What to do in case of a home invasion?

With home invasions becoming more common in spite of the record decrease in crime across USA, there are a few things people should keep in mind.

Defending yourself against criminals without weapons is like trying to make a cake without eggs or flour. If you follow any of the advise in this blog one of the things you probably have is a gun, hopefully its not too big to maneuver inside close quarters. If you don’t have a gun, a large pointy chef knife will have to do. Get one of these if you cant legally own guns in your current location. Besides the gun (or knife) there are certain items that are very desirable to have at hand. A tactical flashlight, hopefully something powerful like the previously reviewed MTE lights that have 1000 lumens and a cell phone in the bedroom. You may want to add body armor to that list. Yes, its expensive but then again a) Its probably worth around half of the gun in your hand b) It increases your survival rate to 80% (give or take) when facing attackers armed with handguns.

Home invasions and attacks to your household can vary significantly. The following list is an estimation for most typical incidents. Adjusting and adapting as needed is important but this will give you a general guideline to think of.

1)React. If  something woke you up at night, if something got your attention, react to it. 99% of the time its nothing, just another house noise, the cat, the wind, etc, but you have to act on all of them because its that 1% that you react for. It gets to a point where you jump out of bed/your seat immediately. One thing that must be avoided at all costs is freezing, the inaction, staying still after hearing a sound to see if you hear it again. You must react, not wait.

2)Go for the gun and flashlight. Grab your weapon and light (don’t turn it on) immediately. Sometimes you have a few more seconds, sometimes you don’t. React as you would in a worst case scenario. If the gun is in a safe near the bed, remember to open it before going to bed. The firearm should be ready for use, within immediate reach but still out of the reach of children. Children should be trained not to touch your firearms but don’t ever count on that alone.

3) Regroup the family. This will depend on how many family members there is, their age and the house floor plan. The objective here is to get the family together in a defendable position, usually this would be the master bedroom. If you can clearly hear intruders breaking in then wake the wife and have her go get the kids while you stand protecting the corridor where the attackers are coming from. Once you have all the family members accounted for in a room, only then can you consider the potential intruders. This seems obvious but is very important. Too often people confuse their own family members with intrudes with disastrous consequences.

4)Once you have everyone in your room, if you feel you have a couple more seconds you can put on your body armor vest. If you still hear noises, now is when the wife or yourself should be calling the police.

5)Here is where people will have different opinions and the possible correct actions are as many as individual scenarios. When everyone is accounted for and the police has been called you can either hold your position in the room or go check out the noise. The textbook says don’t go clearing a house on your own. Solo house clearing is suicide if you go by the manual, but then do you want to wait until your attackers completely break in and risk a gunfight in your bedroom with your wife and kids? In some cases, say you hear attackers kicking the door down, making yourself noticed and warning them that you are armed may send them away as I explained in an incident that occurred to my dentist. In that case, that was enough. What if its not? Then you have the legal and moral ground to defend your life and your family. In other cases where someone sneaked in you might want to surprise the home invader using your flashlight, this will also work towards positive identification. Even with all family members accounted for staying in a room until told its safe to come out, you simply never shoot before identifying. It might be a drunk buddy, stoned neighbor, friend of your kid’s friend that crashed in the family room couch, NEVER shoot before identifying. Check for weapons as well. A gun or knife means you shoot, you don’t risk it.  At indoor ranges your life is clearly at risk and you’ll be lucky to survive if he attacks with either one, a knife being just as dangerous or more so than a gun at such distances.

The situations will all be different, in some you’ll want to move stealthily, in others made yourself noticed, in some stay put with your family and in others take the fight elsewhere if it comes to that. This is just a bare bone guideline. Be armed, have the minimum tools, account for all family members and don’t ever shoot without identifying first.

As America keeps getting safer according to statistics, violent robberies and home invasions where they didn’t occur before are becoming more and more common. Such a strange occurrence, still it’s better to be ready for it.

Take care,



What to do in case of a home invasion? — 25 Comments

  1. Crime decreasing. Ah, I don’t think so. I’m 63. I’ve had two home invasions, one violent, eventually sending me into bankruptcy, 15 cars stolen to date. Hell, they came in and actually cut the electrical wires, pulled the pole out of the ground and took it along with the meter. Once, I was burglarized ona Monday, and I replaced some of the electronics, and by Friday, they just broke in and stole the new stuff. You can’t win in America. Specifically, this was South Texas. I now live in SE Asia which is far safer than America. As far as the police, they were absolutely no help, even after one of my stolen cars was identified by a friend. I had to go retrieve the car myself. America is morally dead. I’m so so so glad I moved out. BUT, I was always ready with a gun, but never had the chance to use it .

    • I make not one penny from recommending this product. I do have it myself and I sleep soundly at night for it . It is made by a former US Marine in NC. You want to PREVENT the perk from kicking in your door in the first place. that what this product does. go to: http://www.asafehome.net/ I live in NC and I met the man. Be sure to check out the video demo on his website. Keep your family safe.

  2. I also keep a can of wasp spray next to bed – shoots fairly compressed stream up to 15-20′ accurately

    A face full of this would deter the most dedicated criminal I would think

    • What a great idea! We have been broken into twice – once we came home to find them in our house..the 2nd time they stole our 69Mustang Mach I as soon as my hubby walked in from the garage to get a cup of coffee. He was working on the car, IN OUR garage at 5:30am on a sunday. This crackhead (yes he really was one) had been watching him work on it for 3 yrs. He stole it only AFTER it was finished. That made me do a 180 about guns and I now have a Glock 9mm. So sad we have to live like this…

  3. I live 18 miles from the county sheriff office. 3 miles of that distance is over a county gravel road. The area offers two means of entrance(or escape). My fear that as things begin to come unraveled, and maradors find it harder to invade homes in towns, they will band together and strike in homes a distance from towns like in my circumstance. I suspect they will be in groups of 4 or more (as many that can ride in a pickup truck) and strike well into the night. During the hard times I fear, law inforcement will be reduced or at least be so busy working crime in congested areas, that folks in the country will “be on their own” Such an invasion in an older couple’s home could go undetected for several hours or perhaps days. Any suggestion other than taking turns sitting on the porch to spot trouble coming and alert others? Just a thought running through the mind of an old fellow with grandkids at risk. Thanks for your interest in other’s safety.

    • Mr. Fisher,
      It grieves me that you live in such fear.
      Yet, I surmise that you are self sufficient.
      I don’t know your situation, but there are two mechanical sounds that are unmistakable: An M1911A2 .45 slide slamming home, and a pump shotgun doing the same.

      My personal alert system is dogs. Females are better. (They don’t roam looking for “pussy cats”.
      My dogs alert ME. It takes a lot of love and time to train them, but if you have Medium to Large dogs(female) and raise them from pups with them there Grandchildren, with ALL the nips and bites and wresting and dressing up, etc., They will be a deterent, because of their size, and WILL defend their pack. But get a calm breed like a Golden mix or a Lab mix. They are extremely protective. But dobies, Germans, pits, may individually be a good choice, I’d never choose one, simply because of their reputations.

      You don’t want to get between one of my dogs and their Packmate.
      Oh, My dogs have also been taught that their “Human Food” is cooked. I, or you, can throw down raw beef, and they will look at us like somebody’s crazy.(And yes, they do clean up the kitchen floor.)

      But, we also have an agreement for the wild critters: They kill it, I’ll cook it, they eat it.

      Hope this helps. js

    • Mr Fisher,

      In your situation you might consider a back up warning system becuase even the best set’s of eyes get tired or need a bio break! A trip wire strung across your entrance road that rings a bell and a driveway alert system that is wireless (and works similiar to the invisible beam for an electric garage door opener)can warn of a person or vehicle breaking the beam. This sets off an audible and/or visible alarm located wherever you decide to place it in your home.

  4. Wha t do yu suggest for the people with hearing loss who may not hear the noise normal people hear? I have an alarm but alarms can be by-passed by knowledgable invaders and if you allow yourself to become that prone to this happening to you, it will be imossible toget a good nights sleep even with people with excellent hearing. It really requires a motion senser in your room that triggers the slightest motion but make sure it’s not covering your bed

    • Get a small dog (must get it fixed) like a miniature doberman pinscher. They will sleep with you and if they hear something they get up and wake you up on their way to check it out. I have one that is always by my side and he is an excellent guard dog even if he is short. He would bite their ankles off or die trying that’s for sure. They like to tunnel under the covers at night but if that doesn’t bother you it will only help to wake you up because you feel it as they try to get out of bed. Plus they are very loving, loyal and get along well with kids. Good luck!

  5. We’ve told our adult children more than once never to come home unannounced. I have no interest in not shooting anyone who can get past a locked storm door and a locked door or who has broken a window to get in. They have forfeited all their rights to being treated as human beings at that point.

    I once lived in another neighborhood in this town where a homeowner ran off an intruder who was armed with a knife. He simply went down the street, broke into another home, killed the occupant, stole his truck, and got killed by the Jacksonville, Florida police a few days later. If the first homeowner had shot the intruder, the guilty man would still be dead but the innocent man would still be alive.

    • So funny you say about not coming home unnannounced…my husband now calls me to tell me he’s on his way home PLUS when he walks in he says “don’t shoot …it’s me, honey”. He proudly tells his friends that our house is protected by me and my Glcok 9mm.I try to keep my Glock handy but don’t want to scare my grandkids who are temp. living with us. I now live out of town on an acre 1/2. We have put up signs warning “we DON’T call 911 – we use our guns”, also video surveillance should help. Plus vary your schedule! Always keep things different, walk around, be seen checking your property.

    • ANy Scatter gun. Buck Shot doesn’t go through walls well, but is not precise aim dependent.

      A pistol handle pump shotgun: once you ram a round home, sHOULD let the freak know that trouble is in the air.

      My magazine is loaded rock salt, bird shot, buckshot, buckshot, slug. My second mag is just buckshot. If I need ten pulls, my ass is toast anyway.
      My wife’s .357, is loaded none,none, hollow point, hollow point, hollow point, hollow point. Her quick change spare cylinder is just hollow point loaded.

        • No empty chambers in my gun, however, I don’t chamber a bullet and yes, I use hollow points too in my 9mm. We’ve been broken into & robbed twice…..it’s NOT happening again if I am around. 🙂 I will keep pulling that trigger until I empty the gun or until the cops arrive if I need to…and deal with the consequences later.

  6. Best gun? 12 ga shotgun, shortest legal barrel, improved cylinder or open bore, #4 shot (for inside, 00 for outside) or a 410/.45. Pull the plug, three shots of #4 first, backed up by two of 00.

    And… hold any light at arm’s length if possible– baddies will shoot under the light or at it.

    Wasp spray is excellent– temporarily blinds and disables.

    Hope you never have to use this information!!!!

  7. I would prefer to let a home invader come to me. Installing a dead bolt lock on a bedroom door or other safe area, will buy extra time during a home invasion. Make sure the battery is charged on your cell phone. A shot gun is lethal, but leaving it out, for quick access, when you are not home can arm the criminal. Taking it out from a safe each night could be troublesome. Keep an extra magazine next to your firearm. An old dog like myself is a light sleeper, so I am depending on my senses to warn me. Move from large cities if possible; most unrest will occur there. Use a caliber from 9mm and up.

  8. Wireless Driveway alarms. Good ones.
    Place them around your property high enough so cats n dogs don’t set them off.
    They will give you advanced warning of anyone approaching your home in my case over 200′ away. I’ll take a 200′ buffer zone (motion lights included) any day over a “Honey, I think someone is in the living room” warning.

    My 2 cents.

  9. I am surprised that not mentioned here is the most basic requirement of all–get an alarm system, one that monitors for break-in, glass breakage and fire and reports automatically to a central office using a cell phone. Do not bother with the silly, “…you have entered a protected zone” or other stupid announcements. Get one that uses inside and outside sirens that are loud enough to make an intruder and your neighbors think that God is after them.

    Also, particularly if you have a potentially disabling medical condition or are old enough to be at risk of one, make sure you have one that allows a silent alarm that is activated by a device you wear around your neck.

    Then, if you have the self-discipline to learn to use it and to maintain proficiency with it and you have the will to use a deadly weapon, get a gun–at least one–two or more is better. Which ones?–the answer to that depends on you and will become obvious as you exercise your self-discipline. Don’t obsess over one gun or another, buy a 20ga. shotgun (anything that you can find used that holds more than 5 rounds) and a revolver with a barrel at least 4 inches long and chambered for .38 Special. Better to buy them new and look on the difference as tuition. If you insist on buying used, have the firearms checked by a gunsmith. When you have enough experience to know better, trade for something more suitable, based on your experience from having actually used them enough to know. The difference that you have to pay is tuition.

    Really, today, the monitored alarm system is basic. All the wannabe fantasizing over guns can wait until that basic requirement is satisfied.

  10. I have 12 gauge shotgun shells sitting in every window ledge. Kind of a last “wake-up call”.

    For safety in vehicles, anybody ever heard of wiring the entire car to a spark plug wire? (With an on/off switch, of course.) My uncle did this 60 years ago, the original “stun-gun”! Question is, with today’s auto electronics, would you damage your own car?

  11. Just another observation: If I didn’t have a bed-side gun, I’d for sure have a little laser pointer. If the bad guy saw this red dot searching for him, he’d obviously think it was connected to a firearm.

  12. Home invasions and burglaries are on the rise mostly due to the weak economy and high unemployment. People must take action to lower the chances of being victimized. Three of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your property is to reinforce your doors and windows, plus have a personal protection device. About 85% of burglars come through a door, so first you should reinforce your entry doors with a door security device such as the Door Security Pro – http://www.DoorSecurityPro.com. Second, about 15% of burglars come through a window and so you should install security window film (3M brand is good) and good window locks. And finally, you need to get some type of personal protection device in case you are ever confronted by an intruder. Pepper spray (or even wasp and hornet spray) is a good choice because it’s easy to use and it’s highly effective.

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