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How To Clear A Building Or Room Safely

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How to Clear a Building

You may find yourself in a situation where you have a clear a building or a room even. It’s not an easy feat and it’s only for the properly trained. But if you need to do it, follow these tips.

6 Steps to Clear a Building

Clearing a building using your firearm in response to a perceived or confirmed threat, is no small task. It’s not something you want to attempt on your own unless you absolutely must – such as if you have a family member that could be in harm’s way.

Remember that nothing you own should motivate you to attempt to clear a room or building without proper training; only lives are worth the risk.

If you believe that your house has been broken into, call the authorities before you attempt to clear the building yourself. You’ll want to know that trained reinforcements are on their way.

A single person clearing a building is extremely dangerous, as it’s impossible for you to see all four corners of a room at once. Ideally, a team of 2-4 people is necessary to clear a building successfully.

Step 1: Arm Yourself

Step 1: Arm Yourself | How to Clear a Building

If you truly suspect that an unwanted person is in your home, it’s not recommended to go looking for them without a means to neutralize the threat. In this case, a firearm is your best choice.

If you don’t have other options, using pepper spray or a taser is effective. A baseball bat or baton flashlight will also help but do not wander your house at night with no weapon in hand.

Handguns, shotguns, and rifles can all be used for self-defense. When selecting the right choice for clearing rooms, you’ll want to go with the largest handgun you have or the shortest long gun.

The goal is to be able to use the gun quickly and effectively in a small space.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Your first step should be to contact the police. Next, consider where you are in your house in relation to your loved ones.

If you are all in one room, lock the door and wait. If you are separated from some of your loved ones, decide how you will get to them and prepare yourself for what could happen.

To execute your plan, you will need to move quickly and carefully, with your weapon raised and ready to shoot at any time.

Exercise extreme caution, as there is a chance that the “intruder” is actually a family member. There is also the danger of your bullet shooting through a wall and into a family member.

Accept the fact that when you are clearing your home, you will have to shoot a legitimate threat; and when you shoot, shoot to kill.

Step 3: Get into Position

Your body should be in a sturdy fighting stance as you move through the building: feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and the body leaning slightly forward.

Your weapon should be raised and ready for use at all times. Do not cross over your feet as you move, as this could make you trip and also makes you much less balanced on your feet.

Step 4: Slice the Pie

Step 4: Slice the Pie | How to Clear a Building

As you approach a corner or doorway, picture the area as a pie. You want to keep yourself concealed for as long as possible as you look into the room or hallway.

Move in small increments, keeping your head up and scanning the “pie slice” before you move closer to being seen.

When you approach doorways, stay on the side that the doorknob is on, and thrust the door fully open.

If it does not open all the way, there may be someone behind it. If it opens fully, you will be able to see more angles outside of it.

You want to work quickly but not so quickly that you do not fully comprehend what you are seeing. You do not want to be in a position to shoot a family member or to miss a movement that could be an intruder.

Step 5: Clear the Room Fully

Confirm that every single possible hiding spot is clear before you move on from one room to the next. Once you turn your back on that room, you want to be confident that there is no one behind you.

Step 6: Identify and Engage the Threat

If you spot the intruder that you knew or suspected was in the house, act swiftly. Yell commands to them to Stop, Drop their weapon, Face away from you, and Get on their knees.

If they hesitate or do not comply, shoot them. Remember that someone who has been shot is not necessarily dead; the threat is not guaranteed to be neutralized.

There may also be an accomplice elsewhere in the building who now heard a gunshot and is on the offense. Be absolutely certain that the person is a threat before you shoot them.

Wait for the police to arrive, and keep yourself in a safe position in case a second threat is looking for you.

Additional Tips

  • Most criminals work in teams, so if possible allow them to enter a part of your house where their safety is compromised, such as a hallway or smaller space. This is the time for you to take them out.
  • When possible, work in darkness. You know your house better than an intruder does, giving you a distinct advantage.
  • Carry a flashlight with you. By turning it on in an intruder’s face, you will effectively blind them.
  • Affix a laser sight to your firearm to assist in accuracy.

Remember, clearing a building is a large job and almost an impossible one for a single person to take on. Even practicing at a paintball arena can help you practice your stance and technique.

Never attempt to clear a building alone unless absolutely necessary.

Have you tried to clear a building or room? If you have, do share some helpful tips in the comments section!

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