Dealer
by Ross Kehl
January 9th, 2013

Nigeria … Not Exactly Paradise

Last month I mentioned a trip to Nigeria and thought you would be interested in hearing about it. Our U.K.-based company received a contract for a major government oil regulation headquarters located in Nigeria. Three towers of this complex were awarded to us for 7-mil security film on floors 2-11 and 12-mil on floors ground, mezzanine and first. Approximately 168,000 square feet plus attachments of work. They were only requiring the lowest three floors to be attached and daylight application on the upper ones. Within the specification was a request for the HanitaTek No-Bar mechanical attachment system. While an excellent system it can’t attach to every type of frame. So rather than ship the allotted amount of attachment all the way to Nigeria we felt it would be wiser to send someone to inspect the frames and double check the measurements. I’ll give you three guesses who got picked to go … and the first two don’t count.

It’s amazing how many inoculations and pills are necessary to travel to Nigeria. Would you believe almost a $1000 worth? I felt like a pin cushion: malaria, hepatitis A and B, tetanus, meningitis, typhoid fever, polio booster and yellow Fever. I was a walking pharmaceutical. I know this is a third world area but geez Louise. Sometimes we don’t realize just how lucky we are.

Traveling there was an adventure to say the least. You think going through American airport security is an ordeal … try it in Lagos, Nigeria. In making our connection flight to Abuja we had a 30 minute shuttle to another airport and when we got there it was mass hysteria. The check-in counters were inside of tents and they had one security scanner for everyone. People were literally throwing their bags over other people’s heads onto the conveyor belt to be scanned. A fight started to break out between two guys and armed guards rushed in and threw them up against the wall. Don’t mess with the guys carrying the AK-47s is what I always say … and there were A LOT of men carrying AK-47’s … everywhere!

We finally got to our destination and our assigned driver was supposed to take us to the hotel. We pull up to a “compound” with ten-foot-high block walls topped with barbed wire, guard gate with armed guards (AK-47’s of course) and I ask the driver what’s this, he replies “It’s your hotel.” Holy heart failure, Batman.

Home sweet home for the next four days.

Home sweet home for the next four days.

The next day we get to the job site and it’s guarded like Ft. Knox. After several checkpoints we finally get in and meet the property management people. Upon inspection I find not only their measurements are off but the window frames on the ground level are some I’ve never seen before.

Any of us who have done security film and attachments on commercial doors know that there isn’t but one attachment system (that I know of) that will work the best because of the snap on “glass stop.”  The glass stop in the U.S. (and even the doors I’ve seen in the U.K. and Europe) are typically ½ inches to ⅝ inches squared and is designed just to hold the glass in the frame. It’s not strong enough to withstand bomb blast or attempted break-in.

Pentagon Protection USA makes a rubber molded attachment specifically designed for doors called Z-Lok. It attaches to the film/glass then flexes over the glass stop and then attaches to the door frame. The attachment points are via extremely strong 3M tape strips running the full length. So even if the snapped in glass stop comes off under force (which it will) it is attached to the frame so the whole window won’t fall out.

A Z-Lok install I did on a Target store in Tucson, Ariz.

A Z-Lok install I did on a Target store in Tucson, Ariz.

So I’m looking at these doors and the glass stop is 1inch x 1inch and I’m realizing the Z-Lok is too small. To make matters worse every window on the ground level has the same glass stop on all four sides. Holy strawberries Batman! We’re in a jam!  Door and window jam to be exact.

Upon returning I contacted Pentagon Protection USA and spoke with Sam Elzein/COO and told him of my findings. He was extremely helpful and together we designed a new extra, extra large Z-Lok to accommodate the larger glass stops. Jam averted.

On a separate note, all the men I met in Nigeria were great individuals. Very helpful and kind people … I wish I could say the same about the women. Very pushy, rude and always scowling … not all but most.

Waterloo Train Station project.

Waterloo Train Station project.

One last story about Nigeria; I was only there four days and in that time I never felt threatened or in danger … until the last day. Our driver picked us up at 5 a.m. to take us to the airport and it was still dark outside. We were just about to get on the freeway and there were no cars to be seen anywhere. Then, standing in the middle of the road directly in our path is a guy in pink and gray sweats with a flashlight and a (wait for it) … AK-47. Not just slung over his shoulder like I’ve seen everyone else but in his hands ready to fire. The driver stops and turns on the interior overhead light … and I’m thinking “holy crap … this is it.” I ask the driver why he is stopping and he says the guy is the military police and wants to inspect us. WHAT? I point out that this guy is in sweats … he replies “yes that is their normal uniform.” I ask if this is normal and he says “No there usually are 4-5 of them not just one.” After leering at us and shining the flashlight in my face he finally waived us past. Whew!

In the next article I want to bring to your attention to the “Peel Test” … no it’s not a nightclub stripper tryout. Also, I will discuss another international project we completed at the Waterloo Train Station in London (see the photo).

 

The survey last month asked if you have ever gone to SEMA.  44 percent of respondents have attended while 56 percent of you don’t know what you are missing. However, more of you plan on going next year as 58.8 percent responded affirmative. See you there.

Since we have a theme of security film this month I was wondering if either you or the company you work for has ever done a security film install. Also, have you installed any different attachment systems other than Dow 995?

Has you or your company ever installed security film?

Yes
No

Has your company or you ever installed an attachment system other than Dow 995?

Yes
No

 

Quote of the Month

 

In keeping with the Batman Theme this month (sorry younger readers if this makes no sense to you):

“Holy Kleenex Batman, it was right under our noses and we blew it!”Robin

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