Reflecting On Security

“There is no object so well protected that it cannot be stolen, damaged, destroyed, or observed by unauthorized individuals.”  [Link]

The bigger the organization, the more formal and staid their protection is, and their procedures end up too slow and inflexible to be truly effective.

Thus with today’s reliance on high-tech solutions and minimal manpower, a learned forager can easily defeat most security measures in a protracted grid down scenario using basic tooling.

What’s your thoughts on this?


They own the night

At last, I’ve found out what wakes the dog in the night who in turn gets me up.
No PIR’s were ever fired, no alarm tripped but the dog has been insistent for a long time that something was there!

Leaving the house by a different exit, there is was, the biggest Tawny owl I have seen in a long time.
Sat on the roof, rat at its feet happily feeding away.

I thought I’d be clever and not show a light this time so used the night vision.
It spotted me almost as soon as I spotted it.
It worked out I wasn’t a threat, and carried on feeding.

Problem one solved, now I know.
Problem two is slightly more difficult,
How to tell the dog not to worry!

As for why they own the night?
Few predators have their night sight and silent flight.
That and incredibly good binocular hearing.
Sight and hearing combine to pinpoint  food in absolute darkness.

The Owl’s eyes.
A fixed non moving “binocular” vision.
The field of view for an owl is about 110 degrees, with about 70 degrees being binocular vision. By comparison, humans have a field of view that covers 180 degrees, with 140 degrees being binocular.

To compensate for fixed eyes, an owl can turn it’s head 270 degrees left or right

The owl’s eyes are very sensitive to light and movement BUT do not react well to colour.
Owls see in limited colour or monochrome. Man sees colour better but at the cost of night vision.

Home Invasion

Curiously now we’re living in town (so to speak), I’m getting my street awareness back again AND I don’t like it!

I’ve always been good at picking up on the unusual, the “hang on a second that’s not right” sort of thing BUT it’s ramping up almost everyday!
I suppose it didn’t help a lot when someone was knifed to death less than a mile away the week before we moved in. A druggie fight and one lost big time.

So the new abode is going to be all about protecting us.
We’re on the entrance of a little estate. That’s good, plenty of unpredictable traffic.
Neighbors on each side who are OK. That’s good too.
Only one door to the property.
That’s good as you can concentrate access security there, YET that is a weakness.
In our last house (pre-boat living) we had a backdoor so you had an alternative way to check up who was at the front door. Scary good it was too as it put you in a position BEHIND the caller stood at the front door and behind a tall gate.

Here, there is no such luxury.
So SOP would be never open the door or fit a door chain to allow partial opening under your control.
I have to say that I hate door chains. Most are easily defeated.
The problem was we only had a high security mortise lock fitted and too often we would enter and forget to re-lock the door.
That and night latch locks can catch you out (literally) without a key to get back in.
So I’ve now fitted a ‘slam door’ mechanical digital lock.
Nifty bit of kit it is too. Programmable (with a nightmare or two), built TOUGH, with anti-slip, bypass, and the usual run of the mill tool defeat safeguards fitted as standard.

Neat eh? With that added to our security, popping out the back with the dog (desperate for a pee late at night) is no longer a worry or dead fiddly playing with keys in the dark.

Which brings about another thought. Street lights.
Yep there is one dead opposite us so CCTV works a treat BUT in the wee small hours, the whole town goes into energy conservation mode and three out of every four street lights go out. Which includes ours darn it!
Thus CCTV still works with IR illumination but visually it’s black out front.
Now it’s decision time. Either I fit a PIR LED ‘spot light’ or turn on a low wattage ‘Nightlite’ to cover the 4 hours before the street light comes on again.
My thoughts there are:
PIR is way too sensitive, especially in the winter!
Add hedgehogs, badgers, cats, rats, and the occasional low life, the constant on/off will wake me every time, and that’s not good!
On a timer would be too easy so I’d fit a DAYLIGHT sensor to keep it off when it was naturally bright or when illuminated by the street light. As for power? It’s got to be LED hasn’t it! Solar charged, and just enough to be able to see down the drive i.e. 4 to 6 watts (240 to 360 lumens).

Decisions, Decisions. Ultimately living on a boat was much safer!

Physical Security and it’s weaknesses.

Part of Self Defence. Physical Security and it’s weaknesses.

Fortify your home, put wire up, build gated communities, buy some big dogs, go underground into a bunker, and as standard, arm yourself.

Typical US and the “UK’s armchair prepper” talk, only to what end.
What or who are you trying to keep out? For how long?
Where are you going to do this, and if you can, how are you going to get there BEFORE the main event let alone during?

Home Construction in the UK.
In the main homes are built out of brick.
Older ones having two layers worth (8 inches plus), newer ones moving to either a single brick skin and a wood frame inside or brick outside and cinder block within. Brick making a more substantial building than the clap-board / timber build or clad dwellings found round the world.

Wow aren’t we lucky in the UK.
Bull we are and subject to exactly the same threats and weaknesses as the next guy no matter what our housing is made out of.

The most commonly expressed threats to individuals in a dwelling include:-
Theft (including rioting and home invasion), gunfire, fire, and extreme weather.
Plus the exotics.
The earthquakes, volcanoes, CBRN, EMP or geomagnetic events, solar flares,  paramilitary, or full military grade action.

For the “normal attacks” physical security can cope with a fair amount of abuse but lets face it, if you aren’t there and willing to use a gun or other weapon to defend your property, your security is just making things difficult for the intruder.

For example. UVPVC double glazing is very common for doors and windows in the UK.
Only glass doesn’t come as bullet resistant as standard, PVC bends with the correct tools, and as for door panels.
Got to love modern thinking for heat conservation haven’t you.

So am I advocating you do nothing special to make yourself safe?
Nope, that would be stupid BUT hows about realistically reviewing your security beyond changing the locks to “industry standard”, and adding bars, gates, or shutters to all the lower access points.

What about adding a bit of perimeter security?
After all the best way of keeping people out is to keep them away.
They can’t get into something they can’t touch.
Which is fine if you have space to do that but pretty impossible when you live in a high density area or even worse, an apartment block.

It gets tougher when you live in the cities or townships doesn’t it and probably why the general consensus is to bug out to your prepared shelter or just into the countryside.

OK, I’m going move onto rural and the prepper’s Nirvana, a custom-built hardened facility for those with money, or a place in the country for some, or for those who like me and broke? Well we’ll be looking for something like a holiday home to ‘invade’ and take over if we need a refuge.

So is any of them guaranteed to make you safe?
Some will argue “safer” and I’d sort of agree with “safer” for the run of the mill type disasters or attack. Only what if you do encounter a determined attack from someone with or without firearms?

The main military and police rounds in the UK.
7.62 x 51 mm – 5.56 x 45 mm – 9 x 19 mm – 12.7 × 99 mm
FM 3-06.11 (FM 90-10-1) detail the long gun calibres penetration capabilities.
It makes interesting reading and if you’ve ever seen a GPMG hammering away at a brick wall, or been on the receiving end of sustained small arms fire, you’d suddenly realise just how vulnerable you are when someone knows what they are doing. Bricks or not.

Luckily, unless you encounter the military or someone who has purloined those weapons, it’s not going to be those loads you’ll be facing. Typically that will be 12 gauge, .17, .22, and perhaps 9 mm.

Yet why would someone use firearms in the UK (except in ambush or self-defence) when there are so many other ways to dispossess an individual. Ultimately that is what your attacker wants, you out of your shelter and what’s in it. Only what would you consider is the most versatile and easy weapon to deploy? I’ll give you a clue:-

firebombYep, fire.

Now with that in mind, what about the your dwelling, or the one you built, bought, or acquired as a bug out refuge. Is it fireproof? If it is not I submit that man’s first major triumph (i.e. making fire) may be your undoing.

I’ve also read posts by preppers about how hardened thus attack proof their refuges are.
“You’ll never get close enough” boasts. Meet my readily available “farmyard”wreaking tool.


A good argument for a perimeter defence and ground between you and that barrier which is dug deep or cluttered with debris rending it one hard task to clear before getting to you.

Riots, and the weapon of choice

I wrote this as a reply to another excellent article by preppernextdoor

With what is going on at this moment in the US, it kinda moves it to the fore.
Problem for me is what if it all kicks off again in the UK.
Most the average citizen can do is barricade their doors and hope that firebombs aren’t in use.

Our thin blue line is now more like a hatched line as police numbers have declined to joke levels and as for calling out the military?

Don’t make me laugh.

The Salvation Army has more soldiers than the whole of the UK armed forces put together.

Assault weapons for self defense.
Do you need one?

For close range fast moving targets of various shapes, speed, and ages typically under 75 feet?

Nope, stuff the assault rifle, pass the 12g auto loader or AA12 shotgun.
Why? Because it’s not how much power and accuracy you’ve got,
It’s going to be more about how much lead can you lay down to keep them away.

For example. I empty a 30 shot magazine of say 7.62 x 39,
Naughty in some states but you’ll get my drift soon.
30 x 7.62 is 228mm worth of side by side lead. A whooping 8 inch spread at best.

I now let loose with an auto loader or AA12 shotgun with say 20 rounds of #4 buck.
Anything within 100 feet of me is going to have a seriously bad day.
It’s loud, it’s “brash”, and at 75 feet with a combat barrel I’m spreading shot at an average of 21 inches per pop.

Seriously, as a rioter or even a professional, who is the bigger deterrent if not threat?
The nutter who can’t shoot for toffee with a big gun or the old guy relentlessly throwing #4 at you swinging gently side to side taking out large swathes of your mates?

Now add another 12g. One firing, one reloading.
Jeez can anyone else say “awesome”!

OK it hasn’t got power (when compared to assault weapons).
Over 25 yards doesn’t exactly look “mean”, but to stand there in front of one going “pop-pop-pop”, out of cover, and you still continue to advance towards it?

Even with body armor on the shot spread is enough to center mass you and a few for the extremities. You’d have to be demented to take on that sort of power.

In a riot (in my humble opinion) you don’t need the precision of a rifle you need the steady repetitive thump of a 12 gauge (preferably two).