It’s after midnight. You hear glass breaking at the other end of the house and your front door opens – its a home invasion. You jump out of bed and grab your concealed. Staying in your safe room is what you have practiced but in walks your daughter from the next room. You secure her and your spouse in the closet away from the danger. As you move to hide yourself, you realize someone is missing. You hear your young son scream from down the hallway. What do you do?
In a perfect situation, both of your children would have made it to the bedroom. You hope you would never be put in this place but here you are. You have a decision to make. Do you stay with your spouse and daughter? Or risk them and yourself to go to your son?
The “hero” in all of us would like to confront the intruder during a home invasion. In reality, the best course of action is to stay in one place, call 911, and hope to not come face to face with the intruder. You are no good to your family if you lose an altercation with a criminal.
But in the case above, you may have no choice but to put yourself in danger and hope your family continues to stay protected in the safe room. Give them the phone and have them call 911 immediately. If you have to make the decision to move and make contact, do what you can to protect yourself. A family pet, such as a dog, can be invaluable by going ahead of you. It can at least alert you to where an intruder may be hiding in your home. Some even recommend having body armor in your home for cases such as this.
Your adrenaline will be rushing in a home invasion. Keep your weapon out in front of you, looking down the sites, ready to shoot. But be sure to keep your finger off the trigger. You will have to move quickly, but also try to do so as safely as possible. Try to keep your back to a wall, giving an intruder less chance to sneak up behind you. Turn lights on as you move through your house. Use the light on your gun to help you find light switches.
If you have to move past an open doorway, keep your gun pointed at the door. Move a bit slower, looking at pieces of the room at a time, to make sure no one is lurking in the room. If you make contact with the intruder and have to engage, shoot once at a time and reevaluate. The intruder, or your son, could move, making your next shot a tragic one. Expect your son to run straight at you if he is able.
Once the threat is neutralized, there are more decisions to make. Should you stay where you are or return with your son to your safe room? Should you evacuate your family as you wait for the police?
When the police come, be compliant and let them know you are the victim of a home invasion. Be sure to get medical care for yourself or any family member that may be injured in any way. Ask for your lawyer and let the police know you are willing to cooperate with your lawyer present. This will help avoid saying anything in the heat of the moment that may be used against you in the future. You have just made a series of split-second decisions so give yourself time to gather your thoughts. You made the best decisions you could at the time so let your lawyer defend that.
Need help choosing what gun safe is right for you? Check out 26 Expert Tips from USA Safe & Vault, featuring Concealed Coalition Lead Trainer Jody Picou.