As a fireman, my point of view may help Dan M. JWR’s reply about home construction is spot on which makes it possible for us to get in and out of rooms to search for victims and escape if egress is blocked. Combining the mentality of preparedness and firefighting has been difficult for me as I would hate to trap anyone in or out of my house in a fire or collapse that would happen before TEOTWAWKI. I know that fires and collapse from an earthquake, flood, or landslide are all qualifying TSHTF events, which is what we are also preparing for.
My own resolution has been to combine my fire escape plan with an anti-Breaking & Entering plan. I too have adjoining bedroom closets to my own girls rooms. I have a local, remote alarm system at all entry points on the first floor the same as I have multiple smoke and CO2 detectors throughout the house as an early warning. I am upstairs with my wife and children at night so we have always had a plan to get out of the best window (no fire or smoke below) with our deployable window ladders. Now adding the survival/preparedness mentality the game plan stays the same, with a twist. We will go out the windows with our weapons checking for accomplices on the ground first, I go last in the event they make it to the room we are going out, and we trap the perpetrator inside our house until reinforcements or law enforcement arrive.
This is all the same as keeping your family away from a fire, it is a threat to your lives. If its already in, you get out and reestablish control of the situation. You know your house and what the most important things in it are, protect them by removing them from a possible threat.
I hope these thoughts may help in your planning. All the best and God Bless, – Ken A. in Ohio
In response to the letter on “securing bedroom doors against home invaders” I’ll add this: Several years ago, while living in Alaska’s bush country, I had one of the numerous brown bears visit my cabin while I was away for the day. Brother bear sort of rearranged the modest furnishings and made a Real mess of the place. I resolved to harden the entry-point (the front door), since the bear simply pushed-in the solid door.
I fabricated what visitors thereafter referred-to as my “bear bar.” I cut a length of stout 2×4 about a foot longer then the door width. One end of the “bar” was drilled to accommodate a long 1/2″ bolt, and a corresponding hole was drilled through the wall for the bolt. Poof: we have a hinged bar. On the other, opening side of the door I mounted a metal bracket to hold the bar when it was down and in place. It worked like a charm … at least no more bears (inside).
To open the contraption from the outside I attached a piece of parachute cord to the opening end of the bar and ran it diagonally up and across the door to a small hole drilled in the wall. The cord was then run through the hole in the wall to the outside, and affixed with a knot and loop. (OPSEC required that I didn’t tell the bears what the outside cord was for. And they never figured it out.)
The simple system worked, and I suspect could be done for an inside door as well (but your comments about the vulnerability of sheet rock walls are quite valid). – C.