View Full Version : Tactical Home Protection Questions

August 11, 2008, 09:44 AM
Our master bedroom is on one side of the house, and all other bedrooms are on the other side. I am in the situation that if there is an intruder in the middle of the night, I will be grabbing a handgun and making my way across the house to my kids rooms. (I love a shotgun for home defense, but I don't think it is practical to be dealing with the long gun and sleepy kids).

If I encounter an intruder between me and my kids rooms, I would be shooting in the direction of their rooms. Not a good thing. So my question is, what do you do? I had thought about putting up extra plywood or sheets of steel, or something built into their outer walls. However, this is probably not practical. Has anyone ever done this in their house?

We take a lot of measures to make sure nobody gets in the house in the first place. But you never know.
I know I am not the only one who has this tactical disadvantage. So what do you guys think?

August 11, 2008, 09:52 AM
Very problematic. Can you go outside and around somehow? Can you go under or over?

August 11, 2008, 10:11 AM
Get a GOOD alarm and use it. Train your kids, if old enough, when they hear the alarm, run to daddy's bedroom. Bunker down and call the cops. DON'T try to clear the house if you're not trained in it. If they're not old enough, you and Mom run to their room and bunker down there. Are the bedrooms upstairs or downstairs? What's the layout?

Get GOOD door and window locks. Deadbolts that go through to the 2x4 frame.

You're right, a shotgun with friendlies in the house is not a good idea. Get a large caliber revolver or semi-auto.

What's a GOOD alarm? I like CPI. You can have any number of control panels, all equipped with "panic" buttons. You can have an interior infrared setup(s), and alarms on any number of doors and windows. CPI has a whole house microphone/speaker system. When the alarm goes off, they're listening instantly and can hear pretty much anything that goes on in any room. After about 10 seconds, they'll come on the speaker and ask if everything's ok. They can hear your response from any room. "Intruder, call the police!"

August 11, 2008, 12:41 PM
Just don't over do your protection and make it too difficult to get out in the event of fire. I've seen several persons that died in fire due to burglar bars on windows, etc.


August 11, 2008, 01:09 PM
So you don't believe that Islamofascists want to harm you??

That's good point. You have to weigh one against the other. Solid outside doors can use single cylinder dead bolts. Outside doors with windows present a problem. You MUST use double cylinder deadbolts there. You CAN hang a key close to the door, but out of reach and sight of a invader.

I wouldn't go as far as window bars, unless you live in the middle of Beruit. There is where your alarm shines. It will protect the windows with an instant alarm if broken or opened, and still allow a chair through one for quick egress in case of fire.

August 11, 2008, 01:40 PM
I have taken out the sheetrock on the partition wall and put in solid 2x4s there (that whole wall is the back of their closets, so any electrical didnt need to be rerouted, but in my opinion its well worth it for their safety) and resheetrocked it. It cost a bit to do, but in my mind, it is worth it. Plus the sound proofing was an added bonus. It might not stop whatever is slung, but it will sure slow it down. It sounds like your situation is similar to mine, with the kids rooms across the house from my room. The kids do know that if they do hear the dog going nuts, to get down as low as they can, preferably under the bed and dont come out until they see me or the cops. And if they do hear gunfire, dont move, at all, until the above actions are performed. But i have lighting stratigicly placed in my home as to see shadows cast on certain walls, that and I have also mapped out my shooting lanes, if that scenario ever does come into play.

I also have a very noisy, big dog, and the tiniest bump in the night sets her off. Thankfully she doesnt go nuts until she hears something going on with our home. But our neighborhood is full of dogs, and there have been nights when the neighbor's dogs have gone nuts and I have been ready with pistol in hand and checked out the windows. Mostly it has been people coming home late at night, and once it was a group of kids playing in the alleyway, at 0400. That night they got a very rude awakening, (mostly because I did) and asked them that they needed to get out of the alleyway because someone might think that they were up to no good. One of them popped off that it was a free country until I asked them their ages and had cell phone in hand and started calling the cops. Curfew around here is 2300-0630 for anyone under the age of 17. Never seen that many kids take off so quick. But I did recognize a couple of the kids from when they tried to break into the house behind us, a house that I just recently moved out of, and that really prompted my call to the cops.

I hope this helps a little bit...


August 11, 2008, 02:39 PM
IMO best alarm system is a good dog. Sounds old fashoned but it works. Got a little Pomeranian and a German Shepard. Nothing goes bump in the night that doesn`t go un-noticed. Don`t know if you can but on kids walls of their bedroom ,at entry wall,you could put their dresser T111 plywood installed on same wall may be a good choice.

August 11, 2008, 02:48 PM
Silly as this sounds, a book shelf (full of books) between them and the wall may help in slowing down a bullet even further...

Shawn Dodson
August 12, 2008, 10:50 AM
Ahh, the Florida split bedroom floorplan.

If you're out in the open when you encounter Mr. badguy, move fast, with a purpose, and as laterally to the danger as your furnishings allow, to minimize your exposure. Move to a position where your kid's bedrooms are no longer directly behind the threat. Don't use suppression fire in attempt to get the bad guy to duck because you're defeating the entire puspose of what you're trying to do. Just move directly to your fighting position and then fire when you get there. (Your offline movement may cause confusion as the bad guy trys to figure out what you're doing - but don't count on it.)

If you cannot move to a fighting position, take a knee (kneeling position), preferably behind cover/concealment to change the angle of your trajectory so bullets you fire go overhead.

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2008, 11:13 AM
1) Fence, at least 8ft preferably with touch sensors
1a)Motion Lights in the yard
2) At least 1 large dog outdoors at all times
3) At least 1 small dog indoors at all times
4) Super Good Alarm System
5) High Power Handgun

August 12, 2008, 11:15 AM
Creature, that idea isn't silly at all, it is by far the most cost effective solution to the penetration problem. It might also encourage the family, especially the kids to read. :D

I can suggest some great books, by Lott, Roosevelt, Kipling, C.S. Lewis, etc. to stock your nascent home library with.

August 12, 2008, 12:24 PM
5) High Power Handgun

You forgot #6 peetza...the willingness to use it in cold blood. If you can't do that, don't pick it up.

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2008, 12:26 PM
You forgot #6 peetza...the willingness to use it in cold blood. If you can't do that, don't pick it up.

I thought that was assumed:D

I can suggest some great books, by Lott, Roosevelt, Kipling, C.S. Lewis, etc. to stock your nascent home library with.

Yes, make sure to only put books no one will read in the bullet stopping library.;)

August 12, 2008, 01:08 PM
Good point, but, since those books will be in view, I think they'd be better. Also, those authors would all be happy if a work of theirs helped save a life.

The books I wouldn't mind destroying aren't works I'd want anyone to see. Besides, hopefully, you won't be sending too many rounds downrange.

August 12, 2008, 03:58 PM
Fortify doors (to stop the kick in and rush attacks aka home invasions)
Dog if possible our little pain in the butt can hear me coming from up the road
Have a plan

August 12, 2008, 05:46 PM
Along with all the dogs,guns and alarms add a couple of night vision cameras from wally world to everything you have.I bought 3 packs at 78.96 a piece and it's the best money i've spent too.No one comes in or out with out my wife and i seeing them.So far in the last 7 months i have been able to catch two people who broke in to both our cars,one even went to jail for it too.My inside cameras sees down at at angle and down the hall to the steps leading up stairs to the kids room and my other indoor camera is in the same position facing down and into the kitchen at the back door.I can see any view from any camera on any tv in the house.I know this sounds like i'm nuts but How else am i going to see every bump in the night.:cool:

Superhouse 15
August 12, 2008, 05:49 PM
I have ordered "bomb blankets" for a homeowner to install in his walls in a split-plan. I have myself built in a couple of large bookshelves in my house. I have a gun safe positioned for cover, as well as a solid heavy timber bedframe. My locks, heavy door, and 4 legged alarm system are in place, and a baby monitor makes a great whole-house system, for a fraction of the cost of a "tactical system" I also have a set of Tactical Balls (yes, really) to help me clear some of the open areas of my house as I cross to the boy's room. A thread on the balls here:
I'm also working on controlling all the house lights from my bedroom. And also as a firefighter, be careful what you put in place, and remember you'll need a smoke detector more often than a burglar alarm. Beware of security bars and get some "Tot Finder" stickers, too.

And as for the shotgun, it's hard to move a kid with a two-hand gun, but (and please lets not open old wounds about it) birdshot wont penetrate much drywall, much less improved walls or furnishings. An ounce or so of #6 or #4to someone's face or crotch will change the direction of the fight.
Reference here:
Birdshot is about the only thing I could shoot and miss with in my house that would not end up in my neighbor's kitchen.

August 12, 2008, 05:49 PM
Please elaborate on those cameras...I have not seen any night-vision CCTV cameras at my Wally World. I am very interested in getting a set.

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2008, 06:01 PM
Please elaborate on those cameras...I have not seen any night-vision CCTV cameras at my Wally World. I am very interested in getting a set.


August 12, 2008, 06:15 PM
The system is made by astak and you will find them in the photo department.The cameras themselves are 2.4 GHz nightvision wireless cameras with audio.Each set comes with 2 cameras and a receiver or you can buy the first set and add cameras to the one receiver.I went ahead and bought 3 sets so i would have a receiver hooked to every tv in the house.These cameras are good enough to see a person in the dark at about 50 feet away.

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2008, 06:29 PM


August 12, 2008, 06:34 PM
that one must have replaced my model but yea thats about the same thing and alittle more expencive too but still worth it.here is the model i have CM-906D2

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2008, 06:57 PM
Yikes! That ones even worse...


August 12, 2008, 09:31 PM
I agree yikes is right.I bought mine way cheaper in the store but that was almost 8 months ago too,sorry.But on a good note if you buy the first set then you buy individual cameras after that,as long as they are 2.4 GHz.How many of us hate looking through peepholes or just have a big piece of glass for a front door.Now if i hear a knock on the door late at night i'll be able to see them from their knees up and if they are holding a weapon or not before i even get out of bed.How many of ya'll would like to know if it's the inlaws so you didn't have to answer the door.It's even gotten me out of some religious disccusions more than a few times.As i have said in past posts,i want to see whats on the other side of the door before i shoot.

August 12, 2008, 09:58 PM
There are some good replies already, here is a little project I thought of for my own situation.


Not to expensive, can be built where needed and could be finished to look at least OK if exposed.


August 13, 2008, 07:47 AM
If I read your write up correctly, you only had two layers of sheet metal between the plywood? Could you have added a third layer of metal between the third and fourth sheet of plywood? I ask because I am wondering how a third layer of metal would have improved the performance...

Anyway, a very excellent experiment...and something I shall definitely ponder as I prepare for my next home. Thank you very much for posting that.

August 13, 2008, 04:36 PM
Yes, there were only two layers of sheet metal, 16ga welding metal, between the layers of plywood. The original "design" only called for three layers of plywood but due to the form I bought once cut there were four layers of plywood so i just tacked the extra plywood on the back of the prototype. There are many variations on this idea that could be explored depending on cost and weight goals. I was surprised just how effective the design turned out to be. It would have been nice if I had something larger than the 12ga or 9mm to test with that day since none of the test calibers penetrated all the way.


August 13, 2008, 04:53 PM
Man there are some awesome suggestions here. I am pretty confident about my home setup with the dog, alarms, locks etc... I am more worried about if someone gets in, and I have to shoot. I really like the suggestions about the cameras though and am going to look into those. In fact, I'm going to look into several of the suggestions you guys have had. The bookshelves are a great idea, as well as reinforcing the walls. Glad I am not the only one who has thought about this.

Brian Pfleuger
August 13, 2008, 05:17 PM
Being able to control ALL the lights in the house from the bedroom would be GREAT. I had never considered such a thing. Pretty hard to rewire after the fact but when I build a new place that will be on the list.

August 13, 2008, 05:26 PM
Being able to control ALL the lights in the house from the bedroom would be GREAT. I had never considered such a thing. Pretty hard to rewire after the fact but when I build a new place that will be on the list.

go all the way with "smart-house" technology...which has come a looooong way in ten past few years.

Brian Pfleuger
August 13, 2008, 05:51 PM
go all the way with "smart-house" technology...which has come a looooong way in ten past few years.

Barricade yourself, call 911 and freak out the BG with strobe lights and techno-music whilst you chide him for being scum using a booming, god-like voice over your house-wide PA system.:D

August 13, 2008, 07:28 PM
Get a GOOD alarm and use it. Train your kids, if old enough, when they hear the alarm, run to daddy's bedroom

I would not count on kids, even teenagers waking consistantly to an alarm. A few months ago a fireman was telling me about kids sleeping through fire alarms and how they are now coming out with smoke detectors that record a parents voice yelling at their kids to wake up. He said these new detectors were much more efffective.

I tested this one night with my younger kids and 13 year old nephew. Neither the smoke alarm or security alarm woke them up...just something to consider.

August 13, 2008, 08:28 PM
Here is something else that you can get for less than 50.00 dollars that will allow you to hear sounds around the house.Most of us have had or currently use baby monitors.If they are not in use in the babies room then place them where you might think they will do the most good,near a front door or window that is exposed.I still have mine and use them,one stays in the boys room and the other in the living room.Hey if nothin else you will know if your kids are sneakin out or not.:eek:

August 14, 2008, 09:35 PM
Simplest way to protect your family-

1) Outside motion lights- some badguys are dumb enough to think you turned on the lights because heard them!

2) Simple noisy house alarm.

3) Get a dog- if you only do one thing- this is it! Badguys HATE dogs! (and dogs hate strange noises- woof!)

4) Teach your kids what to do.

5) Practice with your kids.

6) Practice with your firearm. Don't rely on something complicated. Keep it simple so you will know what to do when things get crazy.

August 15, 2008, 12:29 AM
What about just loading your handgun with frangibles?

August 18, 2008, 06:03 PM
Hey guys,

Great topic!! If you are a gun owner and have not thought about this type of thing, then SHAME ON YOU. Here are a some things I teach clients that attend my classes as well as how we handle the situation at home. Just to give a little information on our layout at home, my girlfriends son's room is directly across the hall from ours. This presents a similar situation as to what the original poster was asking about.

1. HAVE A PLAN!! and ensure that all members of the house understand the plan.

2. have a cell phone, and preferably your handgun, ON YOUR PERSON or within easy reach at all times. Phone lines have been known to get cut prior to home invasions.

3. Install an alarm with an audible siren that will still sound if the phone lines are disabled. Even if it doesn't notify a security company or the local police, it will make noise that could end the invasion on the spot. Alarms also have a tendency to wake up neighbors and draw attention.

4. Create a code word or phrase that will communicate to all members of the household that "THE PLAN" is in effect. We use "INTRUDER ALERT!"...very original, don't you think.

5. DO NOT attempt to "clear" your house unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to insure the safety of an occupant. Clearing a house with a trained team of SWAT officers is a difficult and dangerous task, do not try it own your own!!!

6. Call 911 and STAY ON THE PHONE with the operator until officers arrive. When they do arrive, follow ALL instructions given. Remember, they do not know you and are coming into a potentially dangerous environment.

As for how we deal with the physical problem of the layout of our house. find a place in the room that puts as many barriers between the entry point and the person occupying the room. This position should also not be in a potential "lane of fire" if possible. Instruct the occupant of that room to go to this point and get as low and as small as possible. In Nick's (girlfriend's son) room, this point is the far back corner of his room. It is away from the door, and not in line with a shot fired from our defensive position in the master bedroom through the door. And our defensive position is arranged such that a shot fired from an aggressor trying to gain access to our bedroom would be fired 180 degrees from Nick's general location. While this does not offer armor like protection, it is easily accomplished with planning, and costs nothing.

Other things we have done include the installation of a wireless, battery powered doorbell in Nick's room, with the button located in the master bedroom. This serves as an alarm should an intrusion occur while we are sleeping. We also own the biggest baby of a Rottweiler you have ever seen. He is useless as far as confronting an intruder, but he does bark at things that go bump in the night. This is my preferred type of dog. My personal opinion is that a dog should be friendly to people, including strangers, as this will allow it to interact with people without the fear of someone getting bit and then you getting sued. Most dogs, even those that are not trained for protection, are very protective of "their people".

Oh, almost forgot to mention...Both my girlfriend and I are firearms instructors and Nick has been well trained and is armed as well. before you think I would encourage someone to arm a child, Nick is old enough to purchase his own handgun and has chosen a Kimber Pro Carry.


August 18, 2008, 06:25 PM
Try CPTED (http://www.w0ipl.net/cpted.htm). It works.

Brian Pfleuger
August 18, 2008, 06:26 PM
3. Install an alarm with an audible siren that will still sound if the phone lines are disabled. Even if it doesn't notify a security company or the local police, it will make noise that could end the invasion on the spot. Alarms also have a tendency to wake up neighbors and draw attention.

Make a note too: Listen to the sound of the alarm system before you have it installed. There's a couple out there that make some weird "Weeep Weeep" sound. It's not enough to scare a 20 year old cat. You want LOUD. There really is no too loud. You WANT the neighbors looking out the window going "What on earth is that noise?!" It's also good (depending on location) to have a siren on the inside AND the outside. I have also seen people hook strobe lights to the alarm. That has GOT to be a surprise.

August 18, 2008, 07:17 PM
A plan and practice is essential. So are "safe rooms". Solid wood doors, deadbolts, strong hinges, cover, cellphones and 12 gauge shotguns. I travel extensively, my wife is home alone. We have the best security system money can buy and it is being upgraded next week. She is heavily armed in the bedroom and skilled but when the alarm goes off regardless of where she is in the house she has a "safe room" to (hopefully) get to. She is not to sweep the house. That is what 911 and the panic buttons are for when I am not home. When I am home some BG will wish he never made that decision. When my kids are visiting they know the drill as as well.