Knock, Knock-Home Invasion
Family Survival Tips
A home invasion is when robbers force their way into an occupied home, apartment or hotel room to commit a robbery or other crime. The entry point of attack is often through the front door, garage or unlocked window. It is very important for the occupant to not automatically open the front door before asking who is there because home invaders often knock on the door first or ring the bell with the hope that the resident will simply open the door, without question, and in most cases people do just that.
Home invasion is one of the most frightening and potentially deadly crimes. Home invasion is the forced entry into an occupied residence to commit robbery or other crimes. If someone survives such a catastrophic crisis, he or she often experiences stress reactions for years. Unfortunately, many home invasions end in assault, rape or murder.
Home invasion robbers use extreme force to gain entry, establish control and instill fear. The greatest violence usually occurs during the initial 60 seconds and they come prepared with handcuffs, rope, duct tape, and firearms.
Who are targets of home invasion? Women living alone, a wealthy senior citizen or anyone randomly picked based on the value of the car driven or the jewelry worn. Some home invaders may have been in your home before as a delivery person, installation technician or service person, others use children, posing as selling something for school to get you to open the door.
Most Common scenarios to be wary of include:
•A uniformed individual tells you that they are in the area checking for a gas leak, a problem with your cable, or a problem with your telephone and request entry into your house.
•A uniformed individual informs you that they have a delivery of some sort, usually flowers, telegram or a package. Be especially suspicious if you have no reason to expect a package.
•An individual appears at your door, informing you that you have won a contest or special prize. In this case they may just collect your information.
•The individual informs you that they are collecting for a charity or some other good cause. This sometimes provides an opportunity to snatch your purse or wallet.
•A stranger claims to be in some kind of distress and asks if he or she can use your phone or bathroom.
Tips to protect you from becoming a home invasion robbery victim:
✓ All exterior doors should be solid-core wood, steel or fiberglass and the hinges must be on the inside.
✓ Use doors that feature wide-angle peepholes at heights everyone can use.
✓ Keep doors and windows closed and securely fastened. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a 1” throw and reinforced strike plate with 3” screws.
✓ Secure sliding glass doors. Install vertical bolts to prevent forced entry or lifting it off the track.
✓ Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. Low voltage outdoor lighting discourages intruders.
✓ Don’t hide a key on your property, criminals will find them, no matter how clever you think we are.
✓ Store jewelry, large amounts of cash and other valuables in a safety deposit box.
✓ If you are not expecting a visitor, do not automatically open the door! With the door closed and locked, ask for identification and why they are there. Then call the company to confirm the identity of the person and that the visit is legitimate. If it’s not, call the police.
✓ Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door; a home invader will kick in the door.
✓ Install and USE a professionally installed home security system. Home invasion robbers know most homeowners do not arm their system when they are home. Don’t make that critical mistake.
✓ The best defense against home invasion is education and planning; have a family meeting to discuss your home security plans.
IF YOU ARE CONFRONTED BY HOME INVASION ROBBERS:
• Stay calm.
• Cooperate. There is no amount of money or property worth getting hurt or losing your life over.
• Don’t fight back. Instead, concentrate on getting information so you can be an effective
• Look carefully at the intruders, even if they are masked. Is there something unique about
them such as scars, tattoos, eye color, accents, large or small facial features such as nose or ears?
HOME INVASION PREVENTION TIPS
1. Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times, even when you are home.
2. Harden and secure your home with strong doors and locks.
3. Never open your door to strangers or solicitors. Most home invaders knock on the front door to gain entry. Use your outside light at night to see who is at your door. Don’t rely on door chains to keep intruders out; they won’t.
4. If you have an alarm system in your home, activate the perimeter doors and windows while you are in the home. If someone attempts to gain entry, the alarm will sound, giving you time to set your plan in motion.
5. Automatic phone dialers that can call 911, in speakerphone mode, can be effective in getting police assistance if intruders come in. Every home phone should be pre-programmed with this feature and all family members should be trained on how to use it. When intruders come in you will not have much time to contact police.
6. Have an escape plan in mind for your family. Train family members on where to go and what to say. This plan should include your children. If someone can escape, the invaders will have lost their advantage of privacy and time.
7. Never stop thinking if you are held captive. Stay calm and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
8. Report all suspicious activity to police. If you see something out of the ordinary, call. You are not bothering us.
9. Often, police are asked if people should resist invaders. There is no set answer for this, seeing as it depends on the physical and mental capabilities of each person.
10. Don’t fight over property with an intruder. Let them have the property; it is not worth your life and can be replaced. Never follow the intruder from scene, call 911 immediately and get the best description you can get
· Arm your security system (if you have one) even when you are home. This is a common mistake home owners make and home invasion robbers know it.
· Do not open the door without question at the sound of a knock.
· Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door; a home invader will kick in the door.
- If you are not expecting a package, delivery or service call do not answer the door. Insist that the deliverer provide you with verbal verification of his/her employment and call the company to confirm that the deliverer’s impromptu visit is legitimate. Your front door should remain closed and locked!
- Keep doors, garage doors and windows locked at all times, even when you are home.
- Add panic buttons to your security system and place them around your home so you can alert the proper authorities from any location in your home, other than only the keypad.
- Hold a family meeting to discuss home security plans. The best defense against home invasion is education and planning.
Raise your sense of awareness and don’t become a victim.
Safety First, Safety Always!!
Information from Roswell Police Dept, Stay Safe and FBI