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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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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Cane Bolts

Cane Bolts

Most doors are selected by general contractors who have more interest in cost containment than security.  If you are a home owner and you have the funds, you can choose to replace your doors.  However, you can also enhance the security of most doors with the simple and cheap addition of a cane bolt. Cane bolts function very similar to door chains.  The weakness of door chains is that most of them are mounted on weak material, such as soft wood door jams or even drywall.  Very few are mounted with sufficiently long screws into solid 2×4’s or masonry. Cane […]

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Canned Food

Canned Food

When we think of long-term food storage, it is often easier to focus on the storage of dry foods. Dried foods often pack the most nutrients into the smallest amount of space. They don’t often, however, provide a well-balanced and tasty diet for long-term survival. For the long-term storage of wet foods, canning is the right answer. Industrial Canning vs. Home Canning As modern consumers, we can purchase an incredible variety of foods packaged in durable metal containers. Alternatively, we can grow (or purchase) fresh foods and “can” them ourselves in glass jars with relatively simple equipment. Both options are […]

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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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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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Apartment Security

Apartment Security

Apartments are 85% more likely to be the target of burglary than single-family homes. Apartments represent unique security challenges because of the many techniques which tenants are prevented from using to enhance the security of their persons and possessions.  However, there are many which tenants can and should use to improve their security postures. Start with a Secure Building The best first step to achieving a secure apartment is to rent an apartment in a secure building.  The optimal security building should feature: A location in a low-crime neighborhood External gates to prevent unapproved vehicular or foot traffic A keyed […]

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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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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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Home Alarm Systems

Home Alarm Systems

A home alarm system can be part of a complete home protection system, but it is important to view an alarm as just one component of a larger strategy. An alarm system won’t protect your home from a flash flood, a drive-by shooting, or a no-knock BATF raid executed at the wrong address. Alarm Types Home alarm systems typically report using one or more of these methods: A loud bell or siren Bright and/or flashing lights A landline or cell phone call to you A landline or cell phone call to an alarm service company A landline or cell phone […]

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