Defense Against Crime

26/03/2010

Knock, Knock – Home Invasion Tips

Filed under: Crime Prevention — peppereyes @ 11:36 AM
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This morning I was watching a story of a family that posted on Facebook that they were going to a concert, and one of their Facebook friends decided to rob them.  Before you post anything on-line, ask yourself would you put it on a sign in your front yard. I’ve been reading a few home invasion stories this past week  perhaps you’ve see some of these stories.

  • Police Dog Shot During Home Invasion Response
  • North Oakville family’s home invasion horror
  • Two people shot in Wyoming home invasion
  • Residents bound during home invasion

 

Preventing home invasion against forced entry involves the same security countermeasures as preparing your home against burglary. According to  FBI reports,  every 12 seconds a home is invaded by going right through the front or back door. High Quality Deadbolt locks and high security strike plates should be installed on all external doors, and the doors and their frames should be strong and in good condition. There is a product called Strike Master II that I recommend. There is also the Door Club that can be used when you are at home.

It is wise to install wide-angle peepholes on doors to enable you to see who is knocking or ringing the bell before making the decision to open the door. This can be purchased at any local hardware store. Do not rely on door chains. Accessible windows should be able to resist brute force attacks, be fitted with good quality locks and be connected to your perimeter alarm system.  You also want to make sure that if you have window AC unit that it is not easy to pull out from the outside. We recommend that they be bolted from the inside. Many of these I covered in my Home invasion prevention series.

However, none of the prevention countermeasures will work unless you put them to work. An unlocked door, an unset security alarm, or ignoring any of the advice that we are giving you will make it easier on a burglar. You must carefully build habits to ensure you always leave the door locked and your perimeter alarm on, and everyone in the house with you must do the same. Home invasion prevention, in many ways, is about establishing habits for the whole family to observe.

So what happens in your house, when the door bell rings, or there is a knock at the door and it’s a person you don’t know. There are two methods of home invasion by deception that you need to be on the look out for. There are several methods that criminals will use to gain your trust so that you’ll let you guard down and let them in. However once inside your home, these criminals will quickly drop any pretense, overpower you or your family and use fear, or even violence, to obtain your cash, your jewelry, or any of your valuables..

An Official Call

Deception is one of the methods used to get into your home. These thieves will attempt to pass themselves off as representatives of utility companies, alarm company, repair services, local council officers, charity workers and just about anyone that might have a reason for being invited inside your home.  Uniforms and clipboard are no guarantee that the wearer is genuine. These uniforms can be obtained by theft, copied or items of clothing can be assembled that look like a uniform on a quick inspection. Someone may be careless and give their old uniforms to Goodwill or some other used clothing store. Most all utility companies and other organizations issue their representatives with a picture identification card.  In addition utility companies rarely come to your home without your calling them or them calling you, unless it is for service disconnection for non-payment.

 Should someone from a company show up at your door unexpectedly, do not open your door but rather verify the ID of the caller. Ask them to slip it under the door or through the mail slot. Do not feel embarrassed by doing this a genuine caller will not be offended. You know the expression better safe than sorry.

To verify the visitor, keep your door locked and closed and phone the organization to check if they did send the caller to your home. Do not phone any numbers on the identification card, the number could be that of someone in league with the criminal, look up the number in the phone book. To not waste time keep a list of customer service numbers for your utilities on the refrigerator (electric, gas, cable, security, etc)

If an unknown visitor is standing so close to your door viewer/peephole that you cannot see behind them, ask them to step back away from the door. A wide-angle door viewer will enable you to see to both sides. You may think that you are dealing with one person when in fact there is another crook either lurking behind, or to the side of, or below, the caller. Home invasion criminals rarely work alone unless they think they are dealing with a single frail elderly person.

A Distress Call

Another method that criminals use to enter your home is preying on your compassion. A perfectly innocent looking caller, male or female or even a child, could give you a very reasonable sounding excuse for needing to enter your home.  They need to use your bathroom. They need to use your phone. They are lost. You have to be hard hearted and say no, to do otherwise runs the risk of home incursion. They may say that they need to use your phone to call the emergency services, keep your door locked and offer to make the call for them. If the caller gives you a story that seems off, such as your winning a prize in a contest you never entered, deny them entry and announce you have already called the police to help them. This happened to my grandmother. A lady wanted to use her bathroom, and instead of going to the bathroom, she went to look in my grandmother purse in her bedroom. The she tried to rob my grandmother. My grandmother attempted to get her walking stick, and explained that she couldn’t stand. The crook allowed her to get her stick and my grandmother gave her what-for. Poor crook never thought and 80 year old could hit so hard.

If you are alone at home and receive an unexpected knock at the door, call out loudly “I’ll see who it is.” Avoid giving the impression that you are at home alone.

The Unexpected Entry.

A few years ago, I saw TV news reports where people were at home and all of a sudden their door is kicked in and thieves rush in. What can you do? There is no one correct solution. You must have a plan and all your family must know what to do, and what not to do, should the worst happen. Neighbors also should be aware of your home invasion protection plans, and being a member of your local neighborhood watch is always a good idea.

For the safety sake, it is best not to attempt to offer unprepared resistance. Remember that the thug that just entered your home knew that someone is at home. It’s not the same as a burglar who is surprised in the act; he is likely to take flight. Home invaders will not do that.

Some people carry have lethal or non-lethal protection readily available. I’ve advised people to place pepper spray in easy to get to locations, in the console unit of their couch, behind bedroom doors, etc.

However, can’t get to your protection products, or don’t have one, you and your family are less likely to be harmed if you comply with the raiders demands. Nothing is more valuable than your life or the life of your family. Your possessions and or cash can be replaced. Is having an escape plan a good idea?

PREVENTION TIPS

If you take the time to do what you have to do in order to prevent becoming the next crime victim, then you want have to deal with the consequences later. Criminals do seek out homes that are likely to provide them with a worthwhile haul but they don’t want too difficult a job getting into your home. Hardening your home and knowing not to open your door to strangers will likely mean that you will not be picked as a target. It is also known that barking dogs are great deterrents. Home invasion prevention makes criminals look elsewhere.

By Victor Swindell, owner of PepperEyes.com, a division of Swindell Enterprises. PepperEyes.com is dedicated to assist those people who are unwilling to become a victim and are taking personal responsibility to protect themselves, and their families with our pepper spray, stun guns, and other personal security products. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

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4 Comments

  1. […] Knock, Knock – Home Invasion Tips « Personal Protection and Security […]

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    Pingback by Latest Home Theatre Auctions | Trendsonline.info — 26/03/2010 @ 11:59 AM

  2. […] Knock, Knock – Home Invasion Tips « Personal Protection and Security […]

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    Pingback by Guidance on Buying Home Phones | BUCK REALESTATE — 26/03/2010 @ 12:07 PM

  3. […] Home Invasion Tips – Not a horror story but some good tips. […]

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    Pingback by 51 Horror Stories of Home Invasion Robberies | HomeSecuritySystems.net — 26/04/2010 @ 12:53 AM

  4. Thanks! Your blog is a big help. 🙂

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    Comment by GamerCasino — 16/05/2010 @ 1:41 PM


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