Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tip of the Day: How to Counter a Molotov Cocktail AKA Improvised Incendiary Device (IID)

The term Molotov cocktail is mockingly named after Vyacheslav Molotov, a Soviet premier, following the Russian invasion of Finland in WWII, when the Finns refused to surrender ports to the Soviet Union.

To combat Russian tanks, the Finnish Army borrowed an improvised incendiary device (IID) from tactics that occurred during the Spanish Civil War. 

Hence, the term Molotov cocktail began to be used gratuitously to describe any poor person's IID configured from a breakable bottle filled with gasoline with a piece of cloth burning from the open neck which would ignite upon fragmenting.

Molotov cocktails became fashionable for potentially-violent demonstrators around the globe for the simple reason they were inexpensive to fabricate and lethal when they break.

The students responsible for the Columbine High School massacre used Molotov cocktails, but the devices failed to ignite or fragment. 

Below are some tips on minimizing risk from these devices:

1. The use of Molotov cocktails can be significantly countered by installing shatter-resistant film on the exterior on residential or office windows or the use of narrowly-spaced iron grills to deflect them;

2. When riding in any vehicle in a high-risk environment where the Molotov cocktails may be deployed, always keep the windows up to deflect Molotov cocktails and hand grenades; and

3. If a Molotov cocktail is thrown at your vehicle and it breaks, engulfing the vehicle in flames, continue to drive away from the scene; and

4. IF the Molotov cocktail is thrown against the FRONT windshield, the flames may impair vision temporarily, but eventually it will burn out. At such time as vision is not impaired, continue on to drive to a safe location. 

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