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EricReynolds
March 29, 2011, 03:09 PM
Simple scenario: You hear a noise late at night while asleep in your bed. Is someone in your house? What do you do? The smart answer is to call 911 before anything else. To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish. But what if the noise was nothing? Just the wind outside or creeks that old houses make or maybe you're just plain hearing things. If you called 911 every time you heard a noise, the police would be annoyed with you, and after a few calls, you'd be the boy who cried wolf. So what do you do? Ignore it? Come charging out of your bedroom armed? No right or wrong answer here, just different schools of thought.

Skadoosh
March 29, 2011, 03:15 PM
To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish.

Why is that foolish?

EricReynolds
March 29, 2011, 03:23 PM
It's a matter of playing it safe. Why anyone who thinks there is an intruder in their home and wouldn't call the police first is beyond me.

kinggabby
March 29, 2011, 03:26 PM
"No right or wrong answer here, just different schools of thought."


Thought there was no right or wrong answer.
I say follow your own instincts.

Crazy88Fingers
March 29, 2011, 03:27 PM
If I was uncertain I would call 911 and keep them on the line while I did some investigating.

Don H
March 29, 2011, 04:37 PM
I'd grab my gun and then make a phone call because I don't think a phone makes a very good defensive weapon if the intruder were to make it to my location before the dispatcher answered or the police arrived but then, I guess I'm just foolish and full of bravado. Fortunately though, there are no right and wrong answers except for some people.

Edward429451
March 29, 2011, 07:25 PM
If I was in a barricaded position and was absolutely certain that intruders were present then I would call 911. I do not barricade myself for bumps in the night though. Why call 911 before I am certain of intruders? I go against most published advice and clear my own home. Yes, I know, but so far so good.

If and when I ever call 911, it is not going to be because I heard a noise and am scared. I will have information for them when I call. Facts of an incident, wether over or still unfolding.

It makes sense to call the police as least as possible. If I am unsure of the status of security in my home, I will likely be too busy to distract myself with a phone knowing they will be probably 15 minutes away, and the dynamics of the incident will command my attention until I determine the specifics. It sounds dangerous and yet, I am not known as a pest to the police dept.

Aguila Blanca
March 29, 2011, 07:40 PM
It's a matter of playing it safe. Why anyone who thinks there is an intruder in their home and wouldn't call the police first is beyond me.
Did you start this thread to ask a question, or to make a statement?

AK103K
March 29, 2011, 07:58 PM
Id call for an ambulance. If somehow, anyone were to have got inside, they would be dealing with 250 pounds of annoyed Rottweiler. I dont have to go look anywhere, Ill know exactly where to find them, if they stay. Even if they leave, I doubt they can make the 50 yards to the road before the dogs catch up. I do feed them, I swear! :)

highvel
March 29, 2011, 10:49 PM
WOW, before I'd do all that I think I would move:D

Nnobby45
March 29, 2011, 11:03 PM
Simple scenario: You hear a noise late at night while asleep in your bed. Is someone in your house? What do you do? The smart answer is to call 911 before anything else. To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish. But what if the noise was nothing? Just the wind outside or creeks that old houses make or maybe you're just plain hearing things. If you called 911 every time you heard a noise, the police would be annoyed with you, and after a few calls, you'd be the boy who cried wolf. So what do you do? Ignore it? Come charging out of your bedroom armed? No right or wrong answer here, just different schools of thought.

Well, you contradicted yourself. If you called 911 every time you heard a noise the police would be annoyed. So why would calling the police be the smart thing to do every time you heard a noise?

No, grabbing your gun is not bravado. Why would it be if if the noise is is potentially an intruder and calling the police is one of the options you're considering? I'd be inclined to have my weapon in hand while assessing the situation. If that's bravado, then that's me.:D

As you said, there are different schools of thought.:cool:

blakdawg
March 29, 2011, 11:07 PM
So a really good alarm system will make sure you don't get a "false negative", e.g., no bad guy will get in your house without setting off the alarm.

But that's only half of the problem - a really good alarm system can also be triggered by something comparatively innocent - like maybe an exterior door that wasn't shut well enough for the latch to catch, that blows open in the night with a strong gust of wind. Or whatever.

If your alarm were to go off, are you so certain that it will only trigger due to unauthorized human activity that you will automatically call 911 and report a home invasion/hot burglary in process?

I agree with the commentator above who said that they will only call 911 if they've verified that there's a real problem. When I hear a "bump in the night" I will investigate first - carefully, and typically armed - but I'm not going to call 911 unless I feel awfully certain that I have a problem that merits that level of response.

In my particular circumstances, if I were to call 911 while my wife & dogs & I hole up in the master bedroom, the cops will need to kick our front door in to clear the house, if a bad guy hasn't left it open. That's going to be pretty expensive, and I would hate to make them do that (both in terms of wasting their resources, and me having to replace the door/jamb/lock/whatever) just because a book fell over on the bookshelf or something.

If I knew for sure there were bad people in the house - could hear clear footsteps, or voices, or a collection of activity that was clearly human - I would call. But for the typical "weird noise", I don't think I have an emergency yet, just an unknown situation.

mcwop
March 29, 2011, 11:09 PM
Another question is what if you do not hear it? That was the exact scenario for me. I was sacked out on Vicks cold medicine, while someone was trying to break in. My dog stopped it, but I did not even figure out what happened until the next day - long story. I live in a big urban house. My recommendation is have a gun ready, have a plan to use that gun, and GET a DOG. Dog's are the best home defense ever, at minimum an excellent sentry.

Problem is cops may not get there in time, and nothing works out as planned.

Justice06RR
March 29, 2011, 11:17 PM
How about just get a guard dog?

stephen426
March 30, 2011, 01:05 AM
How about just get a guard dog?

You beat me to it. I have an 85 lb. akita that is pretty intimidating. She doesn't bark unless there is someone there. A friend's neighnor had a pair of akitas. Two kids decided to break in through the dog door. I guess they figured they never heard any barking so there probably weren't any dogs. When the first guy got in half way, the akitas pounced him and tore him up. If they killed him, he would have been a shoe in for the Darwin Award. Do NOT break in through dog doors that are big enough to EASILY crawl through... You might come face to face with Cujo on the other side!!!

:eek:

Dwight55
March 30, 2011, 07:40 AM
First, . . . make it as hard as you can for the bg to get in unannounced. Dead bolts, motion detector lights, rose bushes planted under the windows, maybe even one of those collapsable screens used to keep toddlers out of an area, placed across the hallway leading back to your bedroom.

Then, . . . think about what woke you up, . . . last time I called the sherrif, a bunch of drunks were driving up & down the road, . . . one screaming "Help, . . . Help, . . . someone help me". I didn't hear the truck, just the voice, . . . at 2 AM.

I haven't done it yet, . . . but I've toyed with the idea of a motion detector setting off a small amplifier with a cd of barking dogs, . . . should get bg's attention at the same time it wakes me up, . . . and I don't have to feed the dogs :D

May God bless,
Dwight

Yankee Doodle
March 30, 2011, 07:46 AM
First, dial 911 and put the phone on the floor. You don't have to say a word. The call is automatically traced. They WILL come.
Then, keep up a loud commentary as to what is going on, so the Police dispatcher on the other end can advise the responding cars.
In a LOUD, CLEAR voice, announce that you are armed. You really want the cops to know this. If you leave your room, say so in a loud clear voice, and describe what you are wearing. (if you are alone in the house, and have no one else to worry about, stay where you are.) You really want the cops to know this.
DO NOT attempt to search the house. Let the skells come to you.
When the Cops show up, and they will, they are going to be ready for trouble.
Do not meet them at the door with a drawn gun.

youngunz4life
March 30, 2011, 07:56 AM
I agree with you yankee but I thought of that on the other thread about this. I'm not going to be focusing on the phone and I might and might not be loud(probably not), but the 911 call will be made with house phone ASAP. I don't think I'll have time for multitasking abilities to worry about the phone after I make the call though.

Going towards the OP...how many people actually call 911 when hearing a noise at night? the op's thread is a good point. yes, I am calling if my instincts tell me too but there are other noises which don't get this response numerous of times from gobs of people especially when you're dead asleep when the noise is made. now a loud, different type of noise that wakes you up suddenly will many times steer your instincts straight but there is a grey area. also, how many people sleep with the ringers off? when that alarm company calls hopefully you're not in dreamland. Sometimes people don't believe something is wrong and walk into a trap if that's the right word. I am definately not clearing the house myself. I'll make my determination from the bedroom.

jhenry
March 30, 2011, 08:10 AM
My first responsibility is for the safety and welfare of my family. It has nothing to do with being "all full of bravado" no matter what those who would array themselves against us would like people to believe.

If I really think someone else is inside my home I will first and foremost insure the safety of my children while my wife calls it in. She is armed as well.

If you consider calling 911 as a first line of defense, well, OK then it's your hide (and your kids). I'm sure they will write a nice report.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

foghorn leghorn
March 30, 2011, 09:00 AM
what are the police going to do? you still have to go outside and meet them.
is the bad guy supposed to run if the cruiser pulls up outside? Just get a siren, and turn it on when you get concerned about bumps in the night.
Police will want to give your place a pat down, and if you have something
out of the ordinary, like a copy of guns and ammo on the coffee table, it goes in the notebook.
They dont just respond and go away until next time you need them, thay have to close out their call, with an explanation, names, dates, locations. If they dont, and you get attacked after they leave, they will get sued.

I hesitate to even opine, since its such an invitation for cross examination.
If you dont feel safe, there must be a reason, not just a solution.
Moving is an option, as the man said. Dogs are a big commitment.
Putting all your faith in the police, is like letting the TSA grope your pre-teen daughter, because it makes you safe. The trade off is not justified. I wouldn't fly, if I had to bend over one of my loved ones.
If I had to check under the bed and behind all the doors when I came back from the mall, I wouldn't let my loved ones live there.
Your home is your castle, and you have to feel safe there, if nowhere else.
If you think these are absurd comparisons, how did you end up in a house that is insecure, and able to be entered, without braking down the door or smashing in a window?

Yankee Doodle
March 30, 2011, 10:09 AM
If I may expand a bit

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Having spent most of my adult life as a cop, let me tell you what is going through the mind of the cops responding to your call.
First, and foremost, he/she wants to be able to go home after his/her shift.
Anything you can do to help him/her do this, will make their job easier, and you safer.
The more information you provide, the better for you and for them.
Our dispatchers were trained to ask every complainant on this type of call the following questions
What is your sex?
What is your race?
How tall are you?
Long or short hair?
What are you wearing?
Where in the home are you?
Are there other family members in the home?
Where are they
Are you armed?
(if so) What are you armed with?
This way, the call goes out to the cars something like this.
"Complainent is a white male, approx 6' tall, short brown hair wearing white underwear.
Be advised that he is armed with a Colt, blue steel, .357 magnum revolver. He is now in the bedroom at the top of the stairs on the right, with his two children.
His wife is in the bedroom on the left, armed with a 12 gauge shotgun. Advise station before entry, and we will advise complainants to place their weapons on the floor, and meet you when you get to the bedroom doors."
OK, the responding officers now have all the information they need to insure that you don't get taken for the intruder. Safer for them, much safer for you.
I have responded to quite a few of these calls over the years, and having this info has mede the job a lot easier. More important, it has made the armed homeowner a lot safer. The safety of the public is the only reason cops get paid in the first place.
As an aside, you may not hear the cops arrive. When responding to this type of call, they will have turned off the top lights and siren far enough away so that the perp will not hear them coming. It's a safety thing.
Sorry if I dragged this out too long.

Let it Bleed
March 30, 2011, 03:07 PM
I think some are being a little harsh towards the OP because instead of him just asking the question "how do you determine when to call the police when you hear a noise at night," he first stated two assumptions as fact.

However, read in its entirety, I inferred that the OP’s premise is that when trying to follow the advice of many experts, who espouse the opinion that it is imprudent for a homeowner to attempt clearing the home if they believe an intruder may be in the house, we face a catch-22. That is, how do you know if there is an intruder without first investigating and confirming that there is in fact an intruder? Therefore one is caught in a no-win situation. You must either heed the advice of staying put and calling 911 and consequently run the risk of false alarms, or you must disregard the advice, for fear of making these false alarm calls, and investigate the situation with possible dire consequences.

As many have already pointed out, there are many methods that will increase the likelihood of you knowing whether it’s an intruder or something innocuous. Ultimately there is no absolute answer, because your decision to call 911 will be the result of the totality of the circumstances. Recently I was awakened from a dead sleep by a loud noise. Having no idea what it was or from where it came, I grabbed my bedside flashlight and listened. If I had heard anything more, I’d have called 911, knelt behind the bed with pistol and flashlight (w/tactical tailcap) pointed at the doorway and waited. However, since I heard nothing further during the next minute or two, I was reasonably certain that no one was in the house. Therefore I got up, with a pistol in my right hand and a flashlight in my left, and took a look around.

Personally I’m going to err on the side of caution and call 911 if I have any articulable suspicion that someone is in, or trying to get in, my house. But a noise that wakes me up is not enough. There has to be something that I can clearly state to a responding officer when asked why I thought someone was in, or attempting to get in my house.

markj
March 30, 2011, 03:21 PM
how do you determine when to call the police when you hear a noise at night,

After the gun shot, Mom is darn good with that 357 and she is closest to the main door. :) so if someone is foolish enough to come in and get shot, the only humane thing to do is call the ambulance for the sorry sap.

See first the creep would have lit up the motion detecters, then the dogs would go off, then the door opens and mom shoots him dead. I dial 911 :)

If you have done nothing to prevent intgrusion you may wish to think about that first, I have kids so I cant just go shooting at every noise I hear or every shadow I see.

Skadoosh
March 30, 2011, 03:55 PM
Don H wrote: I'd grab my gun and then make a phone call because I don't think a phone makes a very good defensive weapon if the intruder were to make it to my location before the dispatcher answered or the police arrived

Bingo! A phone makes a lousy defensive weapon to engage a dangerous intruder.

g.willikers
March 30, 2011, 05:25 PM
If you do call the police, be danged sure you are not still holding the gun when they arrive.
And be double danged sure you don't approach the police with it.
Or you could be the guy they shoot.
Their adrenalin is pumping, too.

highvel
March 30, 2011, 06:01 PM
This is a very good subject, with a number of very good ideas that warrant consideration before anyone were to find themselves in this type of situation!

I believe in man's two best friends, a dog, and 1911.
However, one of the scariest things on earth is an angry female racking the slide on a 12 ga. I think I'll let my wife handle it:eek:

Stevie-Ray
March 30, 2011, 06:12 PM
What do you do? The smart answer is to call 911 before anything else. To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish. But what if the noise was nothing? Just the wind outside or creeks that old houses make or maybe you're just plain hearing things. There is such a thing as playing the percentages. I hear a noise and immediately look to the bed. If both cats aren't there, there's a better than 90% chance one or both of them are into something. There's probably another 8% chance that something fell on it's own as sometimes happens. Of course there's also a 2% chance somebody's in the house that doesn't belong. I'm willing to go investigating, gun in hand, on maybe a 15% chance, so this is a no-brainer. Now, reverse that and both cats are on the bed, and not only did something fall, but I could have sworn I heard a whispered you idiot! Now, it's 911 and barricade time with at least 2 loaded weapons.

steve54
March 30, 2011, 06:20 PM
I had this happen to me when I lived in England. The problem depends on where you are in your sleep cycle and some burglars know that. It was around 2 am and I was in a deep sleep. I was dreaming that I could hear a noise like someone splitting a wooden floorboard (thats what it was in my dream) I was struggling to wake up even though alarms wee ringing in my head.
When I did wake up I could hear the splitting noise continuing, so I got up and slipped on my sweats, by this time the adrenaline was pumping, I went downstairs and looked through the living room doorway and could see someone stood on the outside windowledge forcing open the transom window

My wife heard me moving around and shouted something from upstairs - the BG heard her also and started to run away. I open my front door and went to the end of the driveway ( 20') and saw him taking off like a gazelle. The next thing I hear a car gunning its engine up the street towards me. I'm ****** and pick up a rock out of the garden which I throw through the windscreen at the driver , car goes all over the place but makes off.
Police called and indifferent, it turns out the BG ws forcing the window with a pair of garden shears that he dropped in my garden. Told the cop what happened and he said I could be charged with assault, ah well.
The get away car was found about a mile from where I live covered in blood on the inside but no one around to press charges.

Bottom line is you will not respond as quickly as you think and will rationalize any noises you hear, you have to have a plan for such situations and be prepared for any eventuality

Jeremiah/Az
March 30, 2011, 06:55 PM
Steve, does windscreen mean windshield? You could be charged? Totally asinine!!!

I live alone with 3 big dogs in a very rural area. It takes the cops a very long time to get here. I have to pretty much take care of things myself with the dogs help.

EricReynolds
March 30, 2011, 07:15 PM
Let it Bleed, thank you. You are completely correct in inferring what I meant. I realize people probably thought I was trying to "catch" them with the "wrong answer" but that's not true. All I was saying is that if you're certain someone is in your home and you opt to handle it by yourself and not call the police, that's crazy. The catch 22 is if you call 911 when you're not sure, you might run the risk of looking the fool when police arrive to a wild goose chase. Didn't mean to offend anyone.

Glenn Bartley
March 30, 2011, 08:34 PM
I would wake up the dogs, if they were not already awake and barking and growling and attacking the intruder (or was it just a whisp of wind). Then I would go back to sleep.:rolleyes:

ltc444
March 30, 2011, 09:30 PM
interesting subject. No single solution fits all situations. Mine is more complex. Response by the nearest law enforcement agency is four, yes 4. hours.

Solution. Good defensive plan with lots of practice. Lots of noise makers placed at entry points, good locks and bars. two german shepherds and a yappy labrador. Hard points to fire from. Weapons for my wife and myself. Weapons loaded and close at hand.

Preferred weapons are 12 Pump and a 1911. Secondary weapons 9mm and an AR15 with red dot sight.

In developing your plan you should consider remote controlled light which will back light any perp approaching your defensive position.

Survival is mostly will and training.

Mobuck
March 30, 2011, 09:58 PM
Response time here is no less than 30 minutes. If there's that much time, it's not an emergency. Unless the attack is perpetrated by several persons who know the layout and are determined, there will be plenty of time for me to contact the law after the problem is solved.

barret_munkey
March 30, 2011, 10:18 PM
You should rig your house in such a manner that there is absolutely no question in your mind that someone is in it. Here are some good ways to rig your house:

1) **Best solution** Professionally installed and centrally monitored alarm system. I cant say enough how valuable a system like this one is. The one I have has sensors on each entry door, glass breakage/window open sensors and a motion sensor in each room. I also have a sensor on my bedroom door in the event it is opened during the night while I am sleeping. On a few select doors throughout the house there are also sensors. I am very confident there is no way anyone could walk through my house without the alarm going off. At night when I am sleeping, the system is armed. There are panic buttons at each entry door and in my bedroom.

2) Motion sensors on each outdoor light. I have motion sensors on my flood lights and at each entry door. If someone walks through that yard at night, then multiple bright halogen flood lights come on. There are also motion activated lights all over my household.

3) Cameras at the entry doors and in the household. Cameras have become very inexpensive nowadays. I have a camera at each entry door, one overlooking the driveway and yard and then another of the living room. My cameras were professionally installed along with the alarm system.

4) Entry door chimes on each entry door. Besides the regular alarm, I have entry door chimes that sound a loud chime each time the door is opened.

5) Security screen doors. I had these installed not too long ago and love them. These screen doors are essential to home security. They seem stronger then the regular door and have a deadbolt on them in a reinforced metal frame. Its one more thing an attacker has to get through and they will make a lot of noise if they try.

6) Barricade bolts/bars on each entry door and your bedroom door. This is basically one large solid bar that goes across your doorway. Its fairly easy to make with u-bolts and you can use a 2x4.

7) Reinforce your door frame and locks on all doors and the bedroom doors. Two deadbolts is better then one. If you really desire security, there are specially made doors that are expensive, but will take a lot of force before you can open them. There are many articles on the internet how to reinforce your existing door and products they sell. You want to make it so that it will take more then just a shove or a kick to get the door open.

8) Install burglary blockades and traps within your house. For example, I read about this trick of placing a net in the hallway between the stairs and your bedroom door. Like this one.

http://www.customcargonets.com/spliced_cargo_nets.htm

Before you get into bed, you snap the net into place. On the net, you place chimes and noisemakers so if its moved then you will know. If you could hook up an alarm to the net, then that would be better. This net will take time for a home invader to get through and will make noise in the process.

9) An escape ladder from your bedroom through the outside window. This will give you more options should your house be invaded.

10) A safe room complete with a separate phone system and reinforced door. You can make one of these with a walk-in closet.

11) Storm windows. In my house there is the regular window and then the storm window. The storm window can be broken just like the regular window, but its one more barrier for the home invader which might give you a few more seconds to react. The idea is to place more objects in their path and harden the target. They will get in if they want, but place more in front of them. The storm windows I have seem to resist rocks and one time a baseball hit the window and it didnt shatter.

12) Loud interior alarms and buzzers. Lets say you believe someone is in your house or you hear a noise. Then rig a button that will sound a very loud alarm throughout the house. The alarm has a good chance of scaring the average home invader off. If you were a home invader and suddenly there was this blaring alarm noise, then chances are you will not be sticking around. Also rig a switch to all of the interior and exterior lights.



Glocks and Sigs are cheaper....and they go bump in the night right back:D

ZeSpectre
March 30, 2011, 10:26 PM
You should rig your house in such a manner that there is absolutely no question in your mind that someone is in it.
Kids toys scattered down the hallway are absolutely unbeatable. It is IMPOSSIBLE to sneak down a hallway when these diabolical traps are in place!

In all seriousness though, fort up and LISTEN. You know your house's sounds and you'll know if something isn't right.

jeepman4804
March 30, 2011, 11:40 PM
what are the police going to do? you still have to go outside and meet them.
is the bad guy supposed to run if the cruiser pulls up outside? Just get a siren, and turn it on when you get concerned about bumps in the night.
Police will want to give your place a pat down, and if you have something
out of the ordinary, like a copy of guns and ammo on the coffee table, it goes in the notebook.
They dont just respond and go away until next time you need them, thay have to close out their call, with an explanation, names, dates, locations. If they dont, and you get attacked after they leave, they will get sued.

Where do you get your information? The home owners do not meet us outside. We advise dispatch units are entering the home, do a protective sweep and then contact the owners.

I am an Officer and on alarm calls we don't care about magazines on your table, what your wearing, if your armed, or if you have a full out armory. We make contact, identify you, and if there is no offense to report we leave. Nothing gets noted if it is a false alarm, no need.

We also try to park 3 or more houses down from the address dispatched and black out everything when we turn down the street. I also do not "close" my door when I get out, I gently lay it on the striker and just give a little pressure to latch the door.

Personally, when something goes bump in the night at my place I clear my residence with my AR. If I find something they will be proned out on the floor, or if more drastic measure are required then they will be taken. Then I call it in from the cell phone that is in my pocket. If its nothing I go back to bed.

MrDontPlay
March 31, 2011, 12:10 AM
I would call the police if I thought someone was going to break in to my house in 30-45 minutes...

markj
March 31, 2011, 02:22 PM
Kids toys scattered down the hallway are absolutely unbeatable.

My son has a tank that makes all kinds of loud noises, bump it and it goes off for like 3 or 4 minutes.. Might be a good idea to scatter these thru the house :) in places they would not be able to avoid bumping them....

I also have a clapper on one lite that is in a corner, lite it up and bad guy is lit up from behind, I bet he would turn to the lite :) which would be a huge mistake on his part.......

jeepman4804
March 31, 2011, 03:44 PM
I would call the police if I thought someone was going to break in to my house in 30-45 minutes...

Talk about slow response time. Ours is 3-5 minutes average.

AK103K
March 31, 2011, 06:44 PM
Kids toys scattered down the hallway are absolutely unbeatable.
There ya go! You can add lots of bad language to the charges too. :)

Talk about slow response time. Ours is 3-5 minutes average.
I think the difference here is why you are seeing different schools of thought.

Some have been trained to dial 911 ("and die".) (Sorry, couldnt help it. :) ), while some of us realize, your on your own, and you have to deal with whatever it is, until (if youre lucky) someone shows up to take the report.

Not everyone has 911 yet either, so theres also that. We just got it a couple of years ago, but half the places still dont have addresses showing (still RR/RD numbers), and your GPS wont bring you to my house. My road has four names, depending on whos map you look at, and the GPS is clueless. If you do have to call, you usually have to give directions.