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Doorways present their own unique challenges—and ones that really drive home the importance of a partner backing you up.

Expert tactics instructors will tell you clearing a house is a bad idea. Military and law enforcement personnel must do it as part of their job, but if you come home and find your door ajar or notice other signs of a break in; call 911, back away and wait. Odds are there is nothing you have in there that’s worth your life.

That does not mean you may never have to “clear” your home. What if you’re in your home when a break-in occurs and need to get out, move to another room or rescue a loved one? What if you come home and see signs of entry and your teenage daughter is in the house alone? What if you’re away from home at a remote cabin or maybe in a parking garage? Given the option, don’t try it. However, sometimes the option is not on the table.

Several courses at Gunsite (928-636-4565; gunsite.com) include house clearing in the curriculum. My wife and I attended a class there during our anniversary. House clearing wasn’t on the schedule but I asked Ed Head, Gunsite’s Operations Manager, if he could work with us on the problem.

“When faced with clearing a house or building, you have the rest of your life to work through the problem. That time—the rest of your life—could be seconds, minutes or hours,” said Head. “Don’t proceed with undue speed. Take your time and work through each door, room and every nook and cranny in the structure. You’re not trying to conduct a dynamic entry/hostage rescue; you’re clearing/securing your home. Time can be your friend or your enemy. Use distance to increase the time you have to solve the problem.”

Ed also stressed that its imperative team members work together on an equal basis. Generally the man wants to lead the show but based on position and circumstance, that may not be the best approach. This of course is all the more reason you and all your loved ones of competent age should receive appropriate training. Gunsite will train all ages as long as they are capable of safe firearms handling and are physically able and capable of completing and comprehending the course work.

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