Delaying Unauthorized Entry to Schools May Save Lives

August 14th, 2019 by Emmariah Holcomb

School intruders’ intent on harm is a community-wide concern and delaying their entry with security window films on windows and doors may buy time to allow for more response time and save lives, according to the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA).

“Recent school shootings reveal plain or tempered glass doors and windows are often the point of entry that is breached by intruders ready to do harm,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “All glass doors and windows on the ground level need to be evaluated with an eye toward security to protect everyone inside.”

The IWFA has published a free, downloadable guide at under the literature tab that states what security window film can and cannot do. No security window film known to the IWFA will make glass bulletproof. Any claim to the contrary should be brought to the attention of the IWFA.

Security window films are an option for any structurally sound window. The application of this film may not prevent the entry of a high velocity projectile such as a bullet, but it may increase security by holding the glass together and reducing spalling and total window failure, according to the IWFA.

The average U.S. public school is more than 40 years old, and most have not had a major renovation in 12 years, states the U.S. Department of Education. This leaves a majority of school leaders looking to improve security within the constraints of the annual budget.

When designed to save energy, security window films may reduce solar heat gain by as much as 80%. For energy savings and return on investment, they are proven to be the most cost-effective solution with a payback period in many instances of less than five years. This benefit is likely to offset much of the capital costs of adding security window film to a school.

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