If there is an intruder in your home, the first thing you should do is ensure that there is no way the intruder can find you. While most people do not even want to think about intruders, if you are reading this while you are still safe, you may be thinking about ways to prepare for an intruder. The sad truth is that you cannot prepare 100% for an intruder because every situation will be different.
However, if there is an intruder in your home, you should do the following:
If you can get out of your home, do so. If you have a burglar alarm, you will have some advance knowledge that someone is coming into your home. Do not stick around to see if it was a false alarm or your teenager was sneaking into your home. You can find all of that out later. You must treat every situation like the person entering your home is extremely dangerous.
Make your way out of your home in the safest possible way. Use a door that is far away from where the alarm detected the entry, use a fire ladder if you can, or move as quickly as you can to the nearest exit. The most important thing is that you do not stop to grab anything – get out.
As adults, we tend to have this “go down with our ship” mentality. However, we must stress that if you can leave, leave.
If you cannot leave for whatever reason, try to get yourself to safety. Go into a room with a door that locks or a closet. Barricade the door if you can and call 911. If you do not have a cell phone, it is critical that you keep as quiet as possible. If there is something in that room that you can use to protect yourself, keep it at your side.
If you do come face to face with the intruder, stay calm. Keep your hands where the intruder can see them and do not make eye contact. Instead, speak calmly in a quiet voice. If they ask where your valuables are, tell them immediately.
The best thing you can do in this situation is wait it out. If you send the burglar to another part of your home, you may have a chance to leave, but you have to be smart – you don’t want to get hurt.