Know Your Home Part II – by Mark LeClair

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on November 8, 2010 at 12:01 am
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Below is an article by Mark LeClair of Smart Tactics, a security consultation and instruction company.  This is Part II of “Know Your Home” – Part I can be found here.

Know your home Part II

Once again, knowing your home has a greater meaning: knowing the sounds the home makes, what the sounds are when the winds are picking up or even what sounds are made when it is raining really hard. But, what about during the evening? What should you know about your home, specifically at night?

In every home there are windows and where there are windows there is the possibility that light will be able to shine through those windows. When light shines through the windows, shadows are made and shadows on a wall can be helpful in an emergency situation.


Pitch black or some light:

If your home is pitch black shadows and being able to read those shadows becomes obsolete. Having total darkness is not necessarily bad, though. Having a totally dark home will make it harder for an intruder to sneak around the home without a light and make it almost impossible for an intruder to make it around any home quickly with total darkness.

Pitch black means it would also be difficult for the occupants to make out anything in the dark also without a light. Despite how well you know your home, if you cannot see, you cannot see. Sure you may know where things are but depth perception would change because of the impairment to your vision and may cause even more problems for the occupants.

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If you have some light (restricting some of the light that could enter the home) that can enter through the windows, it may allow you the ability to see things that may be outside of the windows or inside of the home. Being able to see something that is approaching may give you enough time to prepare for further action or safety.

What shadows can tell you:

Shadows can tell you many things:

-Where someone may be: having an idea on how shadows move around the home by events on the outside (tree’s swaying, an animal flying by or someone standing in the window/doorway) may give you an idea that there is actually someone out there.

-Location by example: by doing the simple test when the sun goes down, you may be able to tell where someone is and where they may be going. Whether on the inside of the home or the outside of the home, knowing where the shadows are and how they are moving gives you the advantage of knowing the estimated location of someone that may be trying to gain entrance into your home.

-How many: knowing the shadows will also clue you in on how many there may be. It is bad enough to have one person attempt to break into your home, but usually there is more than one. Especially nowadays with all of the gang activity a lot of the youths are trying to gain acceptance into the “thug” life and have to commit a specific crime to enter the gang.

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-Where you should be located: Shadows can tell you locations of others outside or inside your home and it can also tell you where you should/could be stationed for the safest position. Remaining safe inside your home is important as you may not be able to do anything because of state or local laws.

Scenarios to prove the point:

Once it becomes fully dark outside, set up a test:

-Stand in the hallway: have someone walk by the window and see how the shadows play on the wall. Then have that person walk past another window to see if you can make out that shadow from your location.

-Lay down in bed: look through the door into the hallway or open area and see if you can make out the shadows.

-Look out of the window and see if there are any distinct shadows that can be made out in the yard or around the vehicles.

-In the kitchen: stand in the kitchen with the lights off and have someone walk by the window to see if the shadows show a distinct shadow on the wall or movement throughout.

-Living room: Lie on the couch and have someone walk by to see what the shadows look like when they move around. Look all around the inside to see how any shadow will bounce or reflect around the room.

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Do not be deceived:

Depending on the windows, angle of light and the item that is casting the shadow, the shadow may be projected onto a different wall or have a deceptive angle to it. Some windows and building, with their light configurations, show someone walking past the windows (as viewed by someone on the inside) going one specific direction but the person was actually walking the other way. It projected in a reverse angle because of the lighting.

This is why it is important to have someone help you in practicing around the home to understand what causes which type of shadow and where with the everyday lighting as it normally would be.

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