Friday, June 27, 2008

Intruder Drill

I posted this over on Warrior Talk and it got such a strong response that I thought I’d share it with y’all as well.

It’s called the Intruder Drill and just as with fire drills, every home should have one, it should be known to all, and it should be practiced.

Basically the scenario is this – you and your loved ones are home and someone(s) breaks in. There are, as you may well imagine, many variations on this. Perhaps the simplest to plan for is when everyone is in bed and you determine an intruder is in the home well before they reach the sleeping area. Maybe fluffy starts yapping, maybe you hear glass break, or maybe you hear muffled talking in the living room.

Notice a key word there? It’s not “maybe” it’s “hear.” Your house should be secured in such a manner and you should have things arranged in such a was so as to ensure that no one can enter your home while you are in it without you knowing about it – and that is most usually done through your ears. If you are deaf you will have to rig some sort of light system.

So, you hear (what happens to be one person) stumbling around in the kitchen. The spouse is laying next to you in bed, the kids should be in their beds. Now what?
Well, waiting until that time to make some crucial decisions is not good. You won’t be thinking clearly; you won’t have time to review options and select the best; you certainly won’t have time to practice chosen courses of action.

Of course you need to do that now.
I don’t know what your house layout is.
I don’t know what your family situation is, what your sleeping arrangements are and so on – so let’s just deal with basics and concepts.

What happens first?
Most “experts” say you should not search your home looking for an intruder. You are probably not trained for it. You probably don’t have back up and partners. This does not mean you then have to pull the covers over your head and wait.

Do you call 911 immediately? What if it is your daughter getting a glass of milk from the fridge? What if it isn’t?

A technique is to have one adult poised to dial 911 while the other “investigates”. Both should immediately arm themselves. You CAN do this from your bed, right?

Got light? Know how to use it?

The other parent may want to move to a position where they can view the kids’ rooms and ensure no bad guys get to the children or between you and them. This position should afford concealment and as much cover as possible. Check out the situation – is the child’s door still in a normal state? Can you tactically check on the kids without alerting intruders? Look, listen, smell. Don’t worry – you will have super senses at this point. You will note I did not say go skulking around your home pieing corners and the like. Not unless you have to.

Do you need to move to the kids? Do they need to move to you? Does everyone need to seek cover? We have a code word, that when shouted, means “get down and get concealed”. We have practiced this since the kids were small. It reduces the chance they will get hit by stray gunfire. We have also positioned their beds with security and fields of fire in mind.

If and when you determine that you do in fact have an interloper someone needs to be dialing 911. You should rehearse the call. Practice what you will say and how you will say it.

If the other adult can cover all routes to the sleeping rooms then that is as far as they probably need to investigate. Shouting something along the lines of “I have called the police and you need to leave now!” may be helpful. Informing them you have a gun may be helpful. Or it may not be. It’s your situation, it’s your home – the point is to think it out NOW.

Start with that basic situation.
Add in a non-compliant intruder.
Add in an innocent – maybe your teen aged son has a buddy sleeping over and it’s him at the fridge.
Add in multiple intruders.
Add in hostages.
Add in a wounded family member.
Then change the location of family members – maybe you are all watching TV when goblins kick in the back door. Maybe the family is spread throughout the house.
Use your imagination.

You can make up scenarios where you return home from shopping and it “just doesn’t feel right”. How do you react?

For each scenario - think it through, make a plan and walk through the plan. Then run through the plan. Talk about it afterwards. Airsoft guns are a great training aid here. Airsoft is a wonderful training aid when used correctly and backed up with actual range time. I learned this from Gabe Suarez who I unhesitatingly recommend as an instructor.

So, take some time and start working on your response options – and while you are at it, please practice that fire drill also.

If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. – Exodus 22:2
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


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