Home invasion is a rare event for most people, but given the dangerous reality of some neighbourhoods, more likely for others. For most people who have lived through it, it is a terrifying experience and the invasion of privacy and threat of physical harm is enough to make them want to invest in some added security measures to prevent it from ever happening again. There are some things you should know, if ever faced with the situation, that can make all the difference in the world. Below are five things all parents need to know in case of intruders.

Create a plan with your family. As with potential fires, plans for dealing with potential home invasion be the difference between tragedy and tragedy averted. Come up with a code word that only your family members know so that you can alert each other of the intrusion. Create a mock-up of a step by step plan that you are going to follow in the event that you are faced with a potentially violent person in your home and make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to do.

Establish a safe room and backup should your first choice be out of the question. If you didn’t know, now you do: never seek out an intruder. The police recommend that you stay hidden in a safe room and only face an intruder if you are forced to. Your modus operandi in these situations should be to alert the police and wait it out, if escape isn’t an option, and make sure that your safe room is stocked with both a telephone and a weapon should you need to defend yourself and your family.

Know how to sound the alarm. Law enforcement recommends that you keep your car keys on your bedside table so that you can press the panic button in the event that someone breaks into your home. You should also keep a cordless or mobile phone handy so that you can hide and alert the authorities at the same time. The mobile phone is especially important in case your landline is cut or disabled.

Take preventative measures. Your first line of attack should always be prevention. Often a home security system with visible cameras and motion sensitive lights is enough to discourage would be intruders from trying to break into your house. The knowledge that they may be caught on camera or that they have lost the element of surprise could save you both a lot of unnecessary hassle.

Know how to talk to an intruder. Do not be threatening. The best thing to do, if you are forced to confront an intruder, either verbally or physically, is simply to let them know that you have alerted the police and that their time is limited.

Chances are you will never have to live through this harrowing experience. Breaking and entering is risky business and the threat of violence for both parties, and for intruders, incarceration if they are caught, means that the percentage of people you have to worry about breaking and entering into your home is quite small. That being said, the old cliche holds true: it is better to be safe than sorry. Follow the above 5 steps and take the appropriate preventative measures and you and your family can avoid a potentially traumatizing experience.

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