The term, "Home Invasion" has been used to describe a wide array of victimizations. Generally, it is:
” … any crime committed by an individual unlawfully entering a residence while someone is home. More narrowly, home invasion has been used to describe a situation where an offender forcibly enters an occupied residence with the specific intent of robbing or violently harming those inside.”
Additionally, public perception and media reporting of home invasions does not always include intent on the part of the offender. Situations reported by the media as home invasions may also include:
· Forcibly entering a home to steal specific items from the household including cash, drugs, or other items. Certain households or residents may become a target either to "settle a score" or because residents are perceived as vulnerable, such as persons with disabilities and the elderly.
· Entering a residence falsely believing no one is home and a confrontation occurs between the resident and the offender.
Because there are very few state statutes regarding ‘home invasion’, the statistics can be a little fuzzy. It’s important to note that most home invasions are listed by the offense, such as burglaries or assaults (*see Crime Clock below). This means you won’t really find statistics on actual home invasions. Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the threat is real. Doing everything you can to protect yourself and your family should be priority number one. Here are some numbers that reflect the nature of the crime:
There were 1.23 million burglaries in the US in 2018.
Approximately 21.1 in 1,000 households experienced trespassing or burglary in 2018.
There are around 100 burglaries that result in homicide every year in the United States.
44% of break-ins in the US happen in the South.
In the US, about a third of home invasions are repeat burglaries.
The typical burglar in 2018 was a white male aged 18 to 24.
Only 30% of perpetrators were armed in the case of a home invasion.
The DOJ reported 1 million burglaries occurred with people in the home. 27% of them became victim of a violent crime.
Remember this, all security is simply buying time. That’s an important take home point, and one to never forget. Locks, alarms, and deterrents are all just buying time and are nowhere near foolproof. Locks can be picked; alarms can’t send anyone soon enough and deterrents can be avoided by an observant criminal. You will be on your own.
Home Defense: Surviving A Violent Home Invasion
There is a plethora of information regarding how to protect yourself in the event of a home invasion. Much of it has to do with fortifying your home and is sage advice. However, if any of that fails, you are left with a critical and potentially deadly situation.
You need to develop a code word that will tell your entire family that it’s time to act. Forget about the ‘tacticool’ terms and use something simple and easy to remember. The word "ESCAPE" works and is simple and straight to the point.
Designate a "safe room" where everyone can go. The room should have several items that will help you survive the potential fight (see list below). The one thing that you must have in this room is a phone that can be used to call the police.
Do not, under any circumstances, leave the safe room. If you have your family with you, resist the urge to leave and fight the invaders single handedly.
Develop a "fatal funnel". If you are using a firearm for home defense, position yourself in a corner of the safe room that is on the opposite side of the door. This will give you the maximum amount of time to decide if you're going to shoot. If you are in the room, you have the advantage because they will not know exactly where you are. You only must decide if you need to shoot or not.
Stay in the safe room until the police arrive, regardless of how long it takes. Even if you are pretty sure the situation is over and the intruders have left, do not leave the room. Stay in the room until the police have cleared the house and tell you to come out before you decide the home invasion is over.
As mentioned above, there are several items you should always keep in your safe room. You can ‘customize’ your stash but generally it should include:
1. A firearm appropriate for home defense. This could be a shotgun, handgun, or rifle. However, you want to maximize ammunition capacity and select a firearm that you can control and make accurate shots with and, that other family members are able to use if necessary.
2. Secure Firearm Storage system. Since your safe room is a place for your refuge, but you can't always control where a child may be or where your attacker may be in the home. Make sure that the firearm(s) in the safe room are secured in a safe or system that only authorized people can access.
3. Extra ammunition. Preferably, this extra ammo is already in spare magazines or speed loaders. You don't know how long you may have to defend that safe room and you don't know how many attackers you will face. Bottom line - Don't run out of ammunition.
4. A cell phone. If you cannot reliably count on your cell phone being with you, you may want to invest in a prepaid phone that is stored there permanently in the room. Even old cell phones will still dial 911.
5. An extra set of house keys. It may sound strange, but you may need to toss the keys out a window to law enforcement when they arrive on scene.
6. The necessary means to escape out a window if needed. If you are on an upper level of the house, you will need an emergency ladder. These also come in handy during home fires, so it is best to have one in every upper-level bedroom.
7. Lights. Having a few strong flashlights with extra batteries as well as a firearm mounted light, if possible, can help you see in the dark if needed.
8. Something to provide cover. An object large enough that you use for protection that is also strong enough to protect you from small arms fire is a good idea. Obviously, this should be placed beforehand to be available when needed.
While this is not an in-depth essay on home defense, it should give you an idea of where and how to start. You will probably never need to use your safe room but, having the necessary items in place can go a long way toward your peace of mind.
Be Safe · Be Effective · Be Ready