Safety Film May/June 2021

August 17th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Increasing Building Safety with Film

By Jay Larkin

Building and occupant safety are at the top of every facility manager, business owner and school administrator’s mind these days. Yet despite this attention there is one security measure that is often overlooked: safety and security window film.

Form and Function

Designed to hold broken shards of glass together, safety and security window film systems can provide protection against acts of terrorism, vandalism, intrusion and bad weather. These films offer various benefits, including:
• 24/7 passive protection;
• Virtually undetectable;
• An enhanced barrier to entry for doors and windows;

Safety and security window films are polyester-based products incorporating multiple layers of film laminated together for strength and durability, while utilizing an aggressive pressure sensitive mounting adhesive designed to hold broken fragments of glass to the base polyester. These films are applied to the interior surface of a building’s glass windows. These products include a durable scratch-resistant coating to help protect the film from damage due to everyday wear and tear.

Safety films are designed to mitigate injury and loss, with increasing popularity for architectural applications. Available in clear, safety and security films are also available in tinted and metalized versions, offering solar control benefits such as glare reduction and heat rejection.

Safety Measures

Doors and windows are the most vulnerable parts of any commercial building since they provide access and entry. Safety and security window film systems add a layer of protection against those looking for easy points of entry by delaying potential intruders.

These films stand up to various threats, such as severe weather, civil unrest, burglary, terrorism, and even bomb blasts, to varying degrees. Along with the appropriate window attachment systems, they hold shattered glass in place, protecting the occupants from dangerous flying shards. This can prevent intruders from entering through a window. This is especially beneficial in the case of damage from a storm, so building owners need not worry about further damage taking place. While attached safety and security films do not protect against bullets, they can protect the envelope of the building by obscuring the view and making it harder for the assailant to enter.

Testing and Solar Control

As with all safety measures, there are limitations to what a window film can do. Rigorous independent testing to recognized standards is the only way to ensure the highest quality product for a specific building.

Certified third party testing facilities have extensively tested films and attachment systems to meet both domestic and international safety and security criteria, such as: blast mitigation, intrusion resistance, windstorm and earthquake mitigation, and safety glazing.

Solar control safety and security window films can also have a positive impact on commercial buildings. Aside from the safety and security benefits, solar security films can reduce heat transmission, and reduce glare.

Window Films in Action

A Texas school district with more than 15,000 square feet of windows wanted to upgrade the safety and security of its 48 buildings without changing their appearance. Clear safety and security film provides 24/7 passive protection and holds shattered glass together in the event of impact. Its clear appearance does not alert would-be intruders that the protective film is in place and is extremely difficult to penetrate, delaying entry. By installing window film to aging schools, the school district was able to increase the safety and security of the buildings and better protect the students, teachers and staff while staying with their budget.

Millions of people head into commercial buildings every day for work, school, shopping, eating, and more. Developers and specifiers need to ensure these buildings are safe and secure for all inhabitants. Safety and security film is one safety measure to consider when looking to improve an existing building or develop a new one.

Jay Larkin has held a variety of positions with Madico during his 29 years there. He is currently responsible for Government Sales and the Madico SafetyShield Premier Partner program.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

One comment
Leave a comment »

  1. I like how you mentioned that windows are vulnerable parts of the property. My aunt mentioned to me last night that she is planning to have tinted windows in their home to reduce heat and glare and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell her that it will be much better if they consult a trusted safety and security window film service as they can answer all her inquiries.

Leave Comment