New Device Can Get You Out of Your Trapped Vehicle in Seconds
It's small, powerful, takes two fingers to use and, most importantly, could save the life of someone trapped inside a car.
The Open Window for Life (OWL) device was the brainchild of Lisa and Jim Alexander of Georgia, who came up with the idea for the tool after watching a news story about a woman who drove her car into a pond and was trapped in her sinking car with no way out. That tragic event happened just a few miles from their home.
"It made no sense to me that she had no way to get out of her vehicle and wait for EMT personnel," said Jim Alexander.
After a year of design and testing Alexander came up with the OWL, which has sold thousands.
"It's literally like ligtnining, it's that quick," said Alexander.
Alexander said the angle was the key to the devices engineering. He wanted to design something that was small and would fit inside your pocket, or behind your car's visor and would take only seconds to use.
"It's just like snapping your fingers, it's that quick, and it's that easy, it's also just using your fingers, it's not using mass to break the window," said Alexander. "Especially if you're in a stressful situation, you want to have the simplest number of steps, and the simplest procedure. You can put it right at the visor of your window, or in the back of your cellphone, and it's always with you. The key is to have something there that's so simple, anyone can use it.""
We wanted to test the product out for ourselves, so we went to Ed's Basic Car and they were nice enough to give us a car where we can break the windows. In a matter of less than 10 seconds, we took the OWL device from behind a visor, and broke the window glass safely.
Kathey Wildig, co-owner of Ed's was amazed at how quickly the device worked.
"It was like 2 seconds, the instant you flick the card back, and bam!" said Wildig.
Alexander said he's been told by emergency personnel he consulted while designing the tool that it's not safe to carry other heavy-duty devices in your car, like a hammer, in case you need to break out.
Wildig imagines how long it would take to break a window with a hammer, as opposed to the OWL.
"You're going to keep hitting it, hitting it, and hitting it, but that right there? One time is all it takes," said Wildig.
The Alexanders say their goal is empowerment, and saving lives.
"Women call us and they love it, they love knowing it's right there," said Lisa Alexander. "They get this product, it's peace of mind having it. Everyone goes, 'I hope i never have to use it.' but it's there if i do.'"
The OWL is manufactured in Holland, Michigan, and is available for purchase on their website.