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Old June 2, 2006, 10:04 AM   #1
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child's room downstairs

In a new house with a new son, my wife and I sleep in the master bedroom upstairs, and my son sleeps in a bedroom at the bottom of the stairs. It occurred to me that if someone breaks in, they will be closer to his room than to us, so if we "hole up," we're leaving him alone and exposed. If I go to the top of the stairs to cover him, his room will be in my line of fire. In the case of a nocturnal break-in, i would have to come to the bottom of the stairs to meet a threat, possibly exposing myself to ambush(at the bottom of the staircase is a tiny hall opening into the son's room and the living room - 15' from the front door)

How should I respond to a threat? The wife will call 911, and I go armed to the stairs - but then what? How to protect my son?
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Old June 2, 2006, 11:06 AM   #2
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Can you get an alarm system and a dog?
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Old June 2, 2006, 11:21 AM   #3
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I would move the child upstairs, Remodel the house if you have to. That stair case is your first line of defence. Normally I would say "who cares about whats down stairs" because I am not getting killed, nor am I shooting anyone else, for my T.V. Thats what insurance is for. But in your case you have to traverse the most dangerous place in your house to get to your son, not a good situation.
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Old June 2, 2006, 02:22 PM   #4
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hard choices for sure. If you are serious about wanting to defend your family though, you have to make a decision.
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Old June 2, 2006, 03:25 PM   #5
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Adjust the house

One basic rule of defense is the primary defender sleeps closest to the door.

Or, at least closest to the primary weakpoint of the perimeter.

Do you have other bedrooms upstairs? I'd move my kid(s) upstairs. Sadly, 'modern' houses are not designed with security and defense in mind.
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Old June 2, 2006, 03:27 PM   #6
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Faced with the same decision, we moved our kid upstairs to the larger room and took the smaller one for ourselves.

Even apart from security issues and such, I want our teenagers to have to really work at it if they're going to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night. One never values stuff that's easy!

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Old June 2, 2006, 05:43 PM   #7
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One never values stuff that's easy!
Agreed. Well said.

It may not be easy and it may not be cheap, but it's gotta be done. Think layered defenses. Toss around some what if scenarios while walking the house and see what comes to mind. Develop a plan a-b-c and fire drill it.

Go outside and look at your house from a criminals point of view. I want in. Where will they be, where is the safest point to try to gain entry. Now think how to stop or at least slow them down.

Motion lights, crunchy gravel near windows/doors, dog(s), reinforcement, foot locks, mortis locks, noise makers, that sort of thing. Decoy safe entry points...(the jokes on them!)
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Old June 5, 2006, 02:30 AM   #8
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get a dog.

we have a daughter who sleeps alone in the basement except for the dog, he growls at me at night if i walk in without the light.

If you decide the keep the boy downstairs plant roses outside his window, the thorns are a definite keep away issue. Figure some way of providing him with some entry prevention ideas, limited opening windows with overrides from the inside in case of fire, maybe window grates or other barriers. get some way to light his side of the house from your room.

I used to work for a big builder and one of the most popular options were a panic button type of light switches located near the master bedroom door usually where one swipe ofthe arm against a row of switches turns on all the major outdoor lights. One night i was working late getting a few things done when someone had some kids egging a house, in one split second that whole house lit up and with in a few more so did several of the neighbors as the kids ran away. One other thing we have done is set a motion detector across the side yards tied to both flood light mounted way up high, but also connected to a second door bell buzzer so that anyone trying sneak up to the house once we settle down for hte night, trips both lights and a door bell.
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Old June 5, 2006, 10:07 AM   #9
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+1 Pax. I don't know how old your son is now but when he gets older, it will drive you crazy having his bedroom downstairs while yours is upstairs. Security is one thing, but when he hits the teen and young adult years he will be sneaking out, sneaking people in, and generally being awake and making noise, while your upstairs trying to sleep and wondering what is going on. Putting him upstairs will solve some of these problems because he needs to pass your downstairs bedroom door. Also, if he is your first child and you are planing to have more you can always split a large bedroom with some 2x4s and sheetrock and make 2 smaller rooms.

If you can't put your kid upstairs, beef up your downstairs now. A dog, alarm, solid door and windows and outdoor lighting are all good ideas. If someone breaks in, more barriers will give you more time. I would figure out a good spot to cover his door and the stairs.
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