Guest Column January/February 2020

August 9th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Security Films Keep Students Safe

By Steve Wood

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

In conjunction with other safety measures and procedures, safety and security window films can significantly increase the protection of occupants from a variety of threats.


As the possibility of a school shooting is a tragic reality, some schools are choosing to enhance security with window film.

In Texas, a large school district needed to upgrade the safety and security of its 48 school buildings which included elementary, middle, high school and alternative campuses. The district assembled a team to devise a comprehensive plan to increase the safety and security of the buildings.

The team created a strategy for upgrading the schools’ safety and security. One component was to increase the security of the glazing systems through the installation.

The architect assigned to the project chose one of our products and approached Sunset Glass Tinting of Houston, Texas, to complete the installation. The clear, safety and security film chosen holds shattered glass together in the event of impacts. Its clear appearance does not alert would-be intruders that the protective film is in place and is extremely difficult to penetrate, delaying entry.

The school district officials appreciated the fact it appeared as though nothing had been applied to the windows, which was the desired result. Any individuals planning to do harm to those in the school buildings will now have their efforts thwarted.

School intruders’ intent on harm is a community-wide concern and delaying their entry with security window films may allow for more response time and save lives. The school district benefited from safety and security film’s other attributes such as natural disaster mitigation, durability and energy savings.

Natural Disaster Mitigation

High winds, natural disasters, and catastrophic storms can have a devastating impact on a school building in coastal Texas. The blend of materials used to create security films is strong enough to withstand the winds that accompany disasters.


Some providers offer a warranty of up to 15 years for commercial installations. Depending on the film type, glass type, window construction and the location of the building, some professionally installed window films can last well past their warranties. (for more on this see feature article, on page 26).

Energy Savings

Installing window film will reduce HVAC costs and save on lighting costs by reducing solar heat gain, while letting in natural light. In existing commercial structures, the energy savings achieved by window film can offer a payback of less than two years, or up to a 70% ROI.

Steve Wood is a program manager at Madico Inc. He has been in the window film industry for more than 30 years, starting his career in 1984 as a shop owner in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas in Texas. After owning his own stores for more than 15 years, Wood began working in corporate roles for U.S. film manufacturers. He can be reached at

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