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Old May 9, 2016, 08:39 PM   #1
Fade2Grey
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Help me develop a home defense plan?

Hey folks, this is my first post. I am new to posting on forums. I have tried to read every rule I could find and hopefully I am asking my question the right way, in the right section and providing the right info to get helpful feedback. Please feel free to inform me if I have failed at doing any of that. This is a great site for learning and fellowship, in which I only wish to positively contribute. Thank you, in advance.

________

I am wanting to develop a home defense plan. Ideally, I would like the plan to address the majority of security risks I may have to one day face. I have recently acquired more responsibility in my life by way of a fiance and her two daughters 2 and 7 years old. I am proud to welcome the responsibility, however, I also realize I have a lot to learn about my duties to them. I am hoping the discussion started here can help supplement my education. Along with moral duties, I understand that I have acquired legal responsibilities as well. Having said that, I want to state, and remind anyone that this is only a discussion and not a substitute for legal advice, professional training, or ones own due diligence required to develop a home defense plan.

I am almost 30, a U.S. Army Infantry Veteran and a gunsmith. The most important thing that experience has taught me, is that I have a lot to learn. I am no expert in any field and continuously find aspects of my life that can be improved upon. My most recent realization has come from attending a few court hearings with my fiance. It has opened my eyes to my own ignorance of the intricacies of the judicial system.

My fiances ex was physically abusive to her and he adds concern regarding our safety. I also understand that violent crimes are committed often and consider it necessary to safeguard myself and those I can against such crimes.

I currently live in a rented single wide mobile home in a semi rural area of North Carolina. I have neighbors houses on three sides, within 50 meters. The only current layers of security I have set up are locks and firearms. I feel this is grossly inadequate. One day I hope to be able to add a dog and security cameras, ultimately moving to a more secure and permanent residence.

Right now I can't afford professional training, but, I will be able to one day and plan to acquire as much as possible. Until then, I will have to work with what I have.

Before acquiring 3 beautiful women in my home, I had a bit more freedom as to where I left firearms, and in what condition they were left. I humbly admit I also had a cavalier attitude towards my personal security. Now, I need to take home security much more seriously.

My home being a trailer has less than ideal security. Weak entry points, thin walls, close proximity neighbors, kids in other rooms that need to be accounted for and protected, a fiance with very little firearm knowledge, lots of blind spots inside and out, have all got me thinking. I need to be as prepared as possible to overcome such disadvantages.

How would you begin to plan your home defense? What scenarios would you most likely encounter and therefore prepare for? What additional measures of security would you employ and by what priority would you compare them? What choice of firearm and projectile would you use for lethal force? How would you incorporate my fiance and her children into the plan? These are just a few questions I am looking to answer.

I will try to include a layout of my house with this post, to give a better idea of what I have to work with. My home has two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. There is a front door and a back door on opposite ends of the trailer. On one end is my bedroom, on the other is the kids room. The front door is on the end with the kids room, and on the side of the house that their door, bunk bed, my bed and my door are on. From my bedroom door I can see the majority of the inside of my house, with half of my living room and kitchen being a blind spot. I am no artist, please let me know if the drawing needs further explanation.



Being a trailer, penetrating walls with a firearms projectile is a big concern for me. Having the girls bunk bed directly behind their door and near the front door, is another. Ideally, I would not want to discharge a firearm in that direction at all, for fear of risking a projectile harming the children. If whatever scenario dictates I need to take a shot in that direction, how best can I prepare for such? If the scenario dictates I move to or retrieve the kids from their room, how best can I prepare for such?

What other information can I provide for discussion on how to develop a home defense plan?

It is required by law I keep firearms locked up inside the house. I understand why. I could not live with myself if my complacency or lack of firearm safety were to result in the injury or death of anyone. How would you keep your home defense firearm(s) secured?

I am 6'0 185lbs, 70% disabled veteran, on a very tight budget. My door kicking days and early morning runs are long since past, however, I am not immobile nor too physically weak for it to be a consideration in my plan. I do have substantial hearing loss and require the use of hearing aides. How would this affect your plan?

I currently own a reliable 12 gauge pump action shotgun with a vent rib 28" modified choke barrel with a 4+1 capacity of 2 3/4" shells (Winchester Ranger 120) and a 9mm striker fired polymer pistol with a few magazines with a capacity of 15 rounds (H&K VP9). I have several bright handheld flashlights as well as weapon mounted lights for the pistol.

I have a cellphone that gets great service inside my home that I keep charged with spare batteries.

I made it a point to meet my neighbors. They all know my occupation and I am on friendly terms with them. I do not have their phone numbers nor do they have mine.

I keep my home, outside and in, well maintained. I have no trespassing signs prominently displayed at all 4 corners of my property lines. I have a very bright HID lightpole similar to a streetlight in my backyard, however, do not have any illumination in the front.

I have two window unit air conditioners. These are necessary to leave in place in the Summer. They are security considerations, though.

North Carolina has a variant of the castle doctrine. I am not prohibited from possessing firearms.
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Old May 9, 2016, 10:54 PM   #2
g.willikers
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In your situation, the use of firearms would have to be a very last resort.
There's really nothing to stop an errant round.
Alarms on the doors and windows and door blocks would slow an intruder, giving you time to decide what to do.
It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just stuff from the local hardware store.
Something to give you an edge and some peace of mind, especially at night.
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Old May 10, 2016, 12:05 AM   #3
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I like the motion detecting lights over the doors. Helps me too coming home after dark and they are not very expensive.
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Old May 10, 2016, 01:44 AM   #4
Sequins
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I think the biggest problem you have is a firing line- even without the kids you have neighbors and they migut have kids too...

I'd say you're going to have an impossible time taking a shot in your position. Any miss hits you or another family. I'd consider picking up a known underpenetrating handgun round like the .32 and getting JHP if you can find any so you can take a shot.

Seriously, in your circumstances any shot that doesn't kill the badguy dead right there is going to go through a wall and hit someones loved one.
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Old May 10, 2016, 10:20 AM   #5
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Two things come to mind.

You have to keep the guns where kids cant get to them.

The gun has to be instantly available to you and wife

Two accomplish this, all guns have to be locked up EXCEPT FOR TWO.

These two have to be on your and your wife's person.

Kids explore, my greatest fear is one of my grandkids, or their friends getting a hold of one of my guns, so they are locked up in one of my safes.

I do know in home invasions, it takes about 3-5 seconds to kick in a LOCKED door.

It takes a lot longer then that to get off the couch, and fetch your gun from the gun safe.

Find a gun and method of carry that is comfortable enough to carry on your person 24/7,

Its going to be rather difficult for a small child to get a gun away from their parents without the parent knowing.

Each person is different. My method may not work for everyone but its an example. I pocket carry. Again all my guns except the one I carry is locked up. When I go to bed my pants are hanging on the bed post, and one of my grandkids would have to crawl over me to get it. I'm a pretty light sleeper.


When I was in LE, before we had dogs, we did a lot of building searches. We studied buildings to learn the best and safest way to search buildings.

Often we were called on to go to people houses and help them develop a search plan, or as you mentioned, a DEFENSE plan where one might have to get to a different part of the house to protect family members.

One cant look at your sketch and properly work with you. What did jump out at me right off the bat was a large protective dog sleeping at the door of your kids bedroom, but that isn't always possible.

What I recommend is contact your local Police or Sheriffs department to see if they would come to your home, and help you develop a plan that works for you.
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Old May 10, 2016, 11:26 AM   #6
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I agree with craigwy that having your pistol on you is the only way of ensuring immediate access, and that is my recommendation. A well disciplined dog big enough to be a serious threat is another. Motion sensor lights and alarms are inexpensive and another good idea. I also think talking to local law enforcement regarding your concerns may be a good idea, but some will simply tell you to call 911 and let them handle it. Bringing them into the conversation could be either good or bad. Only you can make that call. I wish you and your family well.
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Old May 10, 2016, 03:57 PM   #7
briandg
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I'm not sure if this has been said, but his re goes.

Put solar battery motion lights covering all possible areaers. You want to see them.

Teach the kids to drop to the floor, and you aim high. Use bullets with a low factor of hanging together on impact.

Taser, rubber shotgun rounds, other useful less than lethal rounds. NO GASSES.

Lay a few sheets of very heavy plywood up in front of their walls, or a stack m if books in bookcases.

Flashlights. Lots of them. A couple per room.

Change the locks and add chains and better locks all around.

Don't use a .44magnum or other super powered ultra penetrating pinch j

Put alarms on your vehicle's. Find a portable alarm found front door.

It should be obvious to have several fire extinguishers, and if you plan on storing dangerous stuff, get a small plastic storage unit.

THANKS FOR YOUR MILITARY SERVICE, WHICH APPARENTLY COST YOU A LOT.
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Old May 10, 2016, 05:18 PM   #8
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Welcome to TFL and congratulations on your new family.




I like the idea of motion detector lights and a family dog. I might move the kids bed away from the bedroom door and put a bookshelf full of books on the other side of the wall from the bed in the living room. The whole family benefits from having books that are read in the house and they can stop bullets in an emergency. You can use a pistol with a hand held light but it's difficult to use a long gun in the dark without a mounted light. For me, having kids in the house means all guns are locked up or under your direct control at all times. Obviously, using a firearm is a last resort in the most serious emergency.
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Old May 10, 2016, 05:27 PM   #9
g.willikers
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How many books are needed to stop bullets:
http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-...books-o-truth/
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Old May 10, 2016, 06:04 PM   #10
2damnold4this
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As g wiliker's link shows, books can stop bullets but remember that bookshelves often have gaps, so any shot towards them and the girls could penetrate.
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Old May 10, 2016, 07:23 PM   #11
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Thank you for the helpful ideas so far.

I will be putting up a few solar powered motion lights, once funds become available. That's a great idea.

I can't change the locks or make any permanent changes to the home; I rent.

I can't have pets in this rental.

Their bed only fits one way in their room. (I apologize, the sketch isn't to scale.)

I have seen the magnet activated alarms for windows and doors. They aren't expensive and may be a deterrent or early warning. Good idea.

I carry my pistol and two spare magazines on me anytime I'm out of bed or the shower. I bought a cheap sentrysafe keypad entry safe. When I got it home the keypad didn't work and I had thrown away the receipt. It does have a keyed entry option, its just slower than I'd like. The shotgun is kept disassembled and with a cable lock through the receiver. I have seen the 2 year old work a VCR, I will not take chances with unsecured firearms. Perhaps one day I can get a faster safe for the bumps in the night. My fiance is not yet ready to carry a firearm.

I have several flashlights throughout the house and one attached to my pistol. I have not dedicated the shotgun to HD, so I have not mounted a light to it. With such tight spaces, and possibly needing to carry children, I have opted to use my pistol as my primary HD weapon so far. I got a good deal on Critical Defense ammo, and load that. I have tossed around the idea of light .223 loads for HD, but I believe no matter what I use, penetrating into the girls room will be a concern. Thus, I can't yet justify the expense of another firearm when my pistol, although perhaps not ideal, is capable. I think the money might be better off going to flood lights, magnet alarms, etc. Thoughts?

Living in a small rural town in NC, I have met with several sheriffs dept employees at the gunshop I work at and don't believe they would have much to offer. I also don't think they have the manpower to facilitate such an education. Think Mayberry. That isn't intended to be disrespectful. I consider it a compliment.

I can't yet teach one to stop biting the oldest, much less drop to the floor reliably during danger. Perhaps one day, I can incorporate that good idea. The oldest already knows her duties during a fire drill, and is proud to help. It won't be long before we can practice a bad guy drill. Any flying insect makes the oldest cry, I will have to approach the subject gently. I want her to be prepared, not go to school wearing a tinfoil hat. How have y'all approached such with your kids?

We have a landline in the living room. Its a big red phone for emergencies only. We have practiced talking to 911 by pretending to be them on the other line, and reinforced the oldests knowledge that the 911 operator is a good guy and can send superheros to help, but only in a really bad emergency when me or their mom can't get to the phone. She seemed to understand, and she leaves it alone.

The bookcase idea can help, if I can find a way to position it. I like national geographic. Its no AR500 lined walls, but, that's a helpful compromise that will certainly be easier to convince the fiance of, rather than screwing sheets of plywood up around the house.

Again, thank you for the ideas, I look forward to more.

As for my service, it was a privilege I'd enjoy doing over, at any cost. Thank you for your support.
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Old May 10, 2016, 07:23 PM   #12
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If it were me a young belgian malinois puppy would be a great addition to the family.
Stonnie Dennis has a great series on YouTube on training malinois puppies.
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Old May 11, 2016, 09:25 AM   #13
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I will again say that this has probably been said, but you must remember absolutely, that your goal is to incapacitate, and that you must not push the limits of safety in search of an absolute kill. You are not in an area that is safe from collateral damage, even your kids may be behind the target. Some people have been known to use a shotgun slug for defensive purposes, and let's be serious, even after killing a person, it still leaves enough energy to kill another one after punching through two walls. They are even capable of dropping a grizzly bear.

I recommend using a taser, a non lethal weapon. A nine could be your backup, and of course, you should use expanding bullets to minimize exits from the body, even with the risk of more injurious wounds to bystanders, but THAT IS YOUR DECISION.

Number two buckshot is being recommended by some people. If you chose to, in your very risky situation, maybe magnum loads of rubber shot would be a good idea with two or three, followed by magnum number two, and a pistol backup if possible.

You are in a seriously difficult situation and I really respect your decisions.
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Old May 11, 2016, 09:28 AM   #14
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Btw, one of the easiest ways of keeping the guns out of the kid's hands would be to put a very solid lock on the bedroom door, and keep it locked at every moment, without fail, unless you are walking through it.
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Old May 11, 2016, 09:51 AM   #15
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Lights, alarms, and non-lethal force look to be your best options. I lived in a mobile home for several years in my younger days, and was a partner in one for a vacation home later on. I know how flimsy the walls are, and the layout of the vacation home was very similar to yours. With that layout, if an intruder makes it inside, there are very few good lines of fire with the kids in their room. If you are coming out of your bedroom at night you will have no line of fire.

Lighting, cutting back bushes, and loud alarms can really discourage bad actors, though. Few want to be confronted in any way.
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Old May 11, 2016, 11:13 AM   #16
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I really want to discourage buying a dog, unless you really want it. Getting a big one as an attack dog is a bad idea, unless you already want the big one. Th a dachshund is widely believed to be among the most aggressive dogs out there.

Getting a big "guard dog" and chaining it up in the yard is a sin. It's also quite misdemeanor in some places.if all its going to be is an alarm system, it's cheaper to set up an electric one. Frankly, a parrot makes a great alarm dog.
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Old May 11, 2016, 11:45 AM   #17
Lohman446
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That wall to the kid's room is relatively short and as such relatively re enforceable. I would set the kid's room up as a "panic room" by solidifying the wall and the door way to it. This should help prevent pass-through shots from entering it. This also means that in the event of a "lock down" the movement is by you and your wife into their room. I personally prefer the idea of the adults moving to the children more than the children moving to the adults.

Ideally you have two way communication and set up both rooms as defensible positions. That being said I cannot fathom locking down myself without my children so this ideal situation is scrapped.
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Old May 11, 2016, 02:20 PM   #18
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Good for you for coaching the kids to call 911. It might be worth finding a few youtube videos where they can listen to the caller and 911 operator to know what to expect. The first few times I called I was a little rough, but after a few passes I got better. The last time I had to call the cops actually arrested the prowler on the way to my house to take the report- it was about 90 seconds from call to traffic stop. He was already about two miles away and the operator had to cut me off from giving his description. She was like "Naaah, hold on, yeah, they got him".

It might also be a good idea to coach them on being able to give a good physical description of someone.

Your job is to be aware of your surroundings and manage the threat. A move to a better neighborhood is likely in your future plans, right?

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Old May 11, 2016, 02:30 PM   #19
boatdoc173
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for some inexpensive security-- there are wireless alarm systems out there. I have seen some ads on tv. They look affordable

also safety film on windows

and solar powered motion detecting lights outside--we bought some on amazon for 15 dollars a piece. they work fine


good luck with the new family. They are lucky to have you there for them. thanks for your service
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Old May 11, 2016, 06:39 PM   #20
Fade2Grey
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Lots of good points made.

Unfortunately I can't have pets in this rental. I've always been a German Shepherd owner, but, with all the poor breeding practices out there, hip problems are more and more prevalent. A malinois is a great alternative that I've had my eye on for some time now. I would ultimately like to have a pair (so they dont get lonely when Im gone), inside the house. The benefits of a smart dog are rarely brought to ther full potential. In my mind the type of neglect I have seen some subjected to is inexcusable. I won't get a dog until I'm ready to spend the significant amount of effort and time they require.

Hopefully, when I can afford to, we can move to a place of our very own with a higher security potential. More room for the kids to romp around would be nice, too. We have a decent sized front yard and a 40 acre wood lined soybean field for a backyard. But, yes, I'm working hard to give them something better. In the meantime, I'll have to make the best of it, for them.

I agree lethal force is a last resort in a multi layered security system. Deterrence, Prevention, locating, identifying, detecting, isolating, observation, proving my innocence and understanding my rights, abilities and limitations are all layers that need to be addressed.

I can't afford it, but obtaining legal advice on such matters as well as having an attorney on retainer would be a nice step. Its no substitute, but I am trying to read case history, current local, state, and federal statute. Using lethal force, of course, isn't the end of the threat or the heartache. With great responsibility comes great liability.

I own a few cans of sabre red pepper spray, a few expanding batons, and some flex cuffs from my old night job working security. I'd have to freshen up on the legalities of justifiable less lethal force use. Moreover, there are some intricacies to the laws surrounding cuffing/restraining/arresting an intruder that I would have to become more familiar with before I would be comfortable employing such tactics. Being judged by 12 instead of carried by 6 is one thing, but leaving 3 girls alone to fend for themselves because I made a legal mistake that could have been prevented with a little education would not be responsible of me.

That's a good idea about locking the bedroom door. We keep it closed and the kids aren't welcome in there as it is. But, that would add another layer of firearm safety that wouldnt slow us down to get to a gun, since if we are sleeping we are already inside. I may incorporate that, thank you for the idea.

We have a nice baby monitor, with battery backup, in their room. They're old enough to yell for us, but with my shoddy hearing, I like the peace of mind it provides. I can hear the front door open with it.

Could you please elaborate on your two way comms idea? Ideally, how would you set it up, what benefit would it provide, what compromise, in what situation do you see it being needed? Communication, as I was taught years ago, is the highest casualty producing weapon on the battlefield. So, I'm always for more comms and better Intel. Just curious what you intended?

I think I'd agree my only solution would be to move to the children, with the fiance. Securing the house as I go, and if I make it, locking the 4 of us inside their room and wait for the cops. A bookcase of laminated magazine paper would be helpful on that short wall, some sort of door stop for all three doors, loud alarms and lots of light. Stuff the kids and fiance in their closet and stand ready with a firearm. A landline in their room could be beneficial, then. Their window is large and faces our driveway. Our fire escape plan is very similar, so it would allow ease of training the girls.

Anyone know of a good source to learn how to build effective door stops. Ideally without making noticeably permanent changes to the house? I'm no carpenter, and funds are tight, but I do have access to my works machine shop and can hold my own on a lathe and mill.

I'll check out amazon for the $15 solar motion lights. Thanks for the source. Any special considerations on how to lay them out? Light up any entrances, the driveway, any walkways, of course. But, anything I'm not thinking of?

As for situational awareness. This winter I noticed my insulation was less than ideal. To negate some energy costs, I lined the windows with an opaque plastic sheeting. It helped, but, I can't see out my windows. That bugs the paranoid side of me, and to boot, I've got a fine view towards my backyard I'd like to enjoy. It was purchased at the dollar store, and saved me lots on energy bills. I'll have to check into the price of security film and its insulation qualities. Regardless, I'll need to be able to see out my windows for security, somehow. Pricing cameras recently, they are beyond my current budget capabilities, although high on the wish list.

Thank you, again, for taking the time out of your lives to help me protect mine. Words cannot express my gratitude.
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Old May 11, 2016, 08:09 PM   #21
johnwilliamson062
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Your situation sucks.
You are going to have to cross to the doorway to their room and defend from there.

The worst and best advice you'll ever receive:
Get low, shoot high.
Like prone low, hat off high.

Or porcelain tile the wall to their bedroom and hope for the best. Porcelain tiles are often on sale very cheap.
Good luck enforcing the underlying structure of that interior wall. It can almost certainly be kicked in by a 12 year old.

Switch bedrooms. Then you just have to interdict the threat as it passes by your position, not run out to cut it off.

Trap door escapes?

That drawing isn't bad. Look for training and a job working on technical drawings.
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Old May 12, 2016, 12:36 AM   #22
raimius
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Deter, Detect, Defeat...

Deter:
I'll add on to the "get lights" pile. Simply lighting up the exterior is often enough to make criminals move on. Nobody likes being seen trying to break in!
Motion activated can be good, too.
Further, using plants/gravel strategically can make it more difficult to sneak up on the building.

Detect:
(The above serves dual purpose!)
You can get the magnetic door/window alarms for reasonably cheap. The only problem with the window ones is they usually only go off if the frame moves. Breaking the glass doesn't necessarily trip the alarm.
Tough plastic sheeting for windows makes it harder to get through them.

Defeat:
This is a tough one, since you do not have a "safe" backstop from your bedroom door. You may want to consider less-lethal options, like a tazer. In this case, your range should be relatively short, so it may work! Other options would be to harden the kid's room and use under-penetrating projectiles. Small bird-shot would likely not penetrate past two layers of wall. (You could mount some thick plywood against that wall, and add a book case inside the kid's room.) Fortunately/unfortunately, birdshot is not even close to meeting FBI standards for penetration. Two layers of sheetrock, 1/2in-1in of plywood, and a full bookshelf would likely stop birdshot.
Again, you can use angles to your advantage: Get LOW and aim high. That should send the projectiles in a safer direction.
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Old May 12, 2016, 06:33 AM   #23
Lohman446
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Quote:
Could you please elaborate on your two way comms idea? Ideally, how would you set it up, what benefit would it provide, what compromise, in what situation do you see it being needed? Communication, as I was taught years ago, is the highest casualty producing weapon on the battlefield. So, I'm always for more comms and better Intel. Just curious what you intended?
If you were confident in the door to the children's room, and had communication available with them, it may allow you to simply take the best defensible position in your bedroom without having to move to them. It would also allow you to talk to them to reiterate the plan that "everything is ok stay put".

Of course it depends on you as well. In the event there is an intruder in my house I already know I am making the tactically unsound decision to move to my children. Reinforcing there rooms would not make this better for me because I would still move to them.
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Old May 12, 2016, 08:15 AM   #24
g.willikers
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Most conversations about self defense naturally seem to turn to the use of firearms, especially here.
But there are places and times that's just not possible.
Your situation just about precludes their use.
There's just no reliable way to harden a thin walled trailer.
Even the advice of getting low and shooting high presupposes all rounds will hit the intended target.
What about the possible misses that will go out into the world to eventually come down on some poor unsuspecting victim.
You will own the results.
There is and always have been plenty of defensive tools other than guns.
After all, most of the time we humans have been on this planet, guns were not even invented.
Maybe take a hint from the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.
Long after the rifle was in common use, his weapon of choice was his trusty war club.
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Old May 12, 2016, 09:39 AM   #25
boatdoc173
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Join Date: July 2, 2015
Location: southern Ct
Posts: 194
here is a novel idea

an elderly lady I know used to leave a LARGE pair of dirty work boots at her door with a HUGE used dog bone
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