Did you know that a U.S. home is invaded, on average, every 15 seconds? Approximately 20 percent of us will experience this frightening event sooner or later; the question is, what should we do about it if and when it happens? The following tips will help you stay alive through such an episode:
Maintain an audible alarm system
An alarm that wails like a banshee may be sufficient to stop the invasion at the door or window, especially if they understand that many of these systems are also programmed to summon emergency aid. In fact, simply displaying signs in various windows warning that such a system is in place might cause the invader to think better of the idea.
Barricade yourself if possible
If you’re alone (preferably in a room with a phone) and you hear a break-in occurring elsewhere in the house, then you can focus on self-preservation. Lock your door or block it with a chair or heavy furniture, then phone for help and/or wait it out. A burglar only wants to steal things, not get into a conflict with the occupants, so let him take what he wants and give the police a chance to apprehend him.
You don’t actually have to speak to the 911 operator; in fact, not saying a word may actually elicit a quicker response. That’s because these personnel are actually trained to dispatch the police to the site of the trouble call if they hear nothing but ominous silence on the other end of the line. Program a single button so you can auto-dial the number as fast as humanly possible.
Don’t fight or pull a gun (unless you absolutely must).
Wait until you know you face an imminent life or death scenario before drawing a weapon or taking other aggressive action. A simple robbery, for instance, doesn’t justify putting your life at risk. Bear in mind that once you attack the invader, he may feel that he’s now the one in a life or death situation, and he may act accordingly!
Even if you have a black belt in martial arts, one bullet from his gun will neutralize that advantage in a big hurry, so exercise the better part of valor. There’s one clear case where you can disregard this tip: if the invader tries to take you out of your home. That’s most likely a one-way trip, so you may as well dig in your heels and do whatever you must to keep yourself parked where the police can get to you.
Let the invader go.
If the invader knows that you’ve gotten through to emergency services, he may cut his losses and make a run for it. If he does — let him! A foolish pursuit might cause the invader to shoot you down, and catching the bad guys is a job for a trained, experienced police officer, not an outraged resident.
To all of the above, add perhaps the most important survival tip of all — use your head. Stay as calm as you can, and you’ll be able to make the right decision at the right time.
William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, print marketing content and audio/video scripts to help businesses with their online reputation management and promotional strategies.
(Images courtesy of Feelart and Naypong /FreeDigitalPhotos.net)