My wife bought one of those Alexa devices from Amazon. She controls the lights in our house and other things with Alexa. It seems to me that if you can give Alexa directions at any time, that means that Alexa is listening to all conversations. Would this be accurate? Do you think the conversations are recorded?
-From Doug S.
Answer: Having these types of devices in your home is dangerous and I would never recommend it. Not only are the companies listening to you and using and selling this data, but also hackers can get into these and listen to you too.
I find it funny that people are willingly bringing this spying device into their home and big tech companies are loving it. (The big tech companies claim the recordings are not saved, but that’s not true.)
I purchased a new propane generator. How should I store the propane canisters? I live in a desert climate and don’t want them to explode. Does propane expire?
-From Cliff C.
Answer: Unlike kerosene or gasoline, propane has no expiration date. Nor will it become less powerful while being stored.
Propane tanks should always be stored outdoors. Keep them in well-ventilated areas. If you keep them in a shed or garage, make sure there is airflow.
Also, keep them out of direct sunlight. Finally, put them at least 10 feet away from anything flammable.
I personally store all of my propane tanks in a shed.
I moved to Florida and I love that there is water everywhere. But I was thinking about how many people drive off the road and end up in the water. How do I escape if I ever drive into the water and get trapped in my car?
-From Allison S.
Answer: If you ever find yourself in a sinking car, you will typically have 30-60 seconds to escape before the car is submerged. Now, once a car is in the water it’s very difficult to open the doors so you immediately want to roll down the windows.
If you can’t roll down a window and you need to smash one out, use whatever window is closest to you.
You want to kick in the corner of the window (where it’s stiffest) and not in the middle to break the window. If you are using a hard object or a tactical pen, you still want to strike in one of the corners of the window.
Bottom line, have something in your car to smash out windows and be ready to exit your car fast.
Thanks to your wonderful advice I downloaded a VPN to my smartphone. But I was wondering if using a VPN will mean that my GPS will also show a different location. So, if my VPN is set to New York but I’m in Los Angeles, will my GPS maps still work?
-From Brady P.
Answer: Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question because it depends on the specific smartphone and the VPN. A smartphone’s location services uses either your GPS or your internet IP address. It’s usually one or the other.
If you have location services turned off, the location data is taken from your IP address.
In that case, the location will represent the location of the VPN connection. If you’re looking for privacy, turn off the GPS, and your internet by itself won’t give you away.
For example, right now my VPN shows that I’m in New York City and I am thankfully not. I have my GPS turned off so no one can hack into my current location.
Jason, I know you are all about home defense and protecting your family. But, how do you take into consideration firing a weapon inside your home? I mean, if you shoot an AR-15 inside your home surely you and your family will suffer hearing damage right?
-From Marcus T.
Answer: In a life-or-death situation, putting on hearing protection or even worrying about it, is the least of my worries. My number one priority is stopping the intruder and protecting my family.
Shooting a few rounds from an AR is not going to cause any serious damage to my ears. If you did it daily, that would certainly not be a good idea.
But, if you got in a gunfight in your home, you will be fine. (You can also do research on the auditory exclusion that happens during tense situations.)
I was wondering if you had any tips for concealed carry when going to the beach or lake?
-From Danny M.
Answer: I personally don’t carry when I swim. But, if you were going to the beach you may want to keep a gun with you for safety.
If you are wearing swim trunks you should consider a belly band as your holster. You could wear one of these with swim trunks and a t-shirt. No one would see the gun.
As for swimming, I would keep a small safe with you. For example, a tiny one that could go into a beach bag. When you go into the water secure your gun.
Never leave your gun unattended in case a kid comes upon it or someone tries to steal your things, so make sure someone else is with your bag.
If you decide to wear a bellyband and go into the water, make sure you dry your gun off very well and give it a good cleaning with oil. Sand is not your friend.