It’s a story they can joke about now, but when Andrea and Drew Richards’ 3-year-old son, Graham, cracked the screen of their brand-new $2,000 TV with a flying sippy cup, it was no laughing matter. Neither their homeowners’ insurance nor warranties covered the damage, and the Berwyn family was out of luck—and out two grand.
After the couple told neighbors Jim and Dana Zdancewicz about the unfortunate mishap, the four came up with a clever idea to recoup the cost of the TV—and then some. This January, three years after the “Graham cracker” incident, the Main Line families launched SafeTVision, a clear cover made of optical-grade acrylic that shields TV screens from dust, scratches, fingerprints and flying objects (like sippy cups and Wii remotes).
“We couldn’t believe that a product like this wasn’t already on the market,” says Dana.
The standard covers fit 32- to 65-inch televisions, though customized shields are available by special order. With more than 100 million flat-screen TVs sold in the United States since 2005, there’s certainly a market for SafeTVision. But while response has been positive so far, “many people believe it won’t happen to them,” says Andrea Richards. “They think, ‘Not my kids.’ But you can’t control the neighbors’ kids, and accidents do happen.”
The self-described “TV protection specialists” are targeting homeowners, but they’ve also found other buyers, including hospitals (for monitors in operating rooms), camps, bars, restaurants and even a local Wegmans (for a TV in the children’s cafeteria). “We offer a return policy,” says Dana. “But we haven’t had one return yet.”
Available at safetvision.net.