top of page

Surviving a Home Invasion: Essential Stats & Best Products

Home Security

You wake to a noise in the dead of night, something unfamiliar and unsettling that slices through the silence like a knife. Heart hammering in your chest, you creep down the stairs, each creak a scream.

You see them—three figures, moving methodically through your belongings. They work in silence.

What do you do next?

This terrifying scenario recently unfolded in Vancouver, where an 89-year-old woman and a group of teenagers were victims of a violent home invasion. The suspects, who mistakenly targeted the wrong house, injured the elderly woman and one of the teens before fleeing.

In 2023, Vancouver saw multiple high-profile home invasions, including a case where armed suspects kidnapped a family of four​.

So, if it happens to you, what can you do? Considering Canada has some of the most restrictive self-defense laws, I'm going to walk you through how you can protect yourself without ending up in court, as well as provide a list of the best self defense tools.

Jump To:

Surviving A Home Invasion

Scenario 1: How To Deal With An Armed Intruder

Imagine you hear a window shatter downstairs late at night. You see a figure moving through your living room, carrying what looks like some kind of weapon, but you can't be sure what it is.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Assess the Situation: Confirm the presence of the intruder and their weapon.

  2. 911: Call 911 immediately. Inform the dispatcher of the situation, including the presence of a weapon and the intruder’s location.

  3. Escape The Location Or Avoid Confrontation: I f possible, avoid engaging with the intruder. Find a safe place to hide or an exit to leave the house.

  4. Avoid physical confrontation if possible. Your goal is to protect your life, not to engage in a fight.

  5. Announce: Announce that the police are on their way, which may cause the intruder to flee.

  6. Defending Yourself: If escape is not an option and you believe your life is in imminent danger, Section 34 of the Criminal Code allows you to use reasonable force. This means your actions must be necessary and proportional to the threat faced. Ensure that you announce your intention to defend yourself loudly to the intruder, which might deter them. Use any available objects as weapons (e.g., a baseball bat, a heavy lamp). Aim to disarm the intruder or incapacitate them long enough to escape.

But, What If They Have A Gun?

  • Reasonable Force:  If the intruder is armed with a gun, using a firearm in self-defense can be seen as appropriate. Your use of force must be proportional to the threat. This means only using enough force to neutralize the immediate danger; for instance, if the intruder points the gun at you, firing your weapon to stop them could be considered reasonable force​.

  • Announce your intention to defend yourself loudly to the intruder, which might deter them.

  • When To Stop: If the intruder is subdued or retreats, you must stop using force.

Surviving a Home Invasion: After the Incident:

  • Once the situation is safe, immediately inform the police of the incident.

  • Provide a detailed account of what happened, emphasizing that your actions were in self-defense.

Scenario 2: Unarmed Intruder

You wake up to noises and find an unarmed intruder in your kitchen.

What To Do:

  • Observe the intruder from a safe distance.

  • Call 911 and inform them of the situation.

  • Avoid any confrontation, if possible. Announce that the police are on their way, which may cause the intruder to flee.

When You Need To Defend Yourself

If the intruder approaches aggressively, you may use reasonable force to protect yourself. This might involve physical restraint or using non-lethal items to deter the intruder - think baseball bats or clubs.

You can't take a gun to a knife fight, as they say. Since the intruder is unarmed, in this case, using excessive force could lead to legal repercussions. The force used must be necessary to prevent harm or to remove the intruder from your property.

Safe Home

Scenario 3: Multiple Intruders

You hear multiple people break into your home. They are ransacking your living room and seem to be looking for valuables.

Steps to Follow:

Secure Your Family's Position:

  • Ensure all family members are safe and secure in a locked room.

  • Call 911 immediately, providing details of the intruders and their actions.

Avoid Confrontation:

  • Do not attempt to confront the intruders. Your primary goal is to protect yourself and your family.

Defensive Actions:

  • If confronted by the intruders, use reasonable force to defend yourself. This could involve physical restraint or using objects within reach to protect yourself.

Best Products To Deter Burglars

security wifi camera

With seconds, a home security system with 24/7 monitoring can immediately you and the authorities to a break-in.

eufy home security system

burglar alarm

flood lights

video surveillance sign

What Do I Do After The Incident?

After the incident, document everything and cooperate with law enforcement. Legal advice is recommended to ensure your actions are justified under the circumstances​.

Final Thoughts: Surviving Home Invaders

The rise in home invasions across Canada is a concerning trend that necessitates a proactive approach to home security. Implement some security alarms and cameras around your home to deter potential threats.

Let me know in the comments below what you'd like to see a guide on next. Stay safe!


bottom of page