Access Control Systems

Access Control Systems

Access control systems are designed to limit physical or virtual access to physical locations, resources, or computer networks. One of the most basic examples of an access control system preventing physical access to an area or room is a locked door. More advanced models include electronic-based systems that require the use of a unique identity and authentication method such as a password. More advanced access control systems integrate physical and electronic systems and can use a combination of access authentication along with biometric information. The complexity of the model of control system implemented typically correlates to the risk or value […]

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Pepper Spray

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is an often recommended personal security solution — often recommended by people who have not tried it. I have tested high-quality pepper sprays on multiple occasions and have not been impressed with the results. Pepper spray is really only effective if you manage a direct face strike.  A hit on clothing or even on unprotected skin has almost no effect.  A hit to the face can be very difficult in any situation that involves movement.  In armed combat, we almost always train to shoot center mass (the chest area), because the head is such a difficult target to […]

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Safety Glass

Safety Glass

Glass areas present a tempting appearance of weakness in any building security plan. Safety glass, although never perfect, can make these areas of apparent weakness stronger than many standard walls. The goal of safety glass is not to “never” fail”, but to make failures harder to force and to fail safely when failure does occur. For example, one of the important functions of safety glass is to prevent shards of glass from becoming dangerous shrapnel when the glass eventually does fail. Perfectly indestructible safety glass, if it is ever developed, will focus attackers attentions on defeating window frames and surrounding […]

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Bullet Resistant Vests

Bullet Resistant Vests

A bullet resistant vest should be a part of any comprehensive security plan. A properly designed, manufactured, maintained, and worn vest can make the difference between a bad day and a very bad day. Most bullet resistant vests are manufactured to standards published by the National Institute of Justice. The current revision of the standard is 0101.06. The standard defines five classifications of bullet resistant vests, based upon their ability to stop various common handgun and rifle rounds.  In general, large slow bullets are easier to stop than small fast bullets. The current classifications are IIA, II, IIIA, III, and […]

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Surviving the Economic Collapse

Surviving the Economic Collapse

Surviving the Economic Collapse has one seriously important advantage over almost all other disaster preparedness books — the author has really lived through the disaster he writes about.  Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre was a young man in Argentina when the socialist government’s tax and spend policies caused a drastic devaluation of the peso and a contraction of the economy so severe that is led to social collapse.  In the last 42 years the Argentinian government has dropped thirteen zeros from the value of a peso.  One 2011 peso is the equivalent of ten trillion 1969 pesos. This is inflation far surpassing […]

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Travel Security

Travel Security

We are at our most vulnerable when traveling.  We step out from behind the shelter of our walls and security systems and leave our best security tools behind due to convenience and legal restrictions. An attacker with a bit of patience will wait until their victim is traveling to conduct their attack with the greatest possibility of success. However, there are steps we can take to make the attackers job more difficult. Timing Never tell anyone when you are planning to leave your home. If you are attending a scheduled event, leave earlier than necessary in order to make it […]

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Improvised Weapons

Improvised Weapons

Many jurisdictions outlaw not only firearms, but also knives, pepper spray, mace, and expandable batons, or any other tool which the powers that be deem too dangerous for your use. On the other hand, many common household items can serve double-duty as improvised weapons — and these won’t get you into trouble with law enforcement. Weapon Types Weapons do damage by blunt force, slashing, or piercing. Slashing weapons are anything with a sharp edge. Improvised weapons in this category consist mostly of kitchen knives. I do not recommend focusing on slashing weapons because 1) they are difficult to make look […]

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Don’t Eat Wild Mushrooms

Don't Eat Wild Mushrooms

Every few years another “expert” on wild mushrooms dies from poisoning themselves by eating the wrong mushroom. They die painfully of liver, kidney, or heart failure. There is no fool-proof test for differentiating edible and poisonous mushrooms. There are simply too many mushrooms species for any human to learn all of them — and the penalties for being wrong are often fatal. Experienced mushroom gatherers can pick mushrooms in their own local area fairly safely but even they cannot safely pick mushrooms in another region. Identification of wild mushrooms is extremely difficult. People die every year by mistaking Amanita phalloides […]

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Door Locks

Door Locks

Common door locks fall into one of three categories: cylinder locks, rim locks, and mortise locks. Cylinder locks are the most common type of door lock.  They are designed to fit into pre-cut holes in standard doors. Rim locks are an older type of lock that is seldom seen anymore.  They can sometimes be useful to add an additional layer of security to an existing door lock. Instead of going through a hole in the door like a cylinder lock, rim locks are screwed onto the interior surface of the door. Mortise locks are similar to cylinder locks in that […]

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Security Lighting

Security Lighting

Around 412BC, Euripides wrote “The day is for honest men, the night for thieves.” Bad guys usually do not like to be seen doing bad things and security lighting can help to ruin their nights. Where To Deploy Security Lighting Security lighting is most beneficial when used on doors, windows and pathways. It is also useful in parking areas, which provide many opportunities for attackers to hide. The same is true for garbage bins or other outdoor storage areas. Lights should be placed carefully, to avoid creating dark corners where an attacker can hide. Lighting should be soft and even […]

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