Monday September 3, 2012
Glass safety tint sales up
By NICHOLAS CHENG and RACHAEL LUM
PETALING JAYA: Many motorists have been installing security shatter-proof tints on their car windows for extra protection in light of the recent “smash and grab” robbery cases.
Tinting manufacturers and distributors report a boom in sales for the polyester films that prevent the windows from shattering.
According to distributors, most of the motorists who sought these tints were female drivers.
Checks by The Star revealed that these special tinting films fetched an average price of between RM600 and RM1,000 per car, depending on its thickness.
They can even go up to RM3,500 if customers choose to have ultra-violet and heat repellent tints.
Tint Auto general manager Mike Lim said his company had seen a 10% jump in monthly sales of security films and attributed the spike to online postings of recent smash and grab cases.
He added that the security films did not stop the glass from breaking but merely delayed its shattering time.
“Windows tinted with security films take a longer time to break as the sheet absorbs vibrations and holds the glass together, providing drivers ample time to react.
“However, there is no guarantee that the glass will not shatter. It only acts as a deterrent,” he said.
Business owner of Solar Tint Steve Chin, 36, said the glass breakage also depended on the kind of weapon used by the perpetrators.
He added that a hammer would take about three or four hits to show a crack, whereas a helmet would take much longer.
Chin said that security films measured between 4mil and 12mil each, adding that anything below that was not strong enough to hold the glass.
(Mil is the unit of measurement for the thickness of a window film. 1mil is equal to one thousandth of an inch or 25 microns.)
Ecotint executive director Chi Haur Lim advised customers to go for security films with 4mil to 6mil specifications as thicker films might damage certain cars.
He also said that the Road Transport Department regulations on tinted car windows stated that the passing rate for car tints was 50% visible light transmission on the front and 70% on the sides and back.
Police statistics showed that smash and grab cases, classified under snatch thefts, make up part of the 319 cases of snatch thefts recorded in May and June this year.
Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said most people were easy targets as they usually placed valuables such as mobile phones and handbags on the passenger side seat while driving.