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The FBI considers the illegal entry of a domicile or place of business to be burglary and attempted larceny. This can occur when the place is occupied or not. The general belief is that you cannot stop a determined thief. And when entry is finally gained, even with the best alarms, the thief has at least fifteen minutes of time in the building. This is why most home invasions where larceny is the objective take place in homes and businesses where access is quick and easy. Often this is from unlocked or open doors and windows, garage doors left open or unlocked or by breaking inadequate locks or glass windows.
Home Invasions Are The Most Feared Form Of Break-In
The most feared type of illegal entry is the violent home invasion. These can occur for a variety of reasons, robbery or harm to residents. There are several scenarios where these can occur and there are steps to counteract and secure against them all.
1. Home invasion by thieves and those with intent to harm occupants.
2. Home invasions during periods of civil unrest. Statistics for home invasions where robbery is the intent report that an average of 3.7 million household burglaries occur each year. In 7% of these cases (266,560), a household member was present and became a victim of violence from the intruders. While most burglaries occur during daylight hours when no one is likely to be home, recent years have seen an increase in violent home invasions. These crimes by robbers and violent persons are usually premeditated and often the occupants are known to the criminals.
Securing Your Home From Home Invasion
There are ways to deter robbers and assailants from entering your home. Here are some.
• Doors and windows: install metal or solid core doors all around the home. Lock doors and close windows when you ae not home. Most illegal entries are made through open doors and windows.
• Locks: locks are essential. Deadbolts used effectively can deter a thief. Strong doors are another essential. Unfortunately the trend in many manufactured subdivisions is to use cheaply made doors as a step to keep costs down. These lightweight doors are easily broken, no matter how many locks are used.
• Training and practice: train residents how to act and what steps to take when confronted by an attack. A home invasion is a terrifying event. But a plan of action is the first step in being proactive in preventing injury to the residents.
• Effective alarms: Today the technology of alarms has been seriously improved by wireless communication. Various sensors that monitor by audio, video and can be set for each zone of a home are readily available and affordable. Doors can be locked by remote apps on smartphones, video monitoring of grounds and individual interior areas, emergency services summoned from a distance with directions as to where the emergency has occurred are all offered by many companies.
• Remove hiding places on the property: clear the area around home for security. Robbers usually “case” a neighborhood. They look for homes where they can hide and wait the best opportunity to gain entry, shrubs and plantings offer the best cover and garage doors that do not fully close are an obvious point of entry. Lack of exterior lighting is another invitation. Doing a critical survey of where a homes’ vulnerable areas are located will aid in keeping the home safe.
• Light the night: exterior lights make a home more visible and make any intruder think twice about getting caught. Home invaders prefer easy targets.
• Fences: “Good fences make good neighbors” wrote Robert Frost. And good fences tell intruders” we know you’re there and we are ready”. Criminals seek easy targets, fences make entry more difficult.
• Armed resistance: in today’s increasingly violent world armed intrusions are on an upswing. Responsible citizens are acquiring firearms, the training how to use them effectively and teaching everyone in the house about safe handing. Safety and security are essential in having firearms in the home. There are many devices which keep a firearm secure and make them rapidly available for use. Some are digital and secured by personal code or key. Many homeowners have chosen shotguns as their prime home defense weapon and with good reason. A shotgun can be used at close range and take out several attackers. Most magazines have sufficient capacity for the purpose and tactical, short barreled shotguns are readily available from several quality manufacturers and at remarkably low cost. And a shotgun can be used by just about anyone who has the training and determination to “not to be a victim”.
For more tips about securing your home, make sure you check out our article on how to prevent a home invasion (and how to survive one if it actually happens).
Should You Use A Firearm?
There are some important things to remember when you have a home invasion and have to act to protect your home and family. If home security is a concern then you should take a close look at firearm training. As with anything else in life though, let prayer be your guide.
If You’re Going To Use A Firearm, Do It Right
You should be determined to act decisively and well trained in the use of whichever firearm you have.
• Be totally aware of the situation and what is going on. Call 911 and tell them of the situation. Inform them that you are armed. When they arrive comply immediately with all orders.
• Seek cover and positively identify who you are confronting. Too many innocent people have been shot by mistake.
• Order the identified intruder(s) to surrender. If they resist take your best shot.
• When police arrive comply with all commands and do not touch anything (evidence).
Crooks Want The Element Of Surprise — So Don’t Give It To Them
Surprising and terrifying force is the tactic that violent home invaders are going for, so if you can remove that element of surprise, you can scare off a number of possible home invaders.
Start With Surveillance And Audio
1. Don’t just invest in hidden cameras around your property — invest in audio equipment as well. Audio equipment can pick up faint sounds and it can be a quick way to hear someone creeping around outside. If you don’t have much money to spend, you can even achieve this with baby monitors hidden in planters near back porches, near your gates, etc.
2. Today’s surveillance cameras can also trigger alerts when a person or movement is detected by a camera. Ring is an inexpensive and portable security camera with audio. Not only can you see and hear intruders, you can speak to them as well. Ring enables your phone to work as a two way radio of sorts so you can talk directly to anyone who has come into range of the device (or more than one device on your property).
You can even guard your home in this way while at work, school, or even on vacation. Ring is the direct result of modern day smart phone technology working in combination with audio and security cameras around your home or other areas or property you want to keep secure.
Ring notifies you via phone that an intruder is on your property, enabling you to even speak out warnings to these intruders or just the UPS or Fed Ex delivery driver who is standing at your porch and about to knock.
Ring Units Can Be Set Up In Multiple Locations
Ring units can be set up around different entry ways to your home, including gates and even inside your garage (remember, an unlocked garage is a common entry point for crooks).
Night time offers crooks the covers of darkness which is when motion activated flood lights with built in Ring cameras can be used.
Tip: Keep your Ring units hidden by disguising them amid decorations or address signs, etc. At the same time, older, non-working cameras can be displayed as “dummy” devices, which can serve as a distraction. Doing this can help keep your Ring units from being spotted and recognized (and then dealt with at a later time if this intruder is persistent on getting into your home).
Formidable Canines Can Scare Off Invaders
Since a barking dog can take away the element of surprise from a home invader, a formidable canine can be a good deterrent.
Civil Unrest Can Trigger Home Invasions
During an emergency or national catastrophe, a number of violent groups may take advantage of the breakdown of law and order. These groups could be politically or ideologically motivated. From AntiFa radicals to Jihadists, they will attack vulnerable homes in their neighborhood or adjacent cities to seek food, guns and valuables and just to kill those they feel are enemies of their cause. In large metropolitan areas gangs will expand their territory unchecked by any police presence. These gangs are seeking an outlet for their violent energy and kill with no conscience or remorse.
Prior To Civil Unrest, Usually There’s Signs Its Coming
Civil unrest and rioting will not occur overnight. There will be signs of instability when war clouds gather. Radicals will begin to hold rallies and demonstrations that become increasingly violent. Burglaries are deterred by Neighborhood Watch groups which work together and take note of suspicious activity. This can be taken a step further when breakdown of law and order appear imminent.
In a worst case scenario, it should be understood that law enforcement will be stretched and overburdened if a large scale dissolution of civil government happens after following a national catastrophe such as an EMP attack on the power grid or worse.
No Local Police? Neighbors May Need To Band Together For Security
Neighbors should work together to protect their community and homes by patrols, resistance and the willingness to act. Though that helps protect your neighborhood and families, this will in many cases send those criminals and radicals intent on violent home invasions into more vulnerable areas. If there’s enough of you, considering sending a detachment to the next town to offer warnings and security in dealing with these crooks. If you all work together to eliminate the threat, your entire region will be better off.
If you believe in prayer, this is a good time for it.
Hardening The Home
Strong doors, heavy locks, exterior lighting, clear perimeter around the property, a security system and signage, participating in Neighborhood Watch activities and situational awareness make for a secure homestead. Today roll down interior shutters that can seal off a home are available. Some opt for a safety room (panic room) where occupants can lock themselves in and hide from intruders until law enforcement arrives. However, it has become an increasingly frequent tactic to set a house on fire to hide evidence. Safe rooms are best for weather emergencies and not home invasions from violent persons (though it might not be a bad idea to have your children escape to a safe room while you take care of the intruders).
Defend Your Castle
Your home is your castle. As in the days when knighthood was in flower, those who reside within are under your protection. The “new normal” of violent home invasions, civil unrest and the total breakdown of law and order demand that responsible persons take proactive steps to secure their homes, families and property and not expect the state to do it for them. There may come a time when the state cannot or will not do this. Be prepared, be ready and be without fear.
The lives of others may depend on what you do today in order to be prepared.