THE MAGAZINE

Pickett’s Primer on Explosives.

By Hugh J. Martin

Pickett’s Primer on Explosives.By Mike Pickett; published by Pickett’s Video and Training, LLC; four videos and a 64-page Explosives Identification Guide; $350 (four videos, also priced separately), $20 (guide).

 Mike Pickett, a veteran firefighter and educator, has produced a primer on explosives, including four videos and a short manual entitled Explosives Identification Guide, Second Edition. The first three videos deal with, respectively, commercial explosives, military ordnance, and bomb threats and searches. The fourth video provides basic information on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The accompanying guide complements this material.

Probably most relevant to corporate security managers is the video devoted to bomb threats and searches. It amounts to a short course on these topics. Safety is stressed throughout. Security professionals responsible for facility protection could use the video to train employees on the elements of threats and searches.

Another informative video introduces the viewer to common commercial explosives. Blasting caps, safety fuses, detonating cords, blasting agents, slurries (gels), and related items are discussed, with an emphasis on safety. Both public and private sector security will benefit from this treatment.

The other two videos are at the two extremes: one is probably too specialized for a general security audience, the other too basic. The video on military ordnance deals with plastic explosives and land mines, information more valuable to the armed forces, or perhaps first responders, than to private security professionals. A video on WMDs, at the other end of the spectrum, is best for awareness training for staff who know nothing about the topic.

The guidebook is solid, allowing personnel to refer to photographs and concise explanatory text when trying to identify explosives. The table of contents will quickly help a first responder identify an object or device. In addition, a comprehensive glossary will aid personnel in the field.


Reviewer: Hugh J. Martin is the director of public safety/chief of police for the City of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a certified emergency manager. He is also certified as an instructor for the Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Awareness Level Program, which is administered by New Mexico’s Institute of Mining and Technology. He is a member of ASIS International.

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