Clearly, protecting your home is vital in keeping you, your family, and your belongings safe against one of the most common forms of crime.
Read on to find out what to do if you think someone is in your house and you’re home alone.
What to Do During a Break In When Home Alone
Never physically confront burglars or home intruders—there is a significant chance they will be armed, which could put your life at risk. Stay hidden or find a way to escape quickly and quietly. Don’t attempt to gather belongings before exiting the house, as this can also compromise your safety.
Consider the 5 steps below if you think someone is in your house and you’re home alone.
1. Confirm it’s an intruder
Firstly, it’s important to confirm that there is an intruder in the property and not an unexpected family member or friend. This prevents raising a false alarm to the authorities.
If they are a stranger, do not call out. Be quick, stay calm, and keep hidden. Check security cameras from a smartphone or doorbell cameras to briefly observe their behavior; burglars will act fast, so it will be obvious.
A family member or friend will likely call out and make their presence known if the visit is unexpected. So, it can be best to stay hidden until such a time.
2. Look for an escape route
When an intruder breaks in, it’s important to get out of the property if it’s safe to do so. Possessions are easily replaceable and home insurance is designed to protect contents from theft. The value of life is not worth the risk of staying indoors.
However, only attempt to escape if it’s safe. For example, if there is a fire escape, a window with a safe landing pad/distance to the floor, or a back/side door that’s easily accessible.
If an escape route is risky, use the security camera live feed to determine if the home invasion is a burglary. During a burglary, it can be better to stay hidden until the intruders leave with the possessions they want.
Breakin footage captured by the AlfredCamera app (credit: Reddit)
Most burglars steal items that are quick to remove, like car keys, laptops, tablets, clothing, cash, and jewelery. If staying inside the property, don’t hide in areas they may search, like walk-in closets.
3. Call the police
At a safe distance away from the property, call 911 to report the home invasion. If you’ve escaped the property without a phone, go to the nearest house in your neighborhood and contact the police.
When speaking to the police, expect them to ask about:
- What the emergency is e.g., a home invasion/burglary/break-in
- The address
- Your name and contact number
- A description of the intruders (if possible)
- Where you are located (if inside the property, be specific about where)
If calling 911, the dispatcher will likely stay on the phone until authorities arrive. If not, keep calm and remain in the same location if it’s safe to do so. Don’t move around, if possible, as the police need to know where you are hiding.
4. Follow instructions
Once the authorities have been called, do what the dispatcher says at all times. Don’t go rogue or attempt to confront the intruders, even if the opportunity presents itself. The risks are not worth it.
Additionally, if the police enter the property or attempt to address the issue from outside the home, they may misjudge you as one of the intruders if you haven’t followed the dispatcher’s instructions.
This can have severe consequences, particularly if the intruders are armed.
5. Pay attention to your surroundings
Try to take mental notes (or physical notes on a phone, if possible) about what’s happening. For example, if the intruders are talking, jot down how many voices there are, what their voices sound like, and any words or phrases overheard.
If you’ve seen the intruders, note important details about their appearance. Helpful things to note include their weight, gender, height, clothes, vehicle, license plate, and any other identifiable information.
Noting which rooms the intruders enter and what they take can also aid in making insurance claims and recovering items.
Remember, don’t move closer to the scene to gather this information. It’s more important to stay hidden or out of sight. With a security camera, the burden of remembering what’s happening is eased.
What to Do After a Break In
It’s important to take appropriate action after a break-in.
Here’s what to do after a break-in.
1. Contact authorities
Contact the authorities to report the break-in and give a statement. This is important to do even if the intruders didn’t take anything from your property.
Notifying the police about the break-in can help link your home invasion to other crimes in the local area. It can also help the police catch serial burglars and build a better case against them upon conviction.
2. Alert home insurance
Next, home insurance should be alerted. This is optional, depending on the policy. Reporting the burglary to home insurance providers helps recover the costs of stolen items or damage caused.
For example, if the door was broken down or the windows smashed, home and contents insurance can cover the repair and replacement costs. Check the details of the policy to see what claims are covered.
3. Analyze entry points
The most important entry point to evaluate is the one the intruders came in from so it can be reinforced. Because many burglaries are repeated within one month after the initial break-in, the entry needs to be repaired quickly and reinforced.
To better protect your home against break-ins, always ensure your home is not a target for intruders by incorporating different security measures. During a home invasion, the most important measure is surveillance. Reliable surveillance creates more time in facilitating a safe exit and calling the authorities.
AlfredCamera can quickly notify users of unexpected movement inside the home, record it, and even allow the user to trigger a siren, meaning it’s useful in both preventing burglary and in dealing with the aftermath.