Masked Home Intruder

Survival – Protection from Home Intrusion

Imagine you are deep asleep in bed, dreaming of all the fun things you will do at work the next day, and what a great boss you have.  The world is peaceful, when suddenly you hear a strange sound, then footsteps creaking across the floor of your living room.  As your brain tries to wake up you are confused, and before you even sit up, a man with a gun enters your bedroom.

Do you think this couldn’t happen to you?  Unfortunately that is what so many people think, and therefore fail to take even the most basic steps of protecting their homes and their families.  We all want to believe that we live in a world where we are all safe, but we do not, it is a harsh reality, and often times ends in tragedy.

I was asked this question today by a good friend.  Her question was “What do I do and how do I protect myself if someone is breaking into my house?”  While my articles are typically about outdoor topics and survival, in a way this is a form of survival, so I thought I would write this post for my friend and stray a bit off of my normal topics.


Breaking and Entering

While the most obvious thing you can do is install an alarm system, that is not always affordable, and it will not always stop someone.  Even if 911 is called the moment your house is penetrated, a great deal of damage or loss can be sustained before any help arrives.  At least get a sign to put in your front yard that says you have an alarm system.


State Your Intentions

You can get these signs from the companies who install the alarm systems, or at hardware stores.  Put them on your windows and doors too.  While this is false advertising to the criminal, it may deter some.

The next simple thing you can do is have a dog, and train it to alert you when he hears danger.  Barking dogs will chase away burglars before they even enter a house.  While it may be annoying to have your dog bark at every strange noise, don’t scold them for doing so, that is their natural instinct.

Fortifying your home is easier than people think.  Add dead bolt locks to doors, including the door from your garage into your house.  Put dowel rods in the tracks of sliding doors and windows.  Add motion-sensing flood lights outside your house in strategic areas, such as by doors, or secluded areas of your yard where someone may approach your house.

Make a plan with your family about what to do if an intruder breaks into your home, and make sure everyone knows the plan. While it is not pleasant to think about, it is even more unpleasant to not know what to do if someone has broken into your home and you are in danger.  For example, you may decide to have a safe room in your house, maybe it is an interior closet with a strong door and a dead bolt lock from the inside.  If you choose to have a safe room like this, be sure to have flashlights and some form of self defense stored in there.


Be Prepared to Defend Your Life

Regarding self defense, many people choose to have a gun for home protection.  This is only a good option if you know how to use it, and it is accessible to you when you need it, including the ammunition.  Keep in mind that if you have children in the house, keep your gun securely locked in a place where your child will never get to it.  A short-barreled shotgun is the best home defense in my opinion.

If a firearm is not your choice, get a can of Mace or pepper spray.  Knives are not such a good self defense weapon in a situation like this, but a baseball bat might be.

These are some very basic things you can do, I could write several more pages about prevention.    But what will you do if none of this works and an intruder is in your home?  Your first option in all cases is to try to escape if possible.  If that isn’t an option and you come face-to-face with an intruder, here are some tips:

  • Keep calm – the way you behave in the first 30 seconds of the encounter can set the tone for what follows.
  • Speak in as calm a voice as you can muster, don’t show any anger at the intruder at this point.
  • Avoid making any sudden movements, and announce your movements if you make any.
  • Keep your hands at shoulder length to convey compliance, yet still leaves you in a position to defend yourself.


    Grab Whatever You Can

  • If the intruder approaches you in a threatening manner or attacks you, it is time to fight.  While you don’t want to hold anything back, try to stay in control of your actions.
  • Throw things at him, whatever is in your reach.  Whether it will hurt him or not, it may give you a chance to escape or grab something to defend yourself.
  • If you can get to your weapon, grab it and use it.  It is critical that you don’t hesitate at this point, even if it means pulling the trigger and killing the intruder, you are within your rights to do that.  If it is a golf club or baseball bat, swing hard with two hands.  Aim for areas that will inflict the most damage, like his face, head, chest, and even his knees.
  • If you find yourself in a hand-to-hand fight, try to gouge his eyes, strike his windpipe, the sides of his neck, and groin.  If you can get a handful of hair, pull it with all your strength.  Bite if you have to.
  • If the intruder has grabbed you from behind, stomp on his toes and scrape his shins if you are wearing shoes.

While there is quite a lot more to write about this, I am going to leave at this for now, and hopefully you have found some valuable information here.  Remember, the first rule is knowledge, the second rule is prevention, the third rule is preparedness, and the final rule is execution.

One Response to “Survival – Protection from Home Intrusion”

  1. Erin

    Great post. The tips are really helpful, but I hope I never have to use them! Thanks for writing about this topic.