Down to the Wired

I have kept my tongue long enough and it’s time to let loose. I have had it with FOX News, and I am ready to tell you why.

The reasons for my ire are none of the usual ones you might on occasion hear about FOX News. I keep my personal views on all such things to myself. The reason for the concern is an article published on the website of its local affiliate, FOX 17 in Western Michigan, detailing a presentation made by one Lt. Col. Dave Grossman about school safety.

In it, Lt. Col. Grossman reported that schools can use wired glass to deter intruders in schools because of its safety properties [sic].

Lots of wired glass installed long ago remains in this country. This fifth floor elevator lobby skylight at the Marriott Fisherman's Wharf was photographed in July.

Lots of wired glass installed long ago remains in this country. This fifth-floor elevator lobby skylight at the Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf was photographed in July.

“For about 500 years we’ve had the technology to put wire mesh in the window or put a laminate film on the window. You don’t even know it’s there,” he is quoted as saying in the report.  “You can shoot and shoot holes all day long and they’re not reaching through to kill our kids.”

Oh, and to make matters worse, what was the title of the article? Ready? “Expert Says Wired Glass Doors and Windows Could Save Lives During School Shootings.” Here’s the full article.

Now very few people may read that particular article, but a lot of people will scan a headline and retain the crux of it. We were contacted at our™  daily news service because some in the industry were worried we were perpetuating misinformation.

I had to remind the caller that is designed for the glass industry. We do not generally offer subscriptions to the general public and we do stand behind the stories we write. We also run links to items in other news media the glass industry should know about.

We will, on occasion, run a link to a story like this one so that those in the industry know what type of baloney is being fed to the general public and can work against it. I even took the unusual step of posting a comment on the story itself to make people aware of the misinformation. And I am going to try and track down the good Lt. Col. Grossman and help get him some more information about wired glass.

As with almost everything, there even was a bit of a silver lining to the FOX story. The following day I received a call from the president of a mid-sized glass company in the suburb of a very large metropolitan area. He had a contract with the big city’s school system, which was in the process of renovating a stairwell and skylight in what I believe he said was a middle school.

“The plans call for floor-to-ceiling wired glass,” he said, “ and I think I just read something on this week about that. They think it’s a safety glass. I need something to help convince them it’s not.”

This wired glass in a door in a Pizza Hut in Bowling Green, VA, was probably installed years ago.

This wired glass in a door in a Pizza Hut in Bowling Green, Va., was probably installed years ago.

So I went to our archives (which is something anyone can do by the way; you just go to and put in your search term and you should get any stories from our print publications for the past ten years and from our online news services for the last two years or so). It’s a free service for readers.

Anyway, I sent him links to a number of stories, including stories of children being maimed, school systems being sued, and other horrible injuries.

He called me back the next day with a short message. “Thank you,” he said, “I don’t think that school system will ever be using wired glass again.”

And that was the best news of all.

P.S.  I hope to see you all at Glass Expo Midwest ’13  and the concurrent Fenestration Day ’13 (sponsored by our sister magazine Door & Window Market) this week on Thursday and Friday at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in suburban Chicago. We have a got a great educational line-up and an excellent show planned for you. I look forward to seeing you there. Mention my blog at registration  for a special surprise.

Have a great week!


4 Responses to “Down to the Wired”

  1. Joy Caskey says:

    BRAVO Deb! I saw that article as well and wondered where that person got such information. Apparently he did not do his homework and publishing this kind of information could cause unthinkable consequences.
    My experience is with the “reputable” company who istalled our Sunroom a few years back. They wanted to place(a dozen) 4′ x 6′- 1/8″ annealed, monolithic glass lites in our Sunroom. I asked the salesman, these will be tempered correct? His reply was “Don’t worry, it’s double strength glass – heavy duty.” I about fell off of my chair ! I immediately contacted the owner of the company and educated him on double strength glass!
    So there are many misconceptions about glass out there. Problem is, what more can be done to educate people before something unthinkable occurs?
    You are doing a great job ! What can others in the glass industry do to put the facts out there?

    • Deb Levy says:

      Thanks Joy, for writing. Please excuse my delay in response. I was out at Glass Expo Midwest in Chicago most of the week. I am sure you and I are not alone as industry members who have heard others who purport to be in the industry make ABSURD statements. THe problem is, people then act on those statements. I have gotten a number of interesting emails on this as well so I am going to continue the discussion this coming week too. Thanks again for writing.

  2. Frank Dupre says:

    The entire world is filled with stupid experts. Excuse me so I can tape up my glass windows, a cat. 5 storm is going to hit in about an hour. I read somewhere that that will save me.

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