This happened to an old friend of mine one year ago. She lived alone and was fast asleep at around 2 am in her newly-bought apartment. She was woken by what she thought were the aluminum blinds in the lounge banging against the door caused by the wind. As soon as the realization hit her, she got up to listen at her bedroom door and heard someone moving around in the lounge. She froze in shock.
The possibility of a home invasion is still spine-chilling and even the strong-willed can feel immensely vulnerable in this frightening scenario. If God forbid, this incident occurs and you find yourself alone, trapped in the house with a burglar, here’s what you should do.
#1. Verify the Presence of the Intruder
Before thinking up a way to disable the f****r or send his ass straight to hell, take a deep breath and check for your home’s security camera or alarm alerts on your mobile phone. Listen attentively and try to distinguish between pet movements and outdoor plumbing sounds and those of slow walking footsteps, shuffling objects, opening doors/windows or breaking glass.
#2. Stay Calm and Focused
In such terrifying situations, it’s very easy for your heart rate to jump, to wail and cry or to go ape shit. You’ll even start imagining some of the worst possible outcomes. In that instant, remember that the key to your escape and survival is to take a few deep breaths and take control to calm both your mind and body.
If possible, take a look at your security camera videos and try to see if the intruder is armed. Crafting a well-thought-out plan is the only way out.
#3. Determine if You Can Escape
Once you’ve confirmed the presence of a burglar in your home, take a pause and wait for a few seconds. If the intruder is still in there, there’s a possibility he didn’t know you were home or you’ve woken up. So, avoid any confrontations and look for a way out immediately – windows are always the first option. If there’s a fire escape ladder, now‘s the time to use it.
And, thinking of fighting or hacking them quietly with machetes borders on the verge of insanity – who are you, Chuck Norris? – so don’t even think about that. Yet!
#4. What if You Can’t Escape?
If the invader stands between you and all the exits (and you can’t climb out of a window), hide and barricade yourself in a bathroom, bedroom or even in a closet.
Even with the lights turned off, if you walk in the dark, chances are you might come across the intruder, so start crawling. And, if you don’t want to alert the intruder of your presence, stay as quiet as possible.
#5. Call 911
Whether you plan to escape or hide, always have your cell phone so you can call the police. The dispatcher will quickly ask you a few questions – the nature of your emergency, your address, name, etc. – for which you need to be prepared to answer. They’ll try to keep you calm, trace where you live and will stay on the line until help arrives.
What if the Burglar Saw You?
The safest option here is to play the perfect victim. Don’t try to fight back and do what the intruder tells you to. Let him take what he’s come for. Then once he leaves, call the police.
The second option sounds crazy but might save your life. Talk to things /people that are not there. You can make animal sounds or act completely strange and crazy. A lot of burglars will not go near someone who they think is on drugs or simply delusional because these unpredictable people can make them nervous and cause an unnecessary commotion.
Can I Use a Weapon?
Today, most burglars are armed and the fact that they broke into your house shows that they don’t care about you and some of them won’t hesitate to use their weapons against you.
I don’t know about others, but for my own safety, I would have grabbed a weapon.
You can take your .38 revolver or Glock 19, but keep it down. Attacking is not what a thief wants to do; he is in your house for financial gain. But, if he sees you with a gun and you threaten to use it, he might panic into killing you and then robbing you.
And, in case you have to use your gun, remember that some legislatures talk about warning shots where your main objective should be to defuse the situation rather than shooting directly at the intruder.
Now, for those who do not have any firearms, the best weapon could be a kitchen knife or something that could hurt badly, like a baseball bat.
Again, I repeat, fighting and using a weapon is the last resort.
Wondering what happened to my friend? She was grabbed from behind and the guy who broke in cut her throat…just joking! She was saved by emergency services and today, she sleeps with a baseball bat next to her bed.