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Posted: 5/20/2002 5:22:46 PM EST
Anther topic got me thinking about this, and every time I have to do it in the middle of the night, it scares the shit out of me.

So, how do you guys "clear" MY house at night?

It's a standard bi-level.  Our bedroom is upper southwest corner.  My kids rooms are right below us, on the north and south corners.  Stair case runs in the middle of the house, with the living rooms(upper/lower) on the east end, bedrooms on the west end.  If I here a "bump", how do I get down to my kids with out letting the "bump" know I'm coming?  The stairs creek, and in the middle of the night, my adrenaline is pumping so much, I'm like a bull in the china shop.  My fist thought is to get to the kids first, then clear the basement.  What's your call?  Do I announce loudly, before going down the stairs, or just try to tip-toe my way down.  I absolutely hate doing this in the middle of the night.  Actually finding someone would be a real bummer.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:26:57 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:29:02 PM EST
Oh, this is easy.  Flamethrower in left hand, USAS 12 gauge machinegun in right rand.  The smoke detectors will alert your kids to trouble, and the intruder will quickly realize it is not a good idea to invade the home of an escaped mental patient.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:34:20 PM EST
move the kids up stairs so you know where they are and are able to be down stairs already. that way when things go bump you can start at the bottom and go up.  also put a small warning light in the kids bedroom and a button on your room.  tell the kids when the little red light in their room goes on, to stay in their rooms untill they here a certain code knocking on the door to let them know its safe to unlock the door.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:49:31 PM EST
Well, from the  years when I was a full-time cop, I've done my share of clearing buildings.  And some of them were done while tripping over things.  Funny how in real life, we're never as smooth and glamorous as the movie cops.  My tactic was to use stealth until I knocked something over and made a loud noise.  Or until I suffered major shin or head injury by smacking them on something unseen in the beam of a flashlight and releasing the required expletives to ease the pain.  After the noise had alerted whoever was there, I'd usually state rather loudly that I was a cop, that I had my gun out, and that I was tired, cranky, and had a real itchy trigger finger.  

Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:53:35 PM EST
Move to a safer neighborhood, and you won't need to worry about it [:D]

Seriously, invest in a decent alarm system, or fabricate one...

You can fabricate and install a buzzer or light in the master bedroom next to your bed...
It could tell you which door or window has been breeched if you wire them all seperately to their own numbered lightbulb...

That way you'll know which one of your kids is sneaking out, or where the badguy is sneaking in.[:D]
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 6:00:36 PM EST
Get a (Brinks Alarm System tm.) only $99.00)
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 7:33:04 PM EST
So, how do you guys "clear" MY house at night?

View Quote

I would eat a steak and bean burrito. Some Crab cakes. Lots of cheap beer. Steamed broccoli. Chili. Not take a shit for a day. Take a dump in an airvent and turn on the heat for an hour.

That outta clear any house out.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 7:39:36 PM EST
Frankly, with your kids on a different floor, investing in a cheap intercom system wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Hopefully they have a lock on their door.

Forget clearing the house till you’ve got the kids and everybody’s together.  Also, depending on their age, make sure the kids haven’t invited anyone over!

You need to identify a safe room in your house where everyone gets together and huddles down till you figure out what’s going on.  Generally this is the master bedroom.  

However, if you and your wife are in the master bedroom and the kids are in there own bedroom, you might want to go to plan B and make the kids’ bedroom the safe room and join them there.  That way the kids aren’t being drug through a house containing possible intruders.

The safe room definitely needs a phone.  However, intruders will sometimes take an extension (say in the kitchen) off the hook, which prevents out-going calls.  So you also definitely need to have a cell phone with you.

You also need a small, powerful flashlight such as a Surefire.  My opinion is that if you’re using a handgun when doing a search, you’re better off with a separate flashlight.  With a long arm, it needs to be attached.  

If you’ve got a flashlight mounted on your firearm, remember that when you point the flashlight at someone, you’re also pointing a firearm at them.

Intruders will often leave a door or window open so they can get out fast.  If there are two of them, they’ll sometimes open a second exit so they don’t bump into each other getting out.  If you find something open that definitely shouldn’t be, it might be time to call off the house clearing, retreat to the safe room, and call the police.

Always, always, always remember to keep your finger off the trigger and to make proper target identification before pulling the trigger.

The NRA sells a 200 page book titled “NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection in the Home” which gives a lot of good information re: firearms usage, safe rooms, giving verbal warnings, greeting the police, and such.  It goes for $6.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover house clearing.

If you are really serious about proper house clearing, get a copy of Gabriel Suarez’s “The Tactical Advantage”.

While it’s a tough call, I think you’re better off turning on lights (though try not to back light yourself) and not worrying too much about sneaking around (which you normally can’t do in a wooden house, anyway).

Actually, it might even be a good idea to call out “who’s there?” or “I’ve called the police” a few times.

If you can scare someone off without shooting them, by all means do so.  Imagine your kids’ reaction to having someone killed in their house.  (Also, imagine what that would do to your house value.)

On the other hand, your family comes first – and if that involves dropping a hammer on some intruder, so be it!

Just my opinions, of course, for whatever they’re worth.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:01:29 AM EST
It's hard to give a real definitve answer without a floorplan and even that's not as good as seeing the actual situation with your stuff etc.  And let me disclose this by saying I speak only from my planning and learning, not from any LEO or military training etc.

Your first priority has to be to secure the kids location.  Unfortunately this is difficult because of them being downstairs and you having to come down in the middle of the lower floor.  What I would say is that you need to plan the route by paying attention to every angle and every piece of cover or concealment an intruder might have. Plan and practice proceeding as quickly and quitely as possible while making sure to cover and check every angle and piece of cover along the way as much as possible.  I would say that remaining as audibly discreet as possible here is important as if you spook an intruder they may well run to the kids room out of panic, or to obtain leverage.  You now have yet another problem to deal with.  You can hole up in the kids room and call for backup (make sure there is a phone in there) but this leaves your wife exposed upstairs.  If she knows how and is willing to shoot, as hard as it may be I think I would hole up with the kids and have her hole up up there.  It would be too dangerous to try and move up with the kids. (If you can cover the stairway from the entrance of the kids room, having the wife upstairs is not a bad deal.)

Sounds like your best bet is hole up with kids, wife holes up upstairs (preferably armed) but then you need to assess the situation and be ready to react as you ascertain more information about location / intent of bad guys.  I would say the most critical thing you should do is learn how to move from anyplace in your home to anyplace in your home while covering attack angles as best as possible. Hard to give you a better plan without seeing.  The good news is good tactics usually just consists of common sense.  Walk through your house and just think about things.  Make several plans for several scenarios and choose to use those that make the most sense.  And make sure you practice those scenarios so you become very proficient at implementing them if, god forbid, it should become necessary.

My .02


Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:20:08 AM EST
I'd use grenades.  Lots of grenades. [:D]

Seriously, though, moving down the stairs is very risky.  You're in a confined area, it's hard to stay quiet, you can't make a quick retreat and your legs are the first thing exposed to anyone waiting downstairs.  
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 5:33:34 AM EST
So, how do you guys "clear" MY house at night?

View Quote

I would eat a steak and bean burrito. Some Crab cakes. Lots of cheap beer. Steamed broccoli. Chili. Not take a shit for a day. Take a dump in an airvent and turn on the heat for an hour.

That outta clear any house out.
View Quote

Wow!!! some serious Deja Vu on that post.  Funny as hell BTW.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 5:44:44 AM EST
You guys are so much help....hand gernades....flame throwers....why didn't I think of that?

The good news is that when you come down the stairs, only the bathroom is to the west along with the kids bed rooms.  I can cover the stairs from both of the boys rooms, its not that big of house.  My boys are only 3(almost), and 8(almost).  I think I will plan on holding up with them.  The majoraty of what is worth anything in my house is in the basement living room, so that would be the logical place for any intruder to go to.  It also has the most access points.  One door to the backyard, one to the garage, one window to the frontyard.  The only other logical entry point to my house(other than the front door) is the sliding glass door to the back of the house off of the kitchen, but usually the dog has that covered(wooff!).  The stairs are easy to clear going down, because you can peak over the banister/railing going down to see the stairs coming up right below you to the west.  They meet at the landing of the front door.  They just creek more than would be necessary for anyone who would be on hightened senses robbing me.

I probably shouldn't worry so much, but kids do that to you.  Thier safety is my number one concern over all else, including mine.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 7:14:12 AM EST
I'd put more work into hardening the house from intruders.

Add deadbolts with armoured strike plates and door reinforcers.
Add keyed locks on all the windows that can open (priority on the lower floor).
Add motion sensor lights around the house perimeter.
Replace any flimsy doors with steel doors as required.
Possibly add motion sensor lights INSIDE the house, around likely entrances.

Think about the alarm AFTER improving physical security.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 9:17:31 AM EST
strategically placed, small tactical nuclear device.  mcole
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