Your home is supposed to be a place of safety and refuge. Yet an alarming rise in home invasion robberies around the country is leading many homeowners to believe safety and security is an illusion. It doesn't have to be, if you're willing to come to terms with reality and do something about it.
It's difficult to say for certain how prevalent home invasion robberies are as compared to residential burglaries. This is primarily due to the fact that FBI crime statistics don't differentiate between the two. Nonetheless, a home invasion is inherently more dangerous because of the tendency of the perpetrators to use violent force.
Understand the Enemy
The power behind the home invasion is intimidation. In other words, home invaders act quickly and violently in order to instill fear in the hearts and minds of their victims. This fear enables them to do as they please once inside. Often times occupants are tied up or otherwise incapacitated, allowing the perpetrators to take their time going through the home. They can steal jewelry, electronics, credit cards, cash and anything else they believe is valuable.
The first step in preventing home invasion is understanding the intimidation factor. Never open your door to anyone who might pose a potential threat. This gives you the upper hand and prevents potential invaders from assuming you are already frightened. If you decide to speak to a potential intruder, be firm and confident.
Understanding your enemy also means knowing why you might be targeted. Most home invasions are not random; criminals come to your home because they're looking for something. This means you need to be diligent about protecting your privacy. Be aware that the car you drive, the clothes you wear, the way you carry yourself and the way you communicate tells criminals a lot about you. Be private and carry yourself with confidence.
Home invaders use intimidation to subdue their victims; they use violent force to enter a home. To prevent such entries, you should start by installing double key, deadbolt locks in all first-floor doors. Also be sure to use four-screw strike plates as they make it more difficult for intruders to kick your door in. Solid core and steel doors are another good line of defense against home invasion.
The reality of home invasion is an unfortunate part of the modern world. Learn how to protect yourself and your family.
Key Preventive Steps in Home Security
Install solid core doors, heavy duty locks, and window security devices
Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times
Use the door peephole BEFORE opening the door
Use four three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in the door frame
Use your porch light to help you to see clearly outside
Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door
Never open the door to strangers or solicitors
Call the police if the stranger acts suspicious
Alert your neighbors to suspicious solicitors
Hold a family meeting to discuss home security plans
Set the home perimeter alarm at night, if you have one