What to do if you are home during a break in…. No one wants to consider this real possiblity. Yet, having a safety plan can really make a difference and help you and your loved ones survive.
Before a Break In:
Make a plan. Call a family meeting. Is everyone ambulatory? If not, who is helping who? Pick a ‘meet-up’ spot down the street. If this is a neighbor, let the neighbor know they are your safe zone. Your plan should include whether or not escape is an option from each room. If you are on an upper story, invest in an under-bed-ladder that reaches the ground from your window. Consider all the ways an intruder could enter your home, then eliminate and mitigate risks/options. Determine who will check windows and doors before bed. Who will set the alarm system? Do bedroom doors lock? Consider putting a deadbolt lock on the inside of closet doors. Keep phone charged to avoid a dead phone at night. Keep phone and keys close to bed.
During a Break In:
Don’t make a sound. How you react is crucial. Yelling and making noise just give away your location. Get up, quietly. Lock your door. Listen intently to determine how many intruders there are. Any audible evidence of a weapon? Consider going to your closet and locking that door also. Take your phone. Be sure your phone is on silent!
Call/Text 911 Immediately. Give your name and address. State you have an intruder and any information you have gathered.
Escape – first choice. Can you get out of the house without unlocking your door or venturing out wherre the intruder is? a window or fire escape? If you escape, notify 911 immediately so they have current info. Take your phone and keys with you.
Hiding in a locked safe place – second choice. Either gather everyone in one locked room/closet, or make plans to hide independantly. Communicate with 911 operator as to who is where. Take your phone and keys with you.
Car Keys. If you have a remote for your car alarm or the house alarm and you are in a safe place, trigger the alarm.
Wait it out. Don’t move until the police clear the house.