What To Do If You’re Home When An Intruder Breaks In


Experiencing a home break-in is bad enough. What’s worse is being home when the break-in occurs and the alarm is triggered.

If you’re home when the alarm is triggered and a break-in happens, your safety and the safety of your loved ones is of prime importance.

Like most things in life, your best bet to stay safe during a home break-in is to plan ahead. Be aware of possible escape routes because your best bet if dealing with an intruder is to leave the home safely.

If you hear an intruder…

  • Leave the home if you can and go to a neighbor’s quickly to summon help.
  • If you can’t leave your home, go into a room and lock the door. If your home security system was armed and the security alarm has sounded, stay quiet and know that help is on the way. If not, quietly call 9-1-1 to get the police. Don’t hang up the phone, leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear what’s happening at your home.
  • Be quiet and listen. How many intruders are there and are they making their way towards you?

If you encounter an intruder…

  • Remain calm and cooperative. Studies show that you are most susceptible to personal injury within the first 30 seconds of the encounter.
  • Avoid direct eye contact. Speak in a calm, normal tone of voice.
  • Tell the intruder you will cooperate. Raise your hands to shoulder level. You’ll appear cooperative yet still have your hands in a defensive position.
  • It’s safer to flee than fight. Only go on the offensive with the intruder if there is no other option.

The best way to prevent trouble with an intruder is to take steps to prevent a break-in like having your local security company install a security system. Lock your doors. Make sure door jams are steel. Use steel-covered solid wood doors with a minimum thickness of 1.75 inches. Publicize the fact you have a home security system and always keep your system armed.