Smash and grab misconception

November 2008 Asset Management

A smash and grab attack is a deliberate means of gaining entry into a vehicle via one of its weakest security spots ie, the side glass. Being deliberate it is delivered with sufficient force and with an array of objects from spark plugs, rocks, hammers, bricks to even crow bars to shatter the glass which acts as it was intended to by shattering into small pieces, thus allowing access to a vehicle’s interior and possessions that may be for the picking.

To foil a smash and grab attempt one ideally needs a security graded film, bonded to the glass, which, due to its multilayered composition, proprietary glass bonding adhesives as well as thickness, has the ability to withstand not only the initial impact but several subsequent strikes as well.

In reality, many smash and grab protection offerings on the market are only safety films or sometimes only tints. Safety films are intended to keep the glass intact in the case of accidental breakage. Tints have no place in acting as protection as their intended purpose is to colour your glass and that is where their usefulness should remain.

As vehicle sales are in a slump, smash and grab protection is often offered free of charge as a deal sweetener. This invariably means it is a safety film which is less expensive and hence costs the dealer less to sell the vehicle.

Dealers are often not the problem as they have been sold on the fact that the product is adequate for smash and grab protection.

The solution to the above is:

Make sure that the product you are being offered can actually perform adequately.

Ask for positive testimonials on the product’s performance.

Research the subject on the Internet. There are some positive and negative experiences you can draw a conclusion from.

Obtain the manufacturer’s details and ask them if they are happy for the product to be used as smash and grab protection.

Do not necessarily settle for the cheapest offer, but rather look at value for money. It is after all you and your family’s security at stake.

Ensure the installer not only has a comprehensive warranty, but that the work that they carry out will have no effect on the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.

Preferably ensure that the installer has a stable reputation.

Ideally the installer should have a dust free, secure environment to ensure the highest quality standard of fitment is delivered.

Check to see that the installer is a member of a reputable association such as the AA, should you need recourse to a third party.

For more information contact Jeremy Hall, Defence Concepts SA, +27 (0)11 444 0830/1, www.defcon1.co.za





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