Spencer Coursen’s new book The Safety Trap: A Security Expert’s Secrets for Staying Safe in a Dangerous World (St. Martin’s Press, 2021) is a must-read if personal safety and appropriate reactionary skills to an emergency are anywhere on your radar.

Spencer Coursen has spent the bulk of his adult life protecting people. He is an honorably discharged Army Airborne Ranger, a nationally recognized threat management expert, and the founder of the Coursen Security Group. He has developed and led security plans for numerous major celebrities, sports stars, and corporate executives. The most important lesson that he wants everyone to retain from his book is that you are never more in danger than in those moments when you feel you are safest. And that concept is the premise behind The Safety Trap.

The Safety Trap’s byline is “Protective Strategies To Eliminate the Threats in Everyday Life” and that’s exactly what this book does. As someone who is in this same field on a daily basis, much of what Coursen says in this book is relevant to topics I personally think about and teach in my daily life. If you aren’t in the professional business of safety, though, this book prompts you to at least consider being in the business of personal safety for you, your friends, and your family. Both training and knowledge are key if and when you find yourself in a situation that requires quick and effective use of your skills. And the book provides the reader with both.

Spencer Coursen Photo Collage. (Courtesy of Spencer Coursen)

It has been said that people fall back on their highest level of training during a critical incident; they don’t typically “rise to the occasion.” Every once in a while you may hear a news report about a soccer mom lifting a minivan off of her child who was trapped. That type of feat is awesome, but it’s also awesomely rare. What is far more common is for people to fall back on the training they are most comfortable or familiar with. Coursen’s book walks the everyday person through various scenarios and traps and provides guidance on how to better live prepared and not fall into The Safety Trap.