Sunday, September 18, 2016

Time to take stock of your personal security

We saw three terrorist incidents yesterday:

If anyone thinks that the USA is still a safe, secure environment, he's living in cloud cuckoo land.  Welcome to reality.  Terrorism can strike anywhere, and will increasingly do so.  Those living in our larger cities, particularly those with large minority and 'refugee' populations, are most at risk.

The attacks yesterday demonstrate, once again, the need for basic security precautions that we all can take for ourselves.  The knife attack in Minnesota is a graphic illustration of the need to be able to defend oneself against such onslaughts.  Get a gun, get training in how to use it accurately and effectively, get a concealed carry permit, and carry it religiously.  If you can't get a concealed carry permit for any reason, you'll have to decide for yourself whether to carry a gun without one.  I'm not going to counsel anyone to break the law, for obvious reasons.  I'll just cite the old saying:  "I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six" - particularly if that was the only way I could defend my loved ones in case of need.  'Nuff said.

As for the bomb attacks, note how many windows were broken by the blast.  Flying glass causes many injuries in the wake of such explosions.  There's a simple, effective solution to the problem;  window film that holds the glass together if it fragments, preventing shards from flying off in all directions.  You can buy and install it yourself at relatively low cost (although it can be a tricky process, depending on your windows and local weather conditions;  professional installation may be advisable, albeit more expensive).  For more information, see the following manufacturer Web pages:

Window blast film was widely used in South Africa during the 'bad years' of the struggle against apartheid.  I saw several sites where it had held glass together during explosions, protecting those behind it from flying fragments.  I assure you, if I lived in a larger city near any area where such attacks were more of a risk, I'd put this stuff on all my windows in a heartbeat.  It works.  It's worth the money.  I know.  I've seen it in action.  For those of you in such a situation, I most earnestly urge you to consider it.  (As a bonus, if properly applied and secured at the edges, it makes it much more difficult for burglars to break a window and gain access to your property.  They're much more likely to turn away and look for an easier target.  It also offers protection against your glass breaking in severe weather conditions, such as a hurricane or tornado.)

Food for thought.



Minecraft Chuck said...

3 devices daisy-chained in Jersey along the course of a commemorative 5k route. Two failed to explode, the one that did was premature and caused no injuries, thank goodness.

The muzzies aren't very good at it, but they keep trying.

Deport every single one. There will be no Islamic terrorism when there are no Muslims among us. This is the nice answer to the problem.

Uncle Lar said...

Actually the first Jersey bomb went off on time. Luckily the race was delayed or it would have taken out the front runners.
And the Minn knife wielder was shot and killed by an off duty cop from a different local, really just another shopper. Eight wounded before he had the chance to take the shot.
Islam delenda est as old Plini would say.

Dan Lane said...

On the window film. I used to be a professional installer, and I've seen enough instances where the film held the shattered glass in shape, preventing burglars from easy entry. It stopped a friend of mine from having his car broken into, because the thieves took too long trying to get in. It's no good against, say, rifle fire, but I've seen it stop lower velocity ricochets from handgun rounds. Can't say for efficacy against dead-on shot, but it'll vary based on thickness of the glass/film, velocity of the round, and how well the film is applied.

The key in installing window film is having a *clean* surface. Your windows are not clean. They may *look* kinda, sorta clean. You can see through the glass easy enough. But there is dust, dirt and grime there that the window film's adhesive sticks to instead of the glass itself. This means where the film doesn't touch actual glass, there is no protection, and glass shards can punch through easy.

Cleaning is dead easy. Get a bottle of baby shampoo and a spray bottle. Use warm/hot water and about 1bsp of baby shampoo, shake well. Soak the window down. While it is still wet, use a razor blade to clean it. Hold the blade at about a 30 deg. angle (or a bit less- sharper the angle, the easier it is, within practical limits). Make sure to get the edges nice and clean. Take a green brillo sponge (one of the yellow/green two sided kinds work best) and clean the (still wet) glass to get any remaining dirt. Wet the glass again, and put the film with the clear backing still on it on the glass. It should overhang all the edges right now.

Take a credit card or a bondo squeedgie, wrap it in a paper towel. Use that to push the water/baby shampoo solution that's between the glass and the film out a bit. This makes the seal better between the film in the glass so it doesn't move when you're doing the next step. Which is cutting the film to fit. One of those breakaway razor knives is best for this. You can get right up to the edge on most windows this way, but if your window glass (the sash) is wood, leave a tiny little gap. Otherwise, you get dirt under the edges of the film, and eventually it will peel off.

Once you have the window film cut, take it off the window. Soak the window glass again with water/baby shampoo. Take your razor knife and peel back one little edge of the window film. It's easiest if you have it set against the other glass at the moment, wet side down so it doesn't move. Make sure to soak the film *immediately* as you peel back to expose the adhesive- keep that wet at all times until it's stuck where you want it! Put the wet film on the glass, take that paper towel wrapped credit card/bondo squeedgie, and push the water out again. It'll make sense when you do it.

It takes about a day and a half to three days for the adhesive to set firm. Don't mess with the windows until then. If you have tinted film, make sure to use a tint safe cleaner on it (that means no alcohol or ammonia). Good quality protective film is thick stuff- don't get the flimsy paper thin stuff. Good quality protective film is more like construction paper or thin cardboard, it's thicker and stiffer. If it looks like your window just developed a bad case of acne, those whitish dots are dirt trapped between the film and the glass. The whitish stuff is the adhesive once it's got contact with the air and hardened. You can strip the film and re-do the job (except this time with the added joy of scraping that window film glue off- be prepared to use several more razor blades as they dull).

If y'all have any questions on it, I'll check back later and see if I can't help out.

raven said...

Window film is a good idea for a lot of reasons. It is used to help resist burglars, and to help with broken glass shards in the event of an earthquake. Recently, we replaced a few windows and used the opportunity to do a real world test on the old ones- from 15 feet, a brick thrown at the window was unable to penetrate-although the window was smashed, the brick dropped off. It took several more attempts to actually break all the way through the glass. This was an 8 mil film, from Hanita Coatings, an Israeli company. "Safety Zone" is their line of protective films.

Anonymous said...

Additionally, if you live in a tornado or hurricane prone area, window film is a good idea. There are some that use old fashioned duct tape for fragment reduction on windows, but I have doubts as to how well it works. Secondly, it’s a real pain to take off said windows a month or so later after the tape has cured, so window film is probably a good option.

Situational awareness is the best tool in the box when it comes to the danger of terrorism or in crime avoidance. Most decent self-defense classes stress this fact and any antiterrorism class is going to stress that more than double. An ounce of avoidance is worth its weight in lead or steel. I spent a number of years living on the west side of the Mediterranean and also in Europe when it was “peaceful”. That was when we “only” had Soviet sponsored terrorism and “regular” crime in those regions.

Anonymous said...

@ Dan Lane - Are there any security window films that also provide low-e and/or IR reflective capability? It would be nice to have both added security and lower heat gain during summer.


Anonymous said...

I always wondered why they don't use something other than glass in windows in the first place. I guess glass is cheapest, but there must be something else for high-security areas.

- Charlie

Minecraft Chuck said...

I'm a security specialist IRL. 3M and others offer a wide variety of window film options. You can get your choice of tint, polarization, IR and/or UV blocking, even RF blocking, all in variable strengths and thicknesses. It's just a matter of shopping for your needs and budget. A good blast film generally goes for around $7-$10 per square foot installed.

Blast rating the windows only needs to have the film to the edge of the glass. If you want to deter intruders, you really need to have the film be attached to/under the frame. It takes trained firefighters, with proper tools, over two minutes to clear a properly treated window. (Normal windows are cleared in about ten seconds under the same conditions.)

If you really want to nuts, you can replace your windows with laminated safety glass, like in car windshields. Be prepared for a large bill and some visible distortions, though. Not all Producers make the same quality of product.