Monday, June 23, 2014

Defense in the Home: Home Invasion

In defending your home remember your ABC’s. Avoid, Arm, Barricade, Contact, Cover. AABCC
Situational awareness and being in Yellow all the time, even in a familiar place like home, are really your first defense. You know your neighbors. You know what vehicles are supposed to be in the area. You know your dog’s bark. If you don’t know these things you should. (See blog Yellow to Orange, 3/8/2014)
The first thing in defending yourself, your family, your home, is avoiding the problem. Do a survey of your home. Look at the vulnerable points. Fortify your windows and doors, the way that a threat will get into your home. Ensure locks are in place and work. You know your home. An intruder will not. Ensure alarm systems are armed and working. Some people live in a small town where crime may be low. Don’t let this give you a false sense of security. Keep doors locked as much as possible.
Avoiding the threat means getting out. Escape if you can escape. If you are single or home alone this is generally not a problem. But if there are others with you, children or elderly, you must defend them. If you can all get out safely, do so.
Avoiding and arming should probably be together. For the sake of training we’ve put each act into an order. Like anything else, your situation dictates which step is in what order. I would be armed if I left because you never know what’s out there to meet you. If you cannot get out, you must arm yourself. Arm everyone who able and is trained. Where and how you keep these weapons is very important. Each of us has different situations in where and how we live. I can’t tell you how or where the best and safest place to store your weapons is. You must find this out for yourself. I would recommend a quick access vault even if you never have children in your home. It will secure your weapon from prying eyes and theft. This should be located in an area where you spend most of your time. You may consider more than one if you are so inclined. Beside your weapon there should be a spare magazine/speed loader or two, and a quality flashlight. Even a charged old cell phone would be handy.
Choosing a location to barricade should be 90 degrees from the approach of the attack to give you the advantage. You will be able to see the attacker before they can see you. This location should be approximately 12 to 15 feet at the least, to the furthest you would be able to engage with your weapon. You will be limited to available space also, but you control where this will be. The only change to this training would be if you have actual cover in the room you choose. Remember, a bullet will go through large kitchen appliances and drywall walls. Even a desk is probably not cover. (see blog What Cover Is and Is Not, 6/6/2014)
For those of you with military training who equate the word “contact” with engaging the enemy. That is not the meaning of the word here. Contact here, is communication. This is where that old cell phone will be used. Call the police. It’s what they are there and what we pay for. Regardless of your feelings toward the police, my advice would be to call them and let them work. But as I’ve said before, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Take your security into your own hands but let law enforcement supplement your own plans for security. When you call law enforcement have information ready. Where, what is happening, you are armed, your description, threat description and whether they are armed.
Where: Make sure your address is obvious especially if calling from a cell phone. If it is not, be clear in your directions and description of where you are. Any information that will have law enforcement get to you faster is important.
What: What is happening. Where you are located in the house? The fact that you or anyone else is armed. Where is the threat is located? Has there been any weapons fire? Should they be concerned about your dog?
Descriptions: What you and anyone with you are wearing. Where others are located if not with you. What the threat is wearing.
This is a step you have to weigh. There are many different possibilities for this step depending on the situation. Talking to the threat is not always the best. This will give away your position and may not do anything. If you do feel you have to warn the threat that you are armed, wait until they are in the room you are in. The best thing that could happen is that law enforcement arrives and takes care of the threat without anyone firing a shot.
As in any situation, consider your barricade positions ahead of time. Maybe you want your weapon vault located where you are considering a barricade. Maybe you would like to consider a safe room. Whatever you decide, make sure this is part of your home security plans. Write these plans down and after they have been established, practice with those in your household. Just like a fire drill, practice is important.
Semper Paratus