There’s not a day that goes by, where we don’t read about another home invasion. Home invasions are on the rise, and to protect your family you need to take some simple precautions to defend against home invasion.
Defend Against Home Invasion
Home invasion is no small crime. This happens in the one place you should truly be safe in this world. Your home is your castle and if that sanctity is broken, you won’t feel safe anywhere.
Let’s look at the facts, absorb the data and figure out how most home invasions occur and the simple ways to defeat them.
Home Invasion Statistics
- Every 12 seconds a home is invaded by going right through the front or back door – Source: FBI
- Women or senior citizens, who are home alone are prime targets for the criminals that carry out home invasions. – Source: FBI
- 38% of assaults occur in the home during an invasion. – Source: a report from the United States Department of Justice.
- 60% of rapes occur in the home during an invasion. – Source: a report from the United States Department of Justice.
Home Invasion Tactics and Methodologies
- Knocking or Ringing the door bell – Someone knocks on your door and you open it. Once you open your door to them, the perpetrator(s) smash their way into the home. This type of invasion usually takes place during the day or early evening.
- Deception – Someone knocks on your door, pretending to be a delivery man, utility worker, injured person, lost person or other seemingly non-threatening person and you open it. Once you open your door they try to talk their way into the home or the perpetrator(s) smash their way into the home.
- Forced Entry – The home invader approaches a doorway and kicks or bashes the door in. A solid, well placed kick, aimed just below or above the doorknob, will often break open most doors, even doors with a dead-bolt installed!
- Breaking and entering – The assailant uses a crowbar, screwdriver, lock pick, hammer or rock to defeat a door or window lock, then slips into the house and surprises the homeowner in another room.
Home Invasion Defenses
Use your peephole. There is no rule that says you must open your door when someone knocks or rings the bell. Use the peephole, every time. If you don’t know the person or don’t trust the person at the door, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Talk through the door.
Make them hold their ID up to the peephole, then call the company they represent to be sure they sent them. Do not use company information they provide to you, as they could give you an accomplices phone number and they’ll falsely confirm the potential intruders identity. Use the internet or phone book to locate the company’s contact info then call them at that number.
If the person is legit, they won’t mid you verifying.
Intruders will also use your compassion against you. They will pretend to be injured, that they have an injured child, or were involved in an accident and need some form of medical help. Tell them you will call 911 and report this. Again DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR, talk through the door. If they are telling the truth, it won’t matter if you let them in or not. Once you call 911 help will be on the way, and your front stoop is a great place for them to wait.
The simple act of using your peephole and NOT OPENING THE DOOR just defeated the first 2 methods of home invasion entries. That was pretty simple, wasn’t it. Don’t feel bad about talking through your door, it may go against what you consider normal, but it is 100% acceptable, and I’ve had it done to me. I understand and I respect it!
If your door doesn’t have a peephole, buy one. You can install a typical peep hole with nothing more than a 1/2″ drill bit, a drill, a large slotted screwdriver and a peephole. It will take you less than 10 minutes (on average).
Bonus tip: If you want to make the person on the other side of the door think twice about trying to get in your home, have a stereo, boom box or loud mp3 player with some dog growling or barking sounds. You can find “dog barking sounds” on internet searches or can buy a pretty threatening dog growling mp3 from Amazon. Yes, you can also find a barking dog and just record it on a cassette tape, if you must, just do it somehow!
Reinforce your doors
Most construction grade consumer doors aren’t really designed to withstand brute force. They are designed to look pretty and to be cheap, so the contractors and home builders can save money. We all know that cheap doesn’t mean top notch quality.
Install a deadbolt, if you don’t have one installed on your door.
Replace all the screws on your hinges and door frame latch plate with longer screws. The screws that are installed by default are usually 1/2″ – 3/4″ long. Get some 3 or 4 inch screws so they will reach into the wood framing around the door frame itself. When you start replacing the screws on the hinges, only take out and replace one screw at a time, so you don’t have to rehang your door.
Beef up your door frame with added support, adding some door reinforcement can only add to your defense. There are also door braces, that can be wedged under your doorknob, or door barricades to add another layer of door defense.
An additional Security Storm Door would be another physical barrier to reduce the chance of invasion.
Reinforce your windows and sliding patio doors
Glass is easily defeated. All you need it a hard item and that glass is history.
Oh look, a rock.
No more window.
Sure, you can put bars over your windows, but typically that’s not desired, unless you live in an are that necessitates it. Window bars can make emergency escape via the windows an impossibility, so consider carefully before using them.
Keep your windows closed and locked.
Put a dowel rod in the track of your sliding glass door to prevent it from being opened if the lock is bypassed.
There have been some pretty great technologies that have come out that address this vulnerability. Window security film can be applied to windows and patio doors and changes the glass breaking game quite a bit.
In addition to Window security film, there are many other window security options, so there has to be one that will work the way you desire.
Another way to defend against home invasion or to prepare for it is to know who is around your property. There are network cameras, security camera systems and perimeter/driveway alarms that can help address this and add a layer of visibility. Keep vegetation trimmed so bad guys don’t have a place to hide or a place to work on breaking in, while remaining hidden.
Turn on your alarm, during the day. We set ours even when we are home, so if someone breaks in, the alarm is triggered. We know someone is in the house, they know we know, and the monitoring company will dispatch the police. Be sure to still call 911, even if you are confident that your alarm company will send help.
Make sure that the outside of your home is well lit. Installing motion lights can also be a great deterrent, and I highly recommend some super bright spotlight type motion lights. You can also get solar powered motion lights for those areas where you can’t run electricity.
Home invasions are a scary crime and could be life threatening. We do know that you can prevent many of them by simply not opening the door for untrusted or unknown people. Take some basic precautions and use your head to defend against home invasions!