From an invaluable article in the Sunday Telegraph in 2004 and hopefully still relevant - unless the law has changed radically.
If an intruder confronts you in the kitchen:
- Take the intruder by surprise and seize the initiative from him/her by reacting instantly. Grab items within your reach - the heavier the better - and hurl them one after the other.
- Do not throw a kitchen knife - it could be dodged and retrieved by the intruder.
- If the intruder continues to advance, use a kitchen knife as a defensive weapon. Take it in your hand and hold it 'upside down', with the blade pointing towards your elbow and the unsharpened edge of the blade pressing against your wrist. Use it to 'block' the intruder; if he attempts to assault you, the blade's cutting edge will wound and deter him.
Turning a wooden spoon into a lethal weapon:
- Grip the spoon's handle tightly. the bowl of the spoon should point towards you; the length of the handle should point away from you, with just an inch of it protruding from your fist.
- The handle, when wielded forcefully and used as a stabbing tool, is like a stiletto heel: a lot of force concentrated in a small surface area, that can cause a great deal of pain.
- Aim for the most sensitive 'points', or areas, on the intruder's body,for maximum effect. These include the eyes, nose, ears, upper lip, throat and solar plexus.
Fighting back with a bunch of keys:
- Grab the key fob in the palm of your hand and allow the key=ends to fall between your fingers, to create a spiky 'knuckle duster'.
- Grip the key fob tightly and wield it as forcefully as you are able. If the intruder comes close, go straight for his eyes to disable hi. Or scratch the keys down his face, to distract him.
While you are watching TV:
- Once again, throw what you have. In a sitting room, typical missiles are vases, paperweights and the TV remote control.
- Keep pokers and other fireside irons within reach.
- If the intruder continues to approach, throw your arms around his neck, pull him to you and do what you can with your teeth. Bite his ear off.
If an intruder confronts you on the landing:
- In the absence of a sharp-ended object such as a wooden spoon, poke and jab with your fingers.
- If you do not know how to punch properly, hit with the ball of your palm for a better result.
- If he lunges at you or pushes you, step to one side. It is a chance to put him off-balance - he could even go sprawling.
- If he falls, or you are able to push him to the floor, pummel him with our elbows, which are sharper than fists.
If an intruder confronts you in your bedroom:
- Regain the initiative by reacting instantly, and use what is close. If you keep a torch make sure it has metal ends, not capped with rubber, as this can be wielded with better effect.
- If you sleep with your arms below the covers, it is easy for an intruder to pin you to the bed. If this happens, you can use your head to butt and your teeth. Spitting will not do you any harm;it will distract your intruder.
Not sure that I could manage some of these, as a short person, but would certainly be prepared to fling things at an intruder. Tins sound an especially good idea, or some of my late mother's collection of paperweights!
See also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13957587 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19886504