BulletShield Ballistic Window Protection Product

What is Ballistic Glass? Which Solutions Protect Windows Best?

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BulletShield Ballistic Window Protection Product

Often referred to as “bulletproof” glass, ballistic glass can refer to a range of glass products that are resistant to attacks by firearms. However, none of these products should really be marketed as “bulletproof” because this implies that bullets ricochet off the surface when in reality, most ballistic products are “bullet-resistant,” actually absorbing the impact of bullets.

The goal of ballistic glass products is to stop initial shots fired, slowing the attacker down and allowing those inside to escape to safety. Ballistic windows will often take numerous rounds of bullets before they become penetrable, but they do not stand up to a continual barrage of bullets.

There are plenty of products out there that claim to be bulletproof or bullet-resistant. Here, we’ll discuss which options are available and how to choose the ballistic product that’s right for you. 

Ballistic Glass Options

It’s essential to understand the difference between the various products on the market that can sometimes be described as having ballistic glass qualities.  

Laminated Glass

This type of glass is layered with a combination of PVB or resin interlayers to make it less susceptible to shattering. While it can enhance security and protect a building’s occupants from dangerous shards, it is generally not viewed as bullet-resistant. Like a car windshield, the lamination keeps the glass together after it has been penetrated, but it is unlikely to support a bullet from entering a building. 

Ballistic Window Film

Some security window films may market themselves as “bulletproof” or as “ballistic film for windows.” These thin films made of polyurethane layers can be applied to existing glazing, so they might be appealing to those looking for a quick fix, rather than replacing the entire glazing system. However, these films are unlikely to stop a bullet in the same way that ballistic glass would. 

Ballistic Glass

Though it is called glass, this ballistic product is more commonly manufactured from a plastic-like polycarbonate, which has the appearance of glass with 250 times the strength. The polycarbonate, which has often been enhanced with layers of polyurethane, is what provides the highest level of bullet resistance, absorbing the impact of the bullet and keeping it from entering the building. 

Ballistic Glass Ratings

When searching for a product to defend against ballistic attacks, you should search for something that has a ballistic rating. If a product does not list a ballistic rating, then it shouldn’t be considered bullet resistant. Ballistic glass products are rated based on how many and what kind of bullets it can resist from certain firearms. There are two industry standards commonly used to rate bullet resistance: Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard 752 or National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 018.01. 

Within these two rating standards are eight levels of bullet resistance. Level 1 has an average glass thickness of 13/16” and can withstand three shots from a 9mm handgun. The thickness of the glass and power of the firearms it’s meant to withstand increase as the levels go up. Level 8 has an average thickness of 2 ⅜” and can withstand up to five shots from a 7.62mm rifle. As you can see, the effectiveness varies greatly, so make sure you understand which level you are getting when you purchase any ballistic glass product. 

Best Ballistic Windows & Doors – BulletShield 

Dubbed “Body Armor for Windows,” BulletShield, DefenseLite’s ballistic glass product, offers impressive ballistic resistance at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Rated to UL 752 ballistic standards, these impressive polycarbonate shields mount onto existing window and door frames, creating a protective layer that mitigates ballistic attack to keep your building protected from active shooter threats.

bulletshield unbreakable glass windows security ballistic bullet-resistantThese bullet-resistant shields are engineered to flex under attack, so they stand up to multiple shots, stalling the shooter and allowing time for those inside to seek safety. BulletShield’s ballistic glass can be installed on both doors and windows in schools and campuses, hospitals, government buildings, or any business that is susceptible to ballistic attack.

Each system is custom fabricated based on perceived threat levels, budgets, and existing glazing conditions. Installed by certified dealers, these ballistic systems may utilize exotic plastics, polycarbonates, or glass-clad shields, depending on performance requirements. All-weather adhesives, high-performance films, VHB tapes, and mechanical security anchors may be used to install the system.

With active shooter situations on the rise, there is no better time than now to enhance security with ballistic-resistant glass. Keep your students, employees, and building occupants safe with BulletShield.

what is window glazing

What is Window Glazing? Why is it Important for Energy Efficiency, Security, and Privacy?

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what is window glazingWindow glazing, which is often referred to as just “glazing,” has evolved since the days when windows had just a single pane between you and the elements. 

Glazing is often confused with specific window film and adhesive treatments designed to reinforce glass windows and doors. However, the term window glazing refers to the glass itself that is installed within the frame.

So, What is Window Glazing?

When you hear the term “window glazing,” think of the actual glass panes within the entire window unit itself. Because single-pane windows are far less common due to energy inefficiencies, today’s windows typically come with “glazing systems,” which are designed to incorporate multiple panes of glass, gas fillings, and heat-sensitive coatings.

Below is a breakdown of the three most common types of glazed windows.

Single-Pane Windows

Windows with just one layer of glass are less common due to glazing advancements mentioned below. They are notorious for leaking energy from a house and offer little protection against the elements. Suppose you currently have single-pane windows but do not wish to upgrade or install an outer layer of storm windows. In that case, energy-saving window film can offer a cost-efficient alternative.

double pane window glazingDouble-Pane Insulated Glass

Most new windows sold today are made of double-pane glass, also known as double-glazed windows or simply “insulated glass.” Double-pain usually contains a layer of gas (either argon or krypton) sealed between the inner and outer panes. Because the gas is a poor thermal conductor, it helps prevent the passage of heat through the window. Double-pane windows also reduce the need for storm windows and provide greater durability for safety.

insulated triple pane window glazingTriple-Pane Insulated Glass 

A level-up from double-pane are triple-pane windows, which are more energy-efficient and resilient. Triple-pane windows lock two layers of gas within the entire unit. They’re a high-performance option for frigid climates and can also help buffer sound from high-traffic locations next to highways and airports. Although the extra glass pane can increase the size and cost of the window sash, this type also delivers greater security against threats.

As the case with certain window film treatments, building owners can take advantage of federal tax credits and rebates by investing in insulated windows that help support energy efficiency.

Low-E Film and Heat Mirror Glass

Adding panes and gas-filled spacers are one solution to increase the efficiency of windows. Another way is with low-emissivity (low-E) film, an invisible layer of metallic oxide that reduces the amount of heat that passes through the glass. Virtually all new window units sold today offer this feature. While low-E films can add 10 to 15 percent to a window’s cost, studies have shown that they cut energy expenditures by between 25-30 percent over conventional insulated glass.

Most Low-E films deliver the best of both worlds when it comes to regulating a building’s temperature in regions with dramatic seasonality. Both a window insulation film and heat block window film, Low-E films are designed to retain cool air during the summer and heat during the winter so you can save on energy costs all year round. And when you choose 3M Low-E Window Film, you can leverage advanced window insulation performance, much like upgrading to a double-pane or triple-pane window to help lock in heat.

Another high-tech glazing system, called Heat Mirror, can match and even exceed triple-pane windows’ energy efficiency but without the extra weight. It’s made by suspending a sheet of low-E film between panes of insulated glass. Superglass, the most expensive glazing system on the market and one of the best insulators, suspends two layers of Heat Mirror between glass panes with gas-filled spacers.

In addition to temperature regulation and energy savings, the window glazing can also be used for safety, security, and privacy with switchable technology.

Security Glazing

Unlike storm windows that protect against weather, security glazing is specifically designed to resist human-forced damage and forced entry attempts. 

Security glazing differs from conventional safety glazing in that security options are engineered to withstand large blasts and aggressive forced entry attempts with various blunt force objects. One of the best examples of this technology is DefenseLite, an adaptable security overglaze that anchors onto existing windows, doors and, curtainwall glazing frames. 

A patented technology that provides an invisible layer of unbreachable security glass, DefenseLite overglaze is 250 times stronger than traditional glass. DefenseLite flexes, absorbs, and deflects energy away, thereby neutralizing threats and keeping the bad guys out. 

With episodes of smash-and-grab attempts, forced entry, and vandalism crimes on the rise, DefenseLite is an affordable security glass solution that combines the best of materials science with an efficient retrofit installation.

Electrochromic Glass & Switchable Windows

Electrochromic glass carries many different names, such as smart glass, switchable glass, and dynamic glass. Despite its many names, electrochromic glass is a unique glazing solution that turns windows from transparent to tinted on command.

Gauzy Liquid Crystal Smart Glass FilmOffering similar features as the switchable films we offer, electrochromic glass is an electronically-tintable glass that can be used for various types of indoor and outdoor windows, curtain walls, skylights, and facades.

A building’s occupants can directly control switchable glass windows made with electrochromic technology, providing on-demand privacy, glare and sun control, and even energy savings. It’s a smart solution for commercial offices, healthcare facilities, government buildings, classroom settings, retail storefronts, and museums. 

Which Window Glazing Is Right for You?

As you can see, window glazing comes in many different types to accommodate specific needs. Each type of glazing has its advantages and disadvantages. The type of glazing that will best meet your needs depends on your priorities (i.e., energy, safety, security, etc.), as well as your budget and the degree of efficiency you expect from your investment. 

To better understand your options when upgrading window treatments, contact our team for expert knowledge and product support. Or call (866) 933-3456 and request a free estimate.

riot glass unbreakable glass windows doors

Unbreakable Glass Windows: What Options Actually Work?

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riot glass unbreakable glass windows doorsUnbreakable glass windows are a confusing product type in the window industry. There’s a great deal of misbelief and misconception around unbreakable glass and whether certain products deliver on such promises.

This because there are many catch-all terms and labels that are tossed around as “unbreakable glass,” when in reality, most security products on the market can indeed be penetrated with enough force and willpower.

Despite its ambiguity, there are in fact unbreakable glass options on the market. Buyers must understand the various types of products and how they differ in terms of strength and un-breakability.

What Is Unbreakable Glass?

unbreakable glass windows glazingUnbreakable glass can be classified into two primary types:

  • Laminated glass windows: A specialized type of security window designed with a thin piece of transparent film that’s sandwiched between two panes of normal glass, also known as shatterproof glass.
  • Polycarbonate window panels: Flexible and high-strength panels that look just like regular window glass, but they are actually made of a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastic.

Both of these widely-known types of “unbreakable glass” are far more durable and lightweight than normal glass windows, but they’re not created equally. Below we go into greater detail behind each of these solutions and which option might be best for you.

Laminated Glass (aka “Shatterproof Glass”)

In the window industry, unbreakable laminated glass is often tossed around as “shatterproof glass.” This has become a catch-all term that vaguely defines a certain variety of laminated security glass products. However, this term can be a bit misleading because most shatterproof laminated security glass is not 100% unbreakable

Rather, it’s designed to be very shatter-resistant. When this type of laminated security glass does break, it holds glass shards in place to prevent the glass from shattering dangerously inwards. So while this solution might help protect against natural disasters and storm threats, it might not be enough to protect against a bomb blast or a determined intruder.

unbreakable glass windows security glazingLaminated security glass can delay entry by a few minutes to total non-entry, depending on the thickness of the glass and the determination and tools of the individual trying to gain access. It can be a sufficient deterrent for vulnerable locations.

For instance, laminated glass can be a sound solution for retailers who wish to better protect their storefront and merchandise against smash-and-grab theft, burglary, rioting, and looting. It can also be installed on glass windows and doors of homes and residential complexes to help deter intruders and threats. 

As an alternative to laminated glass upgrades, safety and security window film can offer similar advantages and features. Security window film is often far less expensive to install and can also offer added benefits, like energy savings, sun control, and UV protection.

Polycarbonate Panels

If you’re interested in unbreakable glass that truly lives up to its name, polycarbonate panels are the type you want. Polycarbonate panels are significantly more difficult to break than both standard glass windows and laminated glass mentioned above. Compared to these latter options, polycarbonate panels deliver superior protection against forced entry attempts, burglaries, and weather-related disasters.

Although these panels look and function like glass windows, they are made of a combination of polycarbonate, acrylics, and other plastic resins. The combined strength and durability of its material composition makes polycarbonate panels a truly unbreakable and impenetrable solution.

While a laminated glass or shatterproof windows can effectively delay forced entry attempts, a polycarbonate window will always maintain its integrity against the most relentless and aggressive of attacks, including bomb blasts. Some polycarbonate panels have been engineered for ballistic protection, which provides protection against firearm threats. 

defenselite unbreakable security glass windowsOne of the best examples on the market is DefenseLite polycarbonate security panels. DefenseLite is 250 times stronger than glass and nearly invisible once installed. It’s been test across a wide range of blunt force objects and weapons and is proven effective as an unbreakable glass solution for the most demanding applications. It’s also easily mounted to existing glazing frames using a custom vented aluminum extrusion that creates a stand-off from the primary window and door glass.

DefenseLite also produces BulletShield, polycarbonate shields that offer UL 752 ballistic protection at a fraction of the cost of alternative products. RIghtfully acclaimed the body armor for windows, BulletShield is a bullet-resistant option that’s been tested with a wide range of firearms. You can learn more about this ballistic unbreakable glass solution here

bulletshield unbreakable glass windows security ballistic bullet-resistantAt Window Film Depot, we specialize in many different types of protective glass solutions. Whether you need a security deterrent to prevent burglaries and looting, or a full-on ballistic solution to stop armed intruders dead in their tracks, we can help you determine the optimal solution to fit your needs. Get in touch with one of our professionals by contacting us online or call 866-933-3456  for more information. 

one-way privacy window film how it works

What is One-Way Window Film and How Does it Work?

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one-way privacy window film how it worksOne-way window film is a special type of mirrored privacy film that blocks sight into a building from the outside while allowing inside occupants to clearly see outdoors. It’s ideal for residential and commercial applications that require window privacy but without obstructing one’s view outside.

For example, applying one-way window film to ground floor office windows, front doors, patio doors, and bathroom windows provides the perfect privacy alternative to curtains, drapes, and blinds during the day, but with the comfort and confidence of knowing that people outside can’t see inside.

The reflective properties of one-way window film give glass a one-way mirror effect when there is more light on one side than the other. So while this type of window film allows natural sunlight to enter a building, the degree of natural light will depend on the darkness of the tint. 

One-way privacy film might seem technologically advanced compared to other types of window film, however, the composition is actually quite simple. Below we delve into the unique properties behind one-way window film and how it works.

How Does One-Way Window Film Work?

One-way window film is designed by compressing an ultra-thin layer of reflective metallic material between an adhesive bottom layer and a protective top layer.

In some cases, one-way film is characterized by having “half-silvered” properties, which means the ultra-thin metal layer is composed of reflective particles. This microscopic metallic layer is so thin that there are only half as many particles compared to that of regular mirrors. 

The mirror effect created by one-way window films occurs when natural sunlight reflects off the glass it’s applied to. The more outside light there is, and the darker and more reflective the metal layer is, the greater the mirror effect will be.

It’s important to keep in mind that one-way window film does not provide the same mirror effectiveness when it’s darker outside than inside. In fact, the opposite occurs, as the film’s mirror effect is reversed when outside light diminishes and lights are turned on inside.

In order to reflect at its fullest, one-way window film must receive direct exterior light. With north-facing or heavily-shaded windows, this type of privacy window film might not be the best option.

Alternatives to One-Way Window Film

The primary limitation of one-way window film is that it doesn’t work at night. While curtains, drapes, and blinds can be used to combat this nighttime privacy issue, there are alternative types of window film that can be applied.

Installing a translucent frosted glass film that’s designed for one-way viewing is one option that provides 24-hour privacy. Alternatively, switchable film, also known as “smart” window film, is an effective solution. 

Commonly referred to as smart tint, switchable smart film offers an adaptable, technologically advanced level of privacy as it can be manually dimmed from clear (transparent) to frosted (opaque) on command.

At Window Film Depot, we can help you adapt the proper window film installation to meet your environment and privacy needs. Contact us for a free estimate or call (866) 933-3456 for more information.

Family Dollar Custom Storefront Graphics Film

FGIA’s Safety and Security Glazing Standards & Test Methodology

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Family Dollar Custom Storefront Graphics FilmNow more than ever, the demand for safety and security glazing for glass windows, doors, and storefronts is increasing throughout the U.S. With growing demand comes questions about which security glazing standards to use.

To answer some of these questions, Bill Lingnell of the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) hosted a webinar titled, “Security Glazing for Storefront and Fenestration.” In the webinar, Lingnell gave an overview of many safety and security glazing standards and the testing methodology behind those standards. He also discussed different types of glazing solutions used for security purposes, including burglary and forced entry resistance, bullet resistance, hurricane resistance, and blast resistance.

Safety and Security Glazing Test Methods

The current test method for safety glazing is ANSI Z97.1, which requires the use of a 100-pound soft body impactor. This test method is segmented into two classifications. Class A, which requires 400-foot pounds to be dropped from a height of 48 inches, and Class B which requires 50-foot pounds be dropped from a height of 18 inches.

For burglar resistance, UL 972 is the primary glazing standard which is measured by an impact test that uses a 5-pound steel ball dropped at a height of 10 feet onto the glass. UL 972 testing requires multiple drops, including a high energy drop from 40 feet. Additionally, the materials tested are conditioned at various temperatures to simulate an indoor and outdoor environment. For materials to pass the UL 972 standard of criteria, there must be no penetration of the glass.

For door and window system framing, there are three standards for forced entry frame attack: ASTM F476 – hinged doors, ASTM F588 – windows, and ASTM F842 – sliding doors. These stands require the use of various tools and no glazing impact.

For hurricane impact, ASTM E2395 (Standard Specification for Voluntary Security Performance of Window and Door Assemblies with Glazing Impact) is used. This standard requires a glazing test impact in accordance with ASTM E1886 and missile specifications per ASTM E1996.

Security Glazing Standard Test Methods

In addition to the standards mentioned above, there are several additional glazing standards that can be used for forced entry security. These include:

  • ASTM F1233, Standard Test Method for Security Glazing Materials and Systems – Impacts defined by various weapons, such as extinguishers, sledgehammers, chisels, and gasoline; ballistic assault and anthropomorphic assault. The pass criteria for body protection is no permissible opening of a block in dimensions of 9-inch by 8-inch by 5-inch. The pass criteria for contraband protection is no permissible opening of a 1/8-inch diameter rod. 
  • ASTM F3038, Standard Test Method for Time Evaluation of Forced Entry-Resistant Systems – This method, which is designed to simulate a spontaneous mob attack, requires a full system test with no substitutions. Based on a defined set of tools and a predetermined number of aggressors, this test uses established time levels of forced entry (5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and user-defined minutes).
  • ASTM F1915, Standard Test Methods for Glazing for Detention Facilities, – Impacts with forced egress, various types of weapons, and anthropomorphic assault.

Another interesting glass or fenestration test, ASTM F1642, requires shock tube or open arena testing. ASTM F1642 is designed to evaluate hazards of glazing against airblast loads, and such tests can be performed with or without a frame system. The rating and hazard level is contained in ASTM F2912.

In summary, blast glazing standard test methods include: 

  • ASTM F1642, Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems subject to Airblast Loadings
  • ASTM F2248, Standard Practice for Specifying an Equivalent 3-Second Duration Design Loading for Blast Resistant Glazing Fabricated with Laminated Glass
  • ASTM F2912-17, Standard Specification for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings

USGlassMag.com highlights additional standard test methods for safety and security glazing, as well as a webinar panel discussion that you find here.

Window Film Depot offers Forced Entry Glazing Solutions like DefenseLite™, as well as a retrofit ballistic panel system known as BulletShield™. For more information about these safety and security glazing solutions, contact us here or call (866) 933-3456.

retail theft prevention

Anti-Smash & Grab and Retail Theft Prevention: 3 Examples of Reinforced Storefronts

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retail theft preventionDuring times of pandemic and civil unrest, the prevalence of retail smash and grab events escalate at alarming rates. A vast majority of these crimes start at a storefront’s glass windows and doors where security is most vulnerable. Not only can these events result in stolen merchandise on display, but amid large riots and mass looting, the toll can be even more devastating. 

Fortunately, measures can be taken to better protect and reinforce glass windows and doors and effectively prevent unwarranted entry. At Window Film Depot, we’ve helped many different retailers install the protection needed to deter smash and grab attempts. Below are three examples of how our solutions have helped with retail theft prevention.

Mobile Communications Store

A popular mobile communications store based in Seattle, Washington required a way to prevent high-occurrence smash and grab events. Because solely safety and security film deemed inadequate based on sledgehammer attack methods of local perpetrators, the store needed a stronger solution that would work to keep assailants from breaching the storefront and stealing inventory. 

The requirement called for DefenseLite Pro Series, a custom made clear shield that was designed to fit the existing storefront window doors. Unlike most security window films that prevent glass shattering and delay entry, DefenseLite stopped intruders dead in their tracks by preventing breakage altogether. Not only did the custom-designed DefenseLite solution prevent forced entry attacks, but our professional installation maintained a clean storefront appearance.

See more information about the case study.

Outdoor Clothing Retailer

A vulnerably-located outdoor clothing retailer store based in Minneapolis, Minnesota needed an aesthetically pleasing anti-smash and grab solution that maintained the store’s open design while having as little impact on the storefront’s appearance as possible.

After determining the threat levels and budget for the necessary security upgrades, Window Film Depot recommended DefenseLite for an effective theft prevention solution. Because intruders were capable of using heavy blunt force objects and high-force projectiles to gain access, DefenseLite would level-up the outlet’s security to its new desired standards.

In just two days, Window Film Depot installed a custom, powder-coated DefenseLite trim package that ensured the new retrofit blended seamlessly into the storefront design. Not only was the finished product tastefully integrated, but it provided the necessary prevention against forced entry and retail theft.

See more information about the case study.

Retail Warehouse

A nationwide network of retail warehouse stores demanded a security solution for a number of reasons. Not only were smash and grab attacks on stores a retail theft problem, but they also presented a severe safety issue for store employees stocking shelves during the night shift. 

Security window film was initially tested and later approved to help mitigate unwarranted access into the stores after hours. Window Film Depot mobilized to all 905 stores and installed 3M 8 millimeter security film with Dow 995 anchoring caulk – all after hours in order to reduce any impact to store operations.

What’s the Best Retail Theft Prevention Solution?

When it comes to warding-off retail theft and vandalism, there are more solutions for retail theft prevention than window film. While anti-smash and grab film can prevent immediate shattering of glass doors and storefront windows, ultimately these window treatments will only buy you extra time if an intruder really wants to get in. For some retailers, window security film works just fine to accommodate their store’s location and potential threats. But for others that demand more effective solutions in preventing forced entry, products like DefenseLite are recommended.

Personal Protective Shields Barrier Partitions

Go Beyond Plexiglass Barriers with New Protective Shields from DefenseLite

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Personal Protective Shields Barrier PartitionsIn response to the coronavirus outbreak, see-through plexiglass barriers, countertop dividers, office partitions, and other COVID safety shields have become high-demand products to help prevent the spread and transmission of germs and viruses. Businesses, institutions, and facilities that are committed to flattening the curve have adopted these protective barriers to make physical interactions safer. 

With the increased demand for COVID safety products, many manufacturers are now offering custom plexiglass barriers and protective shield partitions for countertops, order windows, cash registers, and desks. But are all protective barriers created equal? 

In a rush to re-open amidst COVID-19, plexiglass barriers and other transparent shields have become essential integrations to keep patrons and employees safe. However, a new product line from DefenseLite has leveled-up the new normal for such protective barrier technologies. 

Introducing DefenseLite’s Architectural Series of Personal Protective Shields, a protective shield barrier that’s engineered for interior environments requiring protection from the spread of germs and disease.

DefenseLite’s Personal Protective Shields vs. Plexiglass Barriers

As the world makes an effort to return to some sense of normalcy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, plexiglass barriers have become a vital layer of protection between patrons and customers. Countless grocery stores, pharmacies, and retailers have already installed transparent panels at checkout registers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plexiglass is popping up for other applications as well, including offices, schools, restaurants, restrooms, and other spaces that encourage social distancing.

While plexiglass has become a popular option, DefenseLite’s Personal Protective Shields offer a more advanced solution. Unlike plexiglass barriers, Personal Protective Shields are SMART, COVID safe barriers that are uniquely functional by incorporating cloaking, projection, and switchable technology options. These features turn mundane glass shields into dynamic, purposeful partitions that offer a number of capabilities. 

By combining our expertise in thin-film technology with proprietary lamination processes, DefenseLite’s Personal Protective Shields not only reduce the spread of germs and disease, but they also improve the performance and aesthetics of personal space by: 

These are just a few examples of how DefenseLite Personal Protective Shields offer more advanced capabilities compared to plexiglass barriers. 

Protective Barriers for COVID-19 Safety and Beyond

DefenseLite’s Personal Protective Shields are available in either specialty glass or abrasion resistant polycarbonate versions and can be customized to meet any configuration. All types of businesses can add branding to new protection shields or leverage custom shapes, surface colors, and glass-film designs. Personal Protective Shields are available in any size or color. And like all DefenseLite products, trim packages are composed of a strong metal base and engineered anchoring system that’s “designer grade,” helping to enhance the look of any space. 

In today’s world, fixtures may require different specifications moving forward, but not at the expense of quality interior design. Continue to specify and build with intent and purpose. Include the functionality that only DefenseLite’s Architectural Series Personal Protective series brings to our new reality. Interested in learning more? Contact us for more information or call (866) 933-3456 and request a free estimate.

glass door security film

Glass Door Security Film to Better Protect Schools, Businesses, and Homes

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glass door security filmIt’s no surprise that glass doors are one of the most vulnerable points of entry for looters, burglars, gunmen, and other potential threats. Likewise, glass doors are also one of the most common entryway systems for businesses, schools, and even homes and residential living spaces. 

While many glass doors are designed to be structurally sound and strong enough to withstand minor impacts and abrasions, in the attempt of forced entry, glass doors are a weak deterrent against anyone willfully seeking unwarranted entry.  

Glass door security film has been designed to help provide a protective solution to this growing problem. Not only is security film a cost-efficient investment that can be installed on virtually any type of glass door, but it’s also highly effective in deterring threats. Of course, this is just one of several solutions that we offer here at Window Film Depot. So in this post, we share a number of options and their benefits for protecting glass doors for various applications.

Protecting Schools Unwarranted Entry and Threats

One of the biggest concerns in maintaining safety and security in schools is preventing unwarranted entry from threatening intruders. Over the past decade, school shootings have been a tragic recurrence in the news and many educational institutions are investing in ways to keep students and faculty safe. While there are many solutions to help prevent school shootings, security window film is a viable option for glass doors.

Among the most universally-applicable options for glass doors is 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films. This line of products significantly mitigates shattered glass from high-impact forced entry attempts as well as blasts and natural disasters. Not only are 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films easy to install, but they’re also fully transparent by using a clear, micro-layered, and tear-resistant design. In the instance of an attempted break-in, the film keeps the broken glass in place, making it difficult for intruders to penetrate the glass and get through the door.

A level-up from 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films are more advanced products like DefenseLite™ and BulletShield™. While these solutions are technically not a film, these retro-fit security shields are mounted onto existing window glazing to provide a reinforced barrier that’s 250 times stronger than glass alone.

Preventing Looting, Burglaries, and Smash and Grab Attempts

Businesses, particularly retail storefronts, are susceptible to all types of threats. Among the most common are burglaries, smash and grab attempts, and looting amidst chaotic riots and protests that escalate out of control. Glass door security film provides a convenient option that’s both budget-friendly and highly-effective in preventing these occurrences. 

The added value in installing products like 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Film is that they also offer additional benefits for businesses and retailers alike. Among the most valuable is energy savings. Because these films have UV blocking sun control capabilities, dramatic temperature swings caused by solar heat gain can be prevented, thereby reducing the drain on air condition systems. The same UV blocking features also prevent fading that can occur with furnishings, inventory, and upholstery over time.

Glass Door Security Film for Residential Applications

The versatility of 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film provides homeowners and living complexes a simple way to keep residents safe. Whether as a sliding glass door security film for an outdoor deck entryway or as a protective security measure for an apartment building’s main entrance, security film delivers essential reinforcement while giving occupants added peace of mind.

As a unique advantage compared to residential window tinting, opting for a security window film for glass doors makes these entry points far more difficult to penetrate. In turn, this can prevent windows from shattering from both human and natural causes. For the former, security films are effective in deterring intruders while giving you more time to take action. And like mentioned above, the sun control capabilities deliver added benefits for energy savings and UV protection.

At Window Film Depot, we are the #1 3M Window Film installer in the U.S. We specialize in both commercial and residential glass door security film installation, and we work with all types of customers to help them choose and install the ideal product to best meet their needs. Ready to get started? Contact us online or call us at 1-866-933-3456.   

prevent school shootings

3 Infrastructure Improvements to Help Prevent School Shootings and Keep Students Safe

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prevent school shootingsIn the wake of school shootings, governments at the local, state, and federal levels have put significant attention and resources into making schools safer to avert future tragedies. All too often, however, these critical resources are leveraged to integrate more rigid security measures in schools, such as hiring school resource officers (or “SROs”), installing surveillance systems and security devices, and even arming educators and faculty with guns.

While the emphasis toward both visible and physical safety measures is a reasonable approach in the aftermath of such devastating tragedies, the adoption of these measures to prevent school shootings have not been proven to advance safety in education institutions. Additionally, measures like recruiting SROs and installing metal detectors create a less welcoming environment for students.

It is therefore important to look beyond conventional security measures and invest in proven, evidence-based solutions to make school safer. While approaches like violence prevention programs, peer mediation interventions, and teacher training are vital cornerstones, infrastructure improvements can also help prevent school shootings and keep students safe.

Rethinking and Renovating How Schools are Designed

Four years after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, administrators and architects have evolved their thinking as to how schools are designed. In 2019, a story about a $48 million upgrade of west Michigan’s Fruitport High School went viral due to the design’s emphasis on school shooting prevention. While the renovation won’t be complete till 2021, the new design emphasizes curved hallways that are intended to reduce sightlines for shooters. Additionally, jutting barriers throughout the school are designed to help provide shelter in the instance of an attack. 

“If I go to FPH and I want to be an active shooter, I’m going in knowing I have reduced sightlines,” Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak told The Washington Post about the curved hallways. “It has reduced his ability to do harm.”

Every school will prioritize a safe environment before it can be a place for learning. However, in an era when educators are strapped for school supplies and have to raise money on their own means, the reality of tighter budgets will call for more financially approachable investments. 

Securing the Most Vulnerable Point of Entry: Glass Windows and Doors

There’s no question that glass windows and doors are the most vulnerable point of entry in schools. Over the years, there have been many developments to help reinforce glass and prevent unwarranted, forced entry. The most advanced of these solutions are products like DefenseLite™ and BulletShield™.

DefenseLite is a retro-fit security shield that’s mounted onto existing window glazing, which provides significant protection against forced entry attempts. DefenseLite is a heavy-gauge architectural-grade polycarbonate and extruded framing system that’s 250 times stronger than glass alone. It’s been independently tested with a number of blunt force objects like hammers, batons, and hatchets with amazing results.

DefenseLite blends seamlessly with the existing window glazing, making for an invisible layer of protection without moving parts or unsightly reinforcements. While this infrastructure upgrade can certainly improve the level of protection in schools, DefenseLite’s ballistic counterpart BulletShield delivers the ultimate solution.

In addition to keeping intruders out, BulletShield is designed to keep bullets out as well. It’s a UL rated retrofit ballistic shield that’s designed to protect against both natural and human disasters. Unlike other bullet-resistant window treatments, BulletShield has become a leading security glazing solution for schools, as well as other vulnerable applications like courthouses, government buildings, and police stations. It’s been independently tested to provide UL 752 ballistic ratings, preventing breach against 9MM, .44 Magnum, and AR-15 bullets.

Barricading Systems and Lockdown Solutions

Alongside reinforcing glass windows and doors, barricading these points of entry offers additional protection for schools and educational institutions. In fact, The Department of Homeland Security recommends having systems in place to lock and barricade doors when sheltering in place against active shooters. The fact of the matter is, not all barricade systems are created equal.

There are a number of emergency lockdown solutions on the market today, such as The Sleeve from Fighting Chance Solutions as well as Nightlock’s Lockdown units which affix to door frames to prevent access. These systems are effective in deterring forced entry on inward or outward swinging doors, on doors made of both wood or metal. Not only do these barricade systems withstand tremendous force from anyone attempting to enter, but they can be integrated along with additional reinforcements like DefenseLite and BulletShield.

If you’d like to learn more about how to prevent school shootings with infrastructure improvements like DefenseLite and BulletShield, reach out to use via our Contact Page, or give us a call at (866) 933-3456.