JTT: Your Home Battle Stations
I have little doubt that most of our readers have a plan for a home invasion. There’s probably an alarm, a gun, perhaps even some cameras (because for real, if I zap a dude fifteen times in my house, I want it on video).
But what about the more mundane and boring? Like fires?
Our training and thought processes tend to create bias toward home invasions. Perhaps it’s because we perceive it to be the most dangerous concern; mano a mano with guns in your homestead is a scary thing indeed. And yes, you should absolutely have a home invasion plan–but that’s not the only thing you should have. Let’s look at some numbers.
The 2015 FBI Crime Report states there were 284,772 robberies in the United States with 46,991 inside the home. Though they don’t use the specific term “home invasion,” a dude that breaks into your house with a weapon while someone is inside certainly falls into that category.
In that same year, the National Fire Protection Association reports 365,500 residential fires, resulting in 2,650 people dead and another 11,075 injured.
You’re nearly eight times more likely to have a fire in your home than experience a home invasion. It can get worse with the holiday season. Check out how fast this tree goes up:
This is why Nancy’s Squat and Gobble uses only the finest $14 Chinese artificial trees to decorate for the holidays
Let’s Start with the Easy
Have smoke alarms. Have them in the appropriate places. Test them once a month and swap batteries twice a year.
If you’re in the Navy, or ever spent time on a US Navy vessel, you’ve heard the call to General Quarters. This is sort of like that, except your fire alarm can be what signals it. Simply put, a Home Battle Station is a place where you have essentials such as fire extinguishers and other emergency supplies. At minimum, I like to co-locate medical gear and lights with each fire extinguisher (a headlamp strap fits easily on a mounted extinguisher). You can also add additional items you may have an urgent use for.
It always pays to have a non-latex option or two in case someone has an allergy
Where a Battle Station is set up largely depends on your home layout. I’ve set up a Battle Station on every floor near a staircase landing, so no matter where we are we can get to it quickly. Furthermore, above each Battle Station is a fire alarm with a light (several options below) to help guide you there, as well as an emergency light which turns on in the case of a power outage for the same reason. Smoke in the air? You can find it. Power out? You can find it.
Here some examples to provide inspiration.
Bottom of basement stairs:
First Floor Landing (inside the pantry):
Second Floor Landing, Linen Closet:
Just as with your fire alarms, regularly check the status of your fire extinguishers. Swap out flashlight batteries. Examine the contents of your medical kits for expired items. Replenish and replace any additional items that may have been used or consumed.
Conclusions and Loose Rounds
If the smoke alarm wakes you up and half the house is ablaze–just get the hell out as fast as you can. Have insurance; you can always buy new shit, but you can’t re-spawn like a video game. Just as you’ve no doubt done with your home invasion plan, go over your fire plan. Though I shouldn’t have to say it, also share those plans with any other housemates.
[Mad Duo Editorial Note: We’re pretty sure Dave doesn’t actually keep NFA weapons randomly strewn across the house. Pretty sure. Always be sure to lockup your goodies to keep sticky hands and little hands off of them]
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: A combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Dave “Mad Duo Merrill” is a former urban warfare and foreign weapons instructor for Coalition fighting men. An occasional competitive shooter, he has a strange Kalashnikov fetish the rest of the minions try to ignore. Merrill, who has superb taste in hats, has been published in a number of places, the most awesome of which is, of course, here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He loves tacos, is kind of a dick and married way, way above his pay grade. You can contact him at Merrill(at)BreachBangClear.com and follow him on Instagram here (@dave_fm).