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Plastic Window Panes Can Deter Burglars

After two burglaries, Doug Kirkpatrick became an author.

No, he didn’t write about what goes through the mind of a middle-class, college-educated burglar, like the protagonist in Mell Lazarus’ new novel, “The Neighborhood Watch.”

He decided to write about burglar alarms and other forms of protection after his San Fernando Valley home was burglarized twice.

Since the installation of an alarm system and Lexan panels over his double-hung windows, one burglar has attempted--without success--to enter Kirkpatrick’s house.

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He attributes his good fortune to the extraordinarily tough Lexan, General Electric’s brand of polycarbonate clear or tinted glazing material. The material has been used to replace glass in high-risk windows in schools and other frequently vandalized places, Kirkpatrick said.

His installation cost about $1,000 for materials--Lexan is very expensive--and is similar to the one illustrated above. The sketch is from his $3.95 booklet “How To Install Burglar-Proof Energy Efficient Windows.”

The booklet can be obtained from Baker Publishing, P.O. Box 8322, Van Nuys, Calif. 91409. Include 50 cents more for postage and handling.

He did his own work on all the windows of his house, except for two front windows that he judged to be low-risk break-in points.

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The overglazing system--illustrated above--probably isn’t suitable for aluminum slider windows common on most recent tract houses in the Southland: In these cases, he recommends replacing the glass in high-risk windows with a polycarbonate like Lexan, Poly-Glaz or Tuffak.

A state employee who writes and publishes his books on his free time, Kirkpatrick is also the author of the “Burglar Alarm Book,” a $9.95 large-format paperback available at stores specializing in alarm systems. A revised edition should be out later this year, with additional material on car alarms.

“Specialty books are best sold at specialty stores rather than bookstores,” he claims. It’s a statement I agree with, although I like to see well-stocked bookstores handle do-it-yourself volumes.

On Saturday, Kirkpatrick will teach a 9 a.m. to noon class at Los Angeles Valley College on “Home Security: How to Install a Security System & Burglarproof Your Home.” Information on the $12 class can be obtained from the college at 5800 Fulton Ave., Van Nuys.

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