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Doug Clark: Inventor, survivalist designs high-tech home security systems

Last Thursday I …

  • Blasted a bullet-proof couch cushion with a silencer-equipped .45.
  • Took heart-thumping rides in a supercharged, 1,000-horsepower SUV and truck.
  • Gave noogies to Giff and Bella, a couple of lovable German shepherds, who – if given the right command – would turn my windpipe into a chew toy.

Steady, doggies. Steady.

Visiting John Adrain is more exciting than a trip through a carnival fun house.

Adrain (pronounced A-dree-an) is Spokane’s Top Prepper. He deserves that title after appearing on a 2012 episode of the National Geographic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers.”

The 56-year-old holder of 10 patents lives in a cliffside manor that is protected by a military-grade gate that blocks the entrance. It also has radar-controlled cameras that will spot intruders whether it’s day or night.

Oh, and don’t forget the dogs.

I’d give you Adrain’s address but you’d have to pull it out of me along with my fingernails.

“Hello, John. You are welcome to enter,” announced a friendly computer voice when Adrain approached the front door to his gray concrete-and-wood home.

There was no such greeting for yours truly a minute earlier. Stony silence and an unyielding door handle were all I got when I attempted to go in.

“The software not only monitors your behavior but facial characteristics,” he said. “It’s the same software the Israelis use at the Israel-Palestine border.”

I told Adrain I’d buy a system if he could add an electric doorknob shock that would discourage candidates when they’re out menacing homeowners during campaign season.

He told me no. Apparently politicians have rights, too.

Wow – who knew?

By now you’re probably picturing Adrain as some paranoid kook, but he’s not. The man makes his living by creating and licensing technologies as well as selling ingenious items that are designed to protect your valuables and keep you alive.

“You can say that my house is a sophisticated test for how these technologies work in the field,” he said.

Through his company, Safety And Security, Adrain sells reinforced steel safes that are cleverly hidden inside beds, couches and ottomans with no loss of comfort. (Check out

But wait, there’s more.

The inventor is working on protective blinds that will automatically cover windows at the first sound of gunfire or breaking glass.

And for that executive who has everything, how about a stylish desk blotter that will stop the slug from a .44 magnum?

Adrain is a survivalist who lives by a philosophy that runs counter to many of those who prepare for “end of the world” scenarios.

Should the you-know-what hit the fan, Adrain believes the best bet lies in staying put, not heading for the hills.

“Bug-in and survive or bug-out and die,” he told me, adding that the whole premise behind the cut-and-run movement “is screwed up.”

Hunkering down requires planning, and to this, Adrain is happy to oblige.

He invited me out to see his latest brainstorm, the VisorSafe. This is not to be confused with his console gun safe that can be installed between the seats of an SUV.

The VisorSafe will block out sun rays like any other car visor. Yet this one is thick enough to hold a handgun and it can be unlocked with a push on a key fob.

“Seventy percent of attacks happen near or in your vehicle,” he said.

Adrain’s brain is a warehouse of facts and is in constant motion.

One minute he’s telling me about the wonders of a bulletproof foam he’s working on.

The next minute he and his assistant, Melissa Jensen, are showing me the wonders of the CouchBunker.

“Eighty-three percent of break-ins are done by someone who has been in your home before,” he explained.

Then it was on to the two aforementioned vehicles that were souped up by two Southern California firms that also outfit vehicles for the federal government.

“They’ll do 175 miles an hour,” Adrain said with a grin.

The idea behind the high-powered rigs was to see if a heavy armored car could be made fast and furious. “If you’re under attack your best chance would be to get away as fast as possible,” he explained.

If I were some rich celebrity or corporate tycoon, I’d hand Adrain the keys to my cars and mansions and tell him to ring me up when he was done.

“I want to protect others and their belongings,” my host said. “If you’re gonna be caught with your pants down, I’d rather be armed than unarmed.”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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