Christmas Capers

By on December 17, 2012
xmas-thief2

The holidays are here and that means quite a few things.  Cold weather, gifts, lots of food and time with loved ones. Unfortunately it also means a huge spike in home invasions.

Thieves know that you will have all kinds of goodies stashed under your tree and they are itching to get their hands on them. Most thieves have at least some shred of decency in that they will not directly invade a home that is occupied.

The sad truth is, some of them just don’t care and will come into the house while you are soundly asleep in your bed, only to wake up the crash of a lamp or the smashing of the window. So what do you do when there is a burglar in your home?

The way you react to a home invasion depends directly on your personality and as such there are an infinite amount of possible reactions. Sometimes fighting and screaming works, especially if there are neighbors who will intervene or call the police.

Know your own limitations; it makes no sense to risk fighting if you are physically incapable of doing so effectively. Total compliance sometimes works. The invaders might leave you unharmed and just leave. However, compliance may increase the duration of the invasion and therefore increase the potential for them to do something much worse than theft. You need to thoughtfully consider how you or your family members might act under the circumstances and plan accordingly.

What Works

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Harden your home or apartment with strong doors and locks. Chain latches are ineffective as a barrier, so use your peephole to look outside before ever opening the door. Be suspicious of someone claiming to be making a delivery that you did not order. Do not fall for any tricks to make you open your door. rear doors, sliding glass doors, and garage doors are typically much less fortified than your entry door, you need to make sure that you pay particular attention to the fortifications you make on these as they make prime targets for entry..

Home Alarm System

Audible alarm sirens can prevent home invasion…as long as you make sure that they are fully functional and set.  Many Alarm systems have an armed: stay function. This is set up so that your door sensors and window break sensors remain active while the motion detectors are left off.

This function allows you to effectively arm your home from a burglar and to alert you should a break in be attempted while you remain comfortable and unimpeded inside your home. Be prepared to give a prearranged duress password to the alarm company if they call.

Also be sure to remember your correct password as most companies will immediately dispatch a police unit if the incorrect password is given. Having a sticker or a small yard stake with your alarm logo on it can be enough to deter most thieves.  Having dogs is another major deterrent.  I have some friends who actually have a motion detector set up that activates a recording of dogs barking when someone steps onto their patio.

Have An Escape Plan

If someone in the household can escape and call for help, the home invaders will have lost the advantage of having privacy and time.  To those that have children, running away will not be an option and the mere thought of it is distasteful, but desperate times may call for desperate measures. Make sure that everyone in your family has the knowledge and ability to escape if the situation calls for it.

Sometimes a radical escape may be your only option; like diving through a glass window or jumping from a balcony. Although you might sustain injuries you will need to weigh the chance of serious injury against your chance of survival with the assailants.

If children are present in the home and invader will likely threaten to harm them in order to get the adults to comply with their demands. These same children are so often overlooked as potential rescuers and sometimes are typically not seen as a threat and as such are not heavily guarded.

If the child has been trained to do they may be able to dial 911, activate the panic button if the opportunity presents itself, activate the panic button on your alarm, or escape to a neighbor’s house to summon the police.

Never underestimate the ability of a child with training.

Keep Your Mind Active But Calm

So many people make themselves worse off in this situation by freezing up or just losing their wits. Keeping a cool head is important, especially in dire circumstances.

If your thoughts are collected you have a better chance of making the right decision and not acting out of impulse. The situation will constantly change and evolve. While at first there may be no chance for escape, an opening may present itself later.

The intruder will be on full alert when the altercation occurs and fighting may not be smart in the beginning; however the attackers may let their guard down once you appear to comply. If you decide to strike out at them do it fast.

Don’t hesitate and make a quick and forceful strike to the nose, eyes, or throat without concern for the damage you might inflict on them. While the assailant is momentarily stunned, make your escape. It may take hours, but an opportunity may come about for you to alarm panic button without being seen. Always be look for that chance.

What Doesn’t Always Work

Screaming and shouting is the easiest and most natural thing to do when startled or angry. If you live in a cookie cutter type community, screaming may alert your neighbors and hopefully make them call the police or the noise alone may be enough to scare off the burglar. However, a determined and experienced home invader will know this and be prepared to make you stop screaming, by force, if necessary.

Handguns and pepper spray can provide a means of self-defense in a life-threatening situation. Homeowners have successfully defended their families in the past from home invaders using such weapons.

Unfortunately you may be caught unaware and be unable to get to your weapons. If that’s the case make sure that you are following the above tip about always thinking. Almost any ordinary household product can work in self-defense. Fire extinguishers, fireplace tools, or anything that is heavy or sharp can make a fairly decent weapon in a pinch.

As a warning, more often than not, most victims are pre-selected for an apparent weakness or lack of fighting capability. With that being said, fighting with an intruder does work sometimes, especially if you have some training and are physically fit but should generally not be your first action to diffuse the situation. Whatever you choose to do comes down to your personal judgment call on your part.

In a life-threatening situation there are no rules when it comes to self-defense. The idea is not to stand toe-to-toe and duke it out with the attacker but rather to finish it as quickly as possible.  There is no referee and no boxing ring. If you fear for your life and are prepared to fight, you do whatever it takes to incapacitate them.

All you need is one solid blow to the nose, eyes, or throat to allow time to get out of there and call for help. Take a self-defense class together with your family so all can learn the proper techniques and can practice the procedures. A practiced technique has a better chance of being used effectively in a crisis.

What Not to Do

Never pull a weapon on an armed assailant who already has a gun trained on you, unless you feel it’s your last chance. Never agree to be transported somewhere else like to an ATM machine. If they are willing to risk transporting you, the odds that the incident will end violently are extremely high

If you are able to fend an intruder off and get them to leave your home, never under any circumstances follow an intruder once they leave your home. Doing so could land you in hot water with the police or worse, the attacker could turn on you again and seriously injure or kill you.  Your property can be replaced, your life cannot.

About 'Above Average' Joe

I am just an average guy with a passion for learning. I am excited to share the things I learn with you but I am most interested in learning from you. Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us. I look forward to growing with you! Feel free to follow me on google+

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10 Comments

  1. KJQ

    Thanks for the article. Thinking these kinds of things through, and coming up with plans for “what if” scenarios are important. I’ve done this for years with my family, covering everything from fires to home invasions. I would like to point out that most home invasions actually occur during meal hours, not the dead of night. Criminals know this is when we are likely to feel the least threatened and have our guard down. That is why the best thing to do is to keep one’s firearm in a holster when home and awake, and within easy reach/access (laws dependent). The added benefit is children won’t be getting at a firearm that’s on your hip. Lastly, people who intentionally break into homes when the owners are home have to be assumed to be willing (and desirable) of killing the occupants, so we need to be prepared to counter that. It is very difficult to overcome the element of surprise, so take the time to work through this. There are excellent books out there on “Home Defence Tactics”. I know I sleep a lot better at night knowing I’ve done the work and made the plans with my family, and implemented layered defences. Any home invaders short of a SWAT team would be in for a rude surprise if they forced their way into my home.

    • KJQ

      The forth sentence should have ended “within easy reach/access (laws dependant) when asleep”.

  2. One good weapon is wasp and hornet spray. It is a “normal” household product and the prosecution will have a hard time say you had been waiting for a chance to use it on a human assailant. Another IF YOU CAN GET TO THE EYES is oven cleaner, it contains lye and will permanently and quickly blind your attacker, but the prosecution will have difficulty convincing the jury that you were just waiting for the next oven to attack you.

  3. Frank

    Never, ever post a sign that has the name of your alarm company on it…that’s just plain stupid…put a sign out that is generic like “Home Protected by Security System” or the likes…..

    • Joe

      Just curious as to why you think it is stupid?

      • Travis

        The reasoning is they can research that particular security company to find a way to disengage it.

        • Joe

          hmm i know that where there is a will, there is a way but hopefully the security companies are a bit better than that. I guess its a good thing that I have a new alarm company but kept my old yard stake and window stickers :-D

  4. CaptTurbo

    If I hit an intruder in the eyes, nose or throat, it will just be to buy time to make it to the shotgun to end his miserable life of crime. I’m a firm believer in the Castle Doctrine.

  5. Chris

    David Levine,you stole my Thunder!

  6. DHConner

    You do have a safe room? Is everybody on the same floor? We all go in one room. DO NOT go looking for the thugs. You don’t know how many there are or where. They will get to you shortly. When they attempt to enter your slected room, then you open fire with all you’ve got. Make the door look like a colander. Anybody who will break into an occupied residence and then try to get in a room from which they have been told that the police are coming is the criminal to be most feared. You have resisted him and warned him and he is persistent. Can you spell “psychopath”, boys and girls? You have bruised his ego, which is an affront to his very existance. This is the reason they make AR15 rifles and large capacity magazines. Make no mistake: somebody is going down. Presumably you love your family and yourself enough that no matter what, it will not be you.