Welcome to the Hump Day Reading List! Here are what I believe to be the three most important articles you can read this week to enhance your personal and family safety:
This week in Defense and Training:
Defending against a dog attack
(Note: I hesitated sharing this article because of the rather violent techniques shown, and because it seems cruel to use them against an animal. However, vicious dogs do kill people, and knowing something of how to handle an attack in the absence of a weapon is probably prudent. That being said I do not, and will not, stand for unnecessary violence or cruelty toward any animal.)
What would you do in the face of an attacking dog? I know, everyone says they’ll just draw their gun and shoot, but what happens when the dog is on top of you before you can draw — or if you’re unarmed, for whatever reason?
That’s where this article comes in. It shows a few specific techniques to reduce the dog’s ability to harm others and allow for an escape. It also introduces a harsh reality: you’re going to get bitten, so it’s a good idea to force the dog to bite where you can utilize other defensive options.
Perhaps the best parts of the article are tips for avoiding a dog attack, how to interact with a suspicious dog, and the importance of staying on your feet.
All in all, I think this is an important piece to read even if some parts of it may be a little disconcerting to some people.
This week in Safety and Security:
Forgotten locations for security lighting
This article has some ideas for placing security lighting that most people don’t think of. It also includes a short discussion about the ideal height for lighting (which is a consideration too often ignored.)
As to the author’s advice about solar-powered lights, I recommend using them only if you have no access to AC power. Their coverage and run times aren’t as good, and their lifespan is still something of an unknown. However, these reservations shouldn’t stop you from using them if it’s a choice between solar and nothing!
And, in contrast to most articles, the comments are (mostly) pretty good. The first one about relocating the motion sensor is particularly useful and can significantly impact the effectiveness of a light in some cases.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
Hearing loss is cumulative and irreversible. Protect it!
Excellent article from Recoilweb about hearing loss, what it is, and how to prevent it. I strongly encourage everyone to read it.
My only criticism is in the author’s superficial treatment of Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) and their usefulness. It’s important to know that NRR ratings you see in ads for hearing protection products may not be consistent from brand to brand. Some will report the “best fit” number (that obtained by proficient users, as opposed to “minimally trained” users), while others may give more realistic numbers that are de-rated according to NIOSH recommendations. What’s more, since NRR numbers are frequency-averaged, any given hearing protection device may or may not effectively reduce the intensity of the peak frequency range where gunshots occur (roughly 900-1500 hZ.)
When shopping using NRR numbers, you need to see the range of attenuation based on fit as well as a chart showing the attenuation at specific frequencies (both of which are required by EPA regulations and will be found in the product instructions or data sheets, but rarely — if ever — show up in advertising or on the packaging.) Yes, it’s a little bit of work to get that information, but it’s your hearing that’s at stake!
– Grant Cunningham
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