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Unbreakable window screens

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The security screens can take a beating. The security screens can take a beating.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Hit by a 2x4 and not even damaged. A company boasts they have perfected something called the unbreakable window screen. How well does it really hold up?

We've put it to the test.

A few days before Christmas last year, the better part of Aaron Reagan's gift budget went to burglar bars.

"They're custom-designed because we didn't want them to look like we're in jail," he joked.

He said he dropped about $2,000 on those bars after burglars broke through the window and stole a computer, an undetermined amount of cash and some collectibles. The bad guys also opened every gift under Reagan's Christmas tree, then left them.

"Maybe we weren't giving what they were looking for that year." 

Reagan sees humor in everything.

After he saw a test of TAPCO's window security screens, he wished he had held off on the burglar bars.

TAPCO, Inc. of Tupelo, MS (http://www.tapcoinc.net/), manufactures stainless steel security screens with a unique 12x12 weave, rated to withstand a Class 4 hurricane. They fit right over standard windows.

They are not bullet-proof or bullet resistant, so they cannot take a bullet.

But, boy, can they take a beating! 

The screens took everything dished out. A crowbar punctured a screen, but the security weave kept it from peeling away or coming out of its seam. The screens should give a burglar so much trouble, he'll give up and move on to his next target.

A 2x4 shot from an air pressure cannon at 50 feet per second barely bulged the screen. The window didn't even rattle.

TAPCO's screens also have a patented steel-rod latch that allows them to be opened from the inside more easily than some standard window screens.

Concern was expressed to TAPCO's owner, Wilford Roberts, about the ability of emergency personnel to penetrate the screens from the outside. Roberts said his company designed the screens so that they could be breached by a standard K-12 rescue saw.

So the Tupelo Fire Department's Special Operations Unit was invited out to bring its saw. Two firefighters cut right through the screen without a problem.

"That's amazing," said Reagan, watching the demonstration. "(It appears to really deter a burglar)...whether it's the next house or whether they decide, 'Maybe I shouldn't be in this business anymore.'"

Absolute Security Products, Inc. of Bartlett, TN (http://www.absolutesecurityproducts.com/), is the Mid-South dealer of Tapco's security screens.  Owner Don Freudenberg says a 40'x60' screen would run about $250. 

Depending on your insurance provider, the screens might help you rate a discount on your homeowner's insurance.

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