Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Help Me Howard: Impact Glass Busted
Hurricane resistant windows and doors are being installed all over South Florida. Many customers want the added protection against storms and then there is another benefit, that the glass can deter thieves, but does that mean it keeps out thieves? Thats what one buyer thought and then got a surprise. Here is Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- If you have ever sat in your home and watched a hurricane you either wished you had impact resistant windows or were thankful you did.
Cameron Kelly: "I got them for safety number one since we live in Miami with the hurricanes and security. Number two, I didnt want to have to worry about anybody getting into the house."
Cameron installed impact windows and doors two years ago. Doors and windows that contain steel rods that slide into the frame for security windows, and doors with two panes of glass and a special silicone to keep them from breaking away from the frame if hit by flying objects.
Cameron Kelly: "Supposedly up to 120 miles per hour. Objects flying at them cant get thru."
They also block out noise, but the final selling point to Cameron the promises from the window companies this one says their windows give year round security from thieves. The one Cameron chose bragged its a burglar resistant system for added security.
Cameron Kelly: "I can rest assured that I didnt have to worry about anything getting into the house."
Cameron thought his house could not be broken into. Then in March, he got a call that thieves had ransacked his Miami home.
Cameron Kelly: "The door was shattered, the glass was pushed in and there was glass all around."
The crooks had used a rock to smash the glass. As designed it did not shatter and fall apart, but it did detach from the door frame which the installer had never seen before.
Ignacio Mendez: "I think they cut in some parts of the structural silicone and they banged it hard enough. I suppose to break it in a little bi so they could get their hands in. By the way, this door was full of blood and it wasnt that easy to get in."
The window company was surprised when Cameron was told the replacement glass would cost him $1,800. He was shocked.
Cameron Kelly: "I was told I had to pay for it, which I dont quite understand."
The window company told Cameron his door was not defective. That the crooks had lots of time and the bloody door showed they had to work hard to get in. Cameron disagreed.
Cameron Kelly: "Because it seems to me when I am sold something that is supposedly impact resistant, meets Miami-Dade code and I dont have to worry about anybody getting in. There has to be a defect in the product."
Well Howard, do phrases like year round security from thieves and burglar resistant mean a crook wont be able to break in?
Howard Finkelstein: "No, legally the companies are not being misleading at all. It simply means that the product has made it harder for a crook to break in and because of that, if a burglar breaks in, legally the company is not required to replace the window."
When I contacted RC Aluminum, the very popular and well respected manufacturer of Cameron's impact resistant window and doors, told me burglar resistant did not mean burglar proof. That given time and tools someone could eventually break thru.
Then a break for Cameron it should have taken two to three weeks to replace the glass. When it took two months. RC Aluminum did what they didnt have to do.
Ignacio Mendez: "So we are not charging for this job at all. It's a service that RC is performing that the customer waited a little to long to get this replaced."
Ignacio also did not charge for the installation.
The police had told Cameron if he had an alarm, the burglars would not have had time to break thru the door. So Cameron installed that and now feels safe.
Cameron Kelly: "With the combination of everything the alarm system, the impact resistant doors and windows, I think we are going to be as safe as we can be now."
Patrick Fraser: "I know so many people who have impact resistant windows and doors they love them. So how do you know the legal requirements or definitions of the words a business uses to promote its product? Howard says the law uses the plain meaning, for example hurricane resistant doesnt mean a hurricane cant get thru it just means it slows it from possibly getting thru.
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