Bump in the night, now what?

This is a discussion on Bump in the night, now what? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I would like to learn from the experience of this group. I've often wondered on the best approach to take when there's the proverbial bump ...

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Thread: Bump in the night, now what?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Bump in the night, now what?

    I would like to learn from the experience of this group. I've often wondered on the best approach to take when there's the proverbial bump in the night. I don't even have a good nightstand set up so I think I need to get one, add a small gun vault and put a gun there with a light, then need to have shoes by the bed and a a set of clothes to put on?

    Anyway then my questions really start. I don't have a weapon light so I'm using a full size 1911, .45 w/JHP holding a surefire light in the other hand. I have 6 children in 4 other bedrooms, 2 upstairs and those at the opposite end of the hallway to mine, then two downstairs. I've read it's a good plan to gather the family and then hold up somewhere, call 911 and wait. I don't think I can do that. I feel like I need to be quick to get my stuff and pants and go clear the house quickly, checking the childrens rooms. Now I have two teens, 20/18 so they might hear and come looking but neither would have a gun. Sometimes I think I should instruct them what to do in such a case but I don't know myself. Should they stay put? Should they come to warn me? Bumps in the night can be a lot of things when 8 people live in small ranch house. We live right in town in a quiet neighbor hood.

    I've even wondered if a weapon mounted light would be better, at present I just cross wrists with the pistol in one hand steadied on top of the hand holding the surefire (and it's a bright surefire too! )

    So what do you guys think? Especially you LEO's that have experience with clearing houses, etc? I've used weapons all my life and have some limited military weapon training but nothing on clearing houses, etc.

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    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go with a weapon mounted light. It forces you to aim the gun at what you are illuminating.

    Always take your cell phone with you to bed, never know when you'll need it.

    I don't have that many kids, so I'll let others comment on the issues with your little army running around the house.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    If it was me, I would sit down and make a plan with my family.

    That is a tough call. IMHO there is no way to safe way to clear a house, but you can mitigate your risk by getting trained and practicing regularly.

    I don't believe in weapon mounted lights for clearing, only for situations where I know there is a BG. Do you want to come around the corner and find yourself illuminating your son/daughter while your gun is pointed at their chest? That's a call only you can make.

    Your kids upstairs can be corralled into the safest spot for your scenario, the kids downstairs need to be rescued by you before you complete your sweep. Your kids should not be left unarmed upstairs... someone who knows how to shoot should be amongst them. If you are the only one, you should not leave them in my opinion.

    I clear my house after my wife has secured the baby and is locked in her room. If I knew for sure there was a BG, I would not clear the house. I only clear the house to keep from having the Police kick my door down, shoot tear gas through my windows and attic vents, etc. just to find out it was a dish that fell off the drying rack or some raccoons got into the attic again.
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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    If it was me, I would sit down and make a plan with my family.
    Sound advice. Having a plan with them can't be a bad idea.

    I assume the older children sleep downstairs? I'd probably tell them to lock up and stay put if they really think there's a threat - they could call you on your cell phone to alert you. Are the 18 and 20 year olds mature enough to have weapons in their rooms?

    Also, my response is really "not enough info".

    Are there locks on the bedroom doors? With the situation you presented, personally, I'd take a quick glance at the two upstairs bedrooms - are those doors closed and locked? If so, I'd clear the rest of the house before worrying about those rooms.

    Is your wife competent with a weapon? Could she, for instance, cover the stairs and wait while you clear the lower floor?

    I've raised questions about clearing a house, and the general response here is "DONT DO IT!". LEO's won't even clear a house without at LEAST a 3-man team, and that's the minimum they'll do it with from what I understand.
    If you're going to do it yourself, practice practice practice. Learn how to "slice the pie" around doors, use lighting/shadows to your advantage, keep the element of surprise on your side, etc...

    Because of your family situation I also would NOT go with a weapon mounted light - covering your kids in an attempt to ID a threat doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

    Having a plan with your wife and kids and practicing a lot sounds like a great idea.

    A four-legged burglar alarm is also a wonderful choice - if that's not an option for you, consider some powerful lights with motion detectors. You can get cheap glassbreak sensors to go on your windows, door alarms, etc... Also, reinforcing your door jams and locks provides a bit of peace of mind.

    Just food for thought.

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    Pete Zaria.
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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    If it was me, I would sit down and make a plan with my family.


    I don't believe in weapon mounted lights for clearing, only for situations where I know there is a BG.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    LEO's won't even clear a house without at LEAST a 3-man team, and that's the minimum they'll do it with from what I understand.
    This has certainly got to be some folklore that's regularly passed on here and elsewhere. Depending on the circumstances, I know my local LEOs regularly clear a house with one or two officers. I've witnessed it firsthand. There was no fear or concern about having to do it undermanned. I'm sure some LEO's departments might have a 3+ policy, and it might actually be the preferred approach, but I highly doubt it's a universal mandate.

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    With 8 people in one house, what's your criteria for something to be considered a bump in the night that you'll get worked up about?

    Even with a family plan it seems like an impossible situation. If you and your wife hear something that gives you concern and you think it's not the kids or something else obvious, there's no knowing that any one else may even be awake. Or maybe they're all awake. Regardless, the act if initiating the family plan (i.e. notifying everyone, or gathering them all, or whatever you feel might be appropriate) is surely enough to completely blow any aspect of covertness you hope to have.

    I'd think that if you do plan to check/clear the house, that with that many people involved, you simply need to do it alone and with extreme caution, assuming that anyone you run into is, in all likelihood, going to be a family member. And make sure that everyone understands that they might happen upon you in the middle of the night checking things out and that they should be sort of obvious about what they're up to if they're up at odd hours (e.g. walk normally, not tiptoeing, and turn on the lights rather than sitting in the dark).

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    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    Mans best friend..a dog. My brittany may not be a raging drooling berserk guard dog but he knows the difference between any family member noise and that which isnt supposed to be there. So if its a little whine late at nite he wants out to say hi and mooch a snack from whoever is raiding the fridge.. a low half bark and the gun comes out and he will be first out the bedroom door.
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  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Good thoughts already!! the one post about sweeping my own children? Enought said there to convince me once and for all, no weapon lights for me until it's just my wife and I, then I figure if anyone's out there they deserve to have a gun pointed at them.

    All bedrooms have inside locks on the doors but weak jams; the little ones are upstairs in two rooms right together. That would be my first destination.

    I liked the idea about making a family plan; having the two older ones downstairs hunker down and to "call me" on my cell phone. I need to get a nightstand and put the phone there plugged in at night. The 20 year old has a shot gun for turkey, that she could use while she waits and I would trust my 18 son if he "wanted" to keep a gun in his room but my wife won't touch them and would likely think this planning bit is foolishness.

    She thinks it's ridiculous that I carry and has even joked about it. I'm patient but point out to here when things happen that we hear of how it could have been better if someone had been armed.

    Good input guys! Makes me think! so...

    1. No weapon light but a light on the nightstand
    2. Make a plan
    3. With the bump move to the smaller children's room at the end of the hall. Only problem there is I have to pass the main entrance way so I'd have to be prepared to run into someone there if they came in through the front of the house which is most likely.

    Interesting!!!

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Real tough, especially without seeing the layout and knowing the family. I'd say do without the weapon mounted light. It does sound difficult or impossible to corral that big an army if someone is already in the house. Definately don't wan't kids (even at 18 or 20) running around if you're already freaked out. Maybe you could use a wireless intercom to tell them to stay put, or signal the older ones to get to the younger ones, or just get them all locking doors and signal them all to batten down the hatches. I don't know, but Hopefully the oldest one or 2 can be trained and armed, even if their tasking is only to stay put, or watch the hallway just outside their room. Good luck.
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    Member Array Larryes's Avatar
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    A light on your hand gun makes you a clear target. Learn to point shoot!

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    I'd go with a dog to start with. Too many chances it's one of the kids.
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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    All the suggestions have been very good. I would add that the household needs to know when the plan is to be executed. With so any people so spread out maybe an airhorn might be a signal to the other family members that something is up. It might also frighten a bad guy away.

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    +1 on the signal horn. Not a bad idea. In your planning with the family and your discussing the plan, I'd come up with a simple code word (could be send via wireless telecom) that everyone understands.

    No weapon mounted light. One thing we learned in the Academy was to do the cross-over technique you use for sweeps, but when confronting a subject, hold your light in your weak hand away from your body and in front of you. If the BG has a gun, statistically he is likely to shoot at the light and your body is not illuminated.

    A dog is the best alarm system you could have. As posted earlier, you won't need a teeth-gnashing, saliva-drooling beast. Usually the smaller ones are the most vocal. Once you have a dog, learn its bark. You'll be alerted in plenty of time to a threat or its desire to go outside.

    Communicate your family plan frequently (part of that plan should include fire safety and escape and reunion point). Stay safe and keep thinking "what if." It may save your life someday!
    Tim
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    Senior Member Array f8lranger4x4's Avatar
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    I like the Chuck Norris method. I'll lye in wait with the mossy 500 while on the phone with 911.

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