View Full Version : Home defense and the heavy sleeper

August 17, 2002, 10:32 PM
I often worry that if someone should break into my home in the middle of the night, that I wont be awake to realize it until its too late. Worse, until I wake and find my shotgun being aimed at my head. :eek:
Beside owning a dog(s) and fortified doors, what esle can be done? At the moment I am alone. Nobody here due to renovations. Anybody share this very real concern? :rolleyes:

August 18, 2002, 12:16 AM
You need SOMETHING to alert you and give you time to wake up.
Some kind of alarm system possibly. It doesn't have to be real high-tec. When I'm staying in a hotel room, I put my pocket change, keys, and other junk in a glass, and balance it on the door knob. Anybody turns the knob, and the glass falls off and makes a nice racket.

August 18, 2002, 12:18 AM
Well, that is quite a delimma. We all face it, whether we are light sleepers, or a rampaging herd of elephants wouldn't wake us. Strong doors, along with windows, and dogs are good things to have. Might I suggest a good alarm system.

If you are a VERY heavy sleeper, I recommend a handgun in an inconspicous place, tucked between the matress and box springs, perhaps. Since you have a shotgun already, use the handgun as a way to get to your shotgun if you have it in the closet or safe. That way if somebody does make it to you they will not be able to grab it.

But if they are brave enough to break into your home with you there, and then come into an occupied room, chances are that they are already armed with something.

That's all I got,


Mike Irwin
August 18, 2002, 02:23 AM
I know people in the past have worried about "waking up" after they wake up, whether they'll be with it enough to function if something like this happens.

I found out some years ago that yes, you WILL be awake enough.

My ex and I were in the old apartment in DC when she shook me awake one night. "Mike, someone's trying to get into the apartment."

The adrenaline dump was instaneous, and incredible.

Turns out it was just some out-of-town visitors who had a key from a friend, but the wrong apartment.

I never was able to get back to sleep that evening.

I asked my doctor about this, and he said it's part of the "fight or flight" mechanism, and that the "instant awake" is part of the body's response to perceived danger.

Al Thompson
August 18, 2002, 06:41 AM
Another thing to think about centers on your concern about supplying an intruder with a fiream.

For that reason, all of my "ready" firearms are concealed. The bedroom 12 ga is under the bed, the 12 ga at the other end of the house is concealed in a closet. Various handguns are either on top of shelves, book cases etc., etc., or in a closet. The closet guns are hung from a nail. The nail is wrapped with tape and the head cut off to prevent scratching the trigger guard. I usually hang them on the inner part of the closet over the door.


August 18, 2002, 07:28 AM
The handgun seems to be a must because of its easy reach. Having to swing a shotgun around being half asleep could be dangerous when seconds count. :eek:
Question for Gizmo99: You believe it best to have firearms concealed throughout the home rather than a centralized and occupied location? Isnt this exactly the places an intruder will look? Closets and such? Maybe I dont understand your point. Are the family all shooters? Please explain.

August 18, 2002, 11:14 AM
But the shotgun is in bedroom with me...2 others are in handy closets BUT the magazines (which can be inserted in an instant), would be VERY difficult for someone to find, if they didn't know exactly where to look...If someone did get these guns, I can tell, at a glance whether they're actually loaded or not. (and they REALLY don't wanna be pointing an unloaded weapon at me!)

Al Thompson
August 18, 2002, 12:37 PM
Part of it is the nature of the threat I face, in my town, my neighborhood. Here the dangerous time is daytime. When the folks in my neighborhood head to work, there isn't one house in five that's occupied. The last few burglaries have been daylight ones. I spend a lot of time home during the week and have the house basically open. My solution was to have a SG at either end of the house and a handgun or two positioned where I could slide one in my back pocket when answering the door. That way I wouldn't be without a firearm if I was in the kitchen when the bad guys come through the door.

The bedroom does have the heavy firepower inside, but the odds are low that I'll be there during daylight. Hence, pre-positioning firearms in other parts of the house where I will be during daytime.

I forgot to mention - no children and no wife. One dog.. :) Thinking it through a bit, if kids were in the house, I'd have to devise some different methods.

Side note - most of the homes in the south do contain firearms and ours were stored in racks on the wall. Education was the key in keeping kids and guns safe. As Ayoob points out, you can't childproof your guns, but you can gun proof your kids.

Closet concealment is pretty simple to show, hard to write about. The way I do it, you have to know it's there to access it. Won't work for short folks either. (this just occured to me) If you open the closet door and look up, there is about 15 inches of wall that comes down to form the top of the door. On the opposite side is dead space - can't really use it for anything and it is a dandy place to store a hand gun Mine in the other end of the house contains a washer/dryer, so a 12 ga fits nicely.


August 18, 2002, 01:45 PM
Mike's dead on about becoming "awake." I have never seen or heard better!

August 18, 2002, 02:30 PM
I have an alarm system with all doors AND all windows "bugged". Also a loaded 12 ga. under the bed and a loaded, 9mm Beretta with pre-ban mag. on nightstand.

In addition, I live in a "gated" community with round-the-clock
roving guards.

August 18, 2002, 06:18 PM
Thanks Gizmo99. ;) As you said, your situation is unique to your neck of the woods and it makes complete sense to me now. Thanks for sharing that with us. Very well thought out by the way. Id hate to be the guy attempting to enter your home illegally. :D Most of you guys sound well prepared. :cool: Now, the question..to be truly awake without jumpstarting yourself into a heart attack (Mike, you must be in great shape ;) ).

My suggestions:
#1 Quit smoking.
#2 Excersise
#3 Dry fire excersises everytime you wake up prematurely. Get into the hang of walking through your home, slicing each room on sudden terms. If you have to wiz in the middle of the night, take the long way home and secure each room with your firearm. Of course the problem here is if you bump into a real burgler with only snap-caps in your gun. ;)

August 18, 2002, 07:26 PM
The alarm system, sounding locally, will give you a LITTLE advance notice of an intruder. Better than none at all.

Statistics show that if you allow the system to activate a siren,
most of the time the intruder will leave for easier pickings.

August 20, 2002, 01:59 AM
My place is unique in that I live on the 2nd floor in an apartment, and there is only one entrance; up the stairs.

I have a wireless/weather proof infrared motion sensor installed aimed at the top of the stairs. You have to be stepping across the top step for it to go off.

The motion sensor triggers a lamp that lights the window right next to the stairs / front door. It also sounds a chime in my bedroom.

All this for less then $150 at x10.com. Wireless...convienent. I', very impressed with the multiple security options they have, at relatively low price. (No I'm not an employee :) )

Dave McC
August 20, 2002, 05:14 AM
A coupla suggestions....

Casa McC is a townhouse. Motion detectors hooked up to lights front and back are a good idea.

So's a dog, especially if it's big enough to seem threatening and has some moxie. Even a miniature Poodle beats nothing, tho.

The family room here has the standard sliding glass door opening onto the back yard. Besides that light and Motion detector, charley bars help keep the door secure. Also, there's a deadbolt lock on the door FROM the family room to the rest of the house, locked by whomever goes to bed last.
Finally, a string of sleigh bells forms an audible alarm if the door would be forced.

All floors have an accessible,non obvious firearm or six for repelling boarders. Handguns used by all adults here are the main choice, with an 870 option for Yours Truly.

And a few times a year, we go through a drill or two to keep all of us mindful of plans A and B.


August 20, 2002, 08:59 AM
As far as your own shotgun being used against you, what I do is I keep my shotgun in the closet, the magazine is full, the chamber empty, and trigger lock is on. I hide the key near me.

So if anyone does get to my shotgun they can't use it against me unless they can get the trigger lock off me, unless they hit me with the muzzle or stock of course.


August 20, 2002, 04:21 PM
There are also portable, battery-powered alarms that hang onto a doorknob. You can hang these on whatever doors you may want additional advance warning for.

Burlington Road
August 21, 2002, 11:31 AM
I've seen an ad in more than one catalog, including "SHARPER IMAGE", for a motion detector that sets off a recording of a growling barking large dog. It cost about $110. No dog chow or pooper scooper needed either.

August 21, 2002, 01:41 PM
I would like to suggest "awakening" therapy.
Will require help for a few days.

I had a hootchmate that was very hard to wake.
Obtained a hand cranked magneto.
Chris slept with his bare feet sticking out.
One lead on each big toe...holler "Chris" and crank hard.
Less than a week and a whisper would have him up and ready.


August 21, 2002, 10:20 PM
Sam, Bwaaa haaa haaa haaaa:D


August 24, 2002, 11:59 PM
My wife sleeps lighter than me. So if she hears something, she wakes me up. I have a Glock 22 with two high cap mags in the nightstand and shotgun under the bed. We also have an alarm to wake us up.

Robby from Long Island
August 25, 2002, 07:29 PM
My first line of defense is an ADT alarm system hooked up to every window and door in my house. Believe me, it does wake me up real quick.

From there it's my fully loaded 92FS under the bed but within easy reach if necessary which should insure my ability to get to my Benelli M1 Super 90 tactical.

If that's not enough then I'll probably resort to wishing I had some of the firepower Arnold S. and some of his buddies were using in "Predator"?

Safe shooting.:D