There is no denying it , home invasions are unfortunately on the rise in South Africa and home invaders are one of the scariest types of criminals we are facing. One of the biggest home invasion safety mistakes is thinking that it could never happen to us and not preparing for the chance that we could be a victim. To help with home invasion prevention and safety, we’ve put together these 4 Do’s and Don’t to Survive a home invasion.
1: Do be on Alert for Home Invasion Signs
As we mentioned in our 5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Home Invasions article, always be on the alert! When it comes to locking up, coming home and going out – check, check and check again. Early warning home security is one of your biggest defences against home invasions. It is easy to be more complacent during the day, however, studies show that so many more burglaries and home invasions are happening during the day. Always be on the lookout and never leave a door or gate unlocked, whether there are people around or not. If you see someone suspicious in your street when you come home, or even the smallest thing out of place (even a moved pot plant or a missing bin), be over-cautious and call your security company to do a property sweep before stopping.
Coming home, opening security gates to drive into driveways and garages are when you need to be the most vigilant. This is because criminals know that this is when your home security is at it’s most vulnerable. Even if you have high walls and electric fences, when you open that gate, a hiding home invader will use the opportunity to get it. Be vigilant when approaching, keep your hand on the panic button or even better still some security companies will send a car as standby as you drive in.
2: Do Have a Home Invasion Emergency Plan & Support System
The best way to survive a home invasion, is to be prepared for one. Home invasion survival starts with a home invasion prevention and an emergency plan. These include having a dedicated safe room and working out an incase-of-emergency plan and safety checklist with your family. For more details, check out our 5 Strategies to Keep Your Family Safe During a Home Invasion article.
Join the neighbourhood watch and get to know your neighbours. If your neighbours know you and are aware of your schedule they could save your life in a home invasion. Being part of your community will make it far more likely to spot a suspicious person or a car that seems out of place in the neighbourhood.
3: Don’t Be the Hero
Even if you do have some professional training or self-defence, home invasions are life-threatening situations where most security experts agree that the best defence is to get out of harm’s way long enough for help to arrive. Having no choice but to defend yourself during a home invasion is one thing, but the ideal is to get yourself and your family out of the home or into the safe room as quickly as possible. This means if defensive action will buy you time to make running to safety possible, then do it, but don’t stop to fight for fightings sake.
4: Don’t Think Home Invasions Can’t Happen To You.
The biggest home invasion mistake you can make is to think it could not happen to you. This leaves you and your family totally unprepared for this kind of life-threatening emergency. Even if you’re in a gated estate or a perceived secure neighbourhood, make sure that while you’re hoping for the best you are still well prepared for the worst.
The sad reality is that home invasions in SA are on the rise, and with it the risk of your family suffering from this terrible crime wave increases as well. When it comes to family safety and home security, there is no case of being too careful or over vigilant!
If you have some more tips on how to survive a home invasion or a first-hand account of strategies that have worked, we would love to hear from you so that we can share them to our community to help more families with home invasion prevention. Comment below or email us [email protected].
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