Home Invasion Defense Guide

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Home Invasion Defense Guide

Welcome back, Danger Rangers!   In this home invasion defense guide we are going to review a few simple steps that can and will save your life.  Unfortunately, for many people out there, a home invasion will not be as enjoyable as Matt Best depicts it.  It’s a funny video and I get the gist of it, but for many Americans it has not ended well.  Before doomsday hits we are lucky enough to be in a ‘somewhat’ civilized world, but that civilized nature doesn’t apply to everyone with an average of 700+/- deaths every year resulting from home invasions.  After doomsday hits that death toll will surely quantify, and preppers will be faced with several attempts by looters to force their way in to seize water, food, and valuables.

Unlike other articles I’ve read, I’m not going to write this under the delusional assumption that every one of you is rich, because you’re not.  I will try to outline simple, and easy to follow guidelines for surviving a home invasion.  That’s what I hate about a lot of the articles I read, this ‘cookie cutter’ mentality, it’s frustrating.  Instead let’s approach this logically…

Preemptive Home Defense

Before we discuss what to do in the event of a home invasion, let’s think about some proactive steps you can take to prevent a home invasion.  One method you read in other articles is ‘Don’t leave your brand new car parked in front of your house’, ugh… first off if you’re living in an upscale neighborhood it’s not hard to extrapolate what’s in the damn garage, and second — what are you supposed to do when you need to exit the house immediately and need your car?  Even better, one of these idiot ‘survival’ websites actually say to stay in your safe room until the thieves get what they come for and leave, or for the cops to come… I couldn’t disagree with this more, and I’m sure many of you don’t either.  Really?  You’re a ‘prepper website’ and your best advice is to cower and hide until the nonexistent post-apocalyptic cops come?  Brilliant.  Anyways, if you don’t want to end up dead like that guy’s readers…

  • Fortify Your Home — if they can’t get in your home, you’ve already won the battle. We have written two articles on usCrow.org; Fortify your home in 5 simples steps, and How to turn your home into a fortified bunker.  Both articles will teach you how to fortify your home using inexpensive materials.
  • Alarm Systems — while alarm systems should not be considered iron clad protection from home invasion, they definitely don’t hurt to have, and through the beauty of capitalism there is a wide range of inexpensive options to choose from;
  • PERSEC — no matter who you think your friends are, never discuss finances, besides being gauche it’s a security threat to your personal safety. Loose lips sink ships, you know…  Just don’t go telling people about money, precious metals, and other valuables you might have.
  • KIDSEC — we all love our kids, but they can say stupid things. Kids, just like your friends have no business knowing about your finances, and valuables should be kept out of sight at all times.  Ask any LEO how most home invasions start and they’ll say one of the kids blabbed to the wrong person…
  • Firearm Preparedness — if you don’t have a firearm, or don’t know how to shoot it, do both now. This article hinges on you having enough common sense to defend your family.
  • Safe Rooms — the safe room is for your kids, and should be enforced to withstand any attempt to breach the door. You can retrofit your office, or guest room to be a safe room by using some of the methods listed above.  Ideally this room should have one hard line phone and should be equipped with a metal door if possible.
  • Family Nesting — keeps your family on the same floor as much as possible, or if you are on a single floor home keep the family close together at one end of the house.

Home Invasion Defense

There are several variables you should take into consideration when planning your home defense strategy.  These variables play a critical role in your strategy…  There is one distinctive variable that plays a role in whether or not a home invasion will result in loss of life, or property, and that is are you armed, or unarmed?   How many family members are in your house, and which of those family members will need special assistance in the event of a home invasion?  Are all the members of your family located on the same floor?  Do you have a designated ‘safe room’ with a fortified entry point?  All of these questions must be known and planned for prior to a home invasion.

Two Story Home Invasions

A common scenario is a home invasion with 2 parents, 3 children, all occupants on the 2nd floor, with a firearm located next to the father, and a safe room at the back of the hallway.  Most master bedrooms are located at the rear of the house with the kid’s bedrooms closer to the stairs.  In this situation, your alarm sensor is tripped, or you hear a large crash the father’s first response must be to make sure a round is chambered in his firearm and secure the stairs, with the mother close behind him getting the children into the safe room.

This situation is tactically advantageous because the father will have the high ground.  Due to the angle the father can be a few feet away from the top of the stairs while still maintaining the tactical advantage over the invader.  At this point the father has to wait for the invader(s) to come up stairs, or else he will lose the advantage exposing him to attack.  If this happens before the SHTF, mom can call the cops from the safe room while dad covers the stairs.  If this happens after the SHTF, mom and dad are both going to have to stack up, and mom’s going to need a gun so both of you can clear the house.  If you are unsure on how to do that you can read our breach and clearing guide here.

VARIABLE; if you have a disabled child or family member is it truly wise to make your guest room or office the safe room?  Call me crazy, but when seconds matter I would make sure that my family’s safe room was located in the disabled family member’s room.

Single Story Home Invasions

If your kids are anything like mine they’ll sleep through anything, but a window glass breaking, or an alarm going off will surely wake them up and they’ll want to investigate or hide.  Living in a single story home in the event of a home invasion with 2 parents, and 2 children presents many risks.  In this scenario an attacker can force their way into your homes in the matter of seconds, limiting your options.  I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and say you’ll be able to get to your kids rooms before the burglar sees you, that’s stupid unless you have a giant single story home but most of us don’t so jog on.  Instead I want you to look up remote controlled dead locks and install them on your kids’ doors.  They’re not expensive, and the minute your home is breached dad or mom can hit the lock button.

With the kids safely locked in their rooms they can now proceed to clear their home by maintaining a stacked position at the rear of the hallway holding a tactical advantage by forcing the invaders into a bottleneck.  If this happens before the SHTF, while providing cover, mom can dial 911 on her cell phone or house phone to alert the police.  If after SHTF you can either wait for the attackers to come through the bottleneck or proceed to clear the house.  In this situation, I would wait for them to come through the bottleneck.

VARIABLE; this isn’t necessarily a variable, but more so a preemptive answer to an asinine comment I’m sure to get.  What if your kids are up when the invasion begins?  This comment is based on the assumption that one of your kids might be thirsty, wakes up to get a drink of water, and then someone kicks the door in.  This is highly unlikely.  Kids have a tendency to turn on every single light in the house when they wake up in the middle of the night, and someone intent on burglarizing your home will wait at least an hour after seeing a light turning on and off in a home.  They don’t know a kid turned the light on, they just know that someone is up and they won’t pull the trigger at that moment.

These two home invasion scenarios are the most common scenarios to be faced by a traditional family, but there are other scenarios with unique variables others will be faced with.  No matter what your situation the idea is to; secure those who can’t defend themselves, and eliminate the threat.

Canine Home Protection

Ok, guys and gals I want you all to listen up, having a dog is not home defense!  I don’t know how many jackasses I’ve heard spew the same fatuous dribble ‘I don’t need a gun I got my dog, derrr….’, and every single time I hear this it makes me want to choke that dog’s owner out.  First, if your dog hasn’t received personal protection training, and goes to confront an attacker your dog will die, and you’ll be standing there with your thumb up your ass.  Dogs do not instinctively know to bite an attacker’s arm!  They usually go for legs 9/10 times, which is why they have to be trained to go after an attacker’s arm.

My German Shepherd, Duchess has had a lot of training, but I can’t even fathom sending her out to meet an armed attacker because she’s my fur daughter.  That doesn’t mean I disagree with working dogs, nor do I disagree with having a personal protection canine.  If your dog has been trained to confront those situations I see nothing wrong with it, but this does not mean you send your dog out to meet an armed attacker while you hide under the sheets (unless you are physically incapable, in this situation I’d keep the dog with you and hold your position until they come to you).  If you send your canine out you better be willing to back him or her up or you don’t deserve to have that dog.

Armed Home Protection

In this article I’ve referenced firearms several times, because the reality is without armed self-defense you will be a victim in a home invasion.  Regardless of your philosophical beliefs an unarmed home is a target, and when the cops aren’t there for you, you’ll be a dead target.  This is America!  You have the right to protect your home, and your family without repercussions.  If you have kids and you let your philosophical beliefs keep you from protecting them you’re going to feel like an idiot when someone comes in your home and goes Manson on you.  With this in mind I recommend every family in America own;

  • Glock 17/19 9mm —magazines hold more ammunition, mine holds seventeen rounds of inexpensive hollow tips, with less recoil than most handguns, and is reliable.
  • Mossberg 590 20 gauge — pretty much anybody in the firearm community will tell you shotguns are the best form of home defense, whether you get buckshot or slugs the ammunition is cheap, and the firearm is relatively inexpensive while offering maximum stopping power.

If you’ve never owned a firearm, I strongly suggest your family partake in firearm training.  When it comes to training I refuse to be trained by anyone that hasn’t been in a firefight.  If you can’t afford classes ask friends and family that know a veteran and see if you can work something out.  A lot of veterans I know will take me out if I buy them a 12 pack.  Damn good deal if you ask me.  Additionally, with kids in your home I will always strongly advise you train your children firearms safety, and take away the mystique or the unknown boom stick, thus avoiding curious tragedies.

Know Your Limits, Know Your Exits

It’s a nice fantasy to think you can protect your home from any attack, but the reality is if your home is invaded after the shit hits the fan you could very well face a situation where you are severely outnumbered and outgunned by a group of individuals that have you licked.  Don’t let pride get your family killed.  Before this happens you need to identify an exit strategy and commit it to memory and practice.  You will know when you can’t handle it by listening to footsteps, voices, movement, and etc.  I don’t know about you guys but a large group of people sounds quite different from one or two people.  If that’s the situation you face exit to survive, then you will live to fight another day.

This is another situation where variables come into play.  What do you do if your outgunned, need to exit, but you have a family member who is disabled, or what are you going to do if your entire family is on the second floor and there’s ten armed and murderous individuals downstairs getting ready to put the hurt on you?  These are variables that require solid contingency plans.  Some things you should remember when preparing contingency exit plans;

  • Hiding never works in a normal house —any determined group of individuals that know the house is occupied are going to scour every last inch of your home, especially if they’re there for you…
  • Hiding works in houses with well hidden secret rooms — if you have a disabled family member and your only option is to hide invest now in fabricating a well hidden room.
  • In the event you have to fight — when you’re out-manned you will need force a multiplier like an FN SCAR17S or a semi-automatic rifle chambered in 5.56 or higher with thirty round magazines, and any family members that have been trained to shoot will need to defend the home.
  • Exiting doesn’t guarantee safety — if you’re able to exit your home in the face of an overpowering force do not assume by exiting the home you are safe. Most home invasions almost always have one or two lookouts posted around the house.
  • Discrete exit aids — however you plan on exiting your home ensure your exit will be discrete by any means
In closing…

Whether you’re faced with a home invasion before or after the apocalypse your number one priority is protecting your family, you do whatever you have to do to accomplish that goal.  When their survival relies on you there should be no lengths in which you will not go.  God will forgive you. In the meanwhile, enjoy Matt’s take on it.

During this article I mentioned calling the cops a couple times, and in the event you do call the cops you will need to maintain situational awareness at all times so you don’t end up shooting them.  Trust me, I’ve rubbed elbows with crooks, and drank with cops, you’ll know when they show up because they have a very specific voice and personality when they’re on the job.  As with all usCrow.org articles we love hearing from our readers in the comments section below, so if you have helpful advice, tips, or tricks you can offer to readers let us know!  Remember, survival is not a ‘cookie cutter’ situation, it is an immense battery of ever changing variables…

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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for usCrow.org since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

7 thoughts on “Home Invasion Defense Guide

  1. Pingback: Home Invasion Defense GUIDE | SHTF Prepper

  2. Thank you for not assuming everyone has enough money to secure their house. We have ways, though. My front door alarm is a string of 5 tin cans. Open the door and they fall. Same with the back door. There are plants and crowded tables, etc in front of every window. Crawl through and something WILL fall. Our dogs are our alarms. They’ve both received training, though we could never get the one to go for the arm. He always went between the legs. Problem is, they’re both 11 now, and one doesn’t move so good and the other one would probably try to get them to play. But they’re great alarms. Someone once told me that they could distract the bad guys while I went for my gun. But if times are that bad, my gun’s on me.
    Our house is, unfortunately, one story and full of windows. Makes it great for growing things and seeing the world and letting light in, but not for security. Our front door could probably be leaned on hard and opened, so I expect to be breached if someone wanted to. My house seems cluttered, though, somewhat on purpose. If you don’t know the path, you’ll run into something, and the path is in the open. It would not be easy progress after the initial entry Outside, by each window, the ground is uneven, with planting beds and pots and a few yard implements. Our task, in a home invasion, is to make it survivable for us.
    Our youngsters are out of the home, but I have a like-minded friend with littles. She can shoot, but as a single parent doesn’t want weapons in the house yet. I lent her my dummy gun, same size and shape as a .45 semi auto, but marked so no one mistakes it for real. The idea is she will periodically let it lay out somewhere–dining table, couch, by her bed. She will train the children not to pick it up, don’t touch it, but go to her and tell her they see a gun. After they get that down, she will repeat the process every once in awhile to keep it in their memory.
    A friend once told us he pitied anyone who broke into our place. They would leave with holes in them, if not the dog’s teeth, then a blade or a bullet.
    But I have no delusions about suddenly turning into Rambo during a home invasion, but I do know the basics, enough to back up my DH during a situation. It is something that I recommend all women get to know, (or the men, if the wife is trained but he is not), and practice periodically. The more familiar you are with the routine and with where each of you will be, the less chance there is of accidentally doing something tragic. Train the children what to do, too, and conduct periodic drills, even if it’s as a game.
    This was a good article.

    • Great comment Red. We are in pretty much the same situation. We live a trailer house God help us. No children at home until SHTF then kids and grand kids. We are already teaching grandchildren to shoot, mainly so the weapons are not a curiosity. I worry constantly about how easy it is to penetrate our place. A 22 round will go straight through a wall. I set up solar security lights cameras etc on battery backup. Hoping bad ppl will not want to enter the lights. I really wish I could find ONE good article that was solely on mobile homes.

  3. Coming from an Airborne-Ranger several things: 1. Use the dog for alerts, not counterattacks; 2. Alarms and Cops will be useless when Economic Disaster occurs; 3. Deception is key, use fishing line tied to cans with rocks outside for alerts, outside, place chairs by a small tent, light a room not in use, for infiltration routes in yard put signs indicating sewage disposal slit trench. I have several other basic “meat and taters” and impactful deception schemes that will make infiltrators rethink entering house. (And yes I have “yung-ones”)

    Note that when conducting a serious defense, think about insidious, patient infiltrators. You cannot think “fufu”; think ruthless, plan cold and calculating responses . When hitting a location attackers will kill everything running out of and up to the house (isolate ops). Driving an SUV through the front of the house or using a chain saw through a wall are other attack methods. (Attackers can withstand a little electrical shock should they hit an electrical outlet…think hard-core.)

    When planning a defense, plan several attacks on yourself. You know some of your weaknesses. Consider a group of ten to fifteen ex-cons, or, innocent looking teens employing deception.

    Notes: You will be attacked numerous times…dogs must live through all previous ones. Cop priorities will not include your individual house. The amount of alarms in one small city would require an entire army or marine division to respond to…and that is not even enough. By the way, I think there are only a total of 12 active duty army and marine divisions remaining…National Guard units will be guarding high priority (economic “valued”) targets.

    Think layered deception, layered defense, ruthless responses, and uncommon tricks within the house… A pistol and shotgun is the best for in the house when the infiltrator is within. A military weapon is good for shooting through the walls when someone is looking in. (They too can shoot through the walls.)

    Be imaginative…an operational artist…remember criminals now have, and, bandits will have drones to recon your house. This is a whole other facet of it all.

    Anyway best wishes,


    • When a catastrophic event like a nuke or an EMP occurs – one that stops civilization (SHTF) I am expecting for the first three or four days after the event, unprepared stragglers seeking food and shelter. Unless they attempt to force my doors or windows, I plan to ignore them, and simply hide inside my brick house (armed, of course) displaying no lights, making no sounds and exuding no cooking smells. To find food, they must soon leave for better pickings. I won’t open my door or give them any sign that the house is occupied.

      In a week or two, I expect at least onel visit from an armed mob of followers under the leadership of some charismatic person, perhaps with military experience; these cannot be ignored because their presence indicates that they are getting fed and supplied by successful looting.

      They obviously have a method for breaching home defenses and are desperate enough to take on entrenched and armed homeowners for their possessions. I cannot simply wait for them to break in; because they can always burn me out. (My brick house has a wooden roof; the garage door is expecially vulnerable to fire – simply drill a hole on the outside, insert a tube attached to a 16 oz. propane tank, fill the garage full of propane gas and light a match.)

      The only solution to such a mob is to open the front door and my wife and I burst out, charging directly into the crowd whilst firing semiautomatic shotguns aimed low into the crowd (so that you see your strikes without aiming) and especially aiming for the Leader. If we are lucky enough to hit him, the crowd will disperse. If not we will be killed – but that would have happened anyway if we had tried to stay inside the house.

      Nobody lives forever. I’m approaching the age of eighty years and have lived a good life. We will check out with honor, not living as captives!

      A 12 ga. semi-automatic shotgun firing 00 Buckshot is dispensing nine 40 caliber balls per second; with a ten-round magazine that is four-hundred 40 caliber balls outgoing per person; two people shooting will send eight-hundred 40 caliber balls out into that mob in ten seconds. I think that’s a good set of odds… better to go down fighting and be found dead facing the enemy.

  4. Automatic outside floodlights on every wall of your house are a wonderful deterrent to prowlers. They come on if any living thing enters the monitoring sphere of their sensors. With modern LED bulbs, you never need to replace them – they never burn out.
    Another excellent deterrent is a simple “VIDEO CAMERA AREA” sign posted in your garage window, and on trees around your home.
    Don’t neglect alarming rooms on your second floor! Many think to save money by not having the alarm company wire windows on your second floor, because you think that criminals won’t climb or bring a ladder. They will; a young and active man can quickly gain access to the normal second floor window by simply jumping on his partner’s back, and then grasping the lower sill of a second floor window and pulling himself up – and he’s in! My friend was recently robbed of $75,000 worth of cash, jewelry and clothing WHILE HE WAS HOME, by home invaders who climbed up a tree, pushed in an air conditioner in a second-floor bedroom, and woke him up at 3:00 am with a cold gun barrel in his ear as he slept in his bed! As Providence would have it, his beautiful wife was away that night; one intruder mentioned about how he and his partner had planned to “have some fun” with her, had she been at home (!)
    Yes, a shotgun is a wonderful home defense gun, but be aware that buckshot or slugs can easily penetrate through multiple inner walls of your home, including the children’s bedroom…

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