At times we can be so security focused that we ignore or
forget to consider the other threats and dangers that affect us. In certain instances, we can choose to implement actions based on improving our safety from certain threats such as violence, that compromise our safety from more prevalent and likely dangers e.g. putting security locks on our doors and windows to prevent our homes getting burgled, however if these precautions slow down our ability to exit our home in the event of a fire, or even an assault by someone we have willingly let in to our homes, they have done little to ensure our safety. If we are able to protect ourselves from buglers but die in a house fire what was the point?
If our risk assessments are based on worst case situations, rather than on the most likely, we will probably implement solutions that affect our overall safety. Many security operatives in high risk situations will not wear the seat belt in their car- speed of exit and debussing trumps the need for safety from collisions involving other drivers etc. However in a civilian context, we are much more likely to be involved in a crash than we are to have to deal with a car-jacking or hostage/abduction situations. It may feel glamorous not to wear a seat belt, in order to be able to deal with violent criminals however if you are more likely to be involved in a vehicle collision, your choice is a bad one.
It is all well and good to have windows and doors that prevent easy access to your home or workplace, however if they are difficult to open from the inside and restrict your ability to exit in the event of an emergency, you may be doing yourself worse harm. You may feel safer in a hotel room, when staying in a third world country that is many floors above street level which could make it more difficult for somebody to break in to your room. However if the local fire department doesn’t possess ladders that can reach your floor, in the event of a fire, you may end up finding yourself cut-off.
When writing risk assessments, we should consider all risks and dangers including the most likely and the most devastating. If we know that a gang of muggers who board a train are unlikely to harm us, we comply with their demands. We should assess our risk not just on likelihood but also on outcome and the level of control we have within such situations. We can never mitigate all risks, but we can normally protect ourselves from the most likely, and the worst potential outcomes. When we look at personal safety, we should consider all threats and risks, not just those involving violence.
South West Krav Maga – Oxford Kennie Gould