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Utah Company Bomb-Proofing Buildings

Utah Company Bomb-Proofing Buildings

Posted - Feb. 19, 2004 at 5:20 p.m.



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Ed Yeates ReportingThere have been two high profile bomb threats in recent days -- yesterday at the State Capitol and today at a junior high school. In both cases, there were no bombs, but a Utah company has now been certified to protect buildings, in case a threat becomes something more.

You don't have to talk about bomb threats to the people of Iraq these days. That's why an American company called SSAF Incorporated recently installed new window shielding on ALL buildings in what is called the Green Zone in Baghdad.

That same company has now certified Utah Security Specialist to provide the same kind of shielding for Utah buildings. In fact, they met with the State Capitol architect this week about possible protection for the Capitol's windows.

Nick Ashton says 85 percent of all deaths and injuries in a bombing come from flying shards of glass. For example, a car bomb that ignites just outside a building.

Nick Ashton, SSAF Incorporated: "That glass at one hundred PSI is going to travel from a 500 pound bomb approximately 2,100 feet. So imagine you're in a building and you've only got a depth of 60 or 70 feet, imagine what is going to happen to the people inside."

In SSAF tests a bomb explodes just outside two panes of glass. The one on the left turns into what Ashton calls slice and dice glass blasting more than 2,100 feet from the test site. But the pane on the right, glazed with what is called Extreme Impact film shatters, is still intact.

Protection against a bomb blast is not the only technology here. This film, for example, will protect against eavesdropping; it’s an effective shield against electromagnetic waves. Film glazings also withstand forced intrusions despite bats, sledge hammers and picks.

And in earthquakes..

Ashton: "All that glass will shatter. The earthquake stops. Now the glass is dangling. You can't get into the building because glass is falling down."

But again, protective glazing holds the damaged glass in the frame.

The company also designs protective shields to protect drivers from car-jackings.

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