Selling Safety — Tips for Educating Your CommunityApril 16th, 2014 by Editor
With the memory of the tragic events at last year’s Boston Marathon fresh on the minds of the public, security concerns are more prevalent than ever. While safety and security films could not have prevented the bombing, they could play a role in reducing the impact of such events. When selling and installing blast mitigation and fragment retention films, much of the responsibility of accurately portraying the true capabilities of these films rests with dealers.
Several window film dealers say educating consumers about the realistic performance expectations they should have for any type of security film is paramount.
“As far as educating customers, it’s not bulletproof!” says Jason Zirpoli, Applied Film Technology Inc. of Chesapeake, Va.
“Never use the words ‘proof’ or ‘stop.’ Only say ‘reduce,’” adds Jason Jones of Film Solutions in Springboro, Ohio. “There are so many [people] out there who believe thick safety film is ‘bulletproof.’ Just like when … film ‘stops’ fading—it’s false advertising.”
More than letting consumers know that film isn’t foolproof, dealers say it’s equally important to provide full solutions to safety-seeking prospects.
“Remember if people can’t get in, building occupants cannot get out,” says Vernon Ball of Tint Factory in Billings, Mont. “Many times solving one problem creates many more. Offer a threat assessment [and] secure hidden areas, main doors and any tempered glass, as when broken it falls into small pieces. Help craft a safety escape route. It completes the package.”
“Walk them through the entire process,” notes Chris DeLuca All Pro Window Tinting in Canton, Ga. “Explain to them that they are buying time for fragment retention not foolproof non-entry. As far as blast mitigation is concerned, [it] depends on [the type of] blast they want to try and reduce—very complicated and thorough process to walk customer through.”
“We always discuss security films as a component of a mitigation strategy,” adds Mike Feldman of Advanced Film Solutions in Lutz, Fla. “For example, management should be concerned with stand-off distances, security presence and checkpoints and removing any hiding spots for blast devices (like receptacles, etc.). Security films are available in clear and tinted versions—the client should consider the tinted versions for privacy and return on investment energy savings.”
For help when crafting solutions and providing accurate film protection assessments, Feldman notes there are several places dealers can look.
“There are a series of objective tests that have been in place for many years [including] the Federal government GSA standards [and] the Department of Defense (slightly more stringent),” he says. “Most manufacturers have extensive documentation covering their testing that is readily available to the public. These blast fragment tests typically included a fastening, anchoring attachment system (either wet seal or mechanical) to create a structural system of frame, glass and film. The limitations of these solutions are also discussed.”
In addition to educating consumers one-on-one, Angelo Ragone of NBI Suncontrol in Sarasota, Fla., says his company uses community outreach efforts to strengthen understanding.
“Here in Florida, there is a website called Crime Mapping (www.crimemapping.com); you can fix it so it only shows burglaries that have occurred in specific neighborhoods. Our company works closely with the crime prevention officers in our county to teach them about exactly what these films can do … They will then actually teach about it in their assessment of crime prevention,” he says. “In Florida, they’ve cracked down on the ‘pill mill’ so people are breaking into the homes of older people for their medications. We go around to those neighborhoods and put fliers on those doors for our safety and security films. We also give prevention officers a piece of glass with our film on it so they can take it around with them. They are so glad to have this example of what window film is able to do. They’re actually quite happy to listen to you and find ways they can help the communities they supervise so it’s a nice fit.”