Burglarized/Home Invaded - Barricade or Clear the House?

You’re asleep in bed when you hear someone in your house that you know should NOT be there. So you dial 911 first thing to get the police response rolling.

What’s your next move? Do you barricade yourself in the bedroom with your gun pointing at the door until the cops arrive? Or do you go and “clear the house” room by room to find the intruders? Assume for the purposes of this discussion that you’re alone or it’s just you and your spouse/bf/gf.


“It depends”

Taking it as the prototypical middle of the night invasion people generally imagine

  1. Get up, get my gun
  2. Push the panic button for the alarm that’s on the side of the bed, even though the alarms are already going off and are monitored
  3. Go to kid’s rooms.

I try to come up with a plan between my wife and myself. While the dog goes out to investigate.


Assuming I can’t exit the house?
I know the correct answer is barricade. But I was in this situation once and the dispatcher told me it could be an hour before the police arrived, so I cleared the house by myself. I should note that I didn’t expect to find anyone, but my spouse was convinced someone was in the house. If I knew for a fact that someone was in my house, I might make different decisions. It depends on a lot of factors.

I should also add that if you have no training on clearing, you probably shouldn’t unless you have no choice.

Along those lines, I know you said to assume it was just me and my spouse, but I have kids in the house. Defending them is the only priority I have, whether that means hiding or hunting.


Barricade with gun(s) and flashlight(s) pointed at door(s)

Press car key to set off car alarm

Call 911

Wait for Police or identity and stop anyone that forces their way through your barricade

Thats my plan


Flashbang, tommahawk, and aaaawaaaaay we go :joy:


It’s different for everyone but as a general rule only clear the house if you have a reason for it, like children or relatives in other parts of the house.

If you don’t have a reason to clear the house then barricade, set off any alarms that are not tripped already, call 911 and shoot anyone that comes through the door and is identified as a stranger/threat.


So your main plan would be to leave the house entirely? I suppose that could work if you can get to your back door or safely out your bedroom window. My bedroom is on the second floor and going out that way would be nearly as dangerous as confronting the intruder…


I guess I’m not one to just sit around and let the intruder have his way. I’d make sure R got to the safe space with her form of protection, she’d be dialing 911 from there. Then I’d go looking for what went bump in the night.


As folks here like to say, it depends.
No, my main plan is not to leave the house entirely, for the same reasons as yours. But in your original question, that was not one of your options, so I wanted to confirm that you intentionally omitted that. If I’m in a place in my house where I have the choice to exit safely, I will certainly consider that. There’s nothing in my house so valuable that I’d risk an encounter with a potentially armed intruder, unless my family needs defending. Then all bets are off.

I ought to add, just for fun… are you sure it’s a person going bump in the night? In my neck of the woods, we occasionally get curious bears wandering through windows. :bear:


That’s why I said “What”. I hope I don’t sneak into the kitchen and shot the fridge because the ice maker just dumped. In fact I hope I don’t have to fire a shot. I’m good if the person or animal makes a hasty retreat once confronted by the home owner.


My home defense plan has been well documented and scrutinized on this forum and I have not heard any reason to change it. If we are invaded as the scenario is laid out, the answer is simple. If it is just The Wife and me, call 911, barricade and wait for the cavalry.

Only problem is, in our tiny house, it is NEVER just The Wife and me. My oldest Son is living in my front room. He is 33 and off center just enough to attack a home invader completely nude armed with only a tomahawk and a spoon. Win or lose, the outcome of that altercation would not be pretty.

If we are in bed, my grab and go is Loretta, my Remington 870 Tactical. She has a 6 round, 1 piece magazine. 6 rounds in a side saddle on the left, 6 rounds in a Velcro cuff on the right side of the butt. I have a stray round taped to the receiver. It is a single strip of half inch masking tape. Not Gorilla tape. I shoulder the weapon, chamber a round, take that round taped to the receiver and top off the tube. I am out the door, button hook left, crack open the door to the front room and put the muzzle and WML through the crack. The WML on this one has a 2500 lumen strobe function. I defend forward while my Wife clears the other bedroom behind me. Our other two boys, 14 and 18, share a room directly across the hall from the master bedroom. She has her PX4 and a Craftsman 2500 lumen work light. She gets them into our room. I get what is left of my oldest into our room, grab my Keltec off the table in the hall and fall back. Our oak dresser is slid across the door and we take up positions to defend and use every weapon we have as artillery. If we need to, we go out a window.


I wouldn’t be calling 911 first.

Assuming I was sure there was someone in the house who shouldn’t be there, I would first grab my firearm and flashlight. Then assuming I don’t have to gather other family members I would move to the safe area and lock the door. My safe area has a pretty good funnel. Anyone breaking in would be faced with a wall and have to turn and make it down the narrow funnel directly into my bright flashlight placed on a railing a few feet away from me. I would be behind concealment/partial cover.

Once safely in that position I would call 911 if my wife wasn’t there and already doing so. There is a spot in the safe area well out of the line of fire where my wife and son can hide. My wife is the last line of defense should they get by me. I believe this gives me very good odds of surviving the situation and protecting my family, even against multiple home invaders. I’d rather not let the invaders swing the odds back in their favor by going and looking for them.


I live in a city, so it’ll most certainly be a person going bump. I’m planning to leave the city by the end of the summer though, so at that point, depending on how far out I go, who knows?


That sounds like a great plan Bruce. I presume you and the wife practiced this?


… and the last thing we do is grab the triggers for the Claymores :rofl:


We have, Brother. Many times.

We live in a not so polished neighborhood, not actually IN the hood per say, but hood adjacent. It was a big selling point for the house when I bought it some 30 plus years ago. In those 30 plus years we have never been broken into, though many of our neighbors have due to their home security subscriptions and signs in their yards. The criminal element knows how long they have for LE to arrive and they act accordingly.

I have an American flag sticker on my front storm door along with an NRA sticker. On a hook over my front porch is an 18-inch-long piece of 6-inch diameter cold steel pipe. It has been turned into Swiss cheese with all the trips to the range. I call it “The Deterrent.” It lets all the bad guys know what happens to targets in my house.

The Wife hates it.

I’ll snap a pic of it tonight and edit this post later.

The big holes are.303 and smaller are 30-06. The dents are.223


30 years safe and your not a “gray man”! Good for you :+1::+1:


Just me and my wife. Tell the better half to be quiet, push button on the safe next to the bed for the 45, crack the door and wait. They can have whatever is downstairs. Come upstairs, may the Lord have mercy on your soul


The wife and I drop into our defensive position beside the bed. Our weapons are with us and if the alarms are not going off, we will hit the panic button.

The bad guys have a very dangerous funnel to get to us. Enough said about that.

With no kids, I don’t imagine we will clear the house. Wait for the law and use our security system to see if we actually have intruders or not.