Flashlights and Safe Rooms

This is a discussion on Flashlights and Safe Rooms within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The current flashlights thread talks quite a bit about using a weapon mounted flashlight when clearing a house. It got me thinking about how to ...

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Thread: Flashlights and Safe Rooms

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Flashlights and Safe Rooms

    The current flashlights thread talks quite a bit about using a weapon mounted flashlight when clearing a house. It got me thinking about how to best use a light if you decide to respond to a possible intruder by holeing up in a safe room, rather than going out to play.

    If you're bunkered up in one spot, rather than clearing a house, it seems best to take advantage of your stationary position. Rather than using a light in your hand or attached to your weapon, why not but the light somewhere else? You could use the room lights, but that would probably illuminate both you and the BG, as well as giving up the blinding effects of a nice tight, bright flashlight beam in a dark room. Instead, take a flashlight, turn it on, and set it on the nightstand or dresser pointed at the door (preferably pointed so it hits the door at about face level). Then ensconce yourself in a good position as far from the light as possible.

    This has several advantages compared to hand held or weapon mounted lights: You don't have to either use a hand for the light or point your weapon at someting you want to identify. It should keep the BG from seeing anything in the room except the flashlight pointed at him. If he decides to shoot randomly at the light in hopes of hitting you, you're nowhere near the light. It also allows you to use a bigger/heavier light than you'd want to use with a weapon (like one of the D-cell maglights or a spotlight the plugs into the wall)

    Of course, it would be a good idea to have another flashlight close at hand or attached to your weapon in case the BG ducks out of the fixed light's beam.

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    Member Array kd5nrh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    If you're bunkered up in one spot, rather than clearing a house, it seems best to take advantage of your stationary position. Rather than using a light in your hand or attached to your weapon, why not but the light somewhere else?
    Well, in setting up a room like that, I'd probably want a couple of the 150+ watt halogen floodlights mounted on the walls and pointed at the door, with a switch in my best cover position. Put them on the walls about halfway between me and the door, so I'll still be behind them. No pocket light could come close to that blinding effect.

    For a less permanent solution, you can get the freestanding worklights. Either way, you could easily get over 1500W of total light output for the cost of a weapon mounted Surefire.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kd5nrh View Post
    Well, in setting up a room like that, I'd probably want a couple of the 150+ watt halogen floodlights mounted on the walls and pointed at the door, with a switch in my best cover position.
    You could certainly do that, but I was thinking more of something simple I could do in a moment, rather than something up to Jodie Foster standards.

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    High intensity flashlights, about 65 lumens, are hard to beat, although some of those larger million candlepower, battery powered lights would almost be a weapon in themselves.

    But, and this may sound strange, but lights can be too bright. There was a SWAT unit training at Gunsite and one of the members had a "higher" intensity handheld. When the bright beam hit a light colored wall, it blinded the team. They had to quit using it.

    I think that's a great idea to place a light somewhere away from you. I'd still have a handheld or WML, or both with me though. Things happen, lights fail, bulbs burn out. I have tested two handhelds both Surefires and they both get so hot in about 20 miuntes that they start flashing on and off.

    The only issue may be, is do you have the time to do the set up? At a class at Thunder Ranch, Clint Smith pointed out that criminals are being taught in prisons to "SWAT" a house rather than sneak in. The idea being to catch the resident before he can get going. Here we see the distinct advantage of the WML - it takes much less time to get into action. And always have a backup light. Did I mention that lights fail, bulbs burn out......

    Edit:
    It's also a good idea to hole up. Wandering around in a house with a BG(s) in it is a good way to get shot. However, people with children may not have the hole up option. Don't doubt that clearing a house, esp. solo, is extremely risky and dangerous.

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    + 100 Tangle. Simple burglary has moved over for the home invasion...

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Get in your barricaded position....back light the fatal funnel.....nuff said!

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    Something New Here Also...

    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    + 100 Tangle. Simple burglary has moved over for the home invasion...
    Gainesville, FL has experienced this during the last few months and I know that this has been happening in other parts of the State...

    Sad days...it's why I am always armed...IN the home!

    Stay armed...stay safe!

    ret
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    New Member Array LE743's Avatar
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    Two lights for searching

    IF you decide to go lokng for someone, you should employ two lights. One hand held and weapon mounted. The weapon mounted light should only be used upon contact with the BG. The hand held should be used for the search. And like all other skills, light dicipline must be practiced often, or the skill will be lost.
    If you decide not to go looking for someone, you probably made the correct choice. "Safe room and 911".
    If trouble finds you, fight like the third monkey on the ramp of Noah's Arc.

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    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    This question came up at a class I took at Gunsite a couple of years ago, and I think the instructor gave us some pretty good advice concerning this. Iíve since implemented this in my own home. Here are some of the points he hit on:

    1. As was mentioned earlier, itís much safer to hole up in a good defensive position than to clear your house, if you have that option.

    2. Have a cell phone handy, in case the intruder takes one of your phones off the hook and disables the landline. Call 911, tell them you have an intruder, give them your address twice, and leave the line open.

    3. If you do have to clear your house (to protect kids, etcÖ), you know the layout and the intruder probably doesnít, use this to your advantage. See below.

    4. Donít telegraph your position by using a light when you donít have to. Strategically place nightlights around your house in order to provide you with enough ambient light to navigate, and silhouette intruders. Donít provide enough ambient light to aid someone unfamiliar with your house in finding their way around. The nightlights I use have photocells and turn on automatically when the room lights are turned off.

    5. If you do see an intruder, use your light to identify your target. If you do have to shoot, turn out your light and move. Donít make yourself a static target.

    6. In some cases, if you have the option, it may be more advantageous to turn on the room light to identify your target. You may be able to do this without telegraphing your position as you would by using a hand-held or weapon-mounted light.

    Blackeagle, weíre planning on running a night shoot this summer in order to exercise night-shooting techniques. Weíll probably run some standard drills to get everyone used to flashlight technique and shooting in low light conditions. After the standard drills, weíll probably run a house-clearing scenario, and another defensive shooting scenario in low light conditions. If you have any thoughts on things youíd like to try, let me or Robin Hood know, and weíll try to work them in.
    "A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol. However, if he does, he needs it very badly!" -- Sir Winston Churchill

    "He who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that is where he is." -- James Thurber

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