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I’m alone in the house and in my room watching the new season of Stranger Things when suddenly, there’s a sound from downstairs. Was that just the wind? Am I just imagining things? Or is there a burglar in my home?

There are lots of scenarios going through my mind at this point. Surely, you’ll feel the same if you were in my shoes. But there is one sure thing that’s racing through our heads in such a situation — what would I do if there was a burglar in my home?

 

Keeping the Burglar Out

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Before you even think of what you have to do if there is a burglar in your home, you need to take the necessary steps to keep them out.

 

Lock Up

The most obvious solution to this potential problem is to keep the doors and windows locked. Most burglaries occur between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. That’s the time when most people are out for work or at school.

Before leaving in the morning, make sure all the doors and windows are locked. Even if people are inside, everything should still be locked.

I should also make sure the locks are strong enough to withstand force in case the burglar tries to break down the doors or windows. High-quality locks and three-inch screws should do the trick.

For the windows, I can add grills if I had the budget. If so, there should still be a way to escape in case of a fire or other emergencies. If grills are not you’re thing, you can at least apply protection films on the glass.

 

Install A Security System

According to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, around 60% of imprisoned burglars said they preferred not to victimize homes with security systems. They often moved on to other targets.

That’s a good enough figure for me to consider getting a home security system and to prevent any burglar in my home.

 

 

Make An Emergency Plan

It’s a good idea to have a plan in place in case someone tries to or successfully breaks into my home. Everyone should know what the plan is and practice it every now and then so we’d all instinctively know what to do if a burglary does happen.

Children should not only know about the emergency plan, they should also be wary of burglars and their moves. They should know not to rush to the door every time they ear the doorbell.

 

Assign A Panic Room

Every home should have a panic room but not everyone can afford all those fancy equipment we see in the 2002 Jodie Foster film. Still, there should be a designated safe room, which is simply a room where everyone will gather in case of trouble such as a home invasion or burglary.

For those with children, the logical choice for a safe room is their bedroom. This would be easier if all the kids stayed in one room. Otherwise, choose one of their rooms. There should be a backup safe room in case the first one is compromised or the path to it is blocked by the intruder.

The safe room should be easy to lock and barricade from the inside. Make sure there’s at least one telephone in the room. If the chosen room is on the second floor, it should have an escape ladder.

Other things that should be in the safe room include a charger for my phone, water, some food, medicines, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and specific needs such as an asthma inhaler.

There should also be something that can be used as a weapon. If the safe room belongs to a child, it’s best not to keep the weapons in there. Just keep them somewhere safe and close to you and bring them when you go to the safe room.

 

When the Burglar Gets In

Make Sure There’s An Intruder In the House

The first thing I have to do is verify if there is indeed a burglar in my home. This does not mean I have to get out of bed, go out the room and find out what caused the strange sound. I may end up staring the burglar right in the eye and that is certainly not a good thing.

Your safety is your immediate concern. That means I should stay in my room and be as quiet and still as possible. Use the other senses to verify the presence of an intruder. If I have pets, I should know how to differentiate the noise they make from that caused by people.

Listen intently for voices, footsteps and other clues that will help tell how many intruders are there. Try to figure out what the intruder or intruders are doing.

If they seem to be picking up stuff and packing them in bags, they’re probably just there to steal. But if they’re going from room to room seemingly looking for something, they might be after you or someone in the house. Either way, the best option is to hide.

 

Make Your Escape

The first option once the presence of a burglar is verified is to escape. As long as I do so carefully and with as little noise as possible, I should try to make my escape. Once I’m outside and in a safe distance, I can call 911.

 

Sit Still

If escape is impossible, the right thing to do is to stay put. Don’t believe the stuff they show in movies or TV where the guy goes out to check with a baseball bat in his hand. That’s pretty stupid if you ask me.

Stay in your room and don’t make any sound. Lock the door as carefully as possible in case it’s not locked. Then barricade the door and hide in a spot that bullets can’t reach just in case the burglar gets trigger-happy.

 

Call for Help

The next thing I would do is to call for help. First, I’d call the police or dial 911. Of course, I can’t talk to loud and risk being found out. If talking is out of the question, I’d use the text function instead. This feature was added primarily to allow the hearing impaired to communicate with 911 dispatchers.

The police and the emergency hotline should be the first ones I should call. In case, I can’t contact them, I can call or text other people to let them know what is happening. However, they should know not to come to me and try to help me. I’m only telling them so they could tell the authorities that there’s a burglar in my home.

 

Inform Everyone Else

If there are other people in the house (aside from the intruder, of course), they should know that there’s a burglar. Doing the “cacaw, cacaw” is not a good idea though it would be funny. Well, for a certain extent.

The best way to alert my housemates of the presence of an intruder is to text them. Another option is to go to their rooms, wake them up if they’re asleep, and tell them what’s happening. If there are children in the house, lock them inside their rooms or gather them in one room then lock and barricade that room. As long as we don’t make any obvious noise, we’ll be fine.

 

Wait

After making the call to 911 and informing everyone that there’s a burglar in my home, my next move should be to wait it out. Let the burglars do their thing while waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I shouldn’t play the hero and just wait for the authorities to catch the intruders.

The burglar might pretend to be the cops and tell you or anyone in the house that it’s safe to come out of hiding. Don’t answer immediately. Make sure it’s really the police who are talking.

 

If I Encounter the Burglar in My Home

The worst part of having a burglar in my home is when he or she finds out I’m home. I must remember to stay calm and not panic if this happens.

Cooperate

Burglars are only after cash and valuables. My life is certainly not as valuable as my mint condition baseball card collection. I should let them have it instead of getting hurt or worse killed by the intruder because I didn’t cooperate.

Cooperate with the burglar. If he tells me to open a safety deposit box, then open it I should. I shouldn’t risk getting the burglar irate by not doing what I’m told to do.

Fight

If the burglar is out to harm you, as well, you may be forced to take drastic actions. It would be great if I have a firearm or any kind of weapon so I could go Dirty Harry on him. Unfortunately, all I have is a baseball bat and a Nerf gun. The bat will probably work better so I should grab that instead.

I shouldn’t go kamikaze on the burglar. I must plan when and where I should strike. It’s a better idea to hide and wait for the burglar to be within my reach before I take him down or at least try to.

For my attack to be successful, I should aim at his vulnerable parts. The head, knees and groin should be my top targets. I can also aim for the eyes if I only have my keys are bare hands as my weapon. The key is to incapacitate the burglar so I can make my escape.

Once the opportunity to escape is there, I should take it. Head out as fast as I can while making as much noise as possible to alert my neighbors. Speaking of, I should befriend my neighbors so they would gladly help and take me in. Once in their home, we should lock up and call the police.

There are other ways to avoid having a burglar in my home. I could use blackout curtains so they won’t see what’s inside. I can put up signs and also get a dog, probably not a poodle, to scare bad people away. Of course, installing enough lights outside will deter any burglar.

 

If you can suggest other ways to make my home burglar-free, I’m all ears. In case I missed some valuable tips on surviving a burglar in my home, please fill me in, as well. ADT also provides lots of vital information on home safety tips.

And if you’re here looking for survival tips for such emergencies, you’ve come to the right place. Visit The Gentleman Pirate and increase your knowledge and survival instincts.

How to Fortify Your Home for Cheap

How to Fortify Your Home for Cheap – Photo by Gramper/Bigstock

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