New Way To Keep Your Family Safe In Home Invasion
TULSA, Oklahoma - The thought of a home invasion is terrifying to most people. Many people would have no idea of the best way to protect themselves and their families if someone breaks in with a gun.
Dustin Merritt is a former Navy Seal who served in combat. Now, he uses those specialized skills and knowledge to teach people what to do, step by step.
Merritt comes to your home and designs a plan based on the home's specific layout and the number and type of people who live there, both their ages and where their bedrooms are located.
His company is Integrated Tactical Training. They teach people self-defense and home safety including when and how to shoot and keep your gun from being taken.
Most people think, "I'll get my gun and go after them," but that's not what's recommended because the average person is not well trained.
"The easiest thing to do is stay in a static position, which means we're not moving," said Dustin Merritt, security expert.
First and foremost, Dustin says don't go toward the threat, instead - barricade yourself in a room.
"If we can, close the door, because if somebody is trying to get into your room, if we can lock the door, obviously lock the door," he said.
He says if you can quickly and easily move furniture in front of the door, do that, if not, find a location that is not in front of the door, where you can see the intruder. Pick a spot that gives you some concealment or cover from gunfire and call 911.
"Off-setting yourself will give you a better vantage point if an attacker comes in," he said.
Lori Fullbright: "What do I do if he comes in?"
Dustin Merritt: "That'd be the time you want to defend yourself."
That means shoot and shoot to kill - but never through a closed door, because it could be a loved one or police on the other side. If you are not a gun person or can't get to your gun, have another weapon handy, like a knife or pepper spray - anything you can get your hands on.
Lori Fullbright: "What if I have kids and they're in another bedroom, what do I do to protect them?"
Dustin Merritt: "If you have small kids, as an adult, we make our way to those small children and consolidate ourselves in one spot."
You want to get there quickly, but he says you need to check as you go, to make sure the way is clear of the intruder.
He demonstrated the safest way to move through the house; for example, making sure corners are clear as you go.
"We don't want to clear every space; we want to get to where our children are and that predetermined location," he said.
Once you get to the kids or perhaps it's an elderly person living with you, then barricade yourselves all together because it's easier to defend one location rather than several.
"We've got to be realistic when talking about 'what are my abilities, what can I really do?'" he said.
He says the key is to practice your plan, more than once, both in the daylight and at night. Training will help you react faster and also be ready in case things don't go as planned.
"We're not being paranoid, we're being prepared. We want to instill confidence in our children, in our plan but also for us, we know, hey, if something happens, we have a plan," said Dustin Merritt, former Navy Seal and security expert.
Dustin says this is not one-size-fits-all, it depends on your home, your family and your skills.