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Old November 6, 2019, 10:49 AM   #1
HDGuy
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“Clearing” rooms during home invasion

Hello. I’d like to get people’s opinions on a home defense plan when your children are in different rooms during a home invasion at night.

I understand the concept of not “clearing” a house by yourself, but if you can’t bunker down in your bedroom with your HD weapon of choice and blast any bad guy that comes in the room until the Police arrive, because you have to ensure you are protecting your kids, the only real option is to go clear your way through the house to where your kids are. Or, fortify a position between the threat and the kids. (Which in both cases, also means leaving your wife bunkered down in the bedroom with her HD weapon of choice). That isn’t a heart-warming thought either.

Would just like to get people’s opinions on this type of scenario. I think it makes a difference in what type of firearm(s) you choose, if you consider you may be forced to clear rooms by yourself to protect your kids. I think a long gun would be best if you are bunkered down in one position, but not so much maneuvering through hallways etc, if you have to...

Thanks for any comments / input
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Old November 6, 2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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There's a difference between clearing your house and getting to a defensible position.

For starters get a floorplan or draw a floorplan of your house. Look for all places of ingress. Try to fortify those if possible. Try to determine the best defensible positions (notice I used the plural positions not position). Keep in mind of where you, your wife or kids might be. Can your wife and kids bunker up and defend them selves if the situation requires it? How will everyone communicate with each other and 911?

Also keep in mind that home invasions don't only happen late at night when everyone is in bed. It might be convenient to have everyone's bedrooms upstairs next to each other and you have a nice barricade at the top of the stairwell chokepoint. However, what happens when you are in the garage, the kids are in bed and your wife is in the living room while someone breaks in the back kitchen door? What happens if the wife and kids are in the back yard in the middle of the day? Just some examples. The point being the bad guys are not going to do things according to your plan. Plan for the unexpected, but still possible.

The hard part is to have plans that the family will remember and cooperate with. If everyone is relying on one person to manage the situation and handle the defense, that's a huge problem and a big single point of failure. On the other hand, if everyone is running their own impromptu sheet of music, there's a good chance of catastrophe, including friendly fire by family or police.
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Last edited by DMK; November 6, 2019 at 12:18 PM.
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Old November 6, 2019, 02:16 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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If you are in an area where you expect to be invaded, move. If that's not possible, you need an alarm system, connected to police or a security company, that turns on all lighting and is loud enough to wake the kids who you have trained to go to daddy's room in any emergency.
You absolutely should not be wandering around the house armed while waiting for the PD. They don't know you. To them, you'd be just a guy with a gun. Isn't a good idea to " blast any bad guy that comes in the room" unless you have a clear recognition that said BG is actually a BG and not one of your kids/wife/aunty/etc. And that said BG is an immediate threat to your life or one of your kids/wife/aunty/etc., lives.
Oh and you're worrying about a highly improbable event in the first place. Keeping in mind that the insurance companies and assorted PD's think a B&E into an empty house and plain old trespass is a home invasion.
"The one-year chances of a robbery inside your home are .004%, of them being armed is about .00168%. Lifetime chances of about 0.32%. Odds are about 1 in 6000, approximately twice as likely as getting struck by lightning in your lifetime."
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Old November 6, 2019, 03:46 PM   #4
HDGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMK View Post
There's a difference between clearing your house and getting to a defensible position.

For starters get a floorplan or draw a floorplan of your house. Look for all places of ingress. Try to fortify those if possible. Try to determine the best defensible positions (notice I used the plural positions not position). Keep in mind of where you, your wife or kids might be. Can your wife and kids bunker up and defend them selves if the situation requires it? How will everyone communicate with each other and 911?

Also keep in mind that home invasions don't only happen late at night when everyone is in bed. It might be convenient to have everyone's bedrooms upstairs next to each other and you have a nice barricade at the top of the stairwell chokepoint. However, what happens when you are in the garage, the kids are in bed and your wife is in the living room while someone breaks in the back kitchen door? What happens if the wife and kids are in the back yard in the middle of the day? Just some examples. The point being the bad guys are not going to do things according to your plan. Plan for the unexpected, but still possible.

The hard part is to have plans that the family will remember and cooperate with. If everyone is relying on one person to manage the situation and handle the defense, that's a huge problem and a big single point of failure. On the other hand, if everyone is running their own impromptu sheet of music, there's a good chance of catastrophe, including friendly fire by family or police.
Thanks DMK
When I said clearing the house, I was referring to clearing the rooms I am going through to get to the kid’s rooms to get them to the “safe” room, or to get to a defensible position between the threat and the kids.

And I do realize the night is not the only time home invasions happen. I home carry a pocket pistol that is always on me during the day, so I can at least return fire while I get to the safe to get heavier fire power, or hopefully end the threat right there.

I just always read comments about not “clearing” rooms by yourself, and that raised the question in my mind concerning situations where you need to go through rooms that may have intruders in them who mean you and the family harm, as you’re trying to get to the kids or to a planned fortified place, like you said. One such situation would be a night time home invasion. Of course there are endless possible situations. Just want to hear other’s opinions.

Good points about communicating, maybe Walky talkies in the kid’s rooms...

Thanks for the input and comments!
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Old November 6, 2019, 04:06 PM   #5
MTT TL
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Not sure how big your house is or how old your kids are.

Our kids are all off in college now but since the age of 12 they had firearms in their rooms. This may not work for your particular home situation. Our house is too large and the rooms too scattered to try to make it to the safe room if there were already people in the house. In the event of Home Invasion everyone was supposed to defend in place and text back and forth when safe to do so. Kids who were too young to have guns slept in the room next to ours.

Mostly how home invasions work the attackers come in later at night when people are still awake and try to seize control of the head of household. Sneaking/ breaking in late at night when everyone is asleep is much more problematic. People who are wary tend to have firearms within arms reach of wherever they are sleeping and when they hear funny noises waking them, tend to grab it straight away.



The home invasion in Florida the other day was much more typical. The bad guys came in and grabbed the husband and began beating him in to submission. They ignored the wife who ran to the bedroom grabbed an AR15 and made them pay for their mistakes the hard way.

I will point out though that if you are not a involved in any way in the illegal drug trade and don't let it be known that you have large sums of cash/ valuable in your house then the odds of you suffering a home invasion plummet. If you are not in higher risk profession such as bank manager or police officer then the odds drop to near zero. The one in Florida may have been a case of the criminals picking the wrong target house. They sure picked the wrong house either way.
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Old November 6, 2019, 04:19 PM   #6
HDGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
If you are in an area where you expect to be invaded, move. If that's not possible, you need an alarm system, connected to police or a security company, that turns on all lighting and is loud enough to wake the kids who you have trained to go to daddy's room in any emergency.
You absolutely should not be wandering around the house armed while waiting for the PD. They don't know you. To them, you'd be just a guy with a gun. Isn't a good idea to " blast any bad guy that comes in the room" unless you have a clear recognition that said BG is actually a BG and not one of your kids/wife/aunty/etc. And that said BG is an immediate threat to your life or one of your kids/wife/aunty/etc., lives.
Oh and you're worrying about a highly improbable event in the first place. Keeping in mind that the insurance companies and assorted PD's think a B&E into an empty house and plain old trespass is a home invasion.
"The one-year chances of a robbery inside your home are .004%, of them being armed is about .00168%. Lifetime chances of about 0.32%. Odds are about 1 in 6000, approximately twice as likely as getting struck by lightning in your lifetime."
T. O’Heir, thanks for the response.

I think “nice” neighborhoods with “nice” houses are targets for home invasions too, probably more so. And as you pointed out, we are talking about something that statistically is unlikely. I just don’t want to be the guy that says “I thought it would never happen to me, so I didn’t prepare” because obviously, it does happen.

I think you’re absolutely right about an alarm system that alerts Police. That would be implemented. 100%.

And I didn’t say “wandering around the house with a gun”. In the situation we’re talking about, the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you hear people breaking in to your house, I do not want my kids walking downstairs through the living room (where the intruders probably are) to get to my bedroom. This is the whole point of my post.

I wanted to get people’s opinions, or plans that they have implemented, or think will best protect their family until the Police arrive. I wouldn’t stay locked up in my room while dangerous people rummage through my house, while my kids are defenseless in another part of the house.

And when I say blasting any bad guy in the doorway, by “bad guy” I am saying positively identifying the intended target as said “bad guy” who is not supposed to be in your home, and kept advancing toward the bedroom while alarms are blaring. In that situation, if the target is positively identified, yes, I want any member of my family to defend themselves.

Thanks for your comments about the alarm system, with the lighting, etc. Good points.
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Old November 6, 2019, 04:27 PM   #7
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I think you’re absolutely right about an alarm system that alerts Police. That would be implemented. 100%.
I'm less sure about this. There have been several police shootings in the last year where the police shot the armed homeowner in his own home after the alarm went off. Once case where no alarm went off at all. I'd rather be the one telling the police to come to my house and staying in contact with the dispatcher. Your family may get a much large settlement if the police shoot you instead of the bad guys but the end result is still the same.
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Old November 6, 2019, 05:01 PM   #8
HDGuy
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Originally Posted by MTT TL View Post
I'm less sure about this. There have been several police shootings in the last year where the police shot the armed homeowner in his own home after the alarm went off. Once case where no alarm went off at all. I'd rather be the one telling the police to come to my house and staying in contact with the dispatcher. Your family may get a much large settlement if the police shoot you instead of the bad guys but the end result is still the same.
Thanks MTT TL, definitely something to consider.

I think your alarm can notify Police, and you can still call the Police and stay on line with Dispatch. The situation of being armed when the Police arrive would be the same, whether the Police respond to the alarm, or respond to a phone call.

Either way, making sure you do everything you can to cooperate with the Police when they arrive, is paramount. And realize they do not know who is who until they take over the situation.
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Old November 6, 2019, 05:50 PM   #9
AK103K
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Get a couple of Rotties, you wont have to clear the house. If someone should "happen" to get in, youll know exactly where they are. Youll have plenty of time to get dressed, put some coffee on, and pick out an appropriate gun from the safe.

Seriously though, we usually know when someone is in the drive or yard, before the perimeter alarms even go off. The dogs are on it, 24/7/365, and are a truly reactive alarm system "with teeth".
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Old November 6, 2019, 06:10 PM   #10
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Get a couple of Rotties, you wont have to clear the house.
Or one English Mastiff. Ever want to see burglar terrorized? The shotgun has nothing on a Mastiff. He will also die before he lets anything happen to a good master.

Sadly, dog ownership is not a good option for everyone.
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Old November 6, 2019, 07:45 PM   #11
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I would not "clear" anything. If I need to get to my (make-believe)kids, I will move tactically and in a manner which is conducive to successfully overcoming whatever threat I may encounter. I will move as if I expect attack. Time is more important than checking every closet, room and cubby.

Once I get to my kids there are 2 realistic options at that point.

1. I stay with the kids and prepare to defend them from their room.
2. Move them to a more preferred location.

A second consideration is whether or not your wife is going to remain behind or come with you. My wife can fight just as well as I can and would probably move with me if I were going to get the kids. We would probably stay in the kids room once we get there and prepare to defend ourselves. Moving around in a dangerous environment is bad ju-ju all around but if I have to do it, I would rather have my wife at my back than not.

My wife is expected to make all necessary communication with the authorities and she knows this. I am not making any calls, I will be focused on the threat. If I am alone, I will call 911, tell them someone is breaking in my house, verify my address and then toss the phone down. I am not staying on the line being distracted by a barrage of questions.. I will be preparing to defend my life. LEOs are smart, they can figure it out.
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Old November 6, 2019, 08:48 PM   #12
HDGuy
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Originally Posted by AK103K View Post
Get a couple of Rotties, you wont have to clear the house. If someone should "happen" to get in, youll know exactly where they are. Youll have plenty of time to get dressed, put some coffee on, and pick out an appropriate gun from the safe.

Seriously though, we usually know when someone is in the drive or yard, before the perimeter alarms even go off. The dogs are on it, 24/7/365, and are a truly reactive alarm system "with teeth".
Excellent. Love it. Of course, I’d hate for them to get hurt too, but would serve their purpose of protecting the family, letting us know where the intruders are, for sure. Not an option for me right now, but that’s a goal.

Thanks!
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Old November 6, 2019, 08:50 PM   #13
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Or one English Mastiff. Ever want to see burglar terrorized? The shotgun has nothing on a Mastiff. He will also die before he lets anything happen to a good master.

Sadly, dog ownership is not a good option for everyone.
Or get a dog like my Boston Terrier and rest assured that the bad guys will either trip over him or become incapacitated by his gas.

Otherwise think about trying the family to respond by getting into one room if possible.
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Old November 6, 2019, 11:08 PM   #14
Bartholomew Roberts
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I think perhaps we need to distinguish between “movement” and “clearing.” I live alone, so the only thought I’ve given this topic is the questions from people who look to me for gun advice.

My advice has been to have a common rally point designated and all of the family moves to that rally point in the event of an emergency. Fort up at the rally point and await the cavalry.

If the adults need to move to the children, then as a general rule all of the adults should move to the children. You don’t divide forces when you are attacked. And having one adult go get the children and bring them back to where the other adult forted up introduces needless complexities and chances for things to go south.

When you are “clearing” a structure, you are methodically securing areas/claiming ground. That’s why a single person shouldn’t be clearing - because it is damn near impossible for a single person to be able to do that even in a small home.

“Movement” is just that. You are moving to increase your strategic position. Maybe you are moving to a better fighting area. Maybe you are moving to an area with reinforcements. Maybe you are consolidating your responsibilities/forces to reduce chaos/unknown. The key is, you aren’t trying to claim and secure the ground you move across except for the very minimal time it takes for you to move. I’m up, he sees me, I’m down - you’re moving but not clearing.
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Old November 6, 2019, 11:16 PM   #15
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“How do you get a crew to want to get out of a nuclear submarine?” Jack Ryan asked.
Transferred to *getting invaders to want to leave your home*, I’ve often thought that having an emergency button that would spray 2 drops of (otherwise harmless) Mercaptan into your HVAC system would make the bad guys think you had a serious gas leak and then get the heck out on their own...
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Old November 7, 2019, 08:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
AK103K wrote:
Get a couple of Rotties, you wont have to clear the house. If someone should "happen" to get in, youll know exactly where they are. Youll have plenty of time to get dressed, put some coffee on, and pick out an appropriate gun from the safe.
Yeah, I'm considering getting a second dog - Think 2 are better as they can work together.

My GSD sleeps on a bath matte at the bedroom door. He can go from a deep sleep to condition yellow on to orange in 1/2 second! Yellow he's up and listening. Orange he's either smelled or heard something a second time and he's growling and whining for me to wakeup. He's training to stay at door way until I give a command otherwise.

It still amazes me how he can hear and smell things outside the house.
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Old November 7, 2019, 09:21 AM   #17
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Put some steel doors on your kids room with the best locking devices and make sure they know how to hunker down after locking themselves in. If old enough they should have cell phones and call 911
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Old November 8, 2019, 10:05 AM   #18
Don P
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If you are in an area where you expect to be invaded
Seriously, a home invasion can happen ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. That statement is about as ignorant as they get. The rest of the post made sense with good suggestions
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Old November 8, 2019, 04:20 PM   #19
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I sleep in the room with my son, my wife sleeps in the room with my daughter. There is a hallway between the two rooms that is not external to the rest of the house.

During the day an intruder is either going through the dogs outside to get to one door or us inside if they chose the other. "Clearing" to get to the kids is going to be a retreat from likely points of entry.
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Old November 8, 2019, 09:05 PM   #20
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One man room clearing.

Whatever we call it, or however deep you want to go into it, I think something important to be aware of when moving around the house in the presence of a threat is to beware of exposure and angles.

I found this video to be useful, the presenter/demonstrator is articulate and easy to understand even with the Israeli accent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSzTqh8ZsEE

The video on doorways and thresholds was also interesting, and a portion of the team clearing video addresses safety points about shooting when others are present. You can ignore the super short martial arts cool guy "demonstrations" and advertisements for clothing
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