A home invasion can be one of the most frightening and dangerous crimes that can occur to an individual or a family. A home invasion is defined when a robber uses forcible entry into an occupied home, apartment, or hotel to commit a robbery or other crime.
Home invasions are statistically recorded as residential burglaries or robberies making it difficult to track specific home invasion crimes. With this in mind, it is important to educate ourselves about this crime and learn methods to prevent becoming a target or a victim.
How A Home Invasion Occurs
Home invasion robbers tend to work most often at night and on weekends when houses are occupied. This is a key difference from home robberies, which generally take place in the daytime when no one is likely to be present.
The resident of the dwelling may have been targeted before the initial invasion determining if they are “a woman living alone, a wealthy senior citizen or a known drug dealer for example.” (Safewise.com)
Robbers may follow targets home noticing the car they are driving or the expensive jewelry they are wearing.
A frightening, but often realistic possibility is that an invader may have “been in your home before as a delivery person, installer or repair vendor.”
“The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. Sometimes the home invader will simply kick open the door and confront everyone inside. More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. The home invader hopes that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that.”
Home invaders will may use a scam to get you to open the door pretending to deliver a package or lie about hitting your parked car. When the door is opened for them, the invader uses force and threats to enter and gain control of the home.
The robbers then begin to collect valuables or resort to violent crimes against victims. “The greatest violence usually occurs during the initial sixty seconds of the confrontation and home invaders often come prepared with handcuffs, rope, duct tape, and firearms.”
The biggest mistake a home occupant makes leaving them susceptible to home invasions is leaving windows and doors unlocked. In addition, opening windows or doors to any knock without suspicion also leaves the occupant and the dwelling vulnerable. “Around 60 percent of burglars used forcible entry to gain access to a home. A surprising 30 percent entered home through an unlocked door, window or other opening without resorting to force.”
The biggest defense is education and planning. Parents need to educate their children on how to handle unsolicited knocks at the door and how to respond to a potential home invasion.
Here are some important security steps to take to limit your chances of becoming a home invasion victim:
● Never open the door to strangers or solicitors.
● 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 your porch light to help you to see clearly outside.
● Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door.
● 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.
● Keep extreme valuables off-site somewhere, such as a bank deposit box.
● Be careful about what information you share on social networking websites so that people won’t be able to scout out your home and your valuable in their free time.
Universal Safety & Security Solutions will teach self defense and home protection by surveying your residence and train you to defeat a home invasion. Read more about our Home Defense Services and Contact us for more information on how to get started.
8 Surprising Home Invasion & Burglary Statistics. (Safewise.com)
Home Safety (alarm.org)