Our previous post discussed having a home defense plan if your household does not include children. In this post, we discuss how that plan needs to be different for a household with kids.
If you do have kids, your kids MUST know and rehearse your home defense plan with you, if they are old enough.
Designate a “safe room” in your home where everyone can gather if you are aware that something is wrong. The objective is to get the family together in a position from which you can launch a defense. This could be the master bedroom. If you can hear intruders breaking in, then one parent could go get the kids while the other protects the area from which the intruders may come. Only once all family members are accounted for in one room, can you then consider anyone else in the house an intruder.
This room must at least have a phone, and you must have home defense weapons either available in this room, or taken into this room. If you are using a child’s bedroom, it will determine what can be stored there. So some items should be stored in this room, while others should be immediately accessible to you (eg. in a bag that can be easily picked up and carried) so that they can be taken into this room when you hear that breaking glass. This is the room in which the “fight” could occur, so be prepared with whatever you might need.
Once your family is safe, and police have been called, you have a decision to make. Do you stay put and wait? Or go check out the noise?
Personally, I believe that as long as all members of your family are with you, there is no need to leave that safe room. You do not need to start a gunfight over a TV. If they want your stuff, let them take it. But if that safe room door gets breached, you will make a stand against whoever comes through it. If you are using a gun for home defense, get yourself into the best position to shoot. You have the advantage, as the intruders will be entering an unfamiliar room, possibly in the dark.
Clearing your house, on your own, against intruders who could be armed, could have disastrous consequences. But then again, you may not want to wait until your attackers break that door down and risk a gunfight in your bedroom with your family around you.
Or, let’s say you hear the sound of breaking glass and at the same time you hear your daughter screaming in her room… If your family members are in imminent danger or in contact with an intruder, staying put is not an option. The intruders must be found and stopped as quickly as possible.
In some cases, say you hear intruders breaking a window, and you know your family is safe, warning the intruders that you are in the home and armed may make them run. If they don’t, then you must be ready to defend your life and your family. Are they armed? A knife is just as dangerous as a gun. And as we know from previous posts, the average man can cover a distance of 21 feet in under 1.5 seconds. Think about that. How many of us even have 21-foot long rooms? You will have fractions of seconds to respond, if you go looking for, and find, the intruders. Watch their hands – it’s the hands that are a threat to you, not their face. But never shoot before identifying first. Keep in mind they often work in pairs, so do not let your guard down if one intruder is stopped.
If you choose to stay put in the safe room, even if it sounds as though the intruders have left, then stay in the safe room until police arrive.
There are many possible scenarios that can present themselves. The situations will all be different - in some you’ll want to make yourself noticed, in some stay put with your family and in others take the fight elsewhere if necessary. This post is just intended to help encourage you to have your self-defense tools ready, have a plan – have several plans for different scenarios – and rehearse them with your family so that everyone can quickly spring into action when necessary.