Many of us would rather not think about the possibility of a home break-in happening at our house. Unfortunately, approximately 2.5 million burglaries happen per year and 66% of those are home break-ins. Due to the likelihood of a burglary happening to a house, it is important to take steps beforehand to try and prevent a break-in but also know what to do if you or your family are home during an intrusion.
Preventing a Home Break-In
Prevention is one of the most essential things that can be done, no matter where you live, to make it more difficult for burglars to enter your home. By making the process of breaking into a home more difficult, you can often make your home a less desirable target to criminals. Doors and first-floor windows are often the most vulnerable points of a home, and as such, should be where your burglary prevention efforts should be focused. Measures you can take to secure your home from a break-in include:
- Installing a quality, sturdy security screen that makes entering doors and windows more difficult.
- Upgrading locks and ensuring that all windows and doors are locked when you are home and away.
- Light up any dark areas around the exterior of your home. Consider motion-detection lighting so you can stay aware of any movement outside your home.
Make a Plan
Another key part of the prep work for a break-in is to have an emergency plan in place in case someone enters your home. This plan should include aspects like:
- How and where everyone in the household can exit the home.
- Where should everyone meet after exiting the house?
- If someone is unable to leave the home, where should they hide and what should they do.
- If you have children or others that need assistance, assign who will be responsible for them and how they will be reached.
A plan that everyone in the household is familiar with can help to ensure that in the event of a home break-in, or other emergencies, everyone knows the proper way to act and can stay safe.
What to do During a Home Intrusion
In the event that your home is broken into, it will be essential to try and remain calm and follow the emergency plan that you have set forth. The safety of you and your loved ones is the top priority during a break-in, so your actions should be ones that will help keep everyone safe. To help keep everyone safe, remember to:
You never know the intention of a home intruder, while you may want to alert them to try and scare them off, you could just be giving away your location. Try not to make a sound and lock your door while listening to gain as much information as possible about the intruder’s whereabouts, if they are alone, and if they may have a weapon.
A charged cell phone should always be kept close by for emergencies. Once you have locked the door to your location, call 911 and describe your situation to the operator. Try to provide as much detail as possible. During the call, you should provide the 911 operator with information such as:
- Your name
- Your address
- The situation – let them know that someone is in your house
- Your location in the home
- The location of the intruder
- The number of intruders
- If they have a weapon – even if you are unsure if the intruders have weapons it is worth mentioning to the operator so they can communicate the situation to responding officers.
After communicating with the operator, be sure that you remain on the line with them so that you can continue to give them information and they can provide additional advice.
Escape or Shelter in Place?
Escaping your home should be your first choice if it is possible to do so. Identify in your emergency plan how and where you can escape your home from the room that you are in. Whether it’s from a window or back door, ensure that your escape route won’t put you in harm’s way or cause you to cross paths with the intruder.
If you are unable to escape your home, your next best option will be to hide in a safe place. Do what you can to gather everyone in the home to one secure and locked location. If you are unable to lock yourself in at your location, take measures to barricade the doors so that the intruder won’t be able to enter.
Wait Out the Break-In
Whether you stay in place or are able to escape your home during the break-in, the next course of action should be to wait out the situation until the police arrive on the scene. While remaining on the line with the 911 operator, you should stay in the location designated by your emergency plan and only take action when needed. Self-defense should only be used as a last resort, and weapons of any kind should only be used by those who are trained.
Protect What Matters
At Crimsafe, we believe that protecting your home and loved ones is what matters the most. That’s why each of our security screens undergoes extensive testing to ensure that they will stand up to intruders. If the security and safety of your home are important to you, there is no better time to take preventative measures than now. Contact one of our dealers today and find out how Crimsafe can prevent a break-in to your home.