House Clearing

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by falseharmonix, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. falseharmonix

    falseharmonix New Member

    I've been practicing clearing my house in the event of a break-in situation. I've come upon a question. I'll try my best to illustrate my house layout.

    I live in a 2-story ranch style home. The entry level is the upstairs, and the basement is below the ground. I live in the basement, at the furthest-most point in the house. Clearing the basement from my room is no problem. There is only one point in or out. I open my bedroom door and have eye contact with that entry point. All threats will have to be directly in front of me.

    Here is where it gets tricky. The entry point is a stair case. Directly at the top of the stairs is outside door #1 (back door). But when you make it to the top of the stairs, you must turn 180 degrees to continue to the rest of the house (in other words, my back is exposed the whole time while ascending the stair case).

    How should one clear a staircase like this? From the bottom of the staircase it is very clear whether or not the door was breached or closed, or whether someone was standing there. Im more worried about what would be in the rest of the house. Should I ascend the stair case backwards?

    Also, the staircase has a solid banister. You cannot see on the other side of it until you are at the top. So, it may be possible for someone to be crouched down and me not know it until I was literally on top of them.

    Any suggestions from you tactical types would be greatly appreciated.

    The weapons I would be clearing with are either my Glock or my Mossberg 590.
  2. rifleman1

    rifleman1 Active Member

    you could figure out a way to set up a mirror kinda like they put in hallways in buildings but you would have to make sure a bad guy couldnt use it against you, you would have to get the angle just right.but what i would personally do is buy a cheap baby closed circuit monitor yhey got color display or black and white.if you have a little money to spend you can get a low or no light system and just run it to the t.v. in your bedroom that sounds like a lot to do but if your truly worried then its not to much.

  3. Moss99

    Moss99 New Member

    If it were me and i knew there was someone in the house i wouldn't go up the stairs at all. I would wait for them to enter the bottleneck while i wait behind cover.
    If i HAD to go up the stairs (and there would need to be a damn good reason, i.e. a vulnerable family member etc) I would keep my back to the solid wall for the best range of vision, then move quickly and smoothly to minimize my time in the open and keep my muzzle steady for better target picture.

    I have no formal tactical training. That is just what I would do.
  4. WDB

    WDB New Member

    That is a tough one, my choice would be to add a dog to your home defense. It doesn't have to be a guard dog just one that will follow simple hand commands. They are great as they hear anythig well before you do and will alert when they hear an odd noise/smell in the house. If someone is on the other side of a stair case the dog will know it. In a worse case senerio the dog will clear the vantage point first and take the BG's fire, distract him or attack him. I have a lab and a rot, the lab is better trained but the rot will be the one who takes a bite out of crime. Both sleep in my room and when they get up in the middle of the night I take notice.

    Choke points are always your advantage but I expect most of us aren't willing to let our homes to be robbed while setting in the perfect spot. Also if you have other people in your home you may have to move beyound that prefect spot to defend them.

    I mirror isn't a bad idea but it should be something that seems normal in a home and understand if you can see them in the mirror they can see you as well.

    As always expressed good motion sensor lights outside, a good alarm system with vid are great ideas. Make your home a harder target than your neighbors.

    Something I added to my routine is a spare remote/fob for my truck on the night stand, it's always parked in the driveway. If I believe there is someone in the house I would hit the panic button on the remote setting off the alarm, with luck it would distract the intruder and wake the neighbors.
  5. BigByrd47119

    BigByrd47119 New Member

    Thats brilliant! Why didnt I think of that. I will deff make a note of this! (I always wanted a remote starter anyways, I can just get them both on one remote!)
  6. jordeur

    jordeur New Member

    You might try going up at a angle with your back to the wall. But not touching it but a few inches away so you don't have to worry about skidders (skidders are rounds that hit a wall and then ricochet or bounce along the edge of the wall in the direction they were fired). This way you can keep an eye on the door and the edge of the bannister where it meets the top floor and also have an eye on the top where the rest of the house is. You would also keep your weapon pointed generally in front of you so you could quickly swing towards the direction of the seen threat. If you hear something on your way up stop, listen and wait for a minute or two. Once you start back up start getting lower so your head does not go above the bannister until you have almost reached the top of the stairs. Lean over the top of the bannister if you can to clear that section of the top floor and then move around the choke point to finish clearing the house. If that door you mentioned at the top of the stairs is open I suggest closing it if you can to secure the area behind you as you move through the rest of the house.

    Your the one defending not the other so take your time. You should know the house well enough to navigate in darkness unlike the threat. Slow sure movements are the way to go in this situation. Don't funnel yourself in doorways and pie the corners. Good luck to you if it does happen. I always hated having to clear stairwells in training and they are a nightmare in real life, but grenades always made them a little easier to get through:D
  7. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    Ideally, you don't want to move. Ideally, you want the threat to come to you. For those times when you don't have a choice and must move, you could try using a telescoping inspection mirror like one of these in order to get around a tricky corner:


    Don't forget that a large convex wall-mounted mirror works BOTH ways, and may significantly increase the reaction time of either opponent. If it were me, I'd use a dog - A big, hard-biting dog! :p

    PS: Have you ever thought about slipping out a window or the backdoor and approaching the problem from the outside of the building? ;)

    IGETEVEN New Member

    You wanted the best advice you could get from any of "us" tactical types this is the best one mentioned. The others would work, but add a dog and an few motion detectors lights to outside entrys and an alarm system.

    Even just a few motion detectors mounted at all entry ways inside would be very helpful. #1 offensive and defensive security accessory for the home in America, besides a firearm, a dog. ;)

  9. DoyleTheDog

    DoyleTheDog New Member

    That's genius!!!! I have my keys by my bed aswell, but this never occurred to me.
    But as others have stated, I would get a dog if I was you. It's hard to think about your dog getting hurt in that situation, but remember, a loyal dog is always willing to lay his life on the line for his owner. Besides, I feel sorry for any poor SOB that messes with one of my dogs. If they don't make it to him I sure as heck will.
  10. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    I agree with G21.45 about staying put. Not that I advocatesitting and waiting for trouble however calling 911 and getting to cover would be the best bet.

    If you needed to get upstairs to grab your kids or had some other dire need to clear the house to that point, I just offer that clearing stairs while maintaining your personal security is a huge tactical problem, especially if you're doing it alone without the aid of a cover man (or woman, whichever the case).

    I have cleared many buildings alone and when it comes to stairs, I generally keep my back to the wall and move as quickly as I can to the blind spot, then haul butt out of the funnel. Since it's your house, you know what's at the top of the stairs for cover and/or a clear field of view so use that to your advantage by getting there double fast. Only my thoughts if you don't have any of the means mentioned before and a real need to seek out the intruder.

    I'd more likely reccomend turning on every light switch you can get a hold of and announce that you are armed and have called the police. If you go looking to engage someone, chances are that you will get the opportunity.
  11. Flint Rock

    Flint Rock New Member

    Clearing a house is probably the second most dangerous thing you can do.
    Clearing a house by yourself is probably the most dangerous thing you can do!
    You didn't mention anyone else living in the house, and if that's the case you should just sit tight. Hold your ground while you wait on the cavalry to arrive.
    If you did have to go clearing the house, and that's a big IF and HAVE, it usually is safest to go S-L-O-W. As you pie around, scan from the floor up. You would be surprised how often the first body part that comes into view is feet. If you come to a point where slow won't do, and something must be done, a dynamic entry can sometimes work.
    Get yourself an airsoft gun, some safety goggles, and a buddy. Then practice against each other. After you get popped a couple of times you will figure out what works and doesn't.
  12. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    Of course, when we teach these behavioral responses the mantra is always, STAY PUT! The best place to, 'hunker on down' is in a preselected, 'safe room'. Get down behind a large piece of furniture and GET ON YOUR CELL PHONE TO 911.

    (It's best to speak; however, if all you do is simply to leave that phone turned on and connected to 911, the police dispatcher WILL be able to locate you by using nothing more than the transmission signal. Remember NOT to hang up until AFTER the police arrive.)

    The recommended, 'survival kit' is (1) a reliable firearm whose operation you are familiar with as well as a couple of reloads, (2) a fully charged cell phone, (3) a powerful flashlight that can be operated with one hand, (3) and a key to your entry door attached to a large bright key fob.

    Your, 'safe room' should have a window. Ideally that window should allow you to communicate with anyone arriving at the house; you will be able to throw your house key out of it; and that key will be able to be easily found by the arriving police.

    If worse comes to worse, you might even be able to use that window for quick egress from the building - Just remember that, 'quick egress' also means, 'easy access' as well as the possibility of being too easily seen; so keep that window closed and covered until you need to open it.

    As much as I dislike restating this last part, I'm bound by course requirements to tell you that the (largely) agreed self-defense reaction is to loudly call out a warning. Something to the effect of: 'Stop!' 'I have a gun; and I'm ready to use it!' 'The police have been called and are on the way!' 'Leave now!' 'Leave now!'

    Me? I wouldn't, personally, behave this way; but, someone with less training or experience probably should. OK. ;)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  13. falseharmonix

    falseharmonix New Member

    Thanks to everyone for their $0.10.

    I'm a city dwelling cat person myself, and don't have the time and dedication for a new pet to be house-broken, or I might just go buy two!

    I have had a few bumps in the night that have given that extra jolt of adrenaline. What I ended up doing with both was first freezing in place and listening (I have a very well trained sense of hearing being a musician by trade, and you can hear a gnat fart in my house). After the initial shock wore off, I gained enough sense to grab my weapon and chamber a round. Then there was more waiting to hear anything.

    After waiting I decided to venture out and see what was going on. Once it was just a ghost (or a figment of my imagination) and the other was a mirror that had fallen off the wall and shattered, creating a HUGE bang in the middle of the night.

    Usually there is no one else in the house. Sometimes my mother visits, and her bedroom is upstairs. So when she does visit, there would be someone to worry about (my girl sleeps with me, so no need to go rescuing her).

    I'll keep the cell phone and hunkering down ideas to heart, and see what develops from there.

    Again, thanks!
  14. TelstaR

    TelstaR New Member

    Just speaking for myself. If I know that someone has invaded my home, I feel that my specific situation would be better served if I stay where I am and prepare to deal with a threat when it gets to where I am. I feel that running around the house alone looking for the bad guys is just going to remove any advantage tactical advantage I had to begin with.