home safety

All posts tagged home safety

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

Purchasing sandbags have always been sold in late summer early fall as a preparedness product that is associated with the flooding attached to the fall rainy seasons and hurricanes.  The time to order and purchase your sandbags is now, but for a different reason: to harden your house if possible.  Those sandbags can be filled with more than just sand and can be used to stop more than just water.  Look at the world situation right now with North Korea, China, and Russia: need I say any more to encourage you to prepare and fortify your homes for a SHTF event?

There are charts ad infinitum that will give you the amounts of layers of sandbags that are needed to stop a bullet, depending on the caliber.  Most fill them with sand; however, unless you live on a beach, sand may be something not found out in your backyard.  You can fill them with dirt, but the stopping factor is significantly reduced.  It’s up to you: your decision (to paraphrase “Alice in Chains”).  You can make them permanent with concrete.  You can convert a front porch into a semi-fortified fighting position with three layers of sandbags about 3 to 4 feet high.

I don’t care to hear naysayers complaining at how the front porch will collapse, the room will collapse, yada yada.  It is up to you the homeowner to find what the weight-bearing structural load is for your porch or any other room you intend to fortify.  The main point is that there are steps you can take at home to make your property harder to enter and to enable you to defend it.

One of the big problems is that it’s hard (or impossible) to “scrap” different types of building materials or construction supplies out of the dump.  The days of “dumpster diving” for materials are just about over.  Salvage companies save everything to sell back to China, to be sent back (and sold) to us…as the salvors are raising money that is taxed by the local government…the same local government that will not permit you the citizen to “dumpster dive,” as it cuts into the “chain of events” just outlined…and their profits.

You’ll have to pick up some rolls of heavy-gauge fencing wire to cover over your windows.  Nail them right to the frame with fencing staples, and ensure they’re taut.  In this way, the Molotov will not go through.  Also, ensure that you have at least 1 inch between this fencing-grating and the glass from the window.  The Molotov may hit and allow the glass to break by bending the wire in enough so that the bottle’s weight impacts the window.  Then you’ll have to cover the busted window with plastic.

And since we’re on the subject, you can pick up rolls of 6 mil plastic, 25’ x 10’ for about $10 at Wal-Mart…could come in handy to close those windows if needed.  If you pick up the fencing wire rolls with rectangular apertures, say 2” x 4” it will facilitate you using the window as a firing port if the window is able to be opened from the inside and not a fixed window.  I wrote several articles a couple of years ago for SHTFplan detailing how to harden your home; I highly recommend reading them if possible.

A good door brace (also referred to as a New York Lock) for the entry doors to your home will help out.  It won’t completely prevent a break-in, but it’ll slow it down enough for you to deal with it.  Consider a good brace-bar to go across the door.  You want to make sure you have a solid frame.  If it is one of those premade “cookie-cutter home” frames, you may have to reinforce it.

Plywood sheets should be measured and cut for the event (or eventuality, depending on your viewpoint) that your windows will disappear.  Cut out your sizes to be able to nail or bolt into the frame on the outside of the window, and mark the pieces to enable you to match them up to the appropriate window.  I suggest (at a minimum) ½” pressure-treated plywood.  Also: measure and match up with those pieces pre-cut 2” x 4” sections, to put together as a “T” or multiple “T’s” to brace up the plywood in the center when it is in place.  You never know when some fool will try to smash out the center of the plywood and enter the house.

Cut apertures for firing ports and viewing ports at the appropriate levels in your sheets.  You can cover these up with pieces of plywood either on a screw or on a hinge to the side, to enable you to use your firearms to deal with Mr. Moron who just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Make sure you take down and remove any trees, bushes, or anything that can provide marauders with cover and/or concealment.  Cut down these things and use them for firewood later.

Now is the time to place any building materials and supplies you can on your property for use in repairs later.  Most of this article applies to those who live in a house, and it has not yet taken into consideration the plethora of neighbors, neighborhood associations, and other assorted worthless groups that try to infringe on your rights and safety in the interest of keeping their property values high and in conformity.  You may have to do it all on the q-t, and keep the OPSEC at a high.

The best thing you can do: conduct a thorough assessment of your home and determine likely avenues of approach for invaders foreign or domestic, weak points in the house, and areas where you would most likely make a stand.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” so to speak, with world events, and you need to harden all of the points of your home now while there is still time.  An ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

 

 

 

 

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small apt

By  – SurvivoPedia

It’s your home, it’s comfortable and cozy although it’s only a studio apartment, but is it safe? It may be impossible to leave your small urban apartment during crisis, and you might be forced to survive in there for months. More, a break-in situation is not necessarily connected to a crisis these days, so facing an intruder in your own home might turn into an unexpected reality.

You can make some simple modifications to ensure that your apartment remains safe, and also take advantage of some other ideas that make your entire area safer. If you start making these changes now, you stand a better chance of being just as safe if you decide to bug-in instead of bug-out.

It should be noted that not all landlords will allow these modifications, and also that you should always make sure you are secure enough in financing your apartment so that you do not wind up having to leave long before a large scale crisis occurs.

1. Family Defense Versus Group Defense

Is it wise for your family to be the only member of an urban survival and defense group in your apartment building?

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Is Your Home Safe? 10 Ways to Defend Your Apartment

kitchen-stove-fire

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
Oils have a smoke point and they have a flash point. If you’ve heated up oil to the point of smoking, it doesn’t take too much more additional heat to ignite into flames. If this happens in your kitchen, either on your stove top or in your oven, do you know what to do?

It’s good behavior to never walk away from your kitchen stove if you’re cooking with oil.

If your oil reaches the smoke point, it’s not only pretty much ruined, but it’s dangerous if you’re not paying attention – because it could lead to the flash point – the point at which little flames start dancing on the surface of the oil.

The flash point is bad enough, but if you reach the fire point – you are in for some trouble. This is the point (temperature) at which the vapors coming from the oil catch on fire. The fire is self-sustaining now.
Fire needs heat, oxygen and fuel to sustain itself. The oil is the fuel, and the oil had sufficient heat to catch fire. That leaves oxygen feeding the fire. We must remove the oxygen.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Kitchen Oil Or Grease Fire

skull and crossbones

By Joshua Krause Ready Nutrition

It seems like modern life has made it nearly impossible to escape the slew of carcinogens that permeate our everyday existence. They’re in our food, water, air, and even the products we buy.

By themselves, no single chemical would be very dangerous, because their minute quantity would have little effect on our bodies. However, being exposed to so many toxic substances can certainly be lethal in the long run, causing cancer, birth defects, and developmental disorders

And unfortunately, the number of chemicals that may be lurking in our homes are too numerous to count. Most estimates put the number at around 50,000, of which only a small percentage have ever been tested for safety. Future generations will look back on this time period, and wonder how our bodies held up for so long under this chemical onslaught.

Fortunately a little knowledge can go a long way in preventing exposure to the toxins that we face everyday. While it would be impossible to learn about ever dangerous substance that lingers in our homes, and how to avoid them, we can still achieve a basic understanding of what we’re faced with. If you’re just starting out on the road towards better health for you and your family, here’s a quick rundown of the toxic elements lurking in your home, courtesy of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Toxic Chemicals In Your Home

 

About the author:

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This is where I know the article sounds a little like an infomercial, but I am going to continue. What if I told you there was a device you should have at least one of, maybe two or three in your home that was vital to being prepared for certain types of emergencies? What if I told you these devices were approximately $40 each, could save lives and didn’t require any license? What if I said that nobody would look at you weird for buying a couple of these and if the SHTF you would want to have these just as badly as you would that new Glock 17 you have your eyes on?

Give up? The humble fire extinguisher is what I am talking about here because it is one thing that myself and a lot of preppers take for granted I think. One of our readers, Marc sent me the following question:

A question for you to pursue concerning an EMP (either nuclear or natural); Referring to reports of the Carrington Event, The telegraph stations were highly electrified, telegraph operators were severely shocked by the current flow through the telegraph lines, telegraph keys and paper caught fire . . . isn’t it reasonable to believe that, should we experience a similar or worse situation, not only will most electronics burn out, but most that are connected to the grid at the time will catch fire. You could instantly have several fires, simultaneously, in various parts of your home. How many fire extinguishers do you have? (You certainly couldn’t use water) And does everyone in your household know how to use them?

So, the scenario from Marc is essentially a high powered electric surge like an EMP, or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that hits your neck of the woods and the resulting power surge causes fires. The phenomenon of solar storms isn’t conspiracy theory, they are real and the chances of us being affected by another storm similar in magnitude to the Carrington Event of 1859 is highly likely although researchers say we are entering a quiet period for solar activity.

The Carrington Event is interesting because this happened recently enough that we had some form of technology that was impacted, but nowhere near as much as we have now. The History Channel describes the scene following the surge for some telegraph operators in 1859:

Many telegraph lines across North America were rendered inoperable on the night of August 28 as the first of two successive solar storms struck. E.W. Culgan, a telegraph manager in Pittsburgh, reported that the resulting currents flowing through the wires were so powerful that platinum contacts were in danger of melting and “streams of fire” were pouring forth from the circuits. In Washington, D.C., telegraph operator Frederick W. Royce was severely shocked as his forehead grazed a ground wire. According to a witness, an arc of fire jumped from Royce’s head to the telegraphic equipment. Some telegraph stations that used chemicals to mark sheets reported that powerful surges caused telegraph paper to combust.

Can you imagine something like that happening now when just about everything we use runs on electricity?

Why do I need a Fire Extinguisher?

This one weird trick could keep your house from burning down.

Marc’s question gave me one of the many slap my forehead moments I have had during my time prepping. His question is so important for preppers on so many levels that I can’t believe we haven’t discussed this further and with more emphasis on the crucial need a fire extinguisher fills.

On the Prepper Journal I have spoken a lot of times about how the act of Prepping is simply being prepared for life’s unforeseen events. We talk about the need to have food storage in the form of a stocked pantry for when the grocery stores are closed or out of food. We discuss having long-term stored foods that can last for 20 years or more so that when our pantry is empty we have something to fall back on and lastly a garden full of fresh vegetables to carry us well into the future. Food security is vitally important and is probably the single most discussed need when someone begins prepping because it is so easy to relate to hunger.

Once you have food taken care of, water is next on the agenda. Storing water is simple and anyone can stock up a few dozen gallons without much effort or cost. Expanding that we have filtration devices for cleaning the water we may have to gather when our stored water is gone. Rain Barrels I know have to be one of the simplest ways to get hundreds of gallons of fresh water just by letting the clouds do what they naturally do.

After food and water independence we have security – usually in the form of firearms of one shape or another. We battle over the better choice between an AR15 and an AK-47 and every variant in between because when danger comes beating down your door, we don’t want to have to wait for the police. Being able to defend your home makes you less reliant on law enforcement when crucial seconds are on the line and your life may be in danger.

What about fires though? I know I haven’t discussed this too often on the Prepper Journal, but not being able to call the fire department if the grid-goes down could cost you everything you own. Even if you were able to get the entire family to safety, what about your preps? What about your shelter? What about all that stored food hidden in the back of your bookshelves? If you couldn’t put out a fire quickly, everything you had prepped for could be gone in minutes.

P.A.S.S.

Even if we don’t have a solar flare or an EMP, fires happen every day. According to the Natural Fire Protection Association, in 2012 there were over 365,000 fires in the US alone. That was with society functioning as normal. That was with fire departments not dealing with widespread disaster and chaos. When you lose power people turn to candles and lanterns for light. These cause fire easily because we aren’t used to walking around with an open flame. When it is cold, people start burning things to keep warm if the electric or gas furnace is no longer working. I think we could easily see fires that result from simply trying to see that could destroy entire homes if the grid went down and there was no way to contact the fire department.

Fire extinguishers are about $40 for a 5lb model and a little more for a commercial 10lb. I already have one in my house, but I think 2 more at a minimum is what I should have to give me some measure of comfort and an ability to put out most accidental fires before they get out of control. Yes, I know that Glock may have to wait another week, but you can’t shoot a fire out and this is one prep that seems to be more important right now.

How are you set for fire protection if the grid goes down?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: The $40 Prep That Could Save Your Life

Since the number of children falling from windows each year averages around 5,200, and at least one in four of those falls is serious enough to warrant hospitalization, taking the necessary precautions to ensure that kids don’t end up tumbling out of a second-story window is essential. So important is this safety concern that an annual National Window Safety Week is held to raise awareness of the dangers that can accompany a fall out of a window where kids are concerned.

Think Twice About Furniture Placement

Your toddler’s changing table or your preschooler’s dresser might look perfect under a window, but it’s important to keep in mind that your child’s room is supposed to be a safe haven for her, not something from a decorating magazine spread. Little ones love to climb and explore, and the average age of kids treated for falls from a window is five years old. Make sure that you keep any furniture away from windows so that your little one can’t scale the pieces in order to gain access to a window.

Consider Safety Devices

Window guards and safety stops can prevent windows from opening more than four inches, but can easily be defeated by an adult in case of an emergency that requires evacuation from your home. Look into these products and choose carefully, making sure that none have been recalled and that reviews from customers are favorable.

Don’t Rely on a Screen

The screen in a second story window might keep bugs out while breezes circulate fresh air through your home, but they’re nowhere close to a safety device. Flimsy screens can be easily pushed or kicked out by a determined child, so don’t fall into the trap of believing that the windows on your second floor are secure simply because they’re equipped with screens.

Take Advantage of Remodeling Projects

Home improvements can boost the resale value of your home, increase curb appeal and give you a very real sense of pride in your house. When those improvements include the replacement of old windows, consider safer designs that open from the top rather than the bottom.

Think Twice About Your Decorating Choices

Colorful toys and decorative items are adorable when they’re lined up on a window sill, but they’re also irresistibly attractive to the smaller set. One of the most effective methods of fall prevention when it comes to windows is to ensure that there’s nothing attracting your little one to that area of her room. Reaching for a favorite toy that’s resting on a window sill will make your child take notice of the opening, and could also lead to a completely inadvertent fall.

Keep Your Eyes Open

When it comes to kid safety, there’s really no substitute for dedicated attention and supervision from a parent or childcare provider. Making sure that kids are constantly redirected away from windows and that older kids understand the potential dangers of playing near an open window can help to deter them from approaching the area, but having an attentive eye trained on your child will ensure that she’s never out of your line of vision near such a dangerous fixture in your home.

Stay Abreast of Changes in Safety Guidelines

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commissions recommends that window guards be installed to prevent falls, but all products are not created equal. Be sure that you make a habit of looking up new products to determine how well they work, keeping an eye out for any recalls and being well aware of any changes regarding proper use of such products. – HSJ

 “This article was first published at reThinkSurvival.com.”

safe children 2 150x150[Editor’s note: This is a 6-part series regarding my views and plenty of common sense on how to keep your children safe in a dangerous world. It is generally geared toward children 12 and under. I hope it helps you.]

There’s so much that can be covered here, from fire safety to safety topics by age. Before adding my own opinion, I would encourage you to spend some time reading the references and guides found in the Home and Personal Safety page, especially regarding Fire Safety. In addition, I keep dozens of Child Safety videos on the Home Safety and Security Videos page (links directly to the child safety section) that are good to watch for those with young children.

Now, I won’t attempt to re-hash everything you can and should know or do here (that’s what the above references are for) but I will touch upon a few topics that I feel are important.

Fire Safety

I’ve talked about general fire safety in a variety of ways before so I won’t attempt to discuss everything you could know. Suffice it to say that so long as you’re following good fire safety practices, have appropriate smoke detectors in correct locations, change batteries regularly, and even include fire extinguishers in your plan, then there really isn’t much else that the average person can do in the average suburban home to prevent house fires. That said, because things happen then it’s incumbent upon you to teach your children what they can and should do in the event of a house fire.

That’s where a fire escape plan comes into play. You can search for them online but the basic idea is to diagram the child’s room (have them do it) along with doors and windows and then let them draw how they will escape. I prefer to take it a bit further. Instead of drawing the plan, walk the kids around the house–go room to room–and have THEM tell you how they will get out of each room. I know when we did this my kids got a bit silly about their “escape” plans but when we got serious they understood. We asked questions like “what happens if the fire is between you and the door” or “what will you do if the fire is between you and the window?” Put them in different spots in the room and ask them what they will do.

Also educate them as to how they should escape a room such as to get down low because the smoke is more dangerous than the fire in many cases. Teach them what the smoke alarm sounds like and what it should mean to them. Heck, why not test it late one weekend night to see if they’ll even get out of bed? You might be surprised at how long it takes your kids to wake up… if they even will! What then? Teach them that if there’s a fire they should get out of the house no matter what and where they should wait for you, such as your mailbox or the neighbor’s house.

Then repeat every so often until they’re ready to teach you. icon smile

I should also mention that children playing with matches and lighters are a significant risk as well. I was a prime example. My grandparents smoked cigarettes and when I was young I got hold of one of their lighters and lit the underside of a bed on fire and caused very significant damage to the entire room… let this be a lesson to you: keep your matches and lighters away from curious kids!

Poison Safety

This is an area of home safety that should be fairly easy to prevent with a little foresight. I still remember a time (probably nine years ago now) where I was in the regular habit of cleaning my drains with Drano and my dog was in the habit of jumping into the bathtub to lap water. As you can imagine, we heard a big yelp, my dog had chemical burns on his tongue, I stopped cleaning my drains regularly, and my dog hasn’t jumped into a bathtub since then.

Anyway, that experience opened my eyes to how dangerous such chemicals can be and ever since then I’ve taken to locking up an assortment of dangerous chemicals that could cause my kids harm in an old metal filing cabinet. Granted, I don’t lock up everything like gasoline cans and now that my kids are older they’re more able to understand not to mess with that kind of stuff. But, when they were younger they just didn’t understand.

Now, what if you can’t lock things up? Well, you can put such chemicals up high where they simply cannot reach them. Child locks are another descent option. If you put all of your dangerous chemicals in one central cabinet and then “lock” that cabinet then at least you’ve minimized their ability to access them.

While I’m thinking about it, you should know some common household poisons that you might not have realized are potential poisons to children. Apparently most poisonings involve medicines–that’s why it’s critical you never call medicine “candy”–an assortment of household products as listed in the link, and cosmetics… yes, ladies, your makeup. So, be sure to keep these seeming harmless things (medicines and cosmetics) well away from curious hands.

Water Safety

For some reason water safety has always bothered me. Certainly most concerns regarding water safety are for the youngest children, usually revolving around burns from scalding water and the possibility for drowning in even an inch or two of water. As such, it’s imperative that young children are NEVER left alone in a bathtub, even to go get a towel from the closet.

With regards to scalds, you just need to turn down your water heater temperature. Yes, I know, the shower won’t get as hot and your wife may complain but it’s in your child’s best interests so go do it anyway… and then test to be sure.

There are plenty of other water-related drowning concerns, from Jacuzzi spas to swimming pools, kiddie pools, and even toilets… yes, toilets. Start to look around your house and think about what little hands and little feet MIGHT possible get into and then take steps necessary to help prevent problems. This could include anything from swimming pool gates to Jacuzzi tub tops to toilet seat latches. And, of course, remember to utilize them at all times because it only takes one time for something bad to happen.

Other Concerns

There are, no doubt, a variety of other equally valid concerns, including falls, choking on small items (e.g., tiny batteries, small toys, some foods, etc), suffocation hazards (e.g., plastic wrappers, window blind cords, etc), and anything else you can imagine… reference the aforementioned links for more info.

Obviously, there are so many things to be concerned with and 99.9% of the time kids can have a “brush with death” and come out just fine. Remember, this is all about the 0.01% that we’re trying to prevent.

If you have your own suggestions feel free to share them below…