how often do brakes fail

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Everyone calling it an emergency brake, this is a parking brake. The parking brake is a secondary braking system, not powered by hydraulics, and is independent of the primary hydraulic brakes used to slow and stop your vehicle. The most common use of the parking brake is to keep the vehicle motionless when it is parked.

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I learned to drive in a 46 Dodge with no brakes. The way it was geared you rarely needed brakes only to hold the truck at a stop sign. Or put it in grany gear and walk beside it while loading hay if you're brave. Love the sound of a flathead six-long stroker.

do the engine braking earlier. Turning the hazard light is good. Honking is good too.
But the worst thing that you said is about e brake. You should do it last. After engine braking and shifting down, and sliding along the guard rails, or finding an incline.
Only engage the e-brake at the lowest speeds.
Also zigzagging isn't good advice to tell common drivers. Worst, you showed an open-wheeled race car doing it.

Engine brake might be better to apply before the ebrake by put it to the lowest gear so that the engine will forcibly slow down then giving lower pressure to ebrake (hand brake) to take the full load hence, the engine is on the slower speed after engine brake did the main part. Most of the big heavy equipment trucks use engine brakes when they drive on the road going down to give lesser pressure to main brake so that it will not fail.