I love those lists of people’s greatest fears. Dying is usually up there near the top, as are public speaking, being trapped in a small place and being exposed to germs. Then there are the fears of flying and falling, heights and depths, being alone and being in a crowd. And there’s my personal favorite: a fear of clowns.
Those of us who have been victims of a home invasion probably agree that it’s a lot more frightening than speaking to a group of people, suffering from claustrophobia or looking at a guy with a big red nose and paint on his face. There’s almost nothing more terrifying than suddenly realizing there’s an intruder in your home.
If someone breaks into your home while you’re there, your window of opportunity for reacting effectively to protect yourself and your family will probably be very small. You have to make every second count in this situation, and you will be able to accomplish this only if you are fully prepared.
If you have a gun and can access it quickly, that’s obviously the best response to discovering a home intruder. If you don’t own a gun or are unable to get to it swiftly enough, you will need an improvised weapon. You may be thinking of several items that could double as a weapon if necessary. By the time you finish reading this article, your list will have grown considerably.
Get Out Of Dodge
Even if you had 50 improvised weapons at your disposal when you realized someone who didn’t belong in your home was there, it’s possible that your four best self-defense weapons would be your legs and hands.
If there is an escape route, take it. Don’t stop to think about it or hesitate for any reason. Just get out. Use your legs to run toward the nearest exit, and use your hands to knock things over behind you to slow down the intruder.
Of course, if you have people in your home you need to protect, you’re not going to run away. But if you’re alone, escaping might be the most prudent thing to do. That’s not being a coward; it’s being smart.
Stay Alive In Your Living Room
If you’re sitting in a living room or dining area when an intruder enters, there should be a number of items you can grab and use as a club or spear, including tall vases, candleholders, statuettes, large bowls or ashtrays or fireplace pokers.
With a dining room chair in your hands, you can go on the offensive by charging your attacker. Make sure to hold the chair so that the legs are facing him in a diamond shape rather than a square. A wine bottle could be used to strike him, or you might want to throw it toward his face.
If you’re alone in the house when an intruder enters, immediately yell something toward the upstairs such as, “Honey, call 911! Now!” It’s unlikely that the intruder will know for sure whether you are alone; and if you’re lucky, he may respond by quickly leaving the house.
If He Can’t Take the Heat, Stay In The Kitchen
Nobody wants to face a home invader, but if it had to happen, the kitchen would probably be the best room in which to defend yourself. Talk about an arsenal! Your first choice would be to grab two sharp knives and start swinging them in the direction of your assailant.
Aim for the spots that will debilitate him quickly, including the face and groin. If you can jab an object such as a knife into the underside of his chin in an upward motion, you might be able to floor him. Remember to hang on tightly to knives as you’re swinging them.
Other options while in the kitchen are frying pans or rolling pins for bashing, a butcher’s block for smashing, scissors or broken glassware for gouging, a meat cleaver for chopping, and an ice pick for stabbing.
Doing your best Nolan Ryan imitation, throw items at an intruder such as canned goods, plates, coffee cups, a cordless phone or a nice, thick tumbler. A mop or broom handle could also do the job, especially a broken one with a jagged edge.
The bathroom would seem like a bad place to be confronted by an intruder, especially if you’re “occupied” or he’s bigger than you are. But at least you’ll have a locked door to slow him down while you’re getting ready to defend yourself.
Among your options for self-defense here are a shower curtain rod, a towel rack or a toilet plunger, which you can use as spears. Or grab some hairspray and spray it in his eyes. If he’s screaming and holding his eyes, this would be a good time to grab your ceramic toilet tank lid and bash him over the head with it. Even something small like a nail file could be a good puncture weapon.
There are probably plenty of other items in various rooms of your house that could be used as weapons, including:
- Fire extinguisher: Spray him with the white stuff and clunk him with the red thing.
- Flashlight: This makes for a nice bully club-type of weapon. If you incapacitate him with it, you can shine the light on his head to see what kind of damage you inflicted.
- Golf club: Pretend like you’re trying to drive the green on a par 4.
- Baseball bat: We’re looking for the long ball here, not a bunt. Your first shot should be to a kneecap. If you land a solid blow there, he may be unable to run toward you.
- Tools: The sharp edge of a hammer, the point of a screwdriver or a heavy wrench might be enough to make this tool think twice about breaking into your house again.
- Belt: If you have nothing else to grab, quickly remove your belt and try to catch him in the face with the buckle as you whip it toward him. And whip it good.
In a confrontation with a home invader, you may have to go on the defensive first. Among the items you could use to fend off attacks until you’re able to take an offensive position are a metal cookie sheet, chopping board, backpack, trashcan lid or briefcase.
If you’re able to at least temporarily stop an attack with a shield but don’t yet have an opportunity to grab an offensive weapon, you may be able to charge the assailant with your shield and push him back.
No. 1 Weapon
If I had only one household item that I could use as a weapon, it would be a high-powered can of wasp spray with a range of 20 to 30 feet. And I’d keep one in every room of the house, after having made absolutely certain that everyone in my family knows how dangerous they are.
If you spray this stuff into the face of an assailant, I guarantee you that he will need to be hospitalized. In fact, the worst thing he’ll be able to do to you at this point is to damage your eardrums with his screams.
I wouldn’t get any pleasure out of blinding someone, but when it comes to someone entering my home with evil intentions, I am not going to hold back on my efforts to bring that person down before he ruins the lives of my family members. And I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m going to do whatever it takes to stop him.