How to Keep Safe During a Home Invasion

Despite the best home security systems, is yours on when you’re in your house?

Most often, not. After all, the kids are in and out and we don’t stay in one room.

Security alarm systems just don’t work if they’re not armed.

According to a study by the US Department of Justice, the home owner or other family member is present in 28% of residential burglaries. It is only a slight comfort that the offender in armed only in 38% of home invasions nationwide. When you’re at home during the theft, you have a 72% chance of knowing the offender.

These are rather alarming statistics, especially when Houston among the top 10 cities in the US for residential theft.

When you’re confronted by a burglar in your home, what you do can greatly affect whether or not the encounter becomes violent. Keeping yourself and your family safe should be your main priority, not heroics. The Houston Police Department recommends the following actions if you are confronted by a burglar in your home.

  1. Avoid confrontation with the offender by hiding if you can. Go to a safe room that has a reinforced door with a lock if you have one. Stay very quiet and listen carefully. Note voices. The heaviness of footsteps which will give you an estimation of weight and how many intruders there are.
  2. If you can’t hide and come face to face with the burglar, stay calm and don’t resist. Do what he or she says and let the burglar know of any sudden moves you need to make. Remember that the thief is probably as nervous as you and is most likely unarmed. What you do and say can determine whether the offender becomes violent or not.
  3. Only activate your security alarm only if you can do so safely and without being seen.
  4. After the offender leaves, lock all your doors and windows. Your first call should be to HPD or 9-1-1.
  5. Don’t touch anything. The offender(s) might have left behind fingerprints.
  6. Write down every detail that you can remember and have any witnesses do the same.
    • How many offenders/accomplices were there
    • A physical description of the offenders such as height, weight, gender, and ethnicity including identifying marks such as tattoos
    • What the thief was wearing
    • A description of the get-away vehicle (make, model, color) and the direction they took when leaving. If you can, note the license plate number.
    • A description of any weapons, such as the type, size, and color of a gun or knife.
  7. Have any witnesses leave their contact information if they can’t wait for the police to arrive. Ask for drivers licenses to verify home address.

Many home security systems installed in Houston come with a keychain remote that allows you to arm/disarm your system when you as you leave or arrive at your home. You can order extra keychain remotes as additional equipment to wear as a bracelet or necklace at home. This way, your security monitoring center and help is always within reach in an emergency.

The small cost of additional equipment is worth the peace of mind in predicaments such as home invasions.