View Full Version : Going down stairs

May 13, 2008, 03:09 PM
So last night, laying in bed I hear a big bang from the basement. Now to find out it was only the cats, and not to jump right away and call the police over the cats how to you go down the stairs while keeping yourself protected from the BG firing at you while he's in a blind spot to you. The stairs in my house are open to the left after a few stairs and closed to the right with a railing on the right side. Any suggestions?

May 13, 2008, 03:32 PM
i have a printer in my living room that calibrates itself frequently. we usually have it turned off to save power so we arent used to hearing it. when it calibrates itself it sounds exactly like a person coming through our blinds(behind the printer). i was getting out of the shower one evening and i hear it across the house. Grabbed my 45 and walked my naked butt out there to see it was just the printer.

another story... i was at home and hear a helicopter circling for about 15 minutes. i hear voices outside so i look. i see cops everywhere. come to find out a guy dodging an arrest for parole violation took refuge in a ladies apartment across the parking lot from me. they were looking for almost an hour before the guy ran. in this case there was a person whose home was invaded and her life threatened by a stranger with intent and ability, 30 cops outside armed with everything from ar15s to ccws, with no clue where to look, and an elapsed time of nearly an hour before the bg decided to run(not found).

the moral of the story is to check for yourself first... call the cops last. why? cops are slow and arent obligated to help you. Im not cop bashing.... but when it gets dirty, the only person who will save you is you...call 911 to help with the aftermath. if its not a bad situation(just paranoia) then you didnt waste anyones time.

just my .02 from texas...the laws about whats acceptable may be different for you.

May 13, 2008, 03:38 PM
I'm just looking for a way to clear a basement without making yourself a target going downstairs. To me you seem doomed going down the stairs

May 13, 2008, 03:41 PM
i have a video at home that might help you. i dont remember the title but ill post when i get home.

Capt. Charlie
May 13, 2008, 04:11 PM
I'm just looking for a way to clear a basement without making yourself a target going downstairs. To me you seem doomed going down the stairs
Whether law enforcement, military, or the average Joe, this is undoubtedly the most dangerous part of clearing a building. Any way you cut it, stairs are a fatal funnel, and I absolutely hate 'em.

The only way I can see to prevent it (on your own property) is to deny access to the basement in the first place. Back when I lived in a house with an actual basement, we put steel bars over the windows and a steel pipe across the door. That was done by screwing two large eye bolts into both sides of the door frame and then running a steel pipe through the eye bolts. Two holes drilled through the pipe, just on the inside of the eye bolts, allowed padlocks to be placed so the bar could not be removed.

If you can't do that, remember that the fatal funnel works both ways ;). Cover the steps and wait on the cops.

May 13, 2008, 04:35 PM
sounds like your basement stairs are set up the exact way mine are. There is a wall to the right, open to the left, after step #2, your feet are exposed to anyone in the basement and even if i crouch down i still need to be about 5 steps down, which i dont like. the only thing i have going for me, is there is only 1 way into the basement, the stairs. there are no windows down there, so someone has to get into the house first in order to get down there. As for how to clear them, id like to see a video as well, as that is always something that has bugged me.

May 13, 2008, 04:59 PM
Firstly this probably would not effect me as my Basement is external, and there is limited access due to to several Steel doors and quality locks...

Secondly the stairs in my house aren't blind spots. This is down to the positioning of the corridors and the open plan layout of the ground floor of my house and the lack of banisters...

The best way to protect your basement is too bolt up all windows, and if you are really paranoid limit the actual size of the windows by means of adding in extra frames making it hard for someone to climb in... And if you are really, really paranoid set up a covert CCTV Camera with a TV link to your bedroom or living room so that one can see what is going down in the basement...

Special Forces, Hostage Rescue Teams and SWAT units use Flash-bang Grenades on the stairs as to confuse the enemy. A Gas mask and head phones would be the ideal counter measure...

I suppose if you were heading down the stairs that would give you the advantage... SWAT Units and the SAS think so anyways...

May 13, 2008, 05:24 PM
There is no safe way to clear stair. Police use destraction devices and shields. Homeowners in the know just do what Capt Charlie said cover and call.

May 13, 2008, 05:52 PM
throw the cat down the stairs. Anyone on the stairs or close by would get a face full of fur and claws, and swear loudly enoughto reveal his position.

Only useful reason to have a cat inside I can think of.:D

May 13, 2008, 08:42 PM
Being a fire fighter I would hate to bar the basement windows due to our "family room" being down there. Guess it's a loose loost situation.

May 13, 2008, 08:58 PM
Send the Rotty down for a little midnight snack! In all seriousness I always take my dog and my .45 with me.

Capt. Charlie
May 13, 2008, 09:02 PM
Guess it's a loose loost situation.
Only if you go down the steps. ;)

Make the fatal funnel work FOR you. Again, call 911, and let HIM come to YOU.

May 13, 2008, 09:44 PM
Or you could slide down the stairs head(and gun) first...ouch...or maybe not. :D I've had to do the basement search too. Not fun.


Deaf Smith
May 13, 2008, 09:48 PM
Every time I hear something downstairs I shout this as I rack my shotgun:

"I'm coming, you hear? I'm coming down these stairs . . . and Hell's coming with me! You hear?! Hell's coming with me!"

Sorry, but Kurt Russell really said it so well in that movie. You can understand why my dog runs and my wife rolls up her eyes and buries her head in the pillows when I say that.

May 13, 2008, 11:18 PM
Our stairs to the lower level would be a real problem for house clearing. The stairs run straight down with a space then a wall at the end. Sort of a 'T' configuration. The family room opens to the right and a common area outside the bath and two bedrooms to the left. When you come to the bottom, you have to look both ways at once with a good chance of getting blind-sided.

May 13, 2008, 11:19 PM
i would just toss a a stinger grenade down in the basement but since you probably dont have access to those you need to think about it a bit.

clearing a house is a technical and learned skill. if your intent on doing this you need to at least learn how and practice before you have to go for real.

i personally would wait and listen. if there was someone in there they will let you know soon enough.

everyone pounds the my castle and ill be damned if someones going to violate mantra, but in this situation with the lay out a bit of quiet listening would be better then the very poor tactical disadvantage your in if you go down the basement. so listen and consider the stair well as your line in the sand. if they start up you stop them.

if you wanted to be proactive you could enclose the stairs on the sides and risers so your feet and body arent in danger if you do decide to go down. you could also put up a few very bright lights that you could flip on. the idea being if an intruder is in a dark basement and you flip on sun lamps they are blind and unprepared and you get a bit of the tactical advantage back.

bottom line that basements are an extremely weak spot in your perimeter and one crooks take advantage of. they need to be secured. you can place bars on the windows that are on hinges and have a lock that is accessible in the house for escape.

May 13, 2008, 11:59 PM
Most effective solution to me is:
Ditch the cats and get a dog.
There's a reason they are used as "sentinels".
Just throw a treat down the stairs and they will let you know if they come across someone.

May 14, 2008, 12:28 AM
+1 Capt Charlie! Why on earth would you want to put yourself in such an obviously vulnerable position by going down the stairs? Sit quietly with weapon ready and call the cavalry. You never know what is going to happen when you lose control of the advantages position. Don't give up that control!

May 14, 2008, 12:33 AM
Make the fatal funnel work FOR you. Again, call 911, and let HIM come to YOU.

thats absolutly right

its a free fire zone and your king of the hill anyone coming up is in a shooting gallery.

May 14, 2008, 12:37 AM
If you are really serious about this get some bright lights that you can turn on from upstairs and get a surveillence camera.

You can buy some very cheap ones now - under $50 that should be good enough for a lighted basement.

Otherwise I would wait it out upstairs listening for more noise.

May 14, 2008, 12:43 AM
Throw a frag grenade followed by a tactical roll in your duct-taped ceramic body armor. If they can dodge your G27 when you have special permission from LEOs then you can always pull the ASP taped to your other calf and commence with the beatdown.:D

Honestly though, I can't think of a practicle way to do this. Maybe place a mirror along the right wall so you can see into the basement from the top of the stairs?

May 14, 2008, 06:28 AM
:So last night, laying in bed I hear a big bang from the basement."

Plenty of LEOs and SD experts recommend NOT trying to clear the house yourself. Grab your family, a cell phone, flashlight, and your PD weapon and get into a barricadible room. Evaluate the noises you hear and call the cops. Anything you have is replaceable. You and your family's lives aren't.

A barricadible room is where you can get a shot off at the perp the instant he tops the stairs or turns a corner without exposing yourself to return fire.

Buy and USE a GOOD alarm/security system. Get GOOD dead bolt door locks Burglars don't like lights, noise, or anything that takes time/effort.

Spade Cooley
May 14, 2008, 06:48 AM
If the B G is downstairs chances are he wilol come upstairs to see what he can steel. Find a tactical spot and wait for him to come to you. You could set security devices like motion sensors near the downstairs entrance which would discourage entry.

If there is someone down there the racking of the shotgun without saying a word should be enough.

May 14, 2008, 10:23 AM

this is the video i mentioned.

May 14, 2008, 10:37 AM
Lights that you can turn on from upstairs and a few well placed curved mirrors like you see on the back of delivery trucks or in the isels of conveniece stores is all you need. Flip on the lights and look at the mirrors to see what's down there.

May 14, 2008, 08:50 PM
+2 or 3 on Capt. I would wait. If there were more noise, call 911. Then wait some more. If no more noise? Now it gets tricky/scary. What kind of noise was it? Was it something I could explain? Was it a noise that sounded like a forced entry? How long should I wait? Wake/gather the kids? More firepower? Wife backup? Get my jeans on? Electronic ear muffs?
...There just doesn't seem to be any guarantees in living.

Tim Burke
May 18, 2008, 02:26 PM
Steps are hard. Some basement steps are open in the back, so a guy under the steps can see the feet of the guy coming down; those are even harder. There are techniques to deal with steps. About the only one I think is any good at all involves a team and a trained K-9.
If the game is rigged, don't play. Use Capt Charley's approach.

May 18, 2008, 04:49 PM
You need to make a quality decision on that stairway:

Do I want to harden the basement so that I can seriously believe no one can get down there without sawing bars, . . . breaking locks, . . . etc.?

Do I want to just take the chance and run pall mall down the stairs with the idea that I might get the jump on them?

Do I want to make it easy for me to get to the basement un-detected and ready if need be for a fight?

If you answered yes to either of the first two, . . . you know what you have to do.

If you answered yes to the last one, . . . get a couple of your strong back (and weak mind) buddies, . . . and build two things: first a new set of concrete steps (they don't creak or give when you step on them), . . . and lay up a 4 inch solid concrete block wall on the open side of your stairs, . . . all the way to the bottom.

The total job if you are handy at all yourself shouldn't cost more than a couple hundred bucks, . . . and will put you all the way to the bottom, safely.

May God bless,

PS: Want to guess who does not have a basement in their house, . . . and for what reason, among others :D:D:D