Strangers and posers: You tell your children not to talk to strangers, so why do you open the door to a total stranger? And never talk to strangers via an open or screen door. Home-invaders pose as delivery people, law enforcement or public workers.

Distress: If someone is in distress tell him or her you will call the police for them. Don’t open the door for them.

Make a call: Under no circumstances do you open the door unless you get phone numbers to call their superiors. Even if that means making them wait outside while you call 411.

Money, jewels and drugs : One simple reason your house is chosen is someone tipped off the home-invader that you have valuables. You may have done it via social media or your friends or children or baby sitter might have unintentionally bragged. In states where medical marijuana is legal that may be an additional consideration.

Peephole: Install peepholes, talk through the door.

Do not call the police!: If you live in a high crime area where law enforcement takes a while to respond, and if someone is trying to break into your house while you are in it, calling the fire department will sometimes get help to the scene quicker. Do this only if you are desperate. Firefighters are not equipped to handle violence. However squealing sirens can deter a criminal. And call the police!

Get armed: Having a non-lethal weapon in the form of a Taser or a Pepper spray in close proximity to your bed or front door can debilitate your attacker before they gain control. But realize these can be used against you.

Have your mobile handy: Consider a second line or a cell phone in your bedroom. Burglars sometimes cut phone lines and often remove a telephone from the receiver when they enter a home.

Get alarmed: An alarm system activated while you are sleeping will prevent a burglar from getting to far. And keep it on 24/7/365. With a home alarm system on, when someone knocks on the door, a conscious decision has to be made to turn off the alarm. Most people will keep it on.

Locks: Call a qualified locksmith to take a physical security survey to help you determine the most efficient way to lock up. Many products on the market are a false sense of security. A qualified locksmith should be a professional associated with well known manufacturers.

Cameras: Install a 24-hour camera surveillance system. Cameras are a great deterrent. Have them pointed to every door and access point.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams. Disclosures

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