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CTV News Spot – Festival Safety Tips

On Tuesday, June 18th, 2019, I appeared on the CTV Morning Show in Ottawa.

I was asked to comment on the shooting incident the day previous in downtown Toronto during the celebration festivities of the Toronto Raptors’ NBA Championship win. Estimates placed the crowd sizes at 1.5-2 million. It was just huge.

You can view the full clip on YouTube here. (

You can also read our previous posts on similar topics below:

To learn more, come to one of our workshops, book us for your private event or attend the German Security Conference in Toronto, Oct 18-20, 2019.

Stay tuned for info on upcoming training and follow us on Instagram and Facebook ( @truenorthtradecraft ) for the latest.

Stay Safe & stay crafty!

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Review – Brite Strike APALS personal light beacons by Fiser.

Fiser Brite Strike APALS Lights

Brighten up your day with Fiser Innovative Solutions.

There are a lot of flashlights out there.  When you need light, there are many varieties of portable lights from which to choose.  Sometimes you need lots of light, sometimes less.  Sometimes under water, sometimes they need to be small.  Whatever your specific need, there are solutions.

When I was introduced to the  Brite Strike APALS mini LED lights distributed  in Canada by Fiser Innovative Solutions, I didn’t know what to think of them.  (APALS stands for All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips). They were small, I didn’t expect much but so what?  Then I turned one on.  BRIGHT!  As I played around with the tiny light in my hand, Tom Fiser (Owner), gave me a rundown of the many technical specifications of these lights along with the ingenious uses they have integrated them into.

(Update & correction:  Fiser is the Canadian distributor. Brite Strike Technologies Inc. is the manufacturer, they are made in the US.)

Here is a photo for sizing comparison:

2 Fiser lights, end-to-end, against a standard Bic lighter for size comparison.  The 3M adhesive backing shown to view both sides.

They are very thin, weigh next to nothing and can stick to just about anything.  Here are some technical specs:

  • very small, 2″ long, almost completely flat;
  • featherweight at less than 5g;
  • Visible up to 3.2km(2miles) on land, 4.8km(3miles) from the air;
  • Up to 200 hours or run time;
  • Waterproof to 200FT;
  • Modes: Fast Strobe/Slow Strobe/Steady On/Off;
  • Available in 5 colours (Red, Orange/Amber, Blue, Green, White);
  • Heavy Duty 3M® Adhesive Back Tape;
  • Easy Pull Tab;
  • Waterproof, Dust-proof & Shockproof.

Here is a pdf of their info sheet:

Fiser Light Info

On the Fiser website, they list several innovative and creative uses for these mini lights.  They even make gloves with little sleeves for them for Police working traffic duty, police on bicycles, SCUBA divers, hunters, cycling & roller sports, outdoor adventure and even for pets!  I’d feel comfortable in adding that, for such a light package with 3 modes, high-visibility and 200hrs of run time, you could throw a few in your car, home, go-bag, any emergency kits, keep one in your first aid kit.  They’re so versatile.  For those doing plain clothes work, members of your team can keep one in their pocket for activation for hi-viz identification by peeling off the backing and sticking it on themselves.  They can be used to mark entrances, evidence, route or trail marking, bike light, land or water recovery…the possibilities are quite vast.

I’ve even put 2 in my Nanuk 935 roller case (both red and green) for backup light and low-pro options.  They stick to the lid and do not obstruct anything and are almost invisible (see below):

Green light turned off because it was too bright for the photos head-on.

This kind of setup can be adapted to closets, cabinets, safes, gun safes, medicine cabinets, suitcases, etc as a back-up in case you need it, especially during a power outage.

I also popped one into a glass of water for a half-hour to see how it did:


Here’s a short APALS video of it blinking too!

Overall, I’m very impressed with these little lights.  They last longer and are brighter than glow sticks and are smaller too.  I like the 3-mode options they have and that they are almost weightless.

They even sell them in 10-packs for expeditions or teams.  Pretty great.  Canadian too, from Hamilton, Ontario.

If you are looking for a different kind of light to augment your situation or if these sound useful, reach out to Fiser Innovative Solutions at their website.

Till next time, stay safe, stay visible (when you want to be), and stay crafty.

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Travel Security – Keeping your home safe while you’re away

Keeping things safe while you’re away.

Welcome to Part Two in our Travel Security Series: Keeping your home safe while you’re away.

Sadly, this isn’t part of the trip planning process for many people (though it should be).  Most either assume their home is “secure” enough, therefore they don’t need to do anything, or they just lock the door and leave, hoping for the best.  Either way, here are some tips to better prepare your home to maintain its integrity while you’re away.

Make sure your home stays safe while you’re away.

  1.  Maintain OPSEC.
    Don’t Talk about your impending trip!  As exciting as it is, keep the details of your trip on the down-low leading up to it.  If you must give details for the purposes of booking vacation time or scheduling, be vague with the times and dates of you absence and also with your itinerary.  Instead of saying exactly where you’re going, be vague, like “down south” or “out-of-town for a couple of days”, instead of “I’m going to *** in *** and we leave on *** and return on ***.”  This makes it less predictable when your home will be unoccupied.

    Maintain OPSEC (OPerational SECurity)
  2. Establish a monitoring presence.

    If possible, enlist the help of a relative or trusted friend to check in on your house while you’re away.  Give them a key and have them bring in the mail, turn lights on/off through the house.  If you’re lucky they may even agree to put out the garbage and replace the bins when collected.  They can also feed your pets, open and close blinds, water your plants and even move your car around.  This creates the illusion that the house is occupied and monitored.  Just ensure to bring back a nice souvenir for your caretakers from your trip…it’s the least you can do.  If you’re unable to secure such a caretaker, put a hold on your mail and scheduled deliveries and arrange to have your yard maintained while you’re away.  Maybe even get your windows washed and gutters cleaned all on different days, prepaid.  This will, again, deter burglars from targeting your house, especially in the day.  If possible, have a trusted friend or family member move in while you’re gone.  Sell it to them like a mini-vacation.  And of course, you’ll bring them a souvenir.  (FYI – there are also other options, such as hiring a house-sitter or even renting out your home through Air BnB or similar sites and maintain the occupancy.  This is, however, your choice.)

    Make your house look like you’re home.
  3. Plug your table lamps into timers.

    Program them to turn on and off at various times and various rooms as if people are moving about in the evenings.  They don’t cost a lot but can help a great deal in establishing a more randomized presence.  In the same vein, unplug all non-essential electronics to reduce risk of fire and to save on the constant trickle of electricity they use.

    Updated digital

    Old school analog
  4. If you haven’t yet,
    consider installing both a security system and motion lights

    around your home.  They will deter people attempting to access your home as well as create a video log of all who approach, day or night.  In addition to this, ensure your doors and windows have effective working locks and that they are ALL engaged prior to you leaving.  Even the upper floors.

    Motion lights help to provide both safety and security at night.

    Home security systems allow for monitoring and recording.
  5. Stash your stuff.

    It is common practice for me that prior to a trip out-of-town, I take my valuables to a safe deposit box at a bank.  It’s included with my account and always available and secure.  So I make use of it.  If there’s anything valuable you have in your home that isn’t completely secure (like, in a fireproof vault anchored to your wall and floor) then consider leaving it in a safe deposit box for the duration of your trip.  You shouldn’t be travelling with expensive stuff anyways.

    Keep your valuables safe when you’re away.


As a last thought, you might want to check your smoke detectors and turn down your furnace if needed.  Put a dog alarm or a sign for for “beware of dog”.  This may add to the overall security picture.

Though this post is not exhaustive of all possible considerations, I hope the above tips will help you in securing your home while you’re away, protecting your possessions and giving you piece of mind.

Stay safe and stay crafty.


***Disclaimer:  None of the above information is fool-proof or guaranteed but is the opinion of the author and as such, the Author suggests you use your own judgement when implementing any of the above.***