Tips on protecting yourself during a home invasion

No one ever wants to experience an intruder breaking into their home and having to choose between their fight or flight insticts. ABC 57 News learned that your flight instinct may be the best option.

Viola Sims describes herself as a watchdog. She's a block captain for the neighborhood watch. She's not afraid to call police, and she works with her neighbors to deter crime and she says you can too.

“Trees, branches, bushes, if you have them around your window, cut them down low. If you leave your home, have your front porch light on or just have a neighbor to watch out for you,” Kennedy Parks Neighborhood Association President Viola Sims.

However, if you are home and someone breaks in, she says to grab your cell phone and find a safe hiding spot and call police. If you can, take your keys with you, they can be used as a weapon as a last resort.
“Call the police, they’re here for us, but they only can help us if we make that call,” Sims said.

Sims said confronting the intruder could put you and your family in more danger.
“You’re putting your life in danger when you confront a suspect, because they could have a gun or knife,” Sims said.

The best way to prevent crimes like this from happening in your community is by getting involved with your neighbors.
“Get involved in your neighborhood. If you see someone that is breaking into your neighbor’s house or your neighbor’s car just don’t turn your back and say I don’t want to get involved because one day it could be you,” Sims said.

Another way your car keys could come in handy during a home invasion is by hitting the panic button to scare off the intruder.
Sims also said the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Office offers self-defense classes for those who are interested in learning how to protect themselves without using a weapon.

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