feel like someone is watching me or hiding in the back seat of my car. I suffer from stress, anxiety, constant headaches and flashbacks from that dreadful night.”
– Craig Pearson, Windsor Star
Victims do not have to experience a violent crime to experience trauma after an invasion. Brian Blickenstaff writes about his experience coming home to his burglarized house in this Pacific Standard article titled The PTSD of Home Burglary. Though Blickenstaff was not home during the invasion, he still experienced paranoia, anxiety, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), difficulty sleeping, and nightmares. Blickenstaff writes:
“Burglary is especially traumatic because not only is this sacred space invaded but often items of great personal value — sacred items, if you will — are stolen.”
Home invasions are traumatic experiences. It is important to have a plan in case of emergency and learn how to prevent invasions from happening at all.
Jay360 – Helping to Prevent Home Invasions
At Jay360, we care deeply about preventing the traumatic and stressful experience of burglaries and home invasions. Thinking about the right home security system for you may seem stressful and even overwhelming.
Jay360 can help you sort through all the different options and help you decide on a system that is best for you, your family, and your budget. We will only recommend services and products that you need. We offer access control systems, security cameras, and gate controllers. We also install alarm and security systems.
With over 20 years of experience, you can rely on the knowledge and experience of Jay360 to provide you with the best home security solutions. Call on Jay360 to help you to choose and install the ideal security system to suit you and your needs, all at the very best value.