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"5 Ways to Survive a Home Invasion"

First of all, remember that things in real life are not like the movies. If you've ever seen a movie involving home invasions, making bombs out of lard and baking powder isn't something you'll have time or know how to do. Invaders won't come in with machine guns or grenades but they will be intimidating to you and your family.

1.  Have a home invasion plan. We all have a fire escape plan for our families. A home invasion plan is similar to that. Have a way of escape for each room in the house in case someone breaks in. Use a code word that anyone can shout to trigger your mass exodus from the house. Practice it with everyone there and when there are only a few of you in the home.

2.  Try not to panic. In these situations, the adrenaline starts pumping through your system triggering the fight-or-flight response. Remaining calm is easier said than done, but keep your mind thinking at all times. Practicing your home invasion plan will help with staying calm. If you are not in the direct line of the invaders, escape from the house if you can or find a secure location to call the police.

3.  Your family is more important than property. This goes without saying, but some people will try to make a stand on principle or to save their families. Know this, home invaders are there to take what you have and harm you if necessary. Some will harm you anyway. You can never know for sure what such a criminal will do. Make every effort to get out as soon as possible and not confront them.

4.  If you have a self defense weapon in the house, such as pepper spray or a gun, know how to use it. More often than not, home owners have been injured or killed with their own weapons. Most home invaders will come armed. Any self defense weapons for you to use work best when they are within reach.

Don't try to make it from the living room to the bedroom to get your gun if you can easily escape through a window or door. Keep self defense weapons such as bats, pepper spray, etcetera in concealed places where any family member can find them if the opportunity arises for them to use it. Practice with them (not on each other) so you know how to defend yourself with them if you need to.

5.  Use your security system. Most people have one because it lowers their home insurance premiums but it is more effective as a deterrent. Arm your system when you are home as well as when you are not.

Utilize motion sensors on floodlights and timers on lights when you are away from home. Be sure that you choose an alarm company with 24-hour monitoring and you test the system periodically to make sure it works properly.

Home invasions are very real. Hopefully you will never become a victim, but knowing how to handle one can save your life. Also, always have a weapon handy, such as pepper spray, stun gun, or a baseball bat is better than nothing.

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