COLUMBIA (WACH) - It was a scary afternoon for an Irmo teenager Thursday.
The 13-year-old was home sick when investigators say three people broke into his families home. Thanks to some quick thinking, he was able to call for help and get away from danger.
"I think that young man yesterday was an absolute hero and did exactly what he was supposed to do," said Irmo Police Chief Brian Buck.
While more families are seeing both parents working, that leaves some kids spending time home alone before mom and dad return.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 59 percent of married couples both have a job.
Buck says it's important to be prepared should something go wrong.
"Every family should have a plan of what to do in the event a crime takes place, or the house catches on fire, or there's some sort of disaster," said Buck.
Buck says the most important things to do if someone breaks into your home is call 911 and leave the house. If you cannot get out, find a safe hiding place and tell the 911 operator where you are. If talking is not an option, put the phone down, but stay connected with the dispature until help arrives.
"I would suggest that anybody, as soon as you feel uncomfortable or you hear a noise or you think something's happening, call law enforcement. That's what we're here for. We'd rather show up and it be the neighbors dog than have you not call 911 and a crime take place," said Buck.
Buck adds having a plan in place is a safety net for the whole family, not just the kids. But having a plan will help children know what to do in case something does happen.