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What to Do If Someone Breaks Into Your House?

Amanda Li9/26/2023
What to Do If Someone Breaks Into Your House

What would you do if someone breaks into your house late at night, or worse, when you are at home alone? Read on to know what to do and not to do when encountering a home intrusion, how you can deal with an intruder in your house, so as to protect yourself and your family from a home burglary.

What to Do If Someone Break Into Your Home and You’re Home Alone

In the US, UK, Australia, Canada and other countries, what can you legally do when someone breaks into your house and you are at home? Worse still, you are a single lady. Single women living alone should know how to stay safe. Below are some tips on what to do in a home invasion robbery when you are at home.

1. Preparation could save your life in the event of a home Invasion

The truth is, unless you've been a victim of burglary before, it's natural to assume this will never happen to you. Hopefully you'll use the opportunity of reading this article to prepare for the worst, and also take security measures to make your home safe from break-ins.

Every 15 seconds a new home burglary occurs in the US. As unfair as it seems to maintain a passive attitude toward home-intruders, once they've broken in, their general tendency is to go straight to the master bedroom. You shouldn't waste any time. Have a plan in place to keep yourself safe.

When your house gets broken into, what to do? Remember that taking on the role of the hero may put your whole household in danger. If you're considering violent methods of dealing with the situation, consider the following question: Do you know all of the variables? The burglars may be pushovers who give chase at the first sign of resistance, but assuming they're not, what plan do you have to subdue them? For that reason, we advise against the use of physical force for the purposes of this article.

2. Don't draw attention to yourself during the break-in

If you hear a noise, and find there is a burglar or robber in your house, keep calm and stay where you are. What not to do in a home invasion is to make yourself a target of the intruder(s). Don’t let the thief know you are alone, or he may hurt you. Regardless of whether the intruders have already seen you or not, avoid any temptation to shout warnings like, “I'm calling for the police” or using loud screams to hail the attention of neighbors.

Reserve such pleas for extreme, life-threatening cases and only if phoning the police is out of the question. Contacting the authorities (or pushing a panic button if you have a security company but forgot to set an already-existing alarm) should be your first priority. You'll want to do so from a safe part of the house though.

Note: If your house alarm fob isn't available, set off your car's alarm.

3. De-escalate any encounters with the intruders

In the event that you find yourself face-to-face with your intruders, maintain an attitude of calm cooperation. It's best to place your hands up at shoulder level and promise to remain compliant with any demands. Shooting, like “I have a gun” or “I have called the police” may irritate burglars, and make them act violently. It is most important to protect yourself from a serious injury\and survive the home invasion.

With your arms at shoulder-height, you'll still be able to defend yourself against a knife or blunt object if the intruder tries to make a lethal blow. It's better to risk injuring your hands than your organs. Ideally this won't be necessary though. If you can show that you're no threat, the intruders will be anxious to carry out their robbery quickly and will therefore leave you alone.

4. Escape outside as soon as possible

If you aren't faced with direct and personal danger during the home invasion, your first priority is to phone the police. Make sure your call takes place out of earshot from the intruders. Most home-intruders will carry out their robbery within 10 minutes, so the safest option is to keep yourself under the radar for that length of time.

5. Find a safe room to hide in

If you can’t escape successfully, you can hide yourself in a safe room. You might choose to stay in a locked bedroom, a closet or en-suite bathroom where you'll be protected even if your voice is heard. Barricade the locked door using any heavy objects at your disposal. Once you've reached the police, clearly state your situation, and also show the video surveillance footage as evidence, recorded by the security camera if you have one.

If you're on the ground floor, consider the option of climbing out of a window with your phone and contacting the police from there.

6. Call for 911 and wait for the police

Once you are safely inside the safe room, call 911 for help. Follow the dispatcher's instructions and stay on the line. Remain inside the safe room until the police arrive. Remember, it's important to wait for confirmation from the dispatcher that it's safe to leave the room, as silence outside the door doesn't necessarily mean the intruders have left.

When talking to the dispatcher, provide your address and describe your situation in detail. Be ready to stay on the line, especially if the crime is ongoing. Even if you believe the intruder is gone, it's safest to wait outside your home until the police arrive.

7. Alert others and stay quiet

When hiding or locked in a room, stay as quiet as possible. Don't make noise that could alert the intruder to your presence. If you live with others but your roommates are not in, use a quiet method to alert them to the situation without drawing attention to yourself. You can use text messages or a prearranged signal to communicate discreetly.

What to Do When Someone Breaks into Your House and You Have a Gun

Can you, or is it legal, to shoot someone on your property in California, Florida, Texas, and other states? The answer is no. It’s not legal to shoot the person just because he enters your property.

But laws on shooting an intruder indicate that homeowners have the legal right to use reasonable force to prevent a crime. When someone intrudes your house and starts a robbery, he is committing a crime.

It is legal to shoot someone breaking into your house, but we don’t suggest you do this unless you have received professional practice of using firearms. You may not be as lucky as the woman in Georgia who fired shots at three armed intruders. In most cases, you will neither stop a home invasion nor save your own life by using a gun.

How to Deal with Home Intruders When You are Not at Home

Home invasions can happen at any time. Someday you come home, only to find the subtle signs that your home has been intruded. Lucky you, you are not there when the violent intruder breaks in. At least you don’t have to confront him, and you can make sure your life is 100% protected.

According to home burglary crime statistics, most thieves avoid face-to-face confrontation with homeowners, so they tend to target empty houses.

When someone breaks into your house when you are away, you can make use of your home security system to stay connected. Call the police immediately when someone is intruding. And ask your neighbors to keep a watch at your house if possible. Your home security cameras will record the criminal act of robbers, which will be used as evidence and help catch the intruder in your house.


What can I do if someone is breaking into my house?

If someone is breaking into your house, prioritize your safety by finding a secure hiding place. Call 911 immediately to report the break-in, providing your location and any information about the intruders. Stay as quiet as possible to avoid alerting the intruder to your presence. Do not confront the intruder; your belongings are not worth risking your safety. Wait for the police to arrive, and follow their instructions to ensure a safe resolution to the situation.

What time do most break-ins happen at night?

Most break-ins tend to occur during the daytime, particularly between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm when many people are away from home at work or school. However, this does not mean that break-ins do not happen at night. Nighttime break-ins can and do occur, with a significant portion happening between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Can I shoot someone who breaks into my house?

No, it's not legal to shoot someone simply for entering your property. However, laws regarding shooting intruders typically allow homeowners to use reasonable force to prevent a crime.


When a home invasion occurs, the priority is to protect your own safety, and the security of your property is secondary. If you take good countermeasures and install functional cameras, you can effectively avoid home invasion as well as mitigate the consequences. If you have any questions, please keep us informed by commenting below.

Burglaries at home can significantly compromise the overall security within your residence. Continue reading the upcoming articles for additional insights and ideas.


All Comments Are Welcome

A blog writer and content marketer by day, and a reader by night. A coffee addict, and lover of cool stuff and new tech. She's been diving into home security industry from the last two years, and sharing practical security tips and tricks. Love the idea of being warm and secure, that's exactly what home should be.