Personal Safety - Intruders

Securing your property will make you safer in your home, and make your home and your belongings safer while you are out. Here are some guidelines for dealing with different situations you may find yourself in.


  • If you think you have an intruder, only you can decide how to deal with the situation. Think about what you might do now – you might not be thinking clearly in a real incident.
  • You may respond differently if you are alone in the house, or if there are other people there.
  • You could make a noise and hope it puts them off, or keep quiet and hope they don’t come into your room.
  • You could keep a phone in your bedroom so you can raise the alarm. This may also make you feel safer.
    It is generally best not to challenge an intruder.

Interrupting burglars

If you come home and find a broken window or lights on, and you think there may be a burglar inside, you may think it best not to go into the house.

Go to a neighbour’s house and call the police, or ring the doorbell – someone who should be in the house will come to the door, whereas intruders are likely to run away.

Abusive phone calls

  • If you get an abusive or threatening phone call, do not respond to it. The caller wants a strong reaction from you.
  • Put the receiver next to the phone and move away. Return some minutes later and hang up.
  • You may want to make a record of when you receive the calls, so you can see if there is a pattern.
  • Some phone companies offer a service which blocks calls from people who have withheld their number.
  • At night, unplug your phone or turn the ring off, so you are not disturbed.
  • Do not give your name or number when you answer the phone.
  • If you are receiving many abusive calls, contact your phone company or the police for help.

Bogus callers

  • Most people who come to your door will be genuine callers. But it’s best to make sure.
  • Fitting a door chain or spy hole will help you check who the caller is.
  • If you were not expecting someone to call, a genuine caller will not mind waiting outside while you contact their company. Find the phone number in the phone book, or look on your last bill.
  • Most companies have a password scheme.
  • If you let someone into your home, even if it is someone you know, and you become uncomfortable, make excuses and leave. Go to a neighbour’s house, or ask a friend to come back with you.

As a precaution you may want to have a Taser or a stun gun as a means of non lethal self defense.