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 GREENVILLE, S.C., Nov. 25 ~PRNewswire~ -- A deadbolt lock that thwarted a break-in attempt by Hurricane Andrew in South Florida will soon be back in the security business in South Carolina.
 On Friday, Doug Hewes and Barbara Binder, who spent a terrifying night in the direct path of the most destructive hurricane to ever hit America, will be installing their high-security Medeco lock in their Greenville apartment where they relocated following the storm. The deadbolt held their door secure while the storm blasted open doors, ripped off roofs and tore down walls of neighboring apartments.
 "We were on the top floor of a three-story garden apartment building," said Hewes recalling the night of the hurricane, "and thought we were far enough inland to be pretty safe." But a wall and a steel door were all that stood between them and the fury of Hurricane Andrew.
 "We weren't really scared until things started slamming into the building, and the trees along the side of the apartment started going down, and the roof started ripping off," Binder added. "Our biggest concern was the door. It was bowed badly and leaves and rain were blowing in on all four sides. I figured it was only a matter of time before the door blew in, but our deadbolt held."
 After the storm, Hewes and Binder surveyed their complex and discovered that many of their neighbors were not so lucky. "Many of the doors facing east were blown in and the apartments were wrecked," he said. "And every tree in our community was uprooted or blown away. It was just unbelievable."
 Because the deadbolt held, not only was their apartment saved from Hurricane Andrew, but afterwards it was spared from looters as well.
 "There was a high incidence of break-ins in our apartment complex," said Hewes. "Someone supposedly was getting keys from maintenance and duplicating them. So we went to a locksmith to get a Medeco deadbolt so they couldn't do that.
 "The locksmith told us that only he could duplicate our keys with a special machine and then only on registered blanks we would have to order," explained Hewes, a department manager at a large home improvement store. "We could have gotten a cheaper dead bolt where we work, but Barbara and I were away a lot and we thought the high- security lock was worth the few extra dollars."
 When officials condemned their apartment complex as being uninhabitable, Hewes and Binder decided to move to Greenville, and start over. Before leaving they removed their Medeco lock so they could reuse it in their new home.
 "I don't know how many break-ins the lock prevented, but it did a great job against Hurricane Andrew," Hewes said. "Our only regret was that before we left Florida we went to our locksmith to get a duplicate key to take with us. But he was gone. His whole building had been blown away."
 -0- 11~25~92
 ~CONTACT: Annette Ringwood, 804-788-7004, or Brian Regrut, 804-744-8300, both for Medeco~

CO: Medeco ST: South Carolina, Florida IN: SU:

TW -- DC003 -- 1349 11~25~92 07:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1992

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