Home Invasion Tips

Most people never take time to sit down and actively plan what they need to do if they are faced with a home invasion. Unfortunately, many people tend to believe that home invasions only happen in “bad neighborhoods” or that they won’t ever need to worry about one because they have a home security system that will deter would-be robbers. Guess what? Home invasions can happen to anyone, in any neighborhood at any time of the day or night and according to FirstSecurityServices.com. Even if you have the loudest burglar alarm on the market, many criminals won’t let that stop them from executing a plan to rob your home or harm those who live inside.

Let’s set up a hypothetical home invasion to see what you can do to stay safe.

Setting the Scene

You’re just returning to your house after a long weekend spent with your family out of town. You’ve had a long drive and you’re tired and just want to sit down, catch a little television and relax before you start the next work week.

Your wife is downstairs in the laundry room and your son is in his room playing a video game. You have a nice home in one of the best neighborhoods in your city. This is a safe area and you never worry about crime because it just does not happen here.

A few minutes after 7:00 pm, you hear a light knock on your front door and you assume it’s probably one of your sons’ friends in the neighborhood stopping by to see if he wants to come outside and play a game of basketball in the driveway. You make your way down the stairs and before you make it to the door, you see your wife heading that way. Suddenly, just as she begins to open the door, she is shoved backward with brute force by two large men who are forcing their way inside the house.  

Your son hears all the commotion but since he’s playing his video game he assumes you or your wife dropped something, so he ignores the noise and continues to play his game. The men downstairs have split up and while one is yelling and holding your wife from behind, the other wants to know who else is in the house. They have not yet noticed you standing on the stairs because you are partially blocked by large house plants and the stair railing.

Did you know that the actions you take during the first 20 seconds of a home invasion can determine the outcome of the entire situation? For many people, the sheer terror of the experience can cause them to freeze up and not be able to move at all. For others, adrenaline kicks in fast and can cause them to go into a “fight or flight” mode where they will either try to attack or run away as quickly as possible.  

The most important period of a home invasion is going to occur far before an invasion happens at all. It is extremely important to train and carefully plan how to react if something like this happens. When a home invasion is in progress, one of your first thoughts may be to grab your gun and shoot at the assailants, but what happens if your gun is upstairs and you’re halfway down the steps or even in a room downstairs that is nowhere near your gun? This means you are going to have to use your brain to think fast and get yourself and your family to safety.

So, when it comes down to it, how do you spring into action and work your way out of a dangerous situation? Here are some of the best home invasion tips to help keep you and your family safe if someone should attempt to bust into your home with bad intentions.

Choose Your Words Wisely

You and your family need to agree on a word to shout out if your home has been compromised. Simply shouting as loudly as possible a word such as “criminal” or “get out!” will alert your family so they know to step into action. Never under any circumstances should you ever shout those words unless your family is in dire danger.

Get Out!

The first thing that everyone needs to do is try to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Have an escape route planned so each family member knows where they can exit the home safely, even if getting out means jumping to the ground below from a window upstairs and have a meeting spot determined so everyone knows where to meet. For instance, once everyone is safely outside, plan to meet at the big oak tree in your neighbors’ yard.

What Happens If You Can’t Get Out?

If you can’t get out of the house, then you need to determine where your safe room will be. Find a room in your home that is accessible to everyone and when you or a family member shouts the code word, everyone needs to rush to the safe room as fast as possible. The safe room should be stocked with a cell phone to call 911 (even disconnected cell phones can contact emergency services if the battery is charged) and if you own a gun, have a gun in the safe room so you can grab it. A gun should not be noticeable to someone who walks in the room, but keep it in a safe place where you can grab it quickly when/if you must use it.

The door to the room should have strong locks so criminals cannot easily get in once you shut the door. Stay away from the door on the far side of the room (and same side as the door) to prevent harm if someone shoots through the door or busts the door down. Maintain an open line of sight so you can aim and shoot if the assailant makes it through the door.

***As an extra little tip here, when you are selecting a gun for home defense, be sure to select one that feels comfortable in your hand, is easy to use when you need to grab and quickly aim and fire. Also, it’s a good idea to make sure all members of your family (the ones who are old enough) have the proper gun training so they will know how to use the gun in an emergency.

Do Not Leave Until Police Arrive

Never, under any circumstances should you ever venture outside of the safe room once you and your family are inside. Once you have called the police, stay on the telephone and let them know every movement you hear outside the door. When the police arrive, stay inside the room until the police let you know it is safe to exit.

Never leave weapons, especially guns, lying around the house with the thought that you can easily grab one if someone breaks in. If you can easily grab one, so can a home invader, and if you’re not in the same room, they now have your gun and it will likely be used on your or your family during the home invasion. While a gun safe may not make sense to many people who own a gun for personal and home protection, having one safely locked away when you are not able to get to it quickly enough will make a great deal of sense when you are faced with a criminal lurking around inside your home. Be sure to use these tips to make your own safety plan of action to help keep you and your family safe if a home invasion should happen to occur. Being prepared can save your life and the lives of those you care about the most.  

***Shop GunsAmerica for your next gun***

About the author: Chris Ward has had a passion for firearms since he was a young boy when his father took him out shooting a 22 rifle. He believes strongly in keeping the second amendment rights for those that are responsible with their firearms.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Tom August 14, 2019, 9:32 am

    Simplicity is the key here. Every home…, EVERY home…, should have storm doors on front and back entries. I see so many homes that are big, nice, expensive and have only one barrier between the inside and out. simple and relatively inexpensive added feature seems to have been forgotten.
    In many situations, one can strategically mount the door(s) to create a choke point that hampers entry by a few precious seconds.
    Of course, proper home defense is a must in my opinion, but think about how many homes you see with no exterior “pre-door”.
    Home invasions are becoming far more common. The days of neighbors watching out for others is long gone. Most neighborhoods are loaded with empty or semi empty homes. Criminals have determined that it is far easier to get the best pickings from a home when you can crash it, get a person that lives there to tell you where the goods are.

  • Willie-O August 6, 2019, 4:28 am

    Yes, the article contained some sound, useful advice suggestions and advice. That said, Ken had the best advice. If I’m awake and out of bed, there is a pistol on my person. ALWAYS. No exception, EVER. I carry a gun for work and may change it out for something smaller, lighter once I’m home – might not. Once the day is done and I get undressed, it goes to the nitestand, right next to my flashlight. We also have a German Shepard that has free run of the house unless it’s at night, then she almost always stays in our bedroom – more often than not, in our bed. She will alert me to anything unusual – the barking, growling and biting are beneficial as well. Did I mention that I ALWAYS have a gun on me ? Holster, bathrobe pocket….ALWAYS !!!

  • Penrod August 5, 2019, 6:20 pm

    A front door with a small window lets one see who is outside. Small, so it doesn’t compromise the strength of the door or let an intruder break it to reach in and open it from the inside.

    A window overlooking the front door is as good if it is convenient to the front door. Our kitchen sink windows overlook the front door and allow us to see and talk with whoever is outside.

    When we replaced our kitchen door we opted for one with a window as we needed the ventilation, but added bars attached with carriage bolts, and a double key deadbolt. The key is kept on a convenient hook too far away for anyone to reach in and get it.

    Anyone building a house should look at such passive security measures before going with either completely stock or custom plans. A lot of mods are very cheap to build in, but relatively expensive to add later.

    Even in apartments or condos you can generally add a peephole, and it’s well worth while.

  • Cry Havoc August 5, 2019, 5:57 pm

    My wife and I have worked out a duress code. If she uses my middle name, I know that in about two seconds she will pretend to faint, letting her full body weight go towards the floor. That’s my window to put a round between their headlights. If I say her middle name ( Lynne, you better drop the gun) she knows to shoot when I drop. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will we surrender our firearms.

  • Tom August 5, 2019, 4:47 pm

    We have 2 Dobermans over 100lbs each, all kinds of guns, not to worry .bring it.

  • Mort August 5, 2019, 2:35 pm

    I have a gun in every room, including the bathroom and on top of the refrigerator…
    And have a pistol-gripped sawed-off shotgun in both of my houses by the bed nightstand….

    It also pays to reinforce your deadbolts on your doors so that it takes at least TWO kicks before entry.

  • David G August 5, 2019, 12:30 pm

    Get an audio/video intercom. They’re cheap, easy to install /use, and reliable. When someone is at the door, your phone is called whether they ring or knock – or not. You can talk and listen from anywhere in your house. If they are suspicious, you can tell them to leave, the police are coming, etc in complete safety. Gives time to go to the safe room, arm yourself, etc. Meanwhile, the entire interaction is recorded. If kids are home alone, tell them never to open the door. Show them how the system works so they know you are being called and know someone is there.
    Beats a confrontation every time. Plus, it comes in handy when you’re just lazy, in bed, not feeling well, in the basement, etc.

  • Lloyd Dumas August 5, 2019, 11:37 am

    Children are creatures of discovering things so don’t think you are going to hide your gun, guns from them. It much better to teach them how they are to be used. I started with my kids at about 6 or 7 now I am so proud to have taught them safety first they’re all gun owners now. My children know how to respect ànd effectively use them as tools for many purposes.

  • Paul August 5, 2019, 11:10 am

    Nowadays, I answer the door , (if necessary) with a revolver in my hand, not visible to whomever may be seeking entry. But, never will I display it, or contemplate its use unless the legal criteria for a forcible entry has been met. KNOW YOUR STATE LAWS regarding the use of deadly force, and the “castle doctrine”. Remember, you may be within the margins of the criminal code to protect yourself, but you should remember the civil code can be another huge source of punitition for you if you act recklessly.

    • Peter Brown August 5, 2019, 5:40 pm

      Ditto, 100%, ditto.

    • Stuart Percell August 6, 2019, 11:06 pm

      I’ve have a Kydex paddle holster (with a loaded Sig P220 in it) securely screwed on the interior side of my front door, about chest hight. When responding to unexpected visitors, I answer the door with my left hand (I’m left-handed) affixed to the pistol. If it’s someone of no concern, I fully open the door wherein the pistol, holster, etc., are then completely out of sight, yet still within reach if need be.

      Upon closing the door I typically get comments like, “what a good idea,” etc. Which I couldn’t agree with more.

  • Kirtis August 5, 2019, 9:25 am

    I have, from a very young age, taught my children the value of firearms, as a tool, not a toy, training them to use them properly, and to respect the power behind them.
    As a martial artist, I have been taught that anything can be a weapon. There is no need to be a martial artist to know this, but I don’t believe it is taught in your average home. As I mentioned, I own firearms. They are usually locked up, when I am not carrying them. Good points have been made that an inaccessible firearm is worthless in situations like these.
    I appreciated the article for the suggestion to practice with the family that the possibility of someone invading the home is there, and an agreed upon alert word can be called out to let everyone in the home know there is something amiss/dangerous.
    I also liked the suggestion of a “safe room.” To some this may seem obvious, but how often does the average person enter a new home and decide, unless you live in the inner city, “Hmm, where could we go to be safe in a home invasion?” It’s not a thought that comes to mind, to most people. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it should.
    I hope and pray a situation similar to this never occurs in my lifetime to me or my family/friends, but being prepared has never hurt anyone. And it doesn’t mean you have to do drills daily or weekly, or need to put fear into family members. It is about awareness and responses. You are giving your family the tools to work with, teaching them to use them at the proper time. With a few repetitions, regularly, they will become familiar, and may be able to improvise with the baseline tools you have given them. This is all you can ask for. Survivability of a home invasion puts the value on lives, not stuff. Stuff you can get more of; lives, not so much.

  • Bob Peterson August 5, 2019, 8:55 am

    Good info but it did not address the scenario. Wife is already hostage. Leave her to the dirt bags.? First five second are most critical. Every second after that the predators are gaining confidence and control

  • Ken August 5, 2019, 8:31 am

    The article fails to mention the most important precaution; always carry a gun on you. No matter where or when. This alleviates any issue of whether you’re close or not to a room that has any of your firearms in it.

  • Casca August 5, 2019, 8:06 am

    1976, They broke into our home and stole all my guns save one a .357 Colt . I usually kept it under my pillow. My wife was worried about my daughter might get it. So that night, several weeks later, I put the gun under the bed and for some reason shoved it back a bit too far.
    During the night I heard noises and I tried to get to my gun which was out of reach. The lights came on. I had bad eyesight and couldn’t reach my glasses or the gun. A dirtbag was standing at the end of the bed and cycled what I think was my 94 Winchester but I couldn’t tell. I bumped my wife but she just fluttered her eye lids. I heard and saw another person in the door way, and eh said shes in here, meaning my daughter in the other bedroom. The guy said something about he was going to blow my head off. I slowly closed my eyes as in a nightmare. Next morning I though maybe I dreamed it. I asked my wife and she said I kinda remember something. This is what shock will do to you. My daughter I asked her if she was alright. She said yes. I did not call the Sheriff because thee state of shock and disbelief and thinking nothing wrong but my Daughter for some time cried ad begged for her Mother to sleep with her. Something she had not done before. She was 5 years old. I asked my wife if she remembered it several times over the years usually she said no but ocassionally she said, I remember something. My precious Daughter was assaulted I’m convinced but the memory is repressed. an my wife’s too. I found our kitchen door with pry marks all around the latch the next day or two. I can’t adequately describe everything and going into lock down and shock from trying to awaken from deep sleep and what happened, I can’t or won’t remember it all.
    The thing is my Children were made familiar with firearms at age five or so. I let them shoot my .357 with .38s and hearing protection and my hands on the gun. That was all it took to take away any fascination away with handguns. At age 7 they had their own rifles and shotguns and went hunting doves with me. At 10 they hunted squirrels in the woods behind our home alone with the family dog and me within earshot.
    Point is a gun you can’t reach or is empty or locked up does not exist! So teach your children and all are not equal to know how, when and where, an the time to shoot guns and to not play with them. Because a gun out of their reach is usually out of yours when you need it. There is no second chance from the grave.

  • Cyrus August 5, 2019, 7:16 am

    Step 1 this is important so pay attention! Under no circumstances do you just open the front door without first determining who is on the other side!

    • deanbob August 5, 2019, 1:31 pm

      Pre-Step 1: Make sure your front door is either strong enough or has been re-enforced to withstand several strong kicks to allow enough time to put ones plan into effect.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend