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Are you prepared for an in-home invasion in your home?

  • YES. Too bad for the perp(s)

    Votes: 28 87.5%
  • NO. But I should get myself ready

    Votes: 4 12.5%
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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping I can get some references to find out what would be the best way to go about getting trained how to respond to an in-home invasion. Our house has 3 stores including a full finished basement and the layout is atypical since it was a custom built home. There are plenty of large spaces in the home where one could hide but very little cover. Our property is 2.5 Acres so it wouldn't be easy for neighbors to know anything was wrong if a home invasion occurred.

We're getting a home security system soon but don't have one yet. Even with one, I'd still like to know how to prepare for a home invasion scenario. I have no idea where to start but I've seen a few classes offered but wonder if they're even any good. I'm starting my internet search for videos on proper ways to sweep rooms just to start somewhere.

I also have a few tactical flash light / strobe lights that I plan to 'plant' at various places around the house. I've done some research on usage of tac lights including advice to use the momentary feature and also sweep the light across an area and keep moving.

I had a freaky occurrence at my own home last year (about 8 months ago) and I vowed 'never again'.

The two of us were upstairs in our 2 story home when a motion sensor chime went off in our house. We stood there frozen, staring at each other with wide eyes with a thousand thoughts running through our minds including not having a handgun in the house!

My husband grabbed a .22 rifle and I stood there frozen as I had an inner argument about fight or flight. I chose fight.

We crept over toward the half wall overlooking the dining room and living room and asked if anybody was there. Yeah right. As if the perp would respond! After what seemed to be forever, I decided that this was crap. I ran down the stairs and flicked lights on as quickly as I could while I was running. I have the advantage knowing the rat maze house layout. Turns out, nobody was there. False alarm. But, it really made us think.

So I learned to shoot. We both got our concealed permits, I've since bought 4 handguns to start my own collection, and have scoured the internet for as much advice as possible on mental preparation, safety, training, drills, practice, etc.

We've visited various ranges several times and I think I've gone through about 3000 rounds since mid January. I've even been to the range myself to get extra practice in. I'm working on various distances, and have had a chance to shoot at steel targets. What fun that was!

So I have excellent quality firearms, have done ballistics research on a variety of JHP. I've tried several JHPs and decided upon which brand I like best. Bought myself a high quality leather OWB holster, a high quality leather gun belt (actually, 2 belts), have a safe storage method in place, etc. I've got everything in place that needs to be accounted for including spare mags loaded with JHPs. I CCW at home no matter which room I'm in. And my husband just smiles at me. He has a better chance at hand to hand than I do because of his strength but I wouldn't have much of a chance due to a medical condition so why risk it?

Anyway, any advice anyone might have about in-home training would be VERY much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good suggestion about hardening the perimeter. I will look into additional ways, minus putting bars on our windows. Locks obviously don't prevent windows from break-ins. We have a heavy duty triple bolt steel structured front door but lower level windows at ground level like most homes. Storm windows with multiple panes, etc. Still doesn't make me feel secure but I'll call the locksmith who helped us replace the lock on the doors and will see if he has any suggestions.
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thank you everyone who has responded to my request for help. I truly appreciate all the ideas I have to get better prepared. I was one of only 2 who responded NO to my own survey. In a few weeks, I hope that answer turns to YES since I'll have had a chance to actually implement the suggestions. I'm on business travel for 2 weeks or I'd be able to get on all these actions sooner.

Based on several responses, I think this is what we're going to do:
  1. Get a security system for the house including a video monitoring system with remote monitoring via tablet or phone.
  2. Buy a few gun safes and mount them in various places in our home. It's not an option for us to leave loaded weapons around the house. I know people who do but it's just not for me. I think having 2 in each safe along with a couple spare mags and a set of tactical flashlights might be the way to go in case both of us are home. It certainly can't hurt to have this setup available in various places throughout our home. An earlier response to this thread mentioned something about making sure it wasn't easy for the perps to just pickup and walk out of the house with a gun safe. Great point. I found some wall-mounted safes that would be good choices for us.
  3. I'll arrange for some situational training to 'rehearse' a few likely scenarios for mental preparation, realizing there's no possible way to cover all scenarios, at least a few of the most common for suburban invasions would be worthwhile to have a run down on so we can have some ideas on the do's and don'ts including the proper use of tactical lights. I have a couple friends who are LEOs and would be able to do an in-home evaluation to give us recommendations which rooms in each floor could be considered 'safe rooms'. It hadn't occurred to me to ask until recently.
  4. Regarding the dog scenario - great idea to have a dog that's more likely to wake up than I am if a perp were to break in at night while sleeping. Not sure if we'll get one because having one is a big responsibility for times when we go out of town and couldn't take our pet with us, etc.
  5. I will continue to carry at all times in my home. I have a new leather holster and leather gun belt of really great quality made by Kevin Nightingale. It's a very comfortable OWB setup worn on my right hip at what I'd call a 2:30 position if there is such thing. Who knew wearing a CCW could be so comfortable?!
The very last thing I would ever want to do is to take another life. If there's a way to escape our home during an invasion, I'm more inclined to want to go this avenue than to shoot someone who broke in. Stuff can be replaced but lives can't. Deterring thieves from entering is my # 1 goal (again, speaking to an earlier post where this was mentioned). I'd rather a perp look at our house, do an assessment, then decide not to break in, than to think it's an easy target.

If I have no choice but to hold up in my house, based on the mental preparations I've been doing with a lot of time and energy spent thinking about these matters in the past 3 months, depending on the circumstances, I'll have choices to make the best choice possible given the circumstances by doing what I can to prepare in advance thanks to all of you who have been willing to share your ideas. I truly appreciate the time each of you have taken to share your thoughts on how I can better prepare myself. I have a lot of work to do to finish my preparations but at least now, doing so doesn't feel so random.

Not to go off topic, but I want to thank all our men and women who have served in our U.S. Military Forces - those who have made countless sacrifices who are the very reason we have the Freedoms we do. I'm especially thankful for my ability to seek free advice on this Forum. It's something a lot of people in other countries couldn't do because they don't have the same Freedoms we do. Not a day goes by that I don't think about their sacrifices. God Bless all who served, many of whom I know are Glocktalk Forum members. Thank you.
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
A lot depends on the layout of your home/apt. Most all are different, we know that. I don't think that there's a "one size fits all" plan. Response time from LEO's could be a deciding factor in your choice of weapons. Hiding armed quietly in an obscure basement or 2nd floor closet for 4-5 minutes would IMO, be better than a shooting. If response time is longer, it's your castle, only you can know the best way to defend it and those inside. It's not rocket science, and chances are that the intruders are not rocket scientists. They are there to grab some valuables and get out. Intruders doing a slow and methodical room by room, closet by closet search is rare. Besides, they're probably stoned and have no plan. My $1.00 worth.
That's my thinking as well but one of the reasons why I think it's wonderful to receive such a variety of responses. What might not apply to my own home, may apply to my sister's home or other friends and family. I'll be sharing what I learn with them so not only is it helping me, I can help others by learning from everyone here and mixing / matching advice to the situation at hand.

My sister in law lives in a very large and heavily wooded neighborhood in a very small town a couple hours from where I live. She lives alone and is surrounded entirely by woods. You can see homes off in a distance, but they're too far away to notice anything if a break in were to occur where she lives. I'm scared for her. The area is of lower income and there are people who know she lives alone. It's a gated community but just about everyone and their cousins have a gate access code so it's really not very effective at keeping unwanted visitors out. I think her next gift from us will be the SimpliSafe system but it requires a cellular signal and she's in an area where that could be a problem. I'm not sure how to verify if this signal would be sufficient for her but I'll try to find out before getting her one.

I thank my lucky stars as they say, that intruders in general are a rare occurrence in the area where we live. In the 30+ years since my neighborhood was built, only 1 home invasion has taken place (last summer) and it was believed to be a minor theft by perps who may have known the homeowners. They had climbed into an open kitchen window at night. They carefully removed the screen, reached into the window and carefully removed a bunch of small items near the window and set them on the AC unit outside the kitchen. It was believed to be 2 perps since the window was high enough off the ground, the police thought a second person helped the first one into the kitchen. A purse and wallet was stolen out of the kitchen but nothing else. Police found the purse and empty wallet in the neighbor's yard the next morning. Our neighborhood committee emailed all the homeowners to let us know what had happened. The homeowner felt stupid for leaving a window open but they also felt violated because of the invasion.

I think a motion sensor with a light would have been enough to have prevented the break-in since all they took was the contents of the wallet and they were really careful not to wake anyone. They could have thrown the objects into the grass but since they carefully set them on the AC unit, it made the police think it was someone who knew the family and their habits (leaving windows open, leaving purses on counters). They're on a dead end street and weren't the last home on the street which also made the police think it was someone they knew (teenage kids possibly).

I never leave my purse or electronic devices in view on the main floor of our house and I'll certainly never leave a screened window open on a main floor. It's sad to think that leaving stuff lying around your home could be an invitation for a break-in but it's the world we live in.
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Mine is a big 75# Airedale. She hears everything, & knows normal sounds from not so normal. She will here a car door slam in the front of the house with the windows closed. She will go investigate at the window. She does not bark unless it is something out of the ordinary, like the car is in front of my house & people are exiting the car & coming up my walk. No I didn't train her for this, Airedales are just like that. She barks once I am awake, because she rarely barks. Anything around the door will get a massive response from her.
That's pretty amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how smart dogs are. I'm not familiar with the Airedale breed but they sound really neat. I'll have to go check 'em out. I've always thought if I got a dog, it might be a Jack Russell but for some reason, Jack, the pug on the movie MIB has also been a favorite of mine.
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I've bought a Sentry biometric safe. It'll be bolted to a wall in an area of our home that won't be within easy view.

I actually plan to get a few but this is the first so I want to be sure I like the model.

Tactical flashlights will be strategically placed throughout the house along with blunt objects in my current decor to buy time.

My phone is usually on me or in the same room. No land line.

Still need a security system and have assessed a few bushes that need to be removed. We have motion triggered flood lamps around the vulnerable windows and doors. I'd like to add a motion sensor triggered message with speakers mounted outside to give verbal warning to perps who trigger the motion detector: "Enter at your own risk but be sure to smile for the video when you do." Do you think that might be going over board? Other messages could be programmed to say different things depending on where they might enter. Hmmm, this could be interesting to do.
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Thank you for the dog recommendation. It's under consideration. Having been a pet owner in the past, this decision isn't to be taken lightly so we're still thinking about it.

Meanwhile, I'm looking for additional measures. No doubt, a dog would be a great warning indicator. I just want to have other methods in place as well.
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I suggest that residential video cameras be placed on the exterior of the home. There are two key reasons for this. First, exterior cameras should be positioned to observe all potential entry and approach points for the home. This insures that anyone approaching and/or entering/exiting the house are recorded. Secondly, the obvious presence of cameras is a key deterrent. The repeat burglar/ home invader sees hundreds of homes without obvious security countermeasures versus the comparative few with them. For any rational criminal, moving on to one of the majority of homes without obvious security devices is an easy decision.

I personally do not want to be under surveillance inside my own home. I want security without invading my own privacy.

Lastly, it is important to find a balance between focusing on securing your home and family and focusing on living the lives we are protecting. God's speed.

Sound advice about camera positioning, recordings, and privacy. Thanks!

I hope this post didn't make it appear that I'm freaked out in my own home because that's not the case. I was freaked out when the door chime went off but I sleep like a baby even now. Additional measures will be taken with landscaping if the weather cooperates soon, and cameras will be going up soon as well.

Meanwhile, I've bought a biometric gun safe to start positioning hidden firearms throughout the house. Experimenting with a Sentry biometric safe that got a lot of good reviews online. If I like it, I'll be ordering a few more.

Can't wait for warmer weather. In a few weeks, we'll be opening our pool. So much for concealment! :)
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Holy cow Bravo One, did you write all that for this post or already have it written from other work you've done in the past? Great information. Thanks for taking time to respond!

I have no fortified room in my house as most probably don't but it's a relatively complicated 2 story with a full walk out basement and a lot of odd angles so unless you've been in my house before, chances are, I have an advantage, but... if the BG starts flinging bullets around, I'm in trouble regardless of where I end up stashing myself and anyone who may be in the house with me that needs to be protected. That's where things can go sideways quickly.

Thankfully I live in the 'nicer part of town' and I'm tucked away at the center of our neighborhood so target wise, there are a lot of other homes closer to the access road that are off the road so they'd be better targets than my place, and easier for BGs to flee after a break in. We're not far from the freeway too which gives them several routes out of town.

Still working on getting a dog but haven't chosen a breed yet. It's not to be taken lightly so the selection process is taking time.

Meanwhile, I'm with my G43 (6+1 and a spare mag) around my house and since it's summer, this is now my EDC when I'm out and about.

I'll also look into defining cover zones. Plenty of concealment but not so much cover available.

Safety to you and yours!
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
...
These things are no joke. Its good to plan ahead, I know I do. A home defense plan is very important.
Hey Real Police, thank you for your insights. Wow, you've seen some mighty awful things in your career. THANK YOU for your service. Thank you thank you!

I have no wife because I'm female though I guess that's not stopping people nowadays. I'm married and have a husband. We're both of the mindset that nobody is going to make us victims so we're doing all the prep activites together and talking about what we'd do in different scenarios. We're giving serious consideration to getting a dog but haven't decided on a breed yet. I love Dobermans. My Uncle Bob had one when I was growing up (everybody has an Uncle Bob, don't they?) That dog was soooooo awesome. He could look like the most vicious dog if he needed to - showing his teeth and giving out a deep growl, but he was as domestic as they come and would sit on the couch and watch TV with us, totally acting like he was one of us people. He was loving and gentle with all of us. Strong as an ox too. Loved that dog.

The tip you gave about being clear with the 911 operator is excellent. A vast majority of my work is communication, either verbally or in writing so I totally get what you mean. I've been on the phone with 911 many times because I've witnessed so many car accidents right as they've happened.

I don't have a Barney pajama outfit but I thought about buying something inconspicuous but specific like a fluorescent light stick (the kind you crack to get them to light up) that you can wear around your wrist that most criminals wouldn't arrive at your house and be wearing and I could leave those scattered around the house located inside each of the gun safes. That might do for now.

Lots of great ideas in this thread though, especially about the dog and about being specific with 911. The worst would be to make the call and to get mistaken to be the perp. :(
 

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"You don't get what you don't ask for."
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I took the NRA course about home protection but that was really basic and built on common sense.

There are plenty of excellent recommendations on this thread that at least get me thinking about a few things.

I like what ranger1968 said. I'm not gonna kid myself that the Hollywood defense scenes would be anywhere in my area of skill. Watching Keanu Reeves training program was interesting to say the least, but having such tactics in my back pocket are sorely out of question if you know what I mean. I'm not trying to replicate an unrealistic defense scenario. I'm just trying to determine a pragmatic, yet effective defense plan, just in case. That said, I do appreciate even the out of the ordinary suggestions as it's interesting to read about how far people will go with their home defense and they're not afraid of sharing their thoughts openly in case someone else out there is equally willing to go the extreme. Amateur or not, it's really all about mental rehearsal and planning. If you never think about these things, you never give yourself a chance to plan to do, or not to do, whatever it is that might be a choice in the heat of the moment.

More than likely, as with many participants of forums like these, not a single incident will occur in my lifetime and I'd like to think I'll be one of the lucky ones, but I'm not going down without a fight if it does happen.

I am thankful though, to have so many LEOs comment on threads like this. It's very helpful to know from a LEO point of view, what else to consider. My sister is great friends with a LEO so next time he's over for a BBQ, I'll have to put him to work with my questions. :)
 
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