As I read this advice the other day, I was made acutely aware of how valuable it is to be prepared for all adversities. I also realized that the actions I would likely have taken, are in fact the worst things to do!!!
Every parent should talk to their kids in simple terms about what to do in the case of emergencies, so let's talk about home invasions. No, we don't want to scare our kids witless, but we do need to teach them some simple and important actions that could save their lives, or yours, one day. So, please read this and pass it on.
BE PREPARED1. Put in a home security system AND use it! Place security labels in full view. Show all family
members where the panic button is on the security system control pad.
2. Buy equipment such as a rope ladder to escape from an upstairs window and teach your kids how
to use them. The ladder can be used in case of fire or invasion.
3. Ensure you have locks/slide bolts on internal doors e.g. bedrooms, inside closets.
4. Always keep house and car keys in the same place. Keep phones and car keys together.
5. Ensure you have strong doors with solid side panels in your home.
6. Always keep windows locked shut at night and if open, that they all have security latches.
7. Keep all valuables locked in a hidden safe. Do not talk about valuables you own to strangers.
8. Do not broadcast on social media e.g. Face Book that you are going on vacation.
9. If you have a bad feeling about a possible break-in, inform the police so they can create a greater
presence in your neighborhood.
10. Create or join your 'neighborhood watch' and display signage around the street and your home.
HAVE A PLAN1. Create a contingency plan for various scenarios of how and when a break-in may occur e.g.
what to do if you are upstairs, what to do if there are other children in the house - who is
responsible for what.
2. Practice these scenarios. You can make it a game. Any time, just say, I think someone is
breaking into the house (hold your arm up as the signal that this is just a rehearsal).
3. Practice how to call 911 without actually doing it. Tell them how to speak clearly and be able
to state their name and address and what is happening in your house at the present time.
WHAT TO DO DURING A BREAK-IN1. Don't make a sound. Do not shout that you have a gun or that you have just called the police
because you are giving your position away.
2. Do not launch an attack on your own. Trying to be gallant could get yourself and others killed.
Shooting at the invader/s or attacking them with weapons such as a baseball bat or a taser will
certainly incite retaliation which may not have been initially intended. Also, when the police
arrive, they may not know who the perpetrator is or who the victim is.
3. Lock yourself in your room or in a closet and dial 911. Quietly give your name and address,
the situation you are in, your location in the home and how many others are currently
staying at your address.
4. Tell the operator if you hear more than one person speaking and if weapons are mentioned.
5. Do as the 911 operator tells you to do. Stay on the line with the operator as they may be able
to tell you what to do. They will also know that if you are safe.
ESCAPE IS YOUR FIRST CHOICEIf you have locked yourself in a bedroom and there is a window to climb out where you cannot
be seen, then do so as quickly and quietly as possible. Tell the operator your position so the police will not mistake you for an escaping burglar.
IF YOU CANNOT ESCAPE1. If it is possible to gather family members in the same place, lock or barricade yourselves in
the room and tell the operator where you are in the house and how many are with you.
If other family members are hiding in other areas of the house, then tell the operator that also.
2. If you have your car keys press the panic button so the security alarm goes off in your car. This
will alert the neighbors.
3. Stay in your hiding place until you hear the police knock on the door and tell you it is safe to
come out. The operator will tell you when the police have entered your house.