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Old 08-28-2017, 06:01 PM
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Default The Home Invasion. Could you be Better Prepared?

Our home is our castle, our last redoubt. It’s where we tend to let our guard down a bit, where we suspend situational awareness if we hope to get any sleep. It is also where our loved ones may still be: small children, our spouse, perhaps an aged parent? If we ever have to defend our home, it’s a fight we can’t afford to lose. You must stack as many odds in your favor as possible.

This is a gun-oriented forum so it is understandable that discussions on any type of defense tend to begin and end with the right gun shooting the right ammunition. Proper mindset, judgment and tactics determine the outcome of any confrontation more so than whatever firearm you would rely on. The gunfight that can be avoided is preferable to the one you have to win at all cost.

On Long Island NY, where I live, there are recurring home invasions and victims tend to fall into predictable categories. The most common invasion involves the low-level drug dealer, suspected of having drugs and cash in his home or stash house. Of interest, these often involve college-age individuals and other family members are put at risk through that person’s criminal activities. Owners of lucrative cash businesses who may keep cash at home, the elderly, because they tend to be trusting, soft targets who can more easily be conned into admitting a stranger to their home, and the random citizen who may present himself as a target of opportunity. If you read about the tragic home invasion suffered by the Petit family in Connecticut, in 2007, you’ll do everything in your power to discourage a home invasion at your home.

Home invasions are statistically rare crimes. There are approximately one million forcible entries into occupied dwellings each year, including run-of-the-mill burglaries. In sixty-five percent of such crimes, the homeowner and intruder know each other in some way, all the more reason to select your friends carefully and to be more secretive regarding your possessions and travel plans.

Home invasion usually describes the violent door explosion with one or more intruders present and are perhaps the most difficult to defend against as there’s usually no warning. Home invaders may also try to talk or bluster their way into your home by posing as a law enforcement officer, municipal inspector, utility worker, contractor, bill collector, etc. This type of home invasion is called a push-in robbery: they get you to open the door, then strong-arm their way in or perhaps menace you with a weapon. A favorite ploy of the imposter is to claim he is investigating a reported natural gas leak. We tend to want to cooperate, even if our house is all electric.

We’ll assume for the moment that you’ve developed your mindset and you’re capable of employing deadly force when appropriate. It then boils down to judgment and tactics. Tactics includes physical preparation such as hardening your home against easy intrusion. Even having a dog tends to discourage intruders. Dogs usually sound a warning and some of them are not to be messed with.

Lock manufacturers like to boast of how strong their products are. A $40.00 deadbolt lock is just as good as a $250.00 high-tech wonder because it’s the doorjamb that’s going to absorb the force of an attack and fail, not the lock. Lock manufacturers won’t tell you that. That’s why I’m telling you. Replacing the one-inch striker plate screws with two-inch #8 screws, which are usually long enough to reach the framing, insures that the door is more likely to withstand the first kick or shoulder thrust. Also, remove the interior trim on the lock side of the door, then drill two pilot holes through the width of the jamb and screw in three-inch flat head screws above and below the lock mortise. Reattach the trim. This makes the jamb much less likely to splinter along the grain. You should also remove one screw per hinge on the jamb side and replace it with a two-inch screw. These minor modifications will far better withstand assault and buy you the time you need to arm yourself. All entrances should be reinforced as the invasion you anticipate at the front door may occur at the side or rear doors. Even with a metal clad door, the doorjamb, usually made of soft pine, one half to five eighths inches thick, remains the Achilles heel of an entranceway. In a home invasion, having a few seconds to arm yourself and move family members to safety is a critical tactic that will probably determine the outcome.

One tactic I use is to never let a potential adversary know I’m armed. My home and automobiles are devoid of any signs or decals promising an armed response upon any provocation or membership in any gun-oriented organization. Hardened criminals quickly learn to strike hard, quick and with overwhelming force if they think you’re armed. The point is, by tipping your hand, so to speak, you may unwittingly cause a confrontation in which it is far more difficult to win. You may witness this tactic on reality-based police shows: on hot “no-knock” entries, police hit the door like a freight train, sweep in, gaining control of the premises and everyone in it in a matter of seconds. You should also notice that many doors give way on the very first strike of the battering ram while others sometimes require repeated hits. The tougher your door is, the more time you have.

The North Shore, of Long Island, NY, particularly the western end, nicknamed the Gold Coast, contains some of the priciest real estate in America and some of the wealthiest titans of finance and industry. Even the hired help tends to have a yearly income in six figures. After dark, especially on Saturday night when women are more likely to be wearing their better jewelry, enterprising criminals have been known to position their car at any one of several north-bound exits off the Long Island Expressway, (long Island’s east-west main artery) wait for a pricey car to exit and head north, then follow that car on the chance it’s headed to a residence in the rolling, wooded terrain that is the Gold Coast. As the victims exit their car in the driveway or garage, two or more thugs wearing masks (these homes tend to have video surveillance systems) and brandishing weapons, suddenly appear from nowhere, take control of their victims and get them inside their home. What follows is wholesale theft, victims being forced to open safes, visit ATM’s, sometimes sexual assault, gratuitous beatings, torture, arson, etc. Anyplace that smells of financial success, such as country and yacht clubs or pricey restaurants serve as viable scouting points for robbers seeking a victim. By chance, am I describing your lifestyle?

Situational awareness, what the late Jeff Cooper called Condition Yellow, requires that we be aware of our surroundings at all times, even while driving. As you draw closer to home and residential streets, traffic is thinning, and you should then be more aware of a car that seems to be going where you’re going. Certain you’ve grown a tail? Call the police. Avoid a confrontation. You can’t prove someone was following you and that person’s lawyers will then transform the encounter into a road-rage situation, which is extremely difficult to defend against. Your suspicions would never justify a pre-emptive strike of any kind.

If you have a home security system wired to a central station, you should have a distress disarming code besides your normal code. The distress code disarms the system but alerts central station that you are acting under duress. They will then notify local law enforcement. Even the invaders understand that the security system must be disarmed and will likely force you to do it. Many security companies provide panic buttons at the entranceways. Do you and your spouse even remember the alternate distress code?

In conclusion, it was my objective to encourage you to take a more comprehensive, proactive approach to make your home a less inviting target. Harden your perimeter, don’t advertise the presence of valuables and be sure that everyone in the household is cautious with anyone showing up at your door, especially at odd hours or if they seek entry on some pretext. The newer security systems allow you to remotely see and question someone at your door without unlocking it.

Remember, the only people you must admit to your home or who may break down your front door in the absence of an emergency are genuine law enforcement officers armed with either a search or arrest warrant.

Last edited by federali; 08-28-2017 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:07 PM
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Nice analysis. Two things that I try to accomplish at all times is to be in Condition Yellow - and always armed. The latter is far more easily done than the former. Distractions abound.

My friends and relatives who are aware that I am always armed in and around my house, even when wearing nightclothes and a robe, think I'm paranoid.

Guess what?

They are correct!

Let's be careful out there!!!
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:18 PM
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The Home Invasion. Could you be Better Prepared?
No.

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Old 08-28-2017, 06:19 PM
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Most doors anymore are pre-hung. They show up at the job site already in a frame and the frame is attached to the wall opening already in place. How well it fits is unknown unless you watched your home being built. If there's space, the builder is supposed to insert wedges at the hinges and lock plates to form a solid backing. Note the words "supposed to".

I'd suggest 3 inch screws for the lock plates and hinges, you want to reach deep into the wood behind the door frame. Check your doors also, it isn't too unusual for a carpenter to get absent minded and hang a hollow core interior door as an exterior door.

You need to pay attention the the vehicles/people normally in your neighborhood and at what times. Also, the vehicles ahead and behind you on your way home. At either end of your destinations are the most likely times for being accosted by those who may want things from you. Oh yes, keep your car doors locked.

Should you patronize any place with valet parking, you should make sure the only key the valet gets is the car key-preferably the special valet key. That way, they may be able to copy your car key and sell that to thieves, but not your house keys. Once upon a time, at a very ritzy joint, some of the valets-almost all relatives of the wealthy patrons-had a booming business selling house keys to a burglary ring. The burglars were bright enough to allow a long time before exploiting the keys, and may have been tipped about when the soon-to-be-victims were out of town.

Last edited by WR Moore; 08-28-2017 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:21 PM
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Often folks thinking about sd at home forget one of the best aids to situational awareness and deterance: a dog.

Doesn't have to be attack trained, or even mean.

A dog is much more aware of what's going on around it than most folks. A dog will alert you to events and strangers long before you can detect them. Dogs are always in 'condition yellow'.

Dogs are also great deterants. Most BG's would rather tackle a home or person without a dog than one with a dog.

Don't overlook the added security a dog can provide.

Last edited by Rpg; 08-28-2017 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:21 PM
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Good info-
Thanks federali.....
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:23 PM
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Big Dogs
Always lock doors
security lights
Bedside Glock with 22 rounds
442 on me during waking hours including following me to shower
family well versed in firearm use

Thats the best I can do
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:01 PM
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Excellent analysis and advice.

Think you're being followed in traffic? Make three right turns. If the same vehicle is behind you when you get back to the street you left three right turns ago, congratulations, you're being followed.

At this point DON'T drive home and show them where you live. They may already know, but they also may not. Call 911 and let the police handle it. Don't stop driving. Try to give the dispatcher a good description of the vehicle and occupants if possible. Do exactly what the dispatcher tells you to do and don't disconnect from your end until the police are with you.

If you don't have a phone, battery dead, or phone simply isn't working, you should know where the closest 24 Hour Police station is and drive there. If they're foolish enough to follow you into the police station lot, stay in your car, and LEAN on your horn without stopping right at the front entrance.

If driving to a 24 Hour Police station is not possible, again, don't drive home. Drive to a heavily populated parking lot area, Mall, Hospital, etc. Same drill, LEAN on your horn without stopping, attract attention. If nighttime, turn on your flashers and continuously flash your high beams. The idea is to draw so much attention to yourself that you attract people to want to find out what the problem is, perhaps security guards, off-duty or on-duty police, etc.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:23 PM
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We moved into a middle class fifty-five and older community about 4 years ago and installed an alarm system. In addition I'm armed, or have something close by, all the time but I keep that to myself. We don't even answer the door if not expecting company. Am I paranoid? Yup!
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:35 PM
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I guess I could be better. We have a alarm and I'm always armed. All doors and windows have a entry alarm even if alarm is off. No problems so far. I don't think I'm paranoid, just cautious.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:50 PM
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Little things can help. Security doors allow you to see who's standing there in relative (but not absolute) safety. Many people don't lock the door coming into the house from the garage. Having a digital camera or smart phone handy, in addition to a firearm, is a good thing. I had a guy try to con me into a "free security system" one day. I had a picture of is face sent to the police department before he got off my lawn.

Here in Arizona home invaders are quite often found on the sidewalk bleeding profusely by the time the police arrive.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:50 PM
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We live in a "starter" neighborhood. My sister in law used to think we were paranoid, because we try to maintain security measures. She would leave her car and house unlocked (they live across the street). She just got her Master's degree in psychology, for social work. Once she started getting to know some of the sketchier folks in our area, she suddenly followed our lead.

Our threat level is pretty low, honestly. We live in a religious community in a religious state. Things do happen everywhere.

One thing I try to stay on top of is fitness. I'm in better shape now than when I was active duty. It's reduced my stress and improved my quality of life immensely. I'm hoping it will serve me well, in the unlikely event of your scenario.

Thanks for the excellent reminders!
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:12 PM
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Two elderly couples were murdered near here just last week while they were sitting at the kitchen table playing cards. No suspects yet. I'll bet there was no dog in the house to warn them of someone approaching.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:30 PM
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I am a firm believer of dogs. My dog is loyal. He is paranoid. He is wild. Straight from the streets of Kuwait to my house. He trusts no one under the age of 5. And he has a growl that will give you chills. Should have named him Kujo

I also prefer cameras to an alarm. Alarm will tell the authorities WHEN someone broke in. At least the camera will show them WHO broke in. And how.

I don't have an alarm. If someone is in front of my house I will know before they ever get up the drive. If they made it to the front door i usually already have eyes on them. Unless I know it's the UPS or FedEx guy dropping off more lead at my door.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:31 PM
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Security storm doors make it much more difficult for someone to quickly force their way into a home IMO.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:54 PM
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Many respondents used the word "paranoid", often jokingly. I think being aware and being prepared are not symptoms of paranoia. You are using your head.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:59 PM
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"Lock manufacturers like to boast of how strong their products are. A $40.00 deadbolt lock is just as good as a $250.00 high-tech wonder because it’s the doorjamb that’s going to absorb the force of an attack and fail, not the lock."

Your first sentence is not true at all. You have fallen for the baloney that the lock manufacturers want you to believe.

True, normally the door jamb or the door itself fails. But not always. I have seen supposedly strong bolts shear in half when the door and jamb held firm. Some deadbolts including the $40 deadbolts you mention have hollow bolts. The are not solid steel and often are made of pot metal.

The $250 deadbolts are high security. Not only are they stronger but they are designed to resist multiple methods of attack. Some that most folks are not accustomed to seeing. And they offer resistance to key bumping. If there are no signs of forced entry because the lock was "bumped" your insurance company may not pay up. Seen this a few times.

No offense, but if you're going to offer advice, please make sure it's accurate. I can help you with that. It's what I do for a living. Not bragging. But I've seen things you wouldn't believe. I'm not a first responder. More like a second responder that just happens to get there before the cops do sometimes.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
442 on me during waking hours including following me to shower
Needing to become a prisoner in one's own home is a sad state of things. Perhaps relocating to a safer place is in order. There is being aware, being prepared and then there is being paranoid and living in a constant state of fear. I refuse to succumb to the latter.

Simple things besides a dog - thorny bushes like roses or berries under each window. A simple walkway path of small pebbles around the house - try to walk quietly on those, it can't be done. If you're that worried about your front door, the old steel bar across it from inside attached to brackets in the walls does the trick.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:29 PM
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I'm good . . .

(Sounds like the main thing to do is just stay away from the North Shore of Long Island . . .)
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:53 PM
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I really like these threads.

Only "tip" I can add:

Always (ALWAYS) close your blinds/curtains as soon as it starts to get dark outside. (Preferably, keep them closed all the time - You don't gain anything by letting people peek into your home).

Seems obvious, but far too many people don't understand the simple fact that lights inside + dark outside = you are completely exposed, anyone can see what you're doing from miles away.

Likewise, if you're house is dark inside (ie: middle of the night) and you hear something outside, don't turn on the lights. You won't see anything and if anyone's outside they'll see you.

Also, I prefer to not leave any gun related material in plain sight (books, magazines, decals). If there's a break-in when I'm not around, nobody should even guess there are firearms in the house. Same goes for guests, repair services, neighbors. You just don't know who may be looking into your stuff.


I know, this all may sound bloody obvious to most of us here, but unfortunately it is not that obvious to people in general. Kids, wives, friends. I try to make a point to teach these simple things to anyone I can.

Last edited by diegobxr; 08-28-2017 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dubshooter View Post
I am a firm believer of dogs. My dog is loyal. He is paranoid. He is wild. Straight from the streets of Kuwait to my house. He trusts no one under the age of 5. And he has a growl that will give you chills. Should have named him Kujo

I also prefer cameras to an alarm. Alarm will tell the authorities WHEN someone broke in. At least the camera will show them WHO broke in. And how.

I don't have an alarm. If someone is in front of my house I will know before they ever get up the drive. If they made it to the front door i usually already have eyes on them. Unless I know it's the UPS or FedEx guy dropping off more lead at my door.
Your dog has it backwards. He should trust no one OVER the age of about 12.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:27 PM
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The Home Invasion. Could you be Better Prepared?

Short answer: always, of course.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:00 AM
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Parinoid= alive
I wish to know who walked into my woods and found all my rusty fish hooks at eye level, just feet after the no tresspassing sign and the shot up camera.. Love my dog, but even she did not hear THAT! Kyle
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:40 AM
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Seems obvious, but far too many people don't understand the simple fact that lights inside + dark outside = you are completely exposed, anyone can see what you're doing from miles away.
I am NOT COMPLETELY exposed..........I wear my gym shorts.........
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:44 PM
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Your dog has it backwards. He should trust no one OVER the age of about 12.
My typo. Had it right in my head. Fingers got it wrong.

He was abused by the local children with rocks and sticks before he was brought in and exposed to the world of couches and pillows. Very few children (or people for that matter) that he actually likes. He tolerates a few more than that though.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:15 PM
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Dogs are also great deterants. Most BG's would rather tackle a home or person without a dog than one with a dog.
As a truck driver I've found myself in wrong places waiting for daylight to get my load.

One evening in the Oakland, CA port I was standing outside my truck with my German Shepard at my side. A crazed black man was slowly working his way towards me ranting and raving, at about 50 yards away my dog stepped up and warned him to back away.

He did and quickly.. I love my dog..
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:48 PM
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As a truck driver I've found myself in wrong places waiting for daylight to get my load.

One evening in the Oakland, CA port I was standing outside my truck with my German Shepard at my side. A crazed black man was slowly working his way towards me ranting and raving, at about 50 yards away my dog stepped up and warned him to back away.

He did and quickly.. I love my dog..
Many years ago, had a female Shepard/collie mix. Loved everyone. Really. Stranger rang the doorbell. Wife opened the door (I know). Dog was at her side. Guy pulled open then screen door and in a pretty violent voice said "I'm coming in." Dog went from fun and cuddly to Kujo on steroids in a nanosecond. Guy ran off and just as quicky the dog was back to fun and cuddly. Dogs are great companions.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:54 PM
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Default May I Use Your Phone?

Another age-old ploy I forgot to mention although this may be falling into disuse with all the cell phones in circulation. If someone is at your door asking to use the phone because of some emergency, offer to make the call for them. Don't let them in.

A friend of mine was spring cleaning at his hunting camp set back about 100 yards from a paved road. A car pulls up. Someone is knocking at his door needing to use his phone claiming car trouble. My friend saw them pull up and the driver remained in the vehicle. It didn't take much for my friend to figure out that the car was running and sounded pretty good for car with car trouble. When the female stranger outside the door heard him rack the side of his pump gun through his door, she made a hasty retreat, returned to the car and off they went, so-called car trouble not withstanding.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:36 PM
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Dogs are the best! We have 2,an australian sheppard that will run right up to people she knows,or doesnt know,all the while emmiting the nastiest snarl/bark Ive heard.But she is not the one to worry about.About 20 feet behind her,edgeing her way up in a sideways,head down creep,is the black/silver siberian husky,not makeing a sound,but with neck hair raised straight up!Now,she wouldnt bite a person,even if they bit her first,but she is one scary looking canine!The two of them developed this method of attack for coons ,skunks porkys and cats,which the husky DOES kill immeadiately upon engagement!
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:09 PM
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I'm sure I'm about to be ridiculed - but I have one more suggestion. Twice, in the last year or so, I have left both our outer and inner main entry doors unlocked. It's a geezer thing I guess ... . So - here's what I have done - I have set a daily reminder on my iPhone calendar to "Check Doors" at 9PM - with reminders 15 and 30-min before. In my defense, if I get busy with life ... sometimes I forget the basics!
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:18 PM
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Lots of interesting reading in this Thread. My house is pretty well protected with motion lights all around, an alarm system that has its own cell phone and battery backup, and a rescue dog that is always on alert. I recently installed a Ring Doorbell that activates when someone is within 30' of my front door and begins recording 1080p video, whether the doorbell is rung or not. The door bell camera works so well I am soon going to install one of their remote video cameras as well.

The NRA offers a class titled "Refuse to be A Victim" that my wife and I attended. It is well worth the time and nominal fee and you will learn things you have never even thought about in regards to personal safety at home and on the street. It is not a gun class and firearms are just briefly discussed. Check it out.

NRA Explore | Refuse To Be A Victim
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:26 PM
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Excellent analysis and advice.

Think you're being followed in traffic? Make three right turns. If the same vehicle is behind you when you get back to the street you left three right turns ago, congratulations, you're being followed.

At this point DON'T drive home and show them where you live. They may already know, but they also may not. Call 911 and let the police handle it. Don't stop driving. Try to give the dispatcher a good description of the vehicle and occupants if possible. Do exactly what the dispatcher tells you to do and don't disconnect from your end until the police are with you.

If you don't have a phone, battery dead, or phone simply isn't working, you should know where the closest 24 Hour Police station is and drive there. If they're foolish enough to follow you into the police station lot, stay in your car, and LEAN on your horn without stopping right at the front entrance.

If driving to a 24 Hour Police station is not possible, again, don't drive home. Drive to a heavily populated parking lot area, Mall, Hospital, etc. Same drill, LEAN on your horn without stopping, attract attention. If nighttime, turn on your flashers and continuously flash your high beams. The idea is to draw so much attention to yourself that you attract people to want to find out what the problem is, perhaps security guards, off-duty or on-duty police, etc.
When my younger son was home from college I got a call one morning at 6AM. He had realized he was being followed on his way home the night before and instead of coming home drove clear out of town. Still being followed and realizing now that there was no doubt about it he stopped at the next 24 hour big box store, went inside and drank coffee until he was sure he wasn't waking me (not the best tactics, but considerate). Cut to the chase his tail was the regional narcotics unit who mistook his recently repainted car for that of one of their targets. If he had driven to the PD instead we could have all had a good laugh and he would have had a decent night's sleep.

Yes, we talked about tactics, but I was proud he was paying attention.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:52 PM
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The comment about blinds/shades brought back memories from decades ago. The one I'll share involves a shift on foot patrol in a tony enclave that was laid out as someone's idea of rustic English villages. Houses on streets were laid out in rough circles, with a commons in the middle with many old trees left in place. It was around Christmas, the snow was falling, it looked like a Christmas card and quite beautiful. I took a short cut through a common area and was astounded at what I could see. And some of what I devoutly wished I hadn't seen.

For an allegedly security aware community, it was mind boggling. BTW, just because you live on a floor above ground level doesn't mean you can't be seen.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:19 PM
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Let's not forget those of us who live in apartments and/or have financial constraints. For example, there are limits to what I can do to my apartment to enhance security. However, with a little creativity and forethought, some things can be done to improve security without violating a lease or going broke.

For general tips, I actually posted some advice in another thread which I've copied here:

Make your home as much of a hard target as you can. How much depends on the nature of your home (apartment, small house, big house, multi-floor, etc.) and your budget. Solid-core exterior doors with good quality, deep deadbolts, hinges and locks secured with longer-than-standard screws; exterior lighting, including motion detection if possible; clear shrubs and trees from blocking the view of doors and windows (gives thieves the ability to break in without being seen); make sure windows and doors are locked; place wooden dowels in window/sliding glass door tracks to keep them from being opened from the outside; install a security system; etc. For more budget-restricted options you can get inexpensive braces that wedge between the inside of the door and the floor to make it more difficult for intruders to break in. Additional options are available if you want to seek them out. These things can make thieves/intruders decide to seek easier targets elsewhere (CPTED: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). If intruders do decide to invade your home, these measures can slow them down and alert you of danger.

Come up with a plan. Without your gun, go through your home and determine potential lines of fire, especially in relation to your kids' rooms. You may be able to arrange your furniture to mitigate the risk of wall pass-throughs, but also be aware that you won't likely be able completely eliminate that risk. You may even be able to arrange your furniture such that it would make it difficult for intruders to make their way through your home without making any noise. Work out how you plan to get to your kids and possibly bring them back to your designated "safe room" (this can be your master bedroom with extra reinforcement on the door, or possibly even one of your kids' rooms). Do this process with your home well lit, in the dark, with your glasses, and without your glasses. You may identify issues that might not have occurred to you otherwise, such as placing night lights in strategic places. Give some forethought as to what you'll do if an intruder gives up (Do you hold them at gun point? Call police? Tell them to get out?); this will depend on the laws in your state. Very important: Know the laws regarding self defense and use of force in your state. Also, develop contingency plans in case your primary plan doesn't work (i.e., if your plan is in response to someone coming through your front door, have a plan in place in case someone comes in through the kitchen window). Do try to keep the plans simple and consistent; that will help make them workable under stress. Note: You can also apply this to other emergencies, such as fires.

Keep your gun, a fully-charged cell phone, a flashlight, and your glasses (if needed) close by. If you want the option of a less-lethal tool like pepper spray (that's specifically designed for self defense), keep that handy, too. Don't rely on landlines, as clever thieves have cut phone lines before breaking in. The flashlight is necessary to help identify intruders, as well as make them visible if you need to shoot.

Rehearse your plan(s). Physically do whatever it is you've planned, ideally multiple times. This will help reinforce it as well as help to identify potential issues. Incorporate your tools from #3 in your rehearsals (a triple-checked unloaded gun can be used, or for improved safety you can get a plastic blue gun, toy gun, or just use your finger...*pew pew pew* ). I've put my cell phone in airplane mode and practiced dialing 911. "People don't rise to the occasion, they sink to their lowest level of training." If you have kids, depending on their age you can make it into a game to help prepare them without freaking them out. You also don't need to make a big production out of it. Spend a few minutes running through everything, maybe a couple times a week. And don't be afraid to revise something if things change, i.e. the kids get older, other changes in your life, etc.

Don't stop learning. This applies to life in general as well as self defense.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:30 PM
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To dovetail the mention of Jeff Cooper and the conditions...

You have to know when to ratchet up to orange and then to red/black. Being late = being hurt or dead. Awareness is great but you have to know when to act, and of course how to act. Decisiveness and training.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:31 PM
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^^^ This is excellent advice.
However, I am always reminded of a saying we had in the Army that goes "The best laid battle plans go all to hell after the first shot is fired".
Let's hope we never get to that point.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:46 PM
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I'm sure I'm about to be ridiculed - but I have one more suggestion. Twice, in the last year or so, I have left both our outer and inner main entry doors unlocked. It's a geezer thing I guess ... . So - here's what I have done - I have set a daily reminder on my iPhone calendar to "Check Doors" at 9PM - with reminders 15 and 30-min before. In my defense, if I get busy with life ... sometimes I forget the basics!
I have left my garage door up all night many times, sometimes with the light on, sometimes not - nothing stolen (and the door from the garage into the house is never locked). Just all depends on where you live........
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:13 AM
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I have left my garage door up all night many times, sometimes with the light on, sometimes not - nothing stolen (and the door from the garage into the house is never locked). Just all depends on where you live........


Nothing ever happens in Florida. The Home Invasion. Could you be Better Prepared?


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Old 08-30-2017, 05:56 AM
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I have left my garage door up all night many times, sometimes with the light on, sometimes not - nothing stolen (and the door from the garage into the house is never locked). Just all depends on where you live........
And, so have I - at least once with the entry door open. Neighbor across the street just had a new opener installed - it can be set to auto-close after XX minutes and has a camera + motion detector. $500-ish installed. I just need more money ...
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:49 AM
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If someone would try to break into my home Eko my 75 pound GSD would meet them at the door before I was probably awake if it was at night during sleeping hours .. If anyone would like to go against her very strong bite force .. [ the bite of a German Shepherd has a force of over 1,060 newtons (238 lbf) ] they would be on the losing end .. if they were to get by her a firearm is always next to my bed or on my hip if I am up ..
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:58 PM
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I have left my garage door up all night many times, sometimes with the light on, sometimes not - nothing stolen (and the door from the garage into the house is never locked). Just all depends on where you live........
I have done the same thing several times, and I'm not in a great area of Florida. Just got lucky that nobody decided to come in. Also woke up to the front door being wide open once - it didn't latch properly and got blown open.

Here's a company that makes some good door reinforcements that don't cost a lot.

Beyond Locks Llc - Home Security Products
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:30 PM
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All of the tips and advise is all well and good, I have even picked up on one or so........ I have only one to add.
You must be willing.... to engage..... use all the force you have.... do not relent until it is finished. Then reload.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:18 PM
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What DevilDog72 said (post #42) is absolutely true. I learned this lesson on the street during my 30 year LEO career. It comes down to bring it and never quit.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:46 AM
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What DevilDog72 said (post #42) is absolutely true. I learned this lesson on the street during my 30 year LEO career. It comes down to bring it and never quit.
Totally agree ..

If someone breaks into your home while your home its not because what is in the home .. Its something they want that they think you have on your person or they mean you harm !! Might be a employment check you cashed and some one saw you or it may be prescription drugs someone saw you refill or know or think you have in your home ..

But if your home and they break in they will do you harm .. or they would have broke in while you were away !! So if it happens bring it hard and fast if you want to survive !!
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:35 AM
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Default I have.....

I have a burglar alarm on doors and with with motion detectors, double windows, doors enforced to the point it would take at least two good kicks to break into them. Deadbolts on all exterior doors and three very noisy dogs. If that's not enough I'm sitting on an S&W Shield and sleep by a 5943. I have other guns that I can spread around my house, too. I have shoulder holsters that I carry a J frame in, though I need to be more diligent about that.
My wife has a J frame she can use and my son is well covered, too.

Will all of this help us in the event a real home invasion. I hope so, but the invaders will have the element of surprise.

PS When we aren't here guns are in the safe. Not a great one, but better than leaving them lying around.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:42 AM
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This Thread has cost me a bunch of money! Yesterday I installed two door reinforcers and two new "Bump" proof deadbolt locks. I also ordered two more motion detectors from SimpliSafe to enhance my alarm system.

Think I'll go read the M&P Pistol forum instead.

Prime-Line 2-1/8 in. Double Bore Stainless Steel Door Reinforcer with 2-3/8 in. Backset-U 10539 - The Home Depot

Kwikset 980 Series Single Cylinder Satin Nickel Deadbolt featuring SmartKey-ZZ980 15 SMT RCAL RCS - The Home Depot

Extra Motion Sensor | DIY Home Security
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:47 AM
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This Thread has cost me a bunch of money! Yesterday I installed two door reinforcers and two new "Bump" proof deadbolt locks. I also ordered two more motion detectors from SimpliSafe to enhance my alarm system.
I just bought another Shockwave . . .
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:56 PM
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A lot of excellent info on home security. Unfortunately with kids in the house I am unable to have a firearm unsecured in every room. However our Akita is an excellent 80lb threat deterrent. She is a baby for the most part, but also a good judge of character. I know I would not want to go up against her especially in the dark. She also sleeps on the landing on the stairs where she is able to watch the front yard and cover 2 out of the 3 doors. We also have a solid black male cat that is part Siamese. He loves to attack the back of your legs when you aren't paying attention. He usually doesn't hurt the family but I have never seen a cat wrap up on a persons leg like he does. Definitely don't want to be on the receiving end of his aggression either. Thanks again for all the great info.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:18 PM
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I think with a dog like her you would not need any locks, alarms, lights or cameras that could do a better job of protecting you and your family! The cat would be another story.....
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:33 PM
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I guess I could lock the doors and stop leaving the keys in the cars, I dunno, something to consider.
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