In 2010, Memphis NBC affiliate WMC Action News 5 reported a story about Tapco’s high-tech security screens. Seven years later they returned to test the screens again and interview consumers who successfully stopped burglars with the unbreakable screens.
Scott Locke and his wife installed the Tapco security screens after losing a laptop, a TV and a few handguns over two separate burglaries. Two weeks later the burglars returned, but they left empty handed. “You can see where they pried on it,” said Locke as he pointed at a few scuff marks on his window frame. The burglars gave up and fled the scene after snapping the blade of a steel hedge-clipper, which they used as an improvised pry-bar.
“They broke the blade off, and this is all the damage they did,” Locke said, pointing to a small bend in the screen’s frame. “It was worth every penny of the $7,500 we spent outfitting every window of our house.”
The Mississippi based manufacturer initially designed the screens as a Huricane safety precaution. Capable of withstaning direct hits from loose debris traveling at 156 mph, the speed of a Class 4 hurricane, the screens can easily stop almost anything a human being can throw at them. “It’s now gone to schools, universities…and now, we’re even in the (U.S. Marshals) Witness Protection Program,” said Absolute Security Products owner Don Freudenberg.
In case of an emergency, the screens can be easily detached from inside the building with the flip of a simple latch. “One of the things I really liked about them is you can open them,” said food mission volunteer Peter Giannini. More than 40 of the screens were installed at the St. Vincent dePaul’s Ozanam Center food mission after vandals continued to shatter their windows. “So it’s not like the old traditional bars so that if you get into a fire situation, you’re trapped in your own house and burn up.”
Take a look at the original 2010 test video below where Channel 5 personell and volunteers try to break in with hammers, crow bars, bricks, and 2x4s.