It's 3AM, the alarm is going off
This is a discussion on It's 3AM, the alarm is going off within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What should I do?
It is 3 A.M. and my security system is going off. The "screamer" is right outside my bedroom. I forgot how ...
November 9th, 2008 02:44 AM
It's 3AM, the alarm is going off
What should I do?
It is 3 A.M. and my security system is going off. The "screamer" is right outside my bedroom. I forgot how loud it is. I get up, heart pounding, and grab the G19 (this is odd because I always thought I would grab the 1911 WTSHTF, but there it is).
I step out of the bedroom and shut off the alarm at the panel in the main entryway - mistake 1?. Then I stand there with my ears ringing, listening - mistake 2?. The security system says that "bedroom 2" is where the alarm was set off. I leave the the Glock in the holster (mistake 3?) and run to check each of the two kids. They are fine.
I remember that bedroom 3 is our guest room, downstairs. For a moment I consider the fact that I am in nothing but a pair of jockey shorts (mistake 4?) with a holstered G19 in my hands. I buck up and head downstairs, drawing the G19 as the stairs creak up a storm.
There is no one downstairs. The sensor on the window came loose.
This actually happened a couple of weeks ago. If I had left the alarm on it would have phoned the monitoring company after going off for 30 seconds, and then they would call the police.
Should I have left the alarm going? There is no way to hear anything when it is going off.
What is the right way to handle this situation?
November 9th, 2008 06:30 AM
I know how loud the screamer on the alarm is mine will almost deafen you. I would leave it on at any rate because it also puts an disadvantage on the bg. Loud noises realy don't bother me when the old hearts a pumping about a thousand miles an hour and you got all that adrenalin pumping.
November 9th, 2008 06:40 AM
I do not have a security system. I have a 75# German Shepherd that hears everything. She will let me know if someone is in the house.
I also keep a pair of pants near my bed that is set up with an empty holster, spare mag, flashlight, knife, car keys and house keys. This way I put my pants on, grab my handgun and I have everything that I need to properly engage a BG. If need be, I have quick access to my AR with a mounted light or my 12 banger.
It is never enjoyable to be stirred in the middle of the night by a loud alarm. Don't be so hard on yourself. I wouldn't say that you made mistakes. You grabbed your 19, checked on your family and cleared your house. Good job.
Police Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Carbine Rifle and Taser Instructor
NRA Life Member
It is better to have your gun and not need it, than to need it and not have it!
You cannot choose the conditions for a gunfight, so train in all conditions!
November 9th, 2008 07:23 AM
Originally Posted by Slomo
IMHO, not many more things frightening looking to me, is a man in his drawers carrying a pistol. Don't worry about making a "fashion statement" you got a family to protect.
BTW jockey's aint bulletproof, and I've got some that look like they've been shot
November 9th, 2008 09:08 AM
Was the alarm location accurate? Which bedroom actually alarmed, 2 or 3?
Sounds like you've identified some areas for improvement.
Any chance you can relocate that buzzer away from your bedroom, like perhaps to the first floor? Our buzzer is in the basement (one-story house) and it is PLENTY loud enough to get our attention when it alarms. If your buzzer was on the first floor, the noise will likely be closer to any intruder and bother him more than you. This would also allow you to listen for approaching noises and perhaps communicate with your family.
I know the instinct is to shut the alarm off. I did that a few years ago out of habit also. Try to let it go long enough for the alarm response to activate.
I would not holster my gun when checking the kid's room for intruders. Do you have a light on your gun?
As far as clothes, I think immediate response is more important than stopping to get dressed.
I think you already identified areas you can improve in. All I would add is the first thing I'd do is see about getting that alarm horn relocated. Even if you don't own the house, I think it'd be worth paying to have it relocated.
November 9th, 2008 09:11 AM
Waking up out of a dead sleep is tough enough. My Rhodesian Ridgeback is the only alarm we have...two steps: 1. He warns you that you have entered a dangerous area, 2. In case you failed to heed the warning in step #1 he allows you to play his game called, "Eat the BG!"
While he's keeping you busy, I am throwing small pieces of lead at you.
I wouldn't worry about grading yourself too harshly.
Stay armed...live and learn (the key word here being 'live')...stay safe!
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
November 9th, 2008 09:15 AM
November 9th, 2008 10:07 AM
I agree with others that you are a bit harsh on yourself... As justhrenow says: there is no dress code to engage a BG. I probably would have pulled the gun out of the holster. But sounds like you have kids around. Worst case it was one of them sneaking around. Turning the alarm off: My panel is downstairs and the bedroom is upstairs. So I would have to clear most of the house first anyway. Hoever, turning the panel off may make it easier to hear the BG. And alarms usually go off after a couple minutes, so the BG will not be too concerned.
One thing to consider: If a BG doesn't run after hearing the alarm, then you probably got one that is not afraid of a fight (maybe due to carrying a gun or just being too high on drugs)
Is your alarm monitored? Did the alarm company call you?
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)
November 9th, 2008 11:22 AM
I would not have my gun holstered in my underware....
I would have it out and to my side. Why on earth would you holster a gun if you are checking the home for invaders. I would have it at the ready
"When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson --
November 9th, 2008 11:27 AM
Thanks all. I agree that I didn't do as terribly as I could, but I mainly wondered if I should have left the alarm on.
It is a monitored system and calls the security company after 30 seconds. The funny thing is that it felt like the system was going off for much longer than that (I tested the system afterward, and it definitely calls within 30 seconds). I got the bedrooms mixed up in my original post. The alarm said bedroom 3, and that is where the issue was.
Having the police show up at 3 would certainly extend the night, but if there are actual BG's around it might be nice to have some help.
I did have a Surefire with me, but we have nightlights all through the house so almost everything is visible.
I think I agree about the holstered gun. Holding it in my hands I could draw it pretty quick, but I think having it out might be better. My original thinking was that with a wife, a Grandma and 2 kids in the house I actually wanted to take a moment longer to shoot, and I didn't want to scare the you-know-what out of Grandma.
November 11th, 2008 01:07 AM
I work for a alarm company. I would keep the alarm going in order to trigger the central station in to calling you. Keep in mind that most new alarm systems wait 60 second before transmitting to the police.
Also keep in mind that most central stations now make 2 phone calls before sending the police .. One to your site.. and one to a phone that you specify. Check with your central station to make sure that the two calls the make is your land line if you have one.. and your cell phone.. We get allot of busy signals when we call sites because the Panel might still be transmitting.. We tend to try one more time and then move on to the next number.
Most operators will wait on the phone while your clear your house.. I've done it on multiple occasions.. Let me know if you have any further questions..
You might be weak but God is Strong!
November 11th, 2008 06:10 PM
My alarm system is setup so the loud sound is outside; on the panel there is only a buzzer; more than enough to wake us up, but no loud enough to stop us from hearing what's going on.
To the OP:
Except for having the gun holstered, and donning a holster in that situation wouldn't be my priority , I wouldn't give an opinion as I don't know the lay-out of your house.
Don't focus on your perceived mistakes, focus on what you did well and obviously you have the right mind-set to determine it.
The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
The second rule: "Bring enough gun"
jfl (NRA Life Member/Instructor - GOA - IDPA - GSSF - ex-IHMSA)
November 11th, 2008 06:32 PM
From Massad Ayoob's "In the gravest extreme." p54
On the nightime home invasion:
"Altogether, you are not in ideal shape to be fighting for your life or your family's lives.
These are the main factors, but there are others. One is that you are caught undressed, and even if it does occur to you to dress before investigating the disturbance, you probably won't have time if your household actually has been invaded by criminals. This is not as inconsequential as it may seem: whether or not clothes make the man, nakedness can certainly un-make him in a stressful confrontation with clothed opponents. A nude or pajama'd man is a vulnerable man, if only because he feels a sense of unpreparedness and awkwardness that can be fatal in a moment when he needs every ounce of confidence and decisiveness that he possesses. Always, if possible, put on at least your pants before making a confrontation. Shoes are optional....
Elsewhere, he writes, "If it looks as if a gunfight is in the offing, have your gun in your hand before the shooting starts."
I think you did good. It was a good night. Nothing happened.
November 11th, 2008 08:00 PM
I think you need to get your alarm reconfigured. If your at home then the only thing that should not immediately trigger a call to the monitoring company is a motion sensor. The doors, and windows, or glass break should always be able to call trigger immediately when activated.
When in the exit mode, the doors should allow you to enter the house and have 30 seconds to disarm the system. Any other triggers, motion, glass break or window sensors should immediately call the monitoring company.
As far as the audible alarm in the house, deal with it without shutting down the system. If it is way to loud or you think that it is a hinderance to your effective communication with your family or authorities have the alarm company either move it or make it less loud, or possibly remove it all together.
Being undressed well that is probably personal preference in my opinion. I personally would rather have shoes on than pants in many instances if I could only get one or the other on. I don't intend on fighting with an intruder, I plan on shooting them, but if it comes down to it, I don't want to have to worry about cutting my feet up on broken glass or stepping on something or having them step on my bare feet during the struggle. It won't bother me at all to fight while nude or nearly nude, my pride will be the least of my concerns during a situation like that. Hell I have gone to a motel door before in my underware and opened it up stood there and told folks to shut the heck up at about 1 a.m. without even a thought as to what they might think. I surely am not going to care in my own house.
Again, check with your alarm company and have your system reconfigured. There should not be a 30 or 60 second delay before notifying the monitoring company in the scenario you described.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
November 11th, 2008 09:25 PM
One thing that others haven't mentioned yet, why do you have two different guns available on your nightstand? This seems like an invitation to confusion, particularly with guns as different as the Glock and the 1911. I can just imagine someone trying to shoot a burglar, standing there just hauling on the trigger while nothing happens because in their half-awakened they didn't realize they'd grabbed the 1911 instead of the Glock and hadn't taken the safety off.
Originally Posted by Slomo
As you probably realize after this incident, after being roused by a potentially dangerous situation in the middle of the night, thinking isn't necessarily going to be anyone's strong suit. Keep it simple. One gun, the same gun all the time, so you'll know (and have practiced) exactly what you need to do.
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