Home invasion is similar in both Hurricanes and Crime. Both forces attack our living spaces and leave a path of destruction behind, material damage as well as emotional distress. Results from a crime attack are property damage, often times physical harm and in most cases leave psychological damage. The results of a hurricane affects us in a similar way.
Observing how we are protecting ourselves from such crime or hurricane attacks, it suggests that we may re-evaluate our approaches and techniques and start looking at these two threats as being the same.
Our first instinctive approach to ward of such attacks are very similar also.
Although the temporary plywood solution has worked well in the past, it comes with limitations as to it’s use. One, you have to be there when the storm approaches, you feel encapsulated and boxed in, and the plywood has to be re-applied for every new storm. The permanent protection in the center will protect from flying debris and intruders but also negates the idea of having a window at all. The picture on the left may seem like a normal window but in fact it is fortified with impact resistant glass to protect flying debris from entering the home.
How we can protect ourselves simultaneously against crime and hurricanes ?
First, let us analyze how each element is impacting our property and our lives.
Hurricanes: After researchers from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) studied how houses withstood the 2005 storms as well as the kinds of damage the houses suffered, a surprising conclusions surfaced.
Wind damage accounted for only a fraction of the destruction and the real causes are flying objects and water intrusion. When flying objects pierce windows and doors, hurricane force winds enter the home. The internal pressure causes the roof to blow off, resulting in massive structural and water damage.
Crime: In the aftermath of Katrina, property crimes increased to a level never before seen. Even now, after New Orleans is policed again, statistic figures are amongst the highest in the country.
First point of intrusion is any one of the exterior doors. Mostly by picking the locks and/or by breaking the locking mechjanism or hinge set. Especially vulnerable are sliding doors as they are simply lifted off their tracks. The second choice is breaking the glass of a window, releasing the closing mechanism and entering.
What both threats have in common is the fact that the original penetration is through the windows/doors. Knowing this fact, it then suggest that we can start designing a system of protection which addresses both threats, crime and hurricanes.
SwissShade windows and doors combine heavy-duty aluminum or steel reinforced vinyl frames with impact-resistant laminated glass and a multi-point locking mechanism.
Laminated glass is constructed by bonding a tough a Polyvinylbutyral (PVB) plastic interlayer between two pieces of glass under heat and pressure. Once sealed, the glass “sandwich” behaves as a single unit and appears transparent, just like ordinary glass.
When objects break an impact-resistant window during a storm or by the impact of an intrusion tool such as a hammer or crow bar, the opening is not penetrated because of the strength and energy-absorbing capability of the interlayer. People are protected because the glass fragments adhere to the interlayer.
Fringe benefits of laminated lass are protection of the interior of the home from the sun’s damaging UV rays, filtering out up to 99 percent of the harmful rays.
The interlayer and the weight of the glass also provides noise abatement that is greater than double-pane insulated glass. For example, the dB value of standard insulated glass jumps from 32 dB to 42 dB for an A 3 laminated security glass.
These laminated glass panes can be designed and built to many different security levels, from a burglarproof / hurricane resistant levell all the way to a bulletresistant level, protecting against bullets from pistols and rifles. The following tables give you an idea as to the different levels and their respective thickness and weight:
Multi-Point Locking mechanism: Each opening window and/or balcony door has an integrated and multi-point locking mechanism with a minimum of 7 cam locks per opening.
Like in a safe, this technology locks the sash into the window/door frame, all the way around. In addition, this mechanism allows you to tilt the window inwards on top AND/OR open the window by turning it inside like a casement window. The tilt mode allows you to get fresh air while still being protected against intrusion. The turn mode allows for a quick escape route if so needed.