What To Do When An Intruder Is In Your Home? (Crucial Steps)

The FBI reports that there is a burglary in the US every 25.7 seconds, which is around 3500 times a day and over a million in a year. Many of these home invasions occur while there are people at home so having a specific safety drill is crucial in increasing your chance of keeping you and your family safe if an intruder gets into your home while you’re there.

What To Do When An Intruder Is In Your Home? If an intruder gets into your home, meet with family members, and immediately exit your home if possible. If there’s no safe way out, lock and barricade yourself and your family inside one room. Call 911 and report the intruder in your home. Stay on the phone with the operator until help has arrived.

What To Do When An Intruder Is In Your Home

Exit Your Home

The first and most important thing for you to do is get yourself and anyone else in the home out of danger. You must have an exit plan for situations like this as escaping from the criminal will ensure that they cannot harm you.

The majority of people who have been at home during a robbery have fallen victim to violent crime in the process.

Getting yourself out of the house and into a neighbor’s house will almost guarantee your safety as these thieves are looking to steal valuables and not hunt down the occupants of the house.

You can grab your phone and take it with you if it’s in reach but if it causes you to be in the house for any longer, rather leave it behind while fleeing.

It would be better to be screaming for help at the door of a neighbor without a phone than trying to find your phone in your house and coming face to face with the burglar in the process.


If There’s No Way To Exit, Barricade A Room To Stay In

Door Barricade

If you can’t get out of the house without crossing paths with the intruder, rather grab a cell phone if it’s in reach, lock and barricade yourself into a room.

At this point, you should call 911 to report the intrusion. Stay on the call until the police have arrived and are at your barricaded door.

In addition to this, you can also hide in a closet within the barricaded room for extra safety while you’re on the 911 call because the intruder’s chance of hearing you while you’re in a closet in your room is much less compared to if you were just in the open room.

If you have security cameras that you can activate to record the crime, do so now after you are safely barricaded in your room. This will help the authorities with the investigation immensely and can help the police in reducing crime overall.


Set Off A Panic Alarm If You Have One

Panic Alarm

If you have an exit plan or barricaded room that also easily allows you to activate your home alarm system siren, do it.

Panic buttons on remotes are best for doing this as they don’t require you to make your way to any keypad on the wall.

However, if there’s a static panic button or alarm keypad along your escape route or inside the room, you can activate the alarm while you’re escaping as long as it’s a dedicated alarm button and not anything where codes need to be entered.

The first priority is getting yourself out of your house and into a trusted neighbors house so if pressing an alarm button will cause you to take extra time in fleeing, don’t bother.

Once you’re safely inside a neighbor’s house call 911 for assistance. If you can’t get into a neighbor’s house, hide on their porch or wherever you can out of sight while calling 911.


Call 911 And Report The Crime

Call 911

Remember that you can make an emergency call with anyone’s phone even if it’s locked so don’t waste extra time if your phone is out of reach.

In this type of situation, your heart rate will increase as a burst of adrenaline passes through your body.

When you call 911, make sure to take deep breaths and try to talk slowly to make sure the operator understands everything you’re saying.

Be prepared to answer questions such as the nature of your emergency, address, phone number, name, and who else is with you.

They might also ask you if you know where the intruder is at the time, if you can see them, and if the intruder knows where you are. A description of the intruder will also be helpful if you have it, like clothing, race, gender, weight, and height.


What To Do If You Confront The Intruder

In the event that you come face to face with the intruder, have your hands lifted and open to show that you’re submitting rather than resisting the intrusion.

Most injuries and deaths occur during home invasions where the occupants of the home resist the intruder.

This is not to say you shouldn’t defend yourself as a last resort if you need to but definitely only as a last resort.

If you can’t escape and the intruder focuses their attention on you, just tell them that they can take whatever they want and leave. If you find any other chance to escape safely after the interaction, do so.

Never go to another location with a criminal as your life will be in much more danger if they’re trying to force you to go somewhere with them, resist as much as you can with loud screaming and run away if you can at any time.


How To Prevent An Intruder From Entering Your Home

We all know there are thousands of security devices on the market that help prevent home invasions but I just want to cover the important basics here.


A well-lit property will deter thieves

Before we get into devices specifically designed to keep criminals out, it’s important to note that things like bright lights around your property will also deter thieves from entering because their chances of being seen are exponentially higher.

If you can use motion sensor lights in certain areas it will be even better. Having your property well lit is also essential in making sure your cameras are able to record clearly.


Set up an alarm system

Ring Alarm

Setting up a basic alarm system can decrease your chances of being burgled by 60%.

This was discovered by the University of North Carolina when 400 incarcerated criminals were interviewed. 60% of those criminals said that they would first check for an alarm system and move to another house if there was an alarm.

Here is the one we recommend on Amazon.


Set up cameras

Smart Security Camera

Cameras are just as much of a deterrence to criminals as alarm systems if not more so. Of course, with cameras active not only will you be alerted when there is movement, but you’ll also have footage of the crime taking place.

Burglars also know that destroying the cameras won’t help them any as most cameras record to a cloud storage service these days and there\s no way they are destroying that footage.

See recommended smart cameras here on Amazon


Use A Door Stopper/Alarm

Door Stopper

Besides locking your doors, you can make use of a secondary method of securing your home.

Door stoppers like these on Amazon are perfect for blocking your doorway from intruders and alerting the whole household of the attempted break-in. The loud alarm that goes off will most likely surprise the burglar and cause them to flee the scene.


What To Do If Someone Breaks Into Your House While You’re Alone

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. If you’re alone at home while a break-in occurs, follow the advice at the beginning of this article and try to exit the house as quickly as possible to seek refuge in a neighbor’s house, then call the police to report the crime.

If you can’t get out of the house make sure to lock your room door and barricade it by placing your desk and\or bed in front of it before you call the police and ask for assistance.

Avoid confrontation with the intruder at all costs. Even if you think that the criminal has left the house, wait for the police to arrive at your barricaded door before you open it.


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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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