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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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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.
 

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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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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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fire/rescue104
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I would say you've done a great deal to make your home safer. Be very familiar with your firearm(s), that can't be overstated. Your greatest asset is your brain, not necessarily your firearm. If you know your home inside and out, and can walk around comfortably in the dark without falling all over furniture, you have a major advantage over anyone entering your home with ill intent. And, I assume anyone breaking into my home, particularly at night, is armed and/or dangerous and I would respond appropriately.
Unfortunately, your chances of a home invasion or just a simple break-in probably are infinitely higher than you encountering a self-defense situation at a mall or in a store or a parking lot. Millions of American homes are broken into every year. There may be just one or two self-defense situations in your town or community in a year.
 

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Home invasions seem relatively rare with random strangers targeted.

Usually the victims have some history with the perps, or are in a high risk occupation.
Examples range from jewelers to coin dealers to drug dealers and ex-boyfriends.

Also, certain groups of foreigners are assumed to hold onto larger amounts of cash, distrusting banks and governments. Some even hoard gold.
Handymen and day laborers might return to known soft targets.
A child or relative who runs with a bad crowd might brag to the wrong people.

Daytime burglary of unoccupied dwelling is far more common.
 

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HD is always a balancing act. You call 911 every time your alarm goes off or the dog barks, you are in trouble. So at some point, you may just have to go sort it out yourself. This is where a good training class comes into play, along with a good plan for defense.
For me it starts with properly secured windows & doors. Then my dog. She is the best early warning system, better than an alarm as she is not one to go off by accident. Any serious threat is met by me, the wife calling 911 & 12ga as backup. I don't need to leave my bedroom upstairs but if I do, dog goes out first. I agree, if the threat exists at all, carry your gun until bedtime, then night stand but not sitting on top if you have no dog. Plenty of people get snuck up on in bed & any weapon in plain sight will be used against you.
 

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fire/rescue104
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I would second a dog. I swear my dog can hear a rabbit creeping in the front yard from inside the house. A breakin is going to be followed by barking that will wake the dead.
 

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I would second a dog. I swear my dog can hear a rabbit creeping in the front yard from inside the house. A breakin is going to be followed by barking that will wake the dead.
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.
 
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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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I can't recommend specific training because other than military and security training decades ago I've had none. I can say that my house was broken into twice last September, once when no one was home and once when I was home. In both cases the perps were arrested, one juvenile pled guilty and did his time, the other (adult) is delaying his day in court. He was offered 4 years in prison with 16 probation, now they're going for 16 in prison and 4 probation.

So here's what I did prior to and afterwards.

In my case after almost 12 years in this house the first warning signs were a rash of car break ins all around our neighborhood. Many of us communicate with each other via Nextdoor.com so I knew there was a pattern.

Prior to this I kept a loaded 12 gauge for HD as well as my sidearm. After the car break ins I bought a Canary (look them up, they're cool and not expensive). The first break in occurred while my wife and I were away at a shooting match. The Canary sent me an alert and recorded the juvenile breaking in. I forwarded that recording plus a screen shot to LE and posted the screenshot on Nextdoor.com. Before the day was over local PD got a tip on his address and had him in custody. It was a Friday. Confronted with the evidence he pled guilty on Monday.

After the first break in I added a second Canary covering another high traffic area and a replaced my doorbell with a Ring.

Wouldn't you know the first perp spotted my safe and let the second one know about it. We surmise this because they have Facebook connections and the second one came with safe cracking tools.

So, a week later the second guy breaks in while I'm home playing Call of Duty. Long story short, his vehicle ended up impounded with two flat tires, he initially escaped after a foot chase, but was later apprehended at his home.

After that one I installed an actively monitored home alarm system that links to my smartphone. I also stashed more guns around the house so I would have quicker access.

I started saving for a new house in a better neighborhood as well.

Lessons learned for me:

1. Video surveillance helps a lot. If you can access it from your smartphone you get lots of peace of mind when you aren't home. According to LE, if it's not HD (mine all are) it's not particularly helpful.
2. Use more than one video system. If all your cameras are running of the same system and the criminal defeats that system you have nothing. Make sure they stream to the cloud, not locally saved.
3. A robust monitored alarm system with motion sensors lets you sleep easier at night knowing you're going to have some lead time.
4. Get a safe and put it somewhere other than the master bedroom. Thieves go straight to living rooms and master bedrooms because that's typically where the goodies are.
5. One readily accessible gun in a big house isn't enough. It took me way to long to get to my shotgun and bring it into play, at least 25 seconds, maybe more. If it had been 5 seconds less the perp wouldn't be facing jail time he would be taking a dirt nap.
6. Be familiar with all your guns and practice, practice, practice. Shoot competitively if possible. Knowing that you are highly proficient with your guns helps when you are in that kind of situation, it least it helped me.

Edit:
I forgot to mention. I replaced the two doors that were used as entry points with stronger doors and reinforced frames. Also, to address the point Fred brought up: I do have guns 'stashed' around the house, but they're secured. Prior to these incidents all guns were secured in a combination lock safe that took too long to access.
 

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... I will look into additional ways, minus putting bars on our windows. Locks obviously don't prevent windows from break-ins. ...
Products like 3M security film for windows are impressive. I've used it when living in hurricane prone areas.

There can be significant cost involved depending on how many windows you cover.

Also, if a window doesn't open from the inside, you will have equal trouble getting out should you have a get-out-quick situation like a fire or other incident.
 

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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.
Summer of 74 on my BIL and sisters dairy farm. Relatives came with a big Airedale and spent a couple months. Lots of other farm dogs around. G. Sheperds, a Collie, and some hunting hounds. Doris was the Airedale, and she fit like a glove. Her and the two Sheperds and the Collie had bringing the cows in the barn every morning, down pat. On the rare occasion that there was no work to be done, Doris and I would nap under a big pine tree. She loved to cuddle. I was 20, but I think I cried when she had to leave. Just dog talk.
 

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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.
The problem with many small breeds is they will bark at anything. The Airedale is not known as a barker. Sort of stealthy. She will bark at something she doesn;t like, like the coyote on the back fence the other night, or the knock at the door. Other noises just get investigated prior to a barking warning. She is a bit more vocal than my other two previous but then they were guys, she's a girl.;)
BTW, don't stash guns around your house. If you can hide it I can find it & so can a bad guy. All my stuff is in a 600# safe bolted to the concrete floor. My house gun is in an instant safe bolted to the closet shelf. I can get to that one in less than 10sec. Where the big dog comes into play. FWIW, bad guys hate dogs for the most part. A big dog with big bark, big teeth is scary to most. They don't have to know the dog won't bite.
I'm also looking into digital camera security. If nothing else, I have a record of who breaks in, even if the dog chases them off.
 

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I have been a practicing security professional for 25 years including designing residential, commercial, aviation and military integrated security systems. I am also a professional firearms instructor, writer and and student of the art. I can tell you there is much wisdom in many of the responses you have received in this thread.

Fundamentally, the first and biggest step to finding a solution to any problem is admitting you have one. You are doing all the right things and asking all the right questions. There is no such thing as one item, technique or product that will adequately secure anything; including a residential home short of surrounding said home with a company of Marines.

Security is a matter of layers. Sturdy fences with quality locks. Motion detector exterior flood lights to make potential intruders nervous. Cover the exterior with video surveillance cameras recording on a network video record (typically $500 and some basic know how.) A quality digital cellular intrusion detection system. Lots of signs around the house announcing the presence of surveillance cameras and a monitored intrusion detection system. These steps alone will deter most remotely sane intruders that do not have some personal connection to you or yours. Please note we haven't set foot in the house or picked up a gun yet.

The nut jobs do not care about getting caught. The insider threats know when the systems are disabled and/or when you come and go. The next layer, inside the home gets more difficult and potentially lethal. I could literally write a book about all the things a person could do to mitigate the intruder threat. The group that has written several books about this and represents the professionals you should be talking to can be found here:

https://www.asisonline.org

For myself, first and foremost is deterrence. Second, everyone of age in the house knows the plan, what their role is and is trained and appropriately armed. Lastly, we keep a low profile, try to live kind and just lives and are fully prepared to go hot if the circumstances allow no other recourse. Good luck and God's speed.
 

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Sounds like you are doing a good job of addressing your security concerns. I know you said that you wanted to stash guns around your home and at least you mentioned that you wanted them secured as well. If you look around there are some creative ways to do it that are pretty secure. Having seen first hand how burglars will go through everything given enough time, I would stay away from the "hide in plain sight" solutions as they offer very little in security if they are found.

Personally, I carry in my home and anywhere that I can and saw you were doing the same. The only "stashed gun" is my dedicated home defense weapon that is secured in a heavy handgun safe bolted to my bed frame. It is there primarily since I am most vulnerable (unarmed) when sleeping and it is very quick to access. The gun I am carrying is the best option when I am awake. I also feel that in a very low risk environment of my home during the day, pocket carry is an easy and comfortable option no matter what I am doing or how I am dressed at home.
 

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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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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.

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.
 

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trooper2899
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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!

D-O-G ?
 

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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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