You know what they say about best-laid plans…? Neither do we, but we’re almost certain it’s nothing good! Why? Because even the best-laid plans work in theory, but seldom in execution, which is why you should always, ALWAYS test those theories to see where they may be found lacking.
It’s also why you should have a solid backup plan in place too. For the record, we consider ourselves exactly that… your solid ‘back up’ plan, but we’ll come back to that point later.
You wake up in the dead of night with a shiver… there has been a disturbance in the force. Something’s wrong. You just know it… because like, ALL your spidy senses are tingling. Your heart rate is up… your palms are sweaty and you’re trying to apply your x-ray vision (which you didn’t know you had until now), to see in the dark and through 17 walls. Things aren’t awesome.
Then, just as you start to calm down, you hear a sound again… a tinkle. It’s almost certainly glass breaking and you just know, you KNOW that stuff is about to get super real super fast.
We passed panic stations about 2 seconds and 198bpm ago, which does raise an interesting question. Can you actually be scared to death? We don’t know the answer to this either, we’re security people not doctors… but now we’re all thinking about it, so you’re welcome.
Anyway… back to your fright. Your surge of adrenaline has been activated and flight or fight mode is subsequently in effect, which means now is a great time to dust off that escape plan that you brainstormed back in 1993, had your kid draw up in crayon… and haven’t thought about since.
Actually scratch that, now is a great time to work through these top rules to live by instead (and let’s be honest, we’re only being a teeny bit dramatic when we call them ‘rules to live by’).
Rules of Engagement
And by this we actually mean calm the heck down and press the panic button on your remote or phone. This sends a silent (or loud, if you so choose) signal to your security company’s control room. Panic activations are prioritised, so if we’re your security company of choice, then a vehicle is dispatched to your location faster than you can say ‘Superman wore his underwear on the outside’. What?! You know it’s true.
Now Calm Down.
Look, we’re aware that this is a big ask. Someone’s just broken in, so you’re admittedly freaking the (insert colourful word here) out. Your breathing is erratic and we know that you can’t hear much beyond the blood rushing through your ears. But you have to try. Please.
Don’t make any noise that would alert the burglars to your presence, or to the fact that you may be aware of their presence. (Unless your alarm is going off, in which case… well done you, we’re so proud of you for setting it).
Putting Your Escape Plan in Action.
Quietly gather the masses (i.e. your family, or if you live alone, your cat) and head to the designated ‘safe room’ in your house (bathroom, bedroom, cupboard, whatever) that you definitely discussed and planned around previously. This is going to be one of those instances where you will be happy you tested your theory first… because does everyone fit? Is little Sandile not so little anymore? Does it actually lock from the inside? Can you get out again when the crisis is averted? It’s too late to be wondering about all that while the crisis is actually happening.
For what it’s worth, it would be even better to leave your home completely if there are intruders, as they want what’s in the house… not necessarily you (as lovely as we’re sure you are). So, where possible, finding a way out (windows have many uses) is advised, but failing this, please revert to your ‘Safe Room’ procedure, whatever it may be.
Call the Police.
If you have a private security company (ahem like us) and your alarm or panic has been activated, they would have already let the authorities know you are in distress, and are on their way. However, if not, this is the time to call them and get them on the case.
Hide. Don’t Seek.
Do not, and we cannot express this enough, do not, confront the intruder like the badass GI Joe/Jane that you are. Chances are, your bad guy’s adrenaline is spiking too… and their flight or fight mode may be a bit more violent then yours.
If you happen to see your intruder ‘I Spy’ style, try and memorise what you can. Weight, gender, height, clothing, what they’re driving and which way they went. Any description will be helpful to first responders.
Homegrown Hero (Now Armed)
Try and arm yourself with a personal weapon of some sort. Frying pan? Yes. Whisk? Less helpful. Baseball bat? Cool. Pool Noodle? Eh.
These are all useful tips and rules that could potentially save your and your loved ones lives.
Hopefully You Won’t Need Your Escape Plan In The First Place
However, there are a couple other little things you could do that may prevent any of this from even going down in the first place, which would be the best result for everyone, because who needs the trauma right?
- We all have a tendency to screen our calls… and by that we mean the doorbell rings and we duck for cover and or ignore it. Don’t do that anymore. When you do, you are implying that there is no one home, which in turn makes your home an easy target. Instead, bravely answer like the courageous human that you are. Explain your disinterest in whatever it is that they are selling, saving or checking. If you’re nervous, you could go so far as to imply that there is someone else in the house, by shouting something like this: “Yes babe, I got it, it’s just someone at the gate.” Nicely played Batman, nobody suspects a thing.
- Make sure you lock your doors and windows, please. Do a house check before bed, where you cruise your premises double-checking everything is shut.
- Invest in some garden lights, even better if they have motion sensors. Bad guys hate the light. Go figure. You could also look at investing in CCTV and linking to your alarm system, as this could alert you to a potential intruder before they make it past the birdbath. You can chat to your security team about your options in this regard.
And yeah, have a security system in place. Arm it (we’re big fans when you do) and have it linked and monitored by a private security company, like ours. Like we said earlier, we can be your backup plan. Everyone needs one. (But you still need the escape plan, so get on that too).