Protecting People First Foundation to Study Impact Resistant Glass in Florida

The Protecting People First Foundation announced it is returning to Southwest Florida to continue an on-site study to document the contribution of impact resistant glass, safety film, hurricane shutters and other protective glazing technologies in preventing injury and property loss as a result of Hurricane Charley.

Staff assigned to Project Safe Windows will arrive in Florida Sept. 1 and begin work on the study.

The Foundation has partnered with ABS Consulting, a global risk management firm, to analyze the performance of various forms of safety glass in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Charley.

A team led by Dr. James R. (Bob) Bailey, who has served as a risk consultant, researcher, and technical manager for over 20 years, will perform the engineering analysis. He is experienced in areas related to wind engineering, construction materials, solid mechanics, dynamics, numerical analysis, structural analysis and design, and materials testing. Bailey holds a doctorate from Texas Tech and has performed sophisticated wind modeling work as well as window risk studies for NASA at the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers.

Protecting People First and ABS are inviting the public and property managers to participate in this study by sharing data and experience on the performance of windows in homes, offices or public facilities performed during the hurricane. Individuals can participateby logging onto the Foundation's Web site at www.protectingpeople.org or by contacting Foundation officials at (401) 294-4444.

"We have already received a good deal of anecdotal evidence of impact resistant glazing and safety window film making a big difference in preventing injury and dramatically reducing property damage in Hurricane Charley," said Eric Cote, manager of the Protecting People First Foundation.

Cote cited studies of property damage by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that showed some 65 percent of property damage claims were the result of interior water damage caused when flying debris or high winds destroyed windows, opening structures to the damaging impact of wind driven rain.

"Our objective with Project Safe Windows is to conduct a detailed analysis to validate these initial reports and document findings from an engineering standpoint," Cote said. "If the experience with Hurricane Andrew and Charley tell us anything, it is that investment in safe windows ought to be at the top of any hurricane preparedness list," he said.

Following its analysis of window performance in residences, businesses and public facilities, the Foundation will issue a report of its findings to government officials, the insurance industry, building code officials, the architectural and construction industry and the general public.

The Protecting People First Foundation was established in 1998 is to raise awareness of the hazards associated with natural and manmade disasters, and to promote the technologies available to mitigate these hazards.

The Foundation was created by Aren Almon-Kok, mother of one-year-old Oklahoma City bombing victim Baylee Almon, one of 19 children killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. Almon-Kok created the Foundation to honor the memory of her daughter and other bombing victims by promoting the lessons learned in the Oklahoma City bombing through a national education campaign.

The Foundation has focused much of its work in recent years on the promotion of safety glass technology to mitigate the impact of hurricanes, tornadoes and manmade disasters such as bombings.

600450 Protecting People First Foundation to Study Impact Resistant Glass in Florida glassonweb.com
Date: 2 September 2004
Source: Insurancejournal.com

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