This is a discussion on Home defense within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My stepdaughter came home from college tonight. This is the first time she has been home since I bought a Glock 19 for home defense ...
April 30th, 2008 01:55 AM
My stepdaughter came home from college tonight. This is the first time she has been home since I bought a Glock 19 for home defense and concealed carry. I have been practicing carrying at home awaiting my CCW permit and also have been sleeping with the G19 beside the bed.
Before we turned in for the night, just off the top of my head I told my stepdaughter that if she heard the burglar alarm go off in the night that she should get off her bed, stay low and wait for me or her mom to come and get her from her room. I told her that this is because I have a gun and I would be the one to check the house for any BG and did not want to make a mistake in the darkness of the house.
After I told her this it got me thinking if this was the right instructions for my family or anyone else staying overnight in the house. I do also have a small Maglite beside the Glock but I am apprehensive to use it at night for fear of giving away my position to a potential BG.
Any thoughts on instructions for the family especially at nights and also about the use of a tactical light?
April 30th, 2008 02:33 AM
Clearing a structure is usually best done by a trained (I don't know if you are trained or not, just saying) team. Doing it alone is usually an extremely dangerous action that should not be undertaken.
The first man should always have someone right behind him for a myriad of reasons. Hunkering down and letting the trained professionals, LE (once again, no insult to you implied, but they get paid to protect you) do it is usually your best bet.
Consolidation into a single room is a good idea if feasable, if not, laying low is the best bet. Other than that know which walls should be able to stop a round so you aren't shooting your neighbors house, know your fields of fire.
As far as tactical lights go, they are good, but if they comprimise your firing grip/follow up capabilities, become somewhat a liability. The BG may well know where you are without it, but they give you the ability to know your target, and possibly disorient a BG. It shouldn't be on continuously, IMO.
Books have been written about the subjects of house clearing, and there are a million ways to do it, just some thoughts for ya.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
April 30th, 2008 02:33 AM
It's obviously a good idea to have a contingency plan understood by all, whatever the plan is. If you must distinguish between residents and intruders, a light would be a good idea as well. (It's simpler for me---if I can touch my wife, I know that anyone else is an intruder.)
April 30th, 2008 03:48 AM
I agree that attempting to clear your own house is fraught with danger in so many ways it's hard to know where to begin listing them all.
Therefore, it is best to avoid having to do that unless it is an absolute necessity.
As a member of a tactical team, I have had hundreds of hours training and real life experience.
At my own home, I would be reluctant to do it on my own unless there were compelling reasons to do so. I also have body armor to throw on, tactical light mounted weapons, and years of training.
Still with only my wife and our two dogs in the house, my first action plan is to arm ourselves, hunker down in the safe room and call the calvary.
If I had kids at home or overnight guests, I would have to come up with another action plan that includes the other occupants, but at this stage in our lives, it's not part of the equation.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
April 30th, 2008 06:43 AM
Well, I'll just echo what the first two said but I also wanted to suggest that if you wanted to use a tactical light, then get one to use. The maglight isnt one, unless it has a momentary switch. That small feature is critical for house clearing.
April 30th, 2008 09:57 AM
I am definately sobered by everyones advise an will rethink my HD plans. My house is layed out in such a way that the master bedroom is on one side and is separated by the family room and living room from the other bedrooms. So this puts my young kids at the other side of the house. It would be kind of hard to not check on them if my alarm goes off.
April 30th, 2008 12:03 PM
While it would be better to have a TAC team in your pocket, if I thought my family were in danger, the BG better watch his back for me. I'm gonna clear my house.
April 30th, 2008 12:17 PM
I will have to echo the sentiment that house clearing is dangerous to say the least. Get the proper training if you have not done so already, there is a lot more to it then you think!
April 30th, 2008 12:21 PM
I'll also echo the sentiment of everyone else here. House clearing is a bad idea. If you have to move to rescue someone, that's different. If you and your family are safe, wait it out. You should get some training in house clearing anyways, as you may need to do it. A scenario popped into my head while reviewing my local laws on use of lethal force. It's specifically stated in WA code that you can use lethal force against an arsonist attempting to burn your house. It got me to thinking... what if I'm hunkered down, feeling safe, and then there's smoke... that would be a very compelling reason to clear the house (at least, as much as is necessary to safely evacuate your family). So while I agree that you should not attempt to clear your house, you should seek out the training to do so anyways.
"Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington
April 30th, 2008 12:46 PM
While I concur and echo the sentiments that clearing a building is best left to those trained (and I've done it for years...not fun by any means) in your situation that obviously isn't going to happen as your natural impulse is going to be to check on your children's safety.
First - your wife should also be armed and trained how to use it. Park her with a cell phone in your room, locked away and advised not to move from there. you don't want to have to worry about her moving about either.
Second as mentioned...good tactical light (and training how to utilize it) is essential...as is a backup to it for when it'll die (Mr. Murphy)
Since I don't know how old they are let's presume they are old enough to understand a serious conversation and obey what they've been instructed to do...inform them that in the case of an alarm they should lock their doors and get into their closet, bathroom (if seperate), behind/under bed, whatever until you come for them - you don't want them wandering the house, opening doors, etc...
Most homes walls/doors are not bullet proof or even very bullet resistant (with the exception of certain rounds) I'd do some research and get rounds for what I carry that match those criteria (good anti personnel performance but lack of overpenetration in walls and doors) Hopefully should rounds every be exchanged inside your home your children and wife (or guests) are seperated by a few layers and therefore safer.
FWIW - I actually prefer a dog to an alarm - alarms tend to give notice after an intruder breaches it's field (which typically means they're inside) while my dogs tell me when someone is in my yard...of course that also applies to racoons and oppossums too but I digress!
If you can though...it's best left to the pro's who'll be working as a team.
April 30th, 2008 01:55 PM
First off, kudos for thinking about this in advance. Sadly, all too many people don't.
Originally Posted by NKMG19
The split floor plan definitely makes things more challenging, because it gives you a reason to have to leave your bedroom.
As far as lighting goes, you need to look into a good tactical style light with a momentary-on tailcap switch. The mini-mag is a fine utility light, but not too useful as a low-light shooting aid. Shooting with a light is an acquired, perishable skill which you will need to obtain instruction for and practice at the range. It is significantly different than shooting with two unencumbered hands.
A weapon mounted light is also a possibility, but you need to practice with that as well. It is entirely possible with practice to identify a person with the light without covering them with the muzzle, using the periphery of the cone of light, or bouncing the light off an appropriate floor / wall surface.
As several folks have pointed out above, clearing your house by yourself is a very risky proposition. Even for a highly trained person, a single searcher is at a significant disadvantage.
One possibility would be if there is a position near your bedroom door where you can see the hallway to the other bedrooms you could use to cover that area and prevent anyone from coming to your room or moving through the hallway to the other bedrooms.
Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.
April 30th, 2008 02:23 PM
Originally Posted by MattLarson
Matt has this right. It's USUALLY not a good idea to clear a house. With bedrooms on both sides of the most likely entrance point the only options are: 1. get to the other side to protect the others. or 2. have both wings armed and defend the center. Option 2 is probably not an option with younger children.
I am fortunate enough to have my son's bedroom next to mine and a "fatal funnel" that works to my advantage.
April 30th, 2008 10:23 PM
Thank for all the advise. My wife is in training now and I'll follow the advise of having her stay put if I have to go get the kids. I'll do more research about the proper use of a tactical light.
May 1st, 2008 07:55 PM
Great thread, as I and many others have a split floor plan. In my case, have a 3 year old on the opposite end downstairs, and a 17 year old girl upstairs (with the stairs coming off the common middle area). The LR/Den areas both are glass and would present a great outline of me going through for the BG to shoot at, but as previously stated, how many of us will let an intruder come in and NOT go get our kids? Wife isn't an anti, but she's totally unwilling to take up and learn small arms and tactics. Ditto the teen. 3 year old girl is mean enough to make up for the rest, but not helpful in this case. While I was trained in the Army in urban warfare/close combat, this ain't quite the same, and I've struggled with how to clear the house until the cavalry arrives. As stated on here ad nauseum, "When seconds count, the police will be here in minutes." I have dogs and alarms, and have protective film on the window glass for a brief heads up. Still, lots of home invasions with multiple perps in the Memphis area....
May 1st, 2008 08:34 PM
Our little kiddo is too young to go over this with (he (or she) is still developing in Mommy) but my husband and I have put a lot of consideration into our children's safety.
One: Yes, house clearing is a BAD idea. If it's to be done by anyone other than the police it's to be done by my husband (the only one of us with true combat training and experience).
Two: For the first couple of months the baby will stay in the room with us. It will be easy to feed/care for him/her and make it easier should there be an intrusion. But once the child moves to his own room I still believe it is our responsibility, as parents, to try to protect a child that cannot protect himself.
My husband and I will move as a team until I can reach the baby's room and lock myself in with the baby or even lock the whole family in the baby's room until help arrives.
Three: Once the children are old enough to understand responsibility there will be a STRICT rule that at any alarm the children should lock their doors and get into their closets. We will have locks on the doors that are opened via keys and the children will be instructed to open the doors for absolutely NO ONE, not even if the voice on the other side tells them that it is the police or even Mom or Dad. We have keys. When it is safe we will open the door ourself and get them.
We fully intend to have emergency ladders or any other means of emergency equipment so our children can escape in the event or a fire or anything like that, but I'd rather die than have my child open up his or her door to someone who said they were a policeman and be kidnapped or held hostage.
We have also considered putting in some kind of a intercom system so that we can talk to our children throughout the ordeal to give ourself and them the peace of mind knowing we are all doing well as a family even though we are separated.
FOUR: Another plan is to use baby monitors or other cheap monitoring systems for rooms in the house that are "out of the way" and prime places for break-ins.
I actually saw this recommended on the show, "It Takes a Thief." If you haven't seen the show I would recommend it to anyone.
Basically, they hire "former" thieves to break into people's homes to prove how well (or how poorly) the home is protected. Then the thief himself suggests ways to keep someone like him OUT.
Garages, laundry rooms, basement entryways, and the like (places that are further away from the bedrooms and living areas that don't have heavy traffic) are places that are prime entry points for break-ins because they are less likely to be heard or spotted making their entry. Having a simple listening device present, can not only be a deterrent, but can give you early warning that someone is entering your home.
Five: It's not a bad idea to have a kit ready in the event that you need to confront an intruder.
This idea actually came from a firearms instructor that taught a class I attended. He said that once he was awoken from the dead of sleep to a strange noise and he instantly jumped up, grabbing his pistol and headed off down the hall to investigate. It wasn't until he was half way down the hall that he began to wake up and realized that he was not only naked, but he had no flashlight, no spare magazine, no phone, no keys in the event he had to open any locked doors. Nothing.
He said you could very certainly lay out all of these things on the table before you go to bed, but what happens if you sleep in nothing but your whity-tighties and suddenly you are trying to juggle all of these different tools WHILE trying to wake up and figure out what is going on AND protect your family.
He then started putting together a "bedside table kit." A simple fanny pack in which he put his firearm, a spare mag, a tactical flashlight and a cell phone. He suggested a few more things you could include like keys and ID and even your basic medical supplies if you were REALLY serious about it, but the main gist was that even if you are in nothing but your skin, you can throw on this fanny pack and have all of your essential tools ready at hand even if you do nothing but pull it under the bed with you and your wife.
You might want to look into starting your own nightly "bedside table kit."
SIX: (and you've touched on this) Everyone in your house should know the plan and know their role. I know that I'm backup. JD grabs the Shotgun, I grab whatever pistol I have on the bedside table, he prepares for combat while I call the police and stay poised behind him ready to blast away should he fall. That way he doesn't have to try to be on the phone AND a primary in the situation.
Everyone should spring into action because they know what they should be doing.
Those are just some ideas that are coming off the top of my head. Hope there is some help in them.
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