Best Practices for Building a Synagogue Security Plan With Window Film

Best Practices for Building a Synagogue Security Plan With Window Film

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Best Practices for Building a Synagogue Security Plan With Window Film

The Growing Importance of Synagogue Safety Security Training

Security training is becoming an essential aspect of any organization — from synagogues to schools and retail stores. ABC News reports that there have been more mass shootings than days in 2021, 2022, and 2023; current violent crime trends don’t indicate those numbers will change any time soon.

While high rates of violent crime across the country, places of worship are at particularly high risk. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 17.3% of hate crimes in the U.S. were motivated by religion in 2022, making religion the second-highest motivating factor. In turn, synagogues and other places of worship need to leverage proper training and planning to know how to respond to threats.

Best Practices for Synagogue Security Plans

With such a high risk of potential violence, synagogues need to ensure they have a security plan to mitigate potential emergencies. Here are few essential best practices for synagogues to implement when designing security plans.

Build a Synagogue Security Checklist

The first step to jump-starting synagogue security is pinpointing exactly what your synagogue needs to protect itself. Building a synagogue security checklist ensures that members of the synagogue understand exactly what they need to do to protect their building, both in preparation for synagogue vandalism and during breaches in security.

Synagogue security checklists can include procedures for setting up security systems, or be used to walk through emergent situations. Synagogues may also opt to create specific checklists for different threats, such as active shooters or riots. Additionally, checklists can be used to ensure potential volunteers undergo required synagogue security training.

Build a Synagogue Security Plan with Window Film

Assign Synagogue Security Team Roles & Responsibilities

On the subject of volunteers — successfully implementing a synagogue security checklist requires a dedicated synagogue security team. Efficiently doling out roles and responsibilities to members of the synagogue is integral to better security.

When assigning roles, synagogue leadership should consider who can best handle any given task, including specialized volunteers such as law enforcement officers or medical professionals. Potential roles include team leaders, communication specialists, technology specialists, training coordinators, and security coordinators.

Review & Test Synagogue Alarm Systems

One of the best ways to stifle synagogue intruders & swiftly alert appropriate law enforcement of potential assailants is through the installation of a synagogue alarm system. With direct contact to authorities, alarm systems are a key component of any successful synagogue security plan.

Depending on the size, construction, and layout of a synagogue, alarm systems may encompass a variety of supplemental technologies to determine an intrusion. In turn, synagogue alarm systems may include door sensors, glassbreak detectors, & motion sensors, alongside hazard-specific sensors such as flood detection devices

Regardless of the technology, synagogue alarm systems offer an ideal way to immediately alert authorities in case of a dangerous approach. By connecting devices directly to the police, synagogues can gain instant responses to potential assailants — mitigating damage, theft, and even violence.

Install & Monitor Security Cameras

Working in tandem with alarm systems, synagogue security cameras help surveil suspicious parties & potential assailants both in and around synagogues.

Synagogues should place cameras in strategic locations, including entryways, windows, spaces with heavy foot-traffic, and rooms kept away from the public. Modern surveillance cameras can connect to the internet for 24/7, accessible security monitoring. Cameras can even integrate with synagogue alarm systems for a holistic, responsive security system – helping determine exactly who attempted a breach of synagogue security, alongside where and how they did it.

Implement a Physical Synagogue Security System

While security cameras and synagogue alarm systems can help authorities track down, neither do much to actively stop intruders from entering a synagogue. To slow an assailant, synagogues need to install physical synagogue security.

Safety window film, such as 3M™ Safety & Security Window Films is the ideal first step towards improving physical security in synagogues. Useful in diverse situations, security window film can add essential resistance against blasts, active shooters, and forceful impact from blunt objects. 3M™ Safety Film can also combine with other film for enhanced safety and additional benefits, including temperature control with sun control film.


Synagogues may also consider security glass systems such as DefenseLite. A heavy-grade, architectural grade security shield, DefenseLite uses an extruded frame and nearly impenetrable polycarbonate to prove another reliable option for synagogue physical security.

Complete Your Synagogue Security Plan With Security Window Film

Leveraging these best practices, synagogues can gain peace of mind that they are prepared in case of conflict. Creating checklists and assigning roles ensure members of the synagogue know how to react to specific conflicts, implementing security & surveillance systems can increase law enforcement response times, and installing window film can greatly slow violent approaches. When purchasing window film, synagogues should look to hire a trusted installation team to ensure the highest level of physical protection.

Window Film Depot is the #1 security window film dealer in the US. We have successfully installed our reliable glass security solutions on the windows & doors of diverse religious institutions across the United States — from synagogue to churches, mosques, and more. Contact us today to greatly improve physical security in your synagogue.

how does bulletproof glass work

How Does Bulletproof Glass Work

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how does bulletproof glass work

The need for bulletproof glass in the United States is at an all-time high. In 2022, the FBI categorized 50 shootings as active shooter incidents — with additional types of gun-based crime, such as armed robberies, also plaguing the country. With such a need for the technology, many property-owners have begun to wonder: how does bulletproof glass actually work? Is it even really “bulletproof?”

We’ve got all of your questions answered. Dive into this comprehensive guide for a brief history of bulletproof glass, an explanation on how it works, and other important explanations when purchasing a solution.

A Brief History of Bulletproof Glass

Like many great inventions, bulletproof glass was discovered by accident. In 1903, French painter, writer, and chemist Edouard Benedictus dropped a glass flask. Although the flask shattered upon impact, the glass shards remained together rather than spreading across the floor.

Upon examination, he discovered the flask was held together by a film, spurred by an alcohol solution of collodion. After a night of attempts to replicate the film, Benedictius created the first ever sheet of “safety glass” — sandwiching a film of cellulose nitrate between two sheets of untreated glass.

Through the years, Benedictus’s initial discovery has gone through continuous innovation and improvement, becoming widely accepted in diverse fields. From incorporation into warfare during both World Wars to its implementation on the PopeMobile, bulletproof glass is used across the world to protect those at risk from threats of active shooters.

Bulletproof or Bullet Resistant?

Don’t let the name fool you; no “bulletproof” glass solution is truly bulletproof. All bulletproof glass solutions are actually bullet resistant — designed to minimize the impact of bullets but not necessarily impenetrable. Bullets are incredibly high-impact, and can often be fired in rapid succession. In turn, even the strongest “bulletproof” solutions may break after enough rounds from a powerful enough firearm.

How Does Bulletproof Glass Work?

Bulletproof glass slows the impact of bullets by dispersing the kinetic energy of projectiles upon impact. When any surface is struck with a fast moving object, one of two things happens: the object shatters under the stress of force, or absorbs the impact as it spreads across the material. Glass, for example, has no means to absorb impact, thus shattering.

Bullet resistant glass solutions leverage several layers of protection to slow, then eventually stop, bullets upon impact. Take, for example, bulletproof glass made from laminated polycarbonate. With several layers of protection, bullets often get through multiple layers of protection, slowing to a point of stoppage before it fully penetrates the glass. Thanks to lamination, even penetrated layers stay together rather than falling into debris — both stopping bullets and protecting patrons from shatter.

history of bulletproof glass

What is Bullet Proof (Bullet Resistant) Glass Made Out Of?

There is no one thing that bullet resistant glass is made of; most types of “bulletproof glass” are composed of several materials, with multiple different variations of materials within the market as well. Some common & widely used types of bullet resistant glass include solid acrylic and laminated polycarbonate.

Solid Acrylic vs. Laminated Polycarbonate

Two of the most typical materials for bullet resistant glass are solid acrylic and laminated polycarbonate. Both are polymers — materials made from long lines of molecules chained together.

Polycarbonates refer to a group of thermoplastic polymers containing carbonate groups in their chemical structures. Installed as panels over existing glass or occasionally from scratch, polycarbonate solutions offer flexible installation for properties — alongside strength varying from UL 752 Level 1 through 8 per unique safety concerns. Polycarbonate powers several industry-leading bullet resistant glass solutions, including DefenseLite and BulletShield.

Acrylic, also known under brand names such as Plexiglas®, Perspex®, and Lucite®. Ranging in thickness from 1 ¼” to 1 ⅜”, acrylic comes in flexible sizes and is malleable to diverse installation needs. It resembles glass (with a transparency rate of 93%) while weighing 50% less than glass of equal thickness. Acrylic is less expensive than polycarbonate, and in turn is also less durable; even at maximum thickness, acrylic only meets UL 752 Level 1 requirements.

Ballistic Glass vs. Security Window Film

Often confused, ballistic glass and security window film are two different types of glass solutions. Although both provide impact resistance, ballistic glass and traditional security window film are made from different materials, both useful in separate situations. While security window film is excellent against most security threats, properties with specific concerns about bullet protection should opt for ballistic, bullet resistant glass.

Typically made from micro-layered, tear-resistant polyester film, security window film is designed to prevent break-ins, shatter protection, and smash & grab crime. The film absorbs the blunt impact of assailants, rather than shattering and allowing for easy access to a store. Meant to absorb blunt force, window film is not designed for the level of ballistic impact from a firearm. While window film may absorb some impact from bullets, UL-rated ballistic glass solutions are a better option for active shooter protection.

what is bullet proof glass made of

Common FAQs About Bulletproof Glass

With different materials and thicknesses to choose from, buyers of bulletproof glass have several key decisions to make before purchasing a solution for their property. Here are a few questions to consider, and our advice for purchasing.

How Thick Does Bulletproof Glass Need to Be?

The necessary thickness of bulletproof glass changes based on the unique security concerns of a residence or business; a store in a bustling city, for example, requires a different type of protection than an apartment building in the suburbs. Most bullet resistant glass solutions, such as BulletShield, are available in multiple thicknesses, customized based on the unique needs of a given property.

Additionally, thickness needs to change based on the type of material being used; because they’re different materials, one thickness of acrylic will have different protection than the same thickness in laminated polycarbonate. We recommend consulting a bulletproof glass installation professional to determine the exact thickness required for your security concerns.

How Does Angle of Impact Affect Bulletproof Glass?

Angle of impact greatly affects the damage done by a bullet; the smaller the angle, the more material a bullet has to pass through before reaching the other side. For example, a bullet approaching a vertical window at 90° has far less material to penetrate than one approaching at a 30° angle.

In turn, angled windows may need less thick glass to deliver the same level of protection from active shooters. To determine how angle of impact will affect the bullet resistance of your glass, contact a security window installation expert.

Install Bulletproof Glass With the Expert Team at Window Film Depot

With knowledge of how bulletproof glass actually works, property-owners can do a better job assessing the bullet resistance needs of their business or residence. However, even knowing the science, it’s impossible to maximize the effectiveness of bullet resistant glass without the help of an expert.

Here at Window Film Depot, we leverage a knowledgeable team of experts for seamless, comprehensive bullet resistant glass installation. Our network encompasses caring, compassionate window film professionals that will listen to your needs and figure out the ideal solution to protect your property from diverse threats, including active shooters. For more information, contact us today.

The Ultimate Sun Control Solution Buyer Guide

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​​Sun control window film offers immense benefits to properties of all shapes, sizes, and purposes. As the premier experts of window film installation across the United States, we’ve assembled this comprehensive guide on sun control solutions — read on to learn how film can increase the value of your property, alongside other frequently asked questions.

What is Sun Control Film?

​​Sun control film is a type of window film used for the specific purpose of minimizing the heat and UV effects of the sun through glass windows. It has immense benefits for both commercial and residential properties, increasing cost efficiency and creating more comfortable interiors for both residents and guests.

Thanks to its construction, sun control window film serves as an energy saver by reducing the amount of solar heat transmission. It acts by absorbing solar through the glass and limits the effect of the harsh sunlight on the occupants of a building — keeping buildings cool and reducing the amount of air conditioning needed. 3M Sun Control films come in different forms, depending on the needs of the building, and can be enjoyed in clear film without changing the look of the building.

When Is the Best Time to Install Window Film for Sun Control & Summer Energy Savings?

There is no one best time to install window film — any installation will provide significant benefits, lasting through the year’s remaining seasons and beyond. 3M Window Films offer a graceful, yet pragmatic way for working out several intriguing prospects of finagling sun control and security issues for your home or business not only in the summer, but also during winter months as well.

As we approach fall, the sun begins to enter buildings through the southern direction. This shift will angle some rooms in your home or business to develop a larger amount of daily sun, potentially impacting residents, employees, and guests with sensitive skin. Sun control films can diminish these negative effects, offering a near seamless solution to increased exposure.

Can Sun Control Films Save Energy?

Sun Control Films provide substantial heat rejection, creating energy savings for office buildings, retail stores, commercial and residential properties. Our film allows for the natural light to come in and offer high visible light transmission while the infrared rejection (up to 97%) provides significant savings and enhanced comfort. Up to 60% of the heat is rejected adding up to lower utility bills and higher energy savings. The best film choice to save energy depends on your goal and building structure — we typically recommend the 3M Prestige Series.

The 3M Prestige Series will let in the light but not the heat, creating superior comfort and clarity.  The clear heat control films are designed for minimal aesthetic change to windows while providing maximum solar control performance. This current Window Film Depot project with 3M Prestige Film blocks 50% of the solar energy without altering the look of the building.

what is sun control window film?

How Long Does Solar Film Last?

Typically, solar window film lasts around 10 to 15 years, but has the potential to last over 20. Quality of material and window film care are the two biggest factors impacting the longevity of window film; high quality products such as 3M Window Film last longer than lower quality options, while regular cleaning using non-abrasive supplies will help film last well into its expected lifecycle.

Most window film comes with a warranty ensuring replacement or repair within a certain window. At Window Film Depot, our 3M Window Film offers a lifetime warranty for residential applications, alongside a 10-15 year commercial warranty.

Does Clear UV Film Reduce Heat?

Clear UV film significantly reduces heat within interiors, offering immense temperature control benefits to both residential and commercial properties. The film serves as an energy saver by reducing the amount of solar heat transmission, absorbing solar through the glass and limiting the effect of the harsh sunlight on the occupants of a building.

Additionally, most clear 3M window films are protected with an abrasion resistant coat that provides long-term durability and makes maintenance easier. Our clear film offerings are durable, long-lasting, and highly effective at reducing heat.

How Can You Remove Sun Control Film From Glass?

Removing sun control film from glass requires two main steps — first removing the film itself, and then removing the adhesive. Generally, film removal is the easiest step of the process, while removing excess adhesive takes additional time and effort. Ideally, most adhesive will come off while removing the film to minimize additional stick left on your glass.

Sun control film removal typically involves the application of heat to break down enough adhesive for the remaining film to be peeled off. Both steamers and heat guns provide quick and easy ways to slowly peel off film. For more on window film removal from glass, check out our comprehensive guide.

how to remove sun control film from glass?

Can I Install a Tinted Film on My Skylights?

Yes, you can install tinted window film in your skylights. Sun control film offers extensive benefits for skylights, including indoor temperature control, anti-glare capabilities, weather reinforcement, and prevention of furniture fading. Skylights are known for their architectural beauty, while also creating some interior problems; tinting can mitigate many of these issues.

Sun control film installation for skylights is similar to any other kind of window film installation — just at a slightly different angle. As with all window film installation, our powerful adhesion ensures our film remains in place.

How to Fix Sun Control Film on Glass

While easy to install (especially with the help of one of our expert installation teams), occasionally sun control film may peel or curl around the edges, or bubble amidst the middle. While bubbling may be fixable, once window film curls it means the adhesive has begun wearing off — requiring entirely new film.

Thankfully, skilled installation will greatly reduce the chances of your window film peeling, curling, or bubbling. Additionally, as mentioned early, most window films come with an extensive warranty; if your installation fails, we’re here to help fix the problem or replace the film entirely.

Install Long-Lasting, Effective Sun Control Solutions With Window Film Depot

Window Film Depot is America’s #1 security & specialty window film installer — a 3M Authorized window film dealer within their Prestige Dealer Network. Our expert installation team ensures durable, highly efficient sun control for your residential or commercial property. Plus, with extensive warranties, we ensure you gain a worthwhile return on your investment. Contact us today to optimize sun control in your business or home.

the ultimate guide to glass ballistic tests

The Ultimate Guide to Glass Ballistic Tests: UL752, NIJ, NGA ASTM F3561, & EN 1063 Standards

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the ultimate guide to glass ballistic tests

Property crime is a major problem in the United States, with over 6 million reported cases in 2021 alone. To keep their homes & businesses safe, property-owners need to install durable glass security resistance. Yet with so many options available for window security, how can a property-owner tell if a solution is durable enough for their windows & doors?

Glass ballistic standards exist to give property-owners a specific, regulated look at a security solution’s durability to ballistic impact. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dig into glass ballistic tests, different types of ballistic standards, and some key frequently asked questions.

What are Glass Ballistic Tests?

Glass ballistic tests are tests specifically designed to test the durability of bullet resistant glass solutions. Through these tests, regulatory agencies can determine just how resistant glass is, and apply a specific rating to tell consumers how one type of resistant glass compares to another.

Glass ballistic tests determine rating levels by firing a number of rounds into glass, while additionally noting the size of the weapon used to shoot the glass. To reach the best rating, the entirety of a bullet resistant glass system must absorb the force from the highest force of projectile — including glazing material, frame, and anchors.

Ultimately, glass ballistic tests sort bullet resistant glass into ratings within accepted standards created by different regulatory agencies. Each of these standards have different methodologies, offering a variety of methods to determine what impact-resistance a solution provides.

different types of ballistic testing standards for glass

Different Types of Ballistic Testing Standards for Glass

While there are a variety of ballistic testing standards for glass, three of the most commonly used are UL752, NIJ 0101.06, and EN 1063. Here are brief summaries of each, alongside the standards themselves.

UL752 Ballistic Standards

The Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL), now known as UL Solutions, is a non-profit, global safety science company — the largest and oldest independent testing laboratory in the United States. Rating products in over 100 countries, UL Solutions tests a diverse suite of technology for safety standards, including bullet resistant glass. To be rated for a protection level, glazing must both not be penetrated by shots and resist all spalling at various temperatures.

The UL Ballistic Standard has 8 levels, tested as follows:

Protection Level Ammunition No. of Shots
Level 1 9mm Full Metal Copper Jacket with 3. Lead Core 3
Level 2 357 Magnum Jacketed Lead Soft Point 3. 3
Level 3 44 Magnum Lead Semi-Wadcutter 3. Gas Checked 3
Level 4 30 Caliber Rifle Lead Core Soft Point (.30-06 caliber) 1
Level 5 7.62mm Rifle Lead Core Full Metal Copper 1 Jacket, Military Ball (.308 caliber) 1
Level 6 9mm Full Metal Copper Jacket with 5 Lead Core 5
Level 7 5.56mm Rifle Full Metal Copper Jacket with 5 Lead Core (223 caliber) 5
Level 8 7.62mm Rifle Lead Core Full Metal Copper 5

NIJ Ballistic Standards

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Although mostly known for its body armor standard (NIJ Standard 0101.06), the NIJ also has a standard for ballistic materials (NIJ Standard 0108.01). NIJ standards exclusively test whether or not a bullet penetrates a glazing.

The NIJ has four main levels and two sub-levels for a total of six rankings. They are as follows:

Armor Type Test Ammunition RQD. Hits Per Specimen
I LRHW Lead 38
Special RN Lead
II-A 357 Magnum
II 357 Magnum JSP (higher velocity round)
9mm FMJ (higher velocity round)
III-A 44 Magnum, Lead SWC Gas Checked
9mm FMJ
III 7.62mm, 308Winchester FMJ 5
IV 30-06 AP 1

EN 1063 Ballistic Standards

EN 1063, also known as CEN 1063, is a security glazing standard to measure the protective strength of bullet-resistant glass created by the European Committee for Standardization (also known abbreviated as CEN). The committee brings together the standardization bodies of 34 European countries.

The standard incorporates seven standard threat levels for fire from small arms, alongside two classes dedicated exclusively to shotgun blast. Similar to UL752 standards, EN 1063 are rated for both penetration and spalling.

Here are the full qualifications for each level of the EN 1063 standard.

Class Type Test Ammunition No. of Shots
BR1 .22 LR (L/RN) 3
BR2 .9mm Luger (FJ1/RN/SC) 3
BR3 .357 Magnum (FJ1/CB/SC) 3
BR4 .44 Rem Magnum (FJ2/FN/SC) 3
BR5 5.56×45 (FJ2/PB.SCP1) 3
BR6 7.62×51 (FJ1/PB/SC) 3
BR7 7.62×51 (FJ2/PB/HC1) 3
SG1 12/70 (Solid Slug 3) 1
SG2 12/70 (Solid Slug 3) 3

NGA ASTM F3561 Standard

Known for developing new testing standards in response to expanding parts of the glass industry, the National Glass Association (NGA) is the largest trade association within the field, comprising 1,700 member companies. As school shootings have risen across the United States, protection from active shooters has become a major area of importance for the association.

Following an eight-month, multi-step review process, the NGA developed the “Standard Test Method for Forced-Entry-Resistance of Fenestration Systems After Simulated Active Shooter Attack.” According to its website, this standard will “promote the use of glazing for visual awareness and entry deterrent in a meaningful way to address the risk, threats and vulnerabilities of educational facilities.”

Unlike previous standards mentioned above, the ASTM F3561 standard does not test for complete ballistic resistance; instead, it evaluates the ability to create an opening sufficient size to permit passage of a test shape through it. The procedures are as follows:

  • 10 ballistic rounds from a single weapon and ammunition type are fired into the glazing products in a tight burst
  • The weapon that must be used in the testing is the AR-15 with 5.56x45mm ammunition, as it is the most commonly used weapon in school shooting attacks
  • Following the initial weakening from the ballistic assault, the glazing is then struck with a center-mass, 100-pound mechanical impactor at eight different drop heights

frequently asked questions about ballistic impact testing

Frequently Asked Questions About Ballistic Impact Testing

How are Ballistics Tests Performed?

Glass ballistic tests consist of firing a number of rounds into glass to test if a glazing can withstand that specific level and volume of impact. Ratings are achieved based on which level of impact resistance the glazing sustains — changing based on number of rounds fired, types of rounds, distance between firing, and velocity of a shot. Between firing every round, the tester will check if a glazing has been penetrated.

How Does Ballistic Testing Work?

Ballistic testing is usually conducted by a dedicated materials lab trained in testing for a specific ballistic standard. Once rounds are fired during testing, scientists will check to see how the rounds affected the glazing. Depending on the standards, glazing will be judged based on whether or not the bullets fully penetrate glass, or if they spalled (spread dangerous flying debris due to impact). This process is then repeated varying amounts of time depending on the testing standard.

How Long Does a Ballistic Test Take?

Generally, as a test only consists of a few rounds being fired, an actual ballistic test won’t take more than a day. However, due to multiple rounds of testing, set-up for testing, processing, product delivery, and back-log within laboratories, the length of time to hear back about a ballistic test will vary. If waiting for the results of ballistic testing, contact appropriate laboratories for accurates finish times.

How do EN1063 Standards Compare to UL752 Standards for Glazings?

EN 1063 standards and UL753 standards are similar in that both require glazing to both withstand penetration and prevent spalling. Generally, however, UL752 testing is more thorough, requiring multiple samples tested at diverse temperatures (while EN 1063 is only tested at ambient temperature). Additionally, the two standards test different types of ammunition for different levels. For specific differences in standards for each, see the charts listed anova.

How do NIJ Ballistic Standards Compare to UL752 Standards for Glazings?

While the NIJ standard can be useful, the UL752 standard is generally considered superior to NIJ 0108.01. UL standards look for both penetration of glazing and spalling, whereas the NIJ standard only considers complete perforation of a panel within rankings. In turn, UL752 offers a more nuanced, specific look at the strength of a glazing.

Install Powerful Window Security Through Window Film Depot, Tested Through Ballistic Standards

Window Film Depot offers diverse options for window security in your home or business. BulletShield, a retro-fit security shield for existing windows and glass, is independently tested to UL752 ballistic ratings, capable of withstanding 9MM, .44 Magnum, and AR-15 bullets. Contact us today and learn how we can improve security at your property.

examples of reinforced storefronts for retail theft prevention

The 2023 Anti-Theft Guidebook for Retail Stores

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examples of reinforced storefronts for retail theft prevention

Theft is a massive problem for the retail industry. The National Retail Foundation found a 26.5% increase in retail crimes in 2021 while Target lost $400 Million due to ‘inventory shrink’ in 2022 — largely due to organized retail crime. How can retail stores minimize their risk and improve their ability to counter these spikes?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of anti-theft devices for retail stores, what devices you need for your retail interior & exterior, and a few examples of reinforced storefronts for violent crime prevention.

What are Anti-Theft Devices for Retail Stores?

Anti-theft devices for retail stores refer to any gadget or piece of equipment used to protect retail stores from theft. The term is all-encompassing, including alarm systems, physical protection, and even smart inventory management tools.

Whatever the method, anti-theft devices are absolutely essential for retail storefronts. Without the use of these devices, retailers leave themselves vulnerable to theft, and susceptible to violence that springs from robbery.

what are anti-theft devices for retail stores

Must-Have Anti-Theft Retail Store Security Equipment and Loss Prevention Products

For the purposes of this blog, anti-theft equipment for retail stores can be separated into two distinct categories: interior and exterior protection. Both are essential, and play very different roles in theft prevention.

Interior Theft Protection: Preventing Indoor Theft & Shoplifting

Storefront thieves can strike across a wide spectrum of violence & severity. Common shoplifters may enter your storefront, grab a few quick items, and then leave without causing a stir. More organized groups may come armed, smashing into display cases and robbing cash registers to horrific effect for customers and employees alike.

Interior theft protection encompasses security against all of these means. This umbrella term includes inventory tracking software, indoor surveillance systems, covert duress alarm systems, and reinforced smash & grab protection.

Inventory Tracking Software

Stores with large inventories may struggle to even realize theft has occurred. Without proper tracking, common shoplifters can accumulate items over the course of months until stores notice the damage to their inventory and revenue.

Inventory tracking software automates inventory management and ensures even smaller instances of theft are tracked & investigated. Using either asset tracking tags or automated cash registers, inventory tracking software streamlines processes for storefronts and helps track when & where theft occurs.

24/7 Surveillance Systems

Surveillance systems monitor stores for any & all kinds of criminal activities. By placing cameras in key areas of your store (entrances, storage rooms, etc.), storefronts can gain a consistent, holistic view of all potential criminal activity around the clock.

Used in tandem with inventory tracking software, surveillance systems can detect who shoplifted in instances of smaller theft — while providing key evidence to law enforcement for more aggressive robberies and overnight break-ins.

Loss Prevention Solutions

The cameras used in surveillance systems also fall under a broader umbrella of loss prevention products — devices designed specifically to minimize retail theft and shrinkage. Loss prevention products may refer to larger solutions such as surveillance systems, alongside product-level devices to minimize theft.

Additional loss prevention products include anti-sweep hooks, security tags, EAS tags, security mirrors, tethers/locking straps, and other devices that register when a piece of merchandise leaves a store.

Silent Duress Alarms

Above all else, the security of staff & customers during a robbery is of the utmost importance. In the face of armed robbery and violent assault, actively calling law enforcement can put patrons into harm’s way.

Silent duress alarms allow staff to alert the police without compromising their safety or escalating a situation. Placed under store counters, these covert buttons send a message to local law enforcement without setting off store alarms – keeping everybody calm and allowing police officers to handle the situation like experts.

Reinforced Smash & Grab Protection

If intruders do make it inside a store, protecting inventory in the midst of robbery is essential. Typical glass display cases are prone to being shattered with any blunt force, and in-turn provide burglars easy access to displayed inventory.

CaseShield Display Case Security Solution

Protect your glass display cases with CaseShield, a new DefenseLite product, fully customizable, retrofit solution for display cases in lieu of smash & grab crime. Consisting of polycarbonate, CaseShield is 250x stronger than existing glass, creating a clear “shield” on top of your retail case to protect it from hammers, rocks, and other blunt attacks. CaseShield both protects your inventory and slows down burglars — allowing law enforcement more time to arrive via silent duress alarms.

Preventing Smash & Grab Crimes with Exterior Theft Protection

During 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.

Exterior theft protection serves as a means to repel exterior smash & grab crime. Once installed, reinforced storefronts can withstand blows from rocks, baseball bats, hammers, and a variety of other means of blunt force. Exterior storefront protection can come in a variety of forms — from window film to customized, clear protection shields.

what are anti-theft devices for retail stores

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

As America’s #1 commercial window film installer, Window Film Depot understands how to provide reinforced storefronts custom-tailored to a storefront’s needs. Below are three examples of how reinforced storefronts 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 typical 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.

examples of reinforced storefronts for retail theft prevention

Prepare Your Retail Store With Anti-Theft Protection With Window Film Depot

As retail theft continues to rise, storefronts need to protect themselves. Combining interior anti-theft devices — such as inventory tracking software, 24/7 surveillance systems, and silent duress alarms — and exterior, reinforced storefronts can minimize your risk.

Looking to reinforce your storefront? We’re the experts in security window film installation, with experience across diverse properties to meet your storefront’s unique needs. Contact us today and begin your process of anti-theft protection.

Window Film Depot donates 3M Security Film to Morningside High School's Esports Room

Window Film Depot Partners with School Specialty to Support CFP Foundation eSports Room at Morningside High School

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Window Film Depot donates 3M Security Film to Morningside High School's Esports Room
ATLANTA, GA – March 28, 2023
– Window Film Depot (WFD), a nationwide leader in window film installations, donated a 3M Security Film upgrade in the newly built College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation Esports Room at Morningside High School in the Inglewood Unified School District in Los Angeles, California.

WFD’s Southern California team installed 250 square feet of 3M Ultra S25 Security Film with 3M Impact Protection Adhesive (IPA).

This effort is just the latest in WFD’s ongoing commitment to support the communities they serve nationwide. Among other endeavors, WFD donates materials and services each year to Homes for Heroes and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Their work with school systems reflects a sincere dedication to supporting the needs of schools by protecting children, teachers, and the administration.

“Window Film Depot is so fortunate for the opportunity to be involved in projects that support our communities,” said Chris Sullivan, Vice President of FutureVu Brands. “The safety and comfort of our youth are paramount in supporting them as they gather the tools that will carry them into successful adulthood. We are proud of the role our 3M products can play in fulfilling that future.”

Benefits of 3M Ultra S25 Security Film (with IPA) include:

  • Delay of entry
  • Control glass failure
  • Mitigation of spontaneous glass breakage
  • Increased privacy
  • Glare reduction
  • Heat reduction

The Esports Room at Morningside High School was unveiled to the public in January of this year. Esports has been linked to numerous applications across a variety of fields, from coaches and analysts to a traditional job market hungry for STEM talent.

“Window Film Depot helped make an impact on the lives of the district, administrators, teachers, and students with their contribution,” said Mike Crumlin “MAC,” Vice President of School Specialty, Inc., with whom College Football Playoff Foundation partnered in this project. “Aside from being included in our remarks and representations during our extremely well-attended ribbon cutting, Window Film Depot’s contribution to the project has also been commemorated on a placard in the room itself.”

WFD is likewise involved with future community projects currently in the works with the Pasadena Unified School District in Pasadena, California, and three more in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Legendary Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson’s former middle school is included in these projects, all of which are in keeping with the culture of community stewardship the company and all FutureVu subsidiaries have embraced.

Floor Plan of Esports Room at Morningside High School

About Window Film Depot

Headquartered in Marietta, GA, WFD has completed over 50,000 projects, providing architectural film solutions for customers, ranging from the Vatican and the executive branch of the US government to numerous national retailers in all 50 states. Window Film Depot, a subsidiary of FutureVu Brands, is a multi-year 3M “National Dealer of the Year Award” recipient and the company has been named Window Film Magazine’s ‘Top Window Film Dealer’ on numerous occasions.

How Can Buildings Reduce Window Heat

How Can Buildings Reduce Window Heat? The 5 Best Window Films for Heat Reduction

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How Can Buildings Reduce Window Heat

Window film is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to reduce heat in your home or office building. Not only do window films save you time and money, but they also benefit the environment — while increasing  the aesthetic value of your building. 

Professional installation of high-quality heat reduction window films doesn’t have to be complicated. First, the correct 3M window film product needs to be recommended by a certified dealer, like Window Film Depot.  In this post, we’ve compiled the basic science of window heat transfer, the most effective ways to reduce window heat, plus five excellent options for heat reduction window film that cater to residential and commercial properties alike.

Read on learn about:

Understanding Window Heat Transfer

Generally, heat transfer occurs when there is a temperature difference between two objects or spaces, flowing from hot to cold. Heat transfer occurs in three ways:


  • Conduction: The movement of heat through a solid material.
  • Convection: The movement of heat due to the movement of fluid.
  • Radiation: The movement of heat through absorption, reflection, or transmission through electromagnetic waves, mainly in the infrared region.

Naturally, the rules of heat transfer also apply to windows. As interior spaces warm up in winter months, windows transfer heat outside; during hotter summer months, meanwhile, windows absorb heat, warming up air-conditioned spaces and forcing HVAC systems to work harder.

The effects of heat transfer can be extremely detrimental on home temperature costs. According to the Department of Energy, about 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows, while about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat in cooling seasons. To increase heat reduction, property-owners have several options to apply to their windows.

Most Effective Ways to Reduce Window Heat

Most Effective Ways to Reduce Window Heat

There are numerous options for property-owners looking to improve heat reduction properties within home or business. Popular options include weatherstripping, blackout blinds, and even insulating windows with bubble wrap. Two of the most popular opinions, however, are window shades and window film.

Heat Reduction Window Shades vs. Window Film

Heat reduction cellular shades are designed to fold up at the top or bottom of a window, allowing for retractable heat reduction. Traditionally, cellular shades also “shade” a room by obscuring light, offering additional control of natural light within a space.

Window film, meanwhile, is a more permanent solution that is applied onto existing windows. Once installed, window film stays in place throughout the year for consistent, constant window heat reduction. Aesthetically, window film comes in a wide range of opacities, from optically clear to tinted, depending on your property’s needs.

Because window film offers more flexible visibility while maintaining heat reduction, it exceeds window shades in terms of design capability. Temperature control window film can still allow nearly all of the natural light of a traditional window, or provide a tinted environment for properties looking for greater privacy. Adding shades or curtains to windows with film provides additional design flexibility without having to rely solely on them for heat reduction benefits.

How Well Does Temperature Control Window Film Work?

How Well Does Temperature Control Window Film Work

Professionally installed window film is scientifically proven to offer more powerful, consistent heat reduction than other methods. EFILM software models based on the Department of Energy’s standards to model a building before and after window film have shown 3M window film products to reduce up to 78% of the sun’s heat, leading to a net negative carbon impact within six months of installation. 

Beyond heat reduction, installing window film can offer financial incentives for businesses. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act made it so properties can gain tax credits for reducing emissions of Greenhouse Gasses and Hydrofluorocarbons. Utility companies in some cities even rebate the installation of window film by as much as 50% — making window film a clear financial choice.

Additionally, ConSol Energy and Environmental Solutions, a leading consulting firm for builders, government agencies, utilities, and trade associations, calculated the effects of adding window film to a commercial building. Their study found that temperature control window films installed on single-pane glass showed paybacks in as little as 1.4 years and provided an annual energy savings of 19 kWh/sq ft of glass.

Clearly, exterior window films offer a considerable amount of heat reduction and improved energy efficiency. They are an affordable solution compared to replacing entire windows and can be installed much more quickly with minimal interference in your day-to-day.

Window Heat Reduction Film Installation Options

Window Heat Reduction Film Installation Options

There are quite a few heat reduction window film products available, but they can be broken down into two main categories: those that are installed inside and those installed outside. Both add an additional layer of heat reduction to your existing windows, essentially upgrading them from single-pane windows to double-pane windows, or double to triple.

Interior Installation with Window Heat Reduction Film Kits

This type of window film is applied to the inside of a home or office building. Film heat reduction kits include a large piece of shrink-wrapping plastic that can be cut to size and an adhesive material like tape or magnets which are used to secure the plastic film to the window frame. Once installed, a heating element like a hairdryer is applied to the plastic, which shrinks it to the correct size.

Window film heat reduction kits are one of the cheapest ways to increase heat reduction in your home. However, since they are installed inside, they can be unsightly – which is why many homeowners tend to steer clear of them. Window heat reduction kits need to be installed and removed every year with the change of the seasons. So, if you’re looking for short-term, one-season use, then they might work for you.

Exterior Installation with Retrofit Heat Reducing Window Films

These window films are made up of multiple layers of ultra-thin plastics which are applied with an adhesive to the exterior of existing window glass. Once installed, these films are nearly invisible unless you want to incorporate tinting or mirroring for privacy.

Because they are a permanent solution, these window films have the additional benefit of heat retention in the winter along with retaining cool air in the summer, so you get energy efficiency year-round.

They also provide UV blocking capabilities which will keep your furniture and merchandise from fading and prevent glare for those inside, making for a more comfortable environment overall.

5 Best Window Films for Heat Reduction

Five Best Window Films for Heat Reduction

Convinced about the merits of installing heat reducing window film on your property? We’ve identified 5 excellent options that cater to residential and commercial properties alike.

3M Residential Ceramic Sun Control Window Film

One of the best heat reducing window film options on the market today, the 3M Residential Ceramic Sun Control Window Film will reject up to 80% of harmful heat-producing infrared rays. It also blocks harmful UV rays that can lead to fading, extending the lives of your furnishings. The non-metalized film is manufactured with a scratch-resistant coating that provides clarity and clear views. This ceramic series is also capable of rejecting up to 59% of the heat coming through your windows, which is especially valuable during the warm summer months.

3M Sun Control Night Vision Series Window Film

Ideal for commercial properties, this window film rejects up to 71% of the sun’s heat to reduce glare and eye discomfort. The film offers enhanced views with very low interior reflectivity, especially at night. Its scratch-resistant coating will provide clear views, while the unique nano-technology provides great color stability. As above, you also get the all-important blocking of harmful UV rays that can cause your furniture to fade.

3M Residential Sun Control Prestige Exterior Series

Arguably the best window film for heat reduction available today, this unit does an excellent job at keeping your space nice and cool. The non-metalized film will reject up to 97% of infrared light, providing energy savings and greater comfort. It allows a high transmission of visual light, adding great aesthetics and a stylish exterior. All products in the prestige exterior series range are great for the environment, becoming carbon negative as quickly as 6 months after installation.

3M Residential Sun Control Neutral Series

An excellent heat reducing window film for those on a budget. This product has excellent heat rejection, resulting in significant energy savings and improved comfort. The soft hues give this window film a very sleek and stylish look, while also reducing glare and any eye discomfort. Harmful UV rays will help prevent your furniture from fading quickly and the comprehensive warranty minimizes any risk on your end.

3M Commercial Traditional Sun Control Series

This modern and stylish series is geared towards commercial properties — offering a great way to improve the energy performance of your building without breaking the bank. It blocks up to 99% of harmful UV rays and is excellent at maximizing your privacy. The tinted reflective films are great for your energy performance and can have this product pay for itself within 3 years.

Contact Window Film Depot, Experts in Window Heat Reduction Film

Providing substantial energy savings, benefiting the environment, and boasting seamless design, window heat reduction film is an essential purchase for businesses looking to lower the energy impact of their windows. For smooth installation and expert advice on what temperature control film is best for your property, you should consult the experts.

At Window Film Depot, we tailor our window film solutions to your property’s unique needs — combining incredible communication with hands-on installation from one of our experienced team members. Contact us today to start the process of finding window heat reduction film for your home or business.

wfd texas school safety standards pr

Window Film Depot Implements Initiatives to Help Texas Schools Meet New Safety Standards

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wfd texas school safety standards pr

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, January 31, 2023— Window Film Depot, a nationwide leader in security window film installations designed to mitigate active shooter incidents, is launching  initiatives to help Texas school systems meet the new safety standards set by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). These new standards are being implemented state-wide in response to the recent school shootings in the state.

The over-arching goal is to increase security for students and faculty by reinforcing vulnerable entry points, such as ground level window and door glass. Specifically, the revised School Safety Standards call for the application of access denial window film to these vulnerable areas with the intention to delay entry into a building through broken glass.

To facilitate these changes, the TEA has allocated $400 million dollars in grants for school districts, which will be available in February 2023. Specifically, this money is to “assist school districts in replacing or upgrading doors, windows, fencing, communications, and other safety measures.” Schools have until February 17, 2023 to apply.

With a looming deadline and the vast number of schools seeking to complete that grant application, Window Film Depot, the nation’s leader in 3M window safety and security window film, is working alongside 3M and Texas local education agencies (LEA) to expedite the procurement process for school administrators.

“Window Film Depot is a trusted resource for schools across the state as they focus on meeting these updated safety standards,” said Krissy Mosby, President of Window Film Depot. “There are many factors for school administrators to consider, and we aim to do our part to ensure that each school is both compliant with the new state-wide regulations and provided with the right solution for their particular building security needs.”

Through educational webinars reviewing product and grant information, and, in certain cases, on-site assessments to help schools ascertain their exact needs and find the right security solutions, Window Film Depot will help school officials evaluate the types of security window film and other solutions available, such as DefenseLite® and BulletShield®, for more robust protection. Window Film Depot’s safety assessments meet the TEA standard requirements. Provided estimates are free to school systems and guaranteed to meet the state deadlines imposed for grant funding.

Window Film Depot has a national footprint, with an office conveniently located in Dallas-Fort Worth to help facilitate the new safety standards in Texas. As such, free assessments are available to schools across the entire state. Assistance is provided to all schools to best determine their security glazing needs, identify vulnerable entry points, and develop accurate quotes based on site specific information.

“We encourage school officials and safety compliance professionals to utilize the resources we are offering to determine how best their Texas School Safety Grant should be allocated for maximum security,” said Donnie McDaniel, Director of Government Sales at Window Film Depot. “Our solutions have been tested to meet Homeland Security, FEMA, GSA, and the Department of Defense standards, and we will help each school determine its unique needs to make the upgrades that will help ensure the safety of the students, faculty, and administrators.”

Window Film Depot has the following tools and resources for Texas school systems:

  • Webinars reviewing product and grant information
  • Compliance guidance for school administrators
  • A user-friendly RFP template to expedite the estimating process
  • Onsite and online threat-level assessments
  • Professional installation services

Estimates from Window Film Depot are broken down by zone, Zone 1 encompassing doors and entryways, per the state standard requirements. Zone 2 covers perimeter windows, which can be added-on and itemized at the school’s discretion for maximum security. TIPS-USA contract pricing is available statewide. Window Film Depot is also a GSA Contract Holder.

School systems are to verify that the new requirements, including security film, are met with the 2023 school year, with a contractor and a timeline in place no later than August 2023.

Schedule a 30-minute webinar to learn how Window Film Depot can assist in meeting School Safety Standards rule requirements.

About Window Film Depot

Headquartered in Marietta, GA, WFD has completed over 50,000 projects, providing architectural film solutions for customers, ranging from the Vatican and the executive branch of the US government to numerous national retailers in all 50 states. Window Film Depot, a subsidiary of FutureVu Brands, is a three time 3M “National Dealer of the Year Award” recipient and the company has been named Window Film Magazine’s ‘Top Window Film Dealer’ on numerous occasions.

Can Bulletproof Glass Be Broken? Bulletproof Glass Myths and Misconceptions

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Commonly used to secure building or car windows, bulletproof glass is designed not to shatter when an object, such as a bullet, hits the surface. It’s often installed as an added security measure in homes, commercial buildings, schools, and government institutions.

Although it is referred to as “bulletproof,” bulletproof glass isn’t designed to be completely impenetrable to bullets. depending on the thickness and quality of the glass, some types of bulletproof glass will shatter with continual impact. These are some of the key myths and misconceptions you should know about bulletproof glass.

6 Common Misconceptions About Bulletproof Glass

1. No Type of Glass Is Completely Bulletproof

Despite the name, there is no such thing as bulletproof glass. While often marketed and portrayed as such, it’s more accurate to call bulletproof glass, “bullet-resistant.” Bulletproof glass can’t deflect bullets or objects. Instead, most of these products absorb the impact of bullets. While bulletproof glass will dissipate a bullet’s energy and prevent damage, certain objects and high-speed bullets can still break through its surface. Some types of bulletproof glass will even deflect a bullet or object.

2. Bulletproof “Glass” Often Isn’t Made of Glass

Because a normal pane of glass is unable to bend and absorb kinetic energy, it will instantly shatter when impacted by a high-force object, such as a bullet or sledgehammer. Many types of bulletproof glass are made from a combination of durable glass and plastic layers, while some are completely made of acrylic or polycarbonate. These film stacks help to absorb the bullet’s impact and prevent the window from shattering.

3. Objects Can Break Through Bulletproof Glass

Despite action movies with bulletproof cars withstanding non-stop rounds of bullets, it is possible for objects to break through bulletproof glass. This depends on a few factors, such as how the glass is made, what it’s made of, and how thick it is. Some types of bulletproof glass are susceptible to repetitive gunshots, blunt objects, and explosions.

4. There’s More Than One Type of Bulletproof Glass

Many people fail to realize that there are multiple types of bulletproof glass solutions. Some variations are made from layers of glass and plastic, while others are completely made of plastic. Other solutions, such as window shields or films, are designed to be applied over existing windows. These different types of bulletproof glass vary in cost and effectiveness, with more expensive solutions tending to be the most resistant to violent forces.

5. It Has More Use Cases Than Just Cars

While the term “bulletproof glass” typically conjures images of bulletproof cars and SUVs, this type of glass is also widely installed in commercial and government buildings, homes, and schools. It provides an extra level of security to any property, protecting people inside the space by keeping intruders and objects outside of the building.

6. It’s Legal for Businesses and Homeowners to Install

Some might think that bulletproof glass is only available for use by politicians and celebrities, but everyone can benefit from utilizing it as a security measure. It is legal for building owners to install bulletproof glass anywhere on private property in order to resist forces from bullets and break-ins. Whether you’re looking for added protection for your car or in your home, bulletproof glass is a valuable option to defend your property.

So, How Does Bulletproof Glass Work?

Glass is a fixed surface that cannot bend to absorb an object’s impact, which causes it to shatter when impacted by a bullet or other hard item. Bulletproof glass works by combining layers of plastic and glass so the plastic can absorb the object’s momentum, preventing it from going through the glass. The thicker the bulletproof glass, the more likely it is to be effective in stopping an object from breaching the barrier.

If bulletproof glass is hit with multiple rounds of bullets, it will likely have marks and cracks. High-quality glass solutions are designed not to shatter or allow the bullets to go inside, despite what damage to the exterior may be visible. It is important to keep in mind that bulletproof glass can change how much light enters a building or create optical distortions. For public buildings such as schools, however, these slight drawbacks don’t outweigh the safety benefits of installing thick, bulletproof glass.


The Different Types of Bulletproof Glass

There are many different variations of bullet-resistant glass commonly used to protect against damage to buildings and vehicles. Each variety differs in durability, cost, materials, usage, and quality.

Laminated Glass

This type of shatterproof glass was the first on the market. Laminated glass is made of a combination of glass and PVB plastic or resin interlayers. While less susceptible to shattering than glass, laminated glass is not completely bullet-resistant. The lamination prevents the glass from shattering inward, but it may not stop a bullet from entering a building.

  • What is it made of? Laminated glass is made of glass and layers of PVB or resin.
  • Durability: While more durable than regular glass, it is unlikely to prevent a bullet or blunt object from puncturing through the glass.
  • Where is it used? Laminated glass is frequently used in vehicles, tall buildings, skylights, balconies, and frameless glass railings.
  • Pros: It’s more challenging to break than regular glass, therefore it is useful as a popular security choice for homes and retailers, as well as helping to protect windows against hurricanes and natural disasters.
  • Cons: Laminated windows are more expensive to repair than regular windows. They may not be able to protect against a determined intruder or a powerful explosion.


Acrylic glass is one of the most common types of bullet-resistant glass. This material is easy to cut and form into unique shapes, like curved windows. Acrylic is not noticeably different from glass, and is able to easily allow sunlight to pass through. Depending on the thickness, acrylic glass can protect buildings from bullets and blunt objects.

  • What is it made of? Acrylic glass is made from a single sheet of acrylic. For better protection, multiple pieces of acrylic can be laminated together.
  • Durability: Acrylic is usually resistant to impact and has 17 times the impact strength of glass.
  • Where is it used? It can be installed in homes, churches, and commercial buildings.
  • Pros: It’s 30 times stronger and twice as light as traditional glass. Acrylic glass is one of the more affordable options on the market.
  • Cons: Acrylic glass is more likely to scratch than glass and isn’t heat resistant. Also, it doesn’t offer the highest level of ballistic protection.


Polycarbonate is a synthetic material that is made up of thermoplastic polymers that contain carbonate structures within their chemical makeup. Polycarbonate is particularly strong and durable.

In addition to being strong and durable it is lightweight, it is softer when compared to other bullet resistant materials. Because of polycarbonate’s softness, it can actually “catch” a bullet within the sheet. The material will not shatter into dangerous shards. As a result, the bullet will not ricochet around the interior protected space potentially causing further damage or injury.

  • What is it made of? Polycarbonate windows and doors combine acrylic, PVB film and polycarbonate, made up of thermoplastic polymers containing carbonate structures in their chemical makeup. Sometimes, polycarbonate sheets are fixed to the outside of existing windows.
  • Durability: Durable against blunt objects and bullet-resistant.
  • Where is it used? Typically installed in commercial businesses and buildings.
  • Pros: It provides a sturdy layer of fragment resistance, is lightweight, easy to cut and shape, and simple to install.

Glass-Clad Polycarbonate

Delivering superior protection against forced entry attempts, glass-clad polycarbonate is made of polycarbonate, acrylics, and other plastic resins. This bullet-resistant glass is more difficult to break than laminated glass. Designed to withstand firearm threats and bomb blasts, it’s one of the most durable bulletproof solutions on the market.

  • What is it made of? Glass-clad polycarbonate is made of a combination of polycarbonate, plastic resins, and glass.
  • Durability: It’s highly unbreakable and impenetrable. Likely to withstand firearm threats, explosions, and aggressive attacks.
  • Where is it used? Installed in military or law enforcement vehicles, government buildings, courthouses, banks, schools, and stadiums.
  • Pros: It will protect glass from gunshots, explosions, and blunt objects. Typically wears well and is used for exterior windows and doors.
  • Cons: It’s one of the most expensive types of bulletproof glass. Glass-clad polycarbonate tends to have poor light transmission


glass thickness impacts bullet resistance

Glass Thickness Impacts Bullet-Resistance

While the material of bulletproof glass certainly impacts its durability and ability to resist impact, the thickness of the glass can change its level of protection. To standardize glass protection ratings, the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) created a 10-level scale. They’re a global safety science company dedicated to research and standards development.

Most bulletproof glass provides Level 1 through Level 4 protection on the UL’s scale.

    • UL 752 Level 1 – Stopped three bullets from a small-caliber, 9mm handgun.
    • UL 752 Level 2 – Stopped three bullets from a large-caliber, 357 handgun.
    • UL 752 Level 3 – Stopped three bullets from large guns such as .44 magnums.
    • UL 752 Level 4 – Stopped one bullet from a .30 caliber rifle.

See how the type and thickness of glass change its resistance to bullets.

Glass Laminate

  • 1.185 Inches – Level 1 Protection
  • 1.4 Inches – Level 2 Protection
  • 1.59 Inches – Level 3 Protection


  • 1.25 Inches – Level 1 Protection
  • 1.375 Inches – Level 2 Protection


  • 0.75 Inches – Level 1 Protection
  • 1.03 Inches – Level 2 Protection
  • 1.25 Inches – Level 3 Protection

Glass-Clad Polycarbonate 

  • 0.818 Inches – Level 1 Protection
  • 1.075 Inches – Level 2 Protection
  • 1.288 Inches – Level 3 Protection
  • 1.338 Inches – Level 4 Protection
  • 2.374 Inches – Level 8 Protection

Overall, glass-clad polycarbonate is the most bullet-resistant. Acrylic panels provide the least ballistic protection, while glass laminate and polycarbonate are ranked between Levels 1 and 3. However, notice that glass laminate must be much thicker than polycarbonate to maintain the same levels of protection.

What Can Break Bulletproof Glass?

As discussed above, the type and thickness of glass change how resistant it is to impact. But what objects can break bulletproof glass, and how quickly?

  • Guns: Repeated gunshots can eventually cause bulletproof glass to shatter and break. However, it depends on the type of gun and how many shots were fired. While glass-clad polycarbonate is the most durable type of glass against gunshots, shots from certain caliber handguns and rifles may eventually wear it down.
  • Sledgehammers: Sledgehammers can’t break polycarbonate or glass-clad polycarbonate, but they can shatter acrylic and laminated glass. However, it would take several minutes or even hours for someone to break it.
  • Dynamite or explosives: Many types of bulletproof glass are resistant to explosives. If an explosive is detonated one or more times near the glass, however, it will eventually shatter. It’s important to note that these types of explosives are illegal for civilians to own.

What Does Bulletproof Glass Protect Against, and Who Should Install It?

Bulletproof glass provides an added layer of security to buildings, including religious buildings and detention centers. It’s an excellent way to protect people during active threats, such as a shooting or break-in. By preventing shattering glass and flying bullets from entering, it can keep people safe and give them time to call for help. The following types of buildings and institutions benefit from bulletproof glass:

Schools and Colleges

With school gun violence on the rise in the United States, security officials and schools are looking for new ways to protect students. Bulletproof glass is part of the answer. Laminated glass and window films can prevent windows from shattering and potentially slow down the intruder, however polycarbonate is the best defense against active shooters. It’s engineered to prevent both bullets and the shooter from entering the building. Bulletproof glass can also be installed in interior rooms as a double layer of protection.

Commercial Buildings

From retailers to banks, businesses are at high risk of break-ins. Regular glass makes it much easier for intruders to quickly break into and enter buildings. Bulletproof or shatter-resistant glass can help burglar-proof a building and make it more challenging for criminals to enter. With so many varieties of security films and bulletproof glass on the market, choosing to install is an easy solution for a building owner to improve the security of first-story windows and doors.

Government Buildings

Government facilities, such as embassies, courthouses, and law enforcement, demand very strict security measures. Many of these buildings require bulletproof windows and doors to protect occupants from bullets and projectiles. Government vehicles, such as police cars, may also have bulletproof windows and windshields to protect against gunshots.


Nowadays, even homeowners are installing bulletproof and shatter-proof glass in their homes to protect against intruders and natural disasters. Bulletproof glass is resistant to high winds and debris caused by thunderstorms or hurricanes. From front and back doors to first-level windows and garage windows, there are many different places homeowners can have bulletproof glass and window film solutions installed.


In addition to government officials and law enforcement, many celebrities and high-profile individuals are hiring professionals to install bulletproof windows and windshields in their cars. While it’s more costly than regular glass, bullet-resistant glass can be life-saving if dangerous situations arise.

protect your home or business with bulletproof glass

Want to Protect Your Home or Business with Bulletproof Glass?

If you’re interested in installing a bullet-resistant or shatter-proof solution in your home, business, or workplace, Window Film Depot has a variety of innovative solutions. Learn more about some of our top-rated ballistic protection solutions.

1. BulletShield™ Ballistic Panel

Sometimes called the “body armor for windows,” our BulletShield solution is a protective system designed for existing windows and door glass. It’s a security shield made out of clear polycarbonate and mounted over the existing glass. This polycarbonate glazing makes windows and doors incredibly bullet-resistant. It’s independently tested and proven to prevent breach against 9mm, .44 magnum, and AR-15 bullets. This solution is ideal for schools, government buildings, courthouses, police stations, and businesses.

2. DefenseLite™ Forced Entry Glazing Solution

DefenseLite is our patented security shield designed to mount onto and reinforce existing glass windows and doors. This solution is a heavy gauge polycarbonate and extruded framing solution. Tested against batons, hammers, and hatchets, this solution withstands blunt objects and force. DefenseLite is a durable and economical protective measure for businesses, schools, and storefronts.

3. 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films

The 3M Ultra Series films are made from clear, tear-resistant film. They’re designed to protect windows from outside dangers and deliver superior performance in blast and impact events. These films are also available in a variety of tints for added privacy. This solution is best for residential homes and some businesses.

Want to learn more about one of our innovative bullet-resistant solutions? Contact our team today and discover how to improve your home’s or business’s security against ballistics. Family-owned and operated since 1992, we’ve been named the number one installing window film dealer in the United States by Window Film Magazine for four consecutive years. Let us help you find the best solution to keep your family, students, or colleagues safe.