How to Enter and Clear a Room

Enter and clear a room is a battle drill used by the U.S. Army to secure enemy positions on a modern, urban battlefield. Similar tactics can also be seen at any level of law enforcement when entering a building to secure contraband or criminals. There is a method to the mad dash through the door with guns drawn; here are a few tips to help you understand the process.


    • 1

      Plan the entry and clearance of a room beforehand. It is often necessary to plan such assaults on the fly, so keep in mind a few key points: who will get the door open and how, who enters the room and in what order, and who will stay outside to cover the entry team.

    • 2

      Breech the door to the room. You can breech a door by kicking it down, knocking it down with a sledge hammer, blowing it down with a shotgun or blowing it up with an explosive. Ideally, you will only use as much force as is necessary to breech a door.

    • 3

      Tell the number one person to enter the door with her weapon at eye level, both of her eyes opened. Look down the barrel and be prepared to aim. She will move with her back against the wall looking across the room and look for bad guys.

    • 4

      Have your number two person enter and go the opposite way through the door he will take up the secondary point of dominance and will cover all of the room you couldn't see in your sweep.

    • 5

      Any other teammates now enter, and without getting into anyone else's line of fire, they move along the wall and take up spots equidistant from the number one and two man.

    • 6

      The one man asks if everyone is up. Members of the team will respond in the affirmative if they are certain their sector is clear. If there are more doors to other rooms in the building the leaders will now plan an action to clear that room.

Tips & Warnings

  • The group entering a room may be as few as one person. The groups should be no more than four, except in unusually large rooms.
  • Practice these steps with your team often. Play out scenarios by discussing how you might deal with particular obstacles if you encountered them.
  • Never point a firearm at anyone you don't want to kill.
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