RealShield Protective Plastic Face Shield Covering Masks

COVID-19 Face Shields vs Masks: Which is More Effective?

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RealShield Protective Plastic Face Covering MasksAfter nearly a year of wearing masks, many people are starting to get fatigued by them and looking for an alternative, but is there one? Clear face shields for COVID 19 are often brought up as substitutes, but are face shields as effective as masks?

If you’re exploring alternatives to face masks, make sure you do plenty of research on the benefits and risks of each form of protection so you know you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.

There is plenty of competing information out there, so we have gathered information from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to answer the question, “are face shields as good as masks?”

Are Face Shields Better Than Masks?

To answer this question, we first need to look at how the coronavirus is spread. According to the CDC, “COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout or sing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are near you, or they may breathe these droplets in.” 

For this reason, masks are the best form of protection. Over numerous studies, masks have proven to be the most effective at stopping the spread of these respiratory droplets. On the other hand, plastic face shields can protect the eyes from exposure where masks do not.  

Is Eye Protection Necessary?

One’s eyes are a vulnerable area of exposure to coronavirus-containing droplets. Plastic face shields provide an added layer of protection that most masks lack. For healthcare professionals, educators, restaurant works, care providers, or any individual exposed to people throughout the day, a plastic face mask is recommended reinforcement to minimize spread.  

RealShield Educational Schools Protective Plastic Face Covering MasksKeep in mind that plastic face shields provide an initial barrier of protection, but droplets in the environment can still be inhaled through the open areas around the plastic visor. Face shields are primarily used to protect the eyes but have large gaps below and alongside the face where your respiratory droplets may escape and reach others around you. 

The same goes for breathing in others’ droplets. While there isn’t as much research available on how well face shields protect you from those around you, it can be assumed that if droplets are escaping around the bottom of the shield, they can also be breathed in that way. That means that reusable face shields are best used in conjunction with masks, not in place of them. 

Benefits of Face Shields

The CDC may not recommend using face shields as a substitute to masks, but they are a great addition to them. One major weakness of masks is that they do not protect the eyes of the wearer. When worn along with a mask, face shields provide the most protection, keeping droplets and spray away from the mouth, nose, and eyes. 

Face shields also provide the additional benefit of keeping the wearer from touching their face. One of the main ways viruses like coronavirus is spread through people touching their eyes, nose, or mouth, allowing the virus to enter the body. Face shields prevent the dangerous spread of germs by making it difficult to touch your face with potentially infected hands.

Best Face Shields 

When it comes to keeping employees safe, you don’t want to take any chances. If your employees work in high exposure settings, a face shield can be a very beneficial added layer of defense against contracting COVID 19. 

RealShield is a full-face, clear face shield that protects both employees and customers. It’s durable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear, attaching to most hats and visors. It is reusable and crafted from shatterproof polycarbonate to be washed with soap and water and worn again. This safety face shield for teachers, students, and other employees prevents face touching to mitigate the spread of germs and shields from respiratory droplets that may enter the mouth, nose, or eyes. Available in both adult and child sizes, RealShield is durable, long-lasting, and designed with comfort in mind.

Also available are 3N1 multi-use protective face shields for use in critical care environments. Three removable layers make it easy to dispose of harmful pathogens on the exposed shield, offering three shields in one. The adhesive stays with the discarded layer and eliminates residue on the remaining safety face shields. These face shields for medical workers protect the vision, face, and mouth of emergency, primary, and critical care personnel, all while offering convenience much needed in this fast-paced environment. 

Bulk face shields can be purchased through for use in schools, restaurants, hospitals, churches, or other organizations with many employees in need of face shields. If you’re looking for face shields to keep your employees safe, look no further than RealShield and 3N1 multi-use face shields.

Best Heat Reflective Window Film to Block UVs

Best Heat Reflective Window Film to Block UVs and Regulate Temperature

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Best Heat Reflective Window Film to Block UVs

Whether you need UV reflective window films for commercial or residential use, these window films provide a number of benefits. They are an excellent way to protect furniture and merchandise from fading as well as save you money on your energy bills by helping to regulate internal temperature.

When searching for the right sun reflective window film for your building, there are a few factors you should consider, like exterior appearance, affordability, and installation techniques.

Why You Need Window Film – Energy Efficiency

When it comes to windows, there are two qualities that define energy efficiency: solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and thermal transmittance (U-factor). SHGC is a measure of how much of the sun’s heat is transmitted into a building through the windows while U-factor is a measure of how well the window insulates. For both measures, the lower the number, the better the window will be for energy efficiency in hot summer months. 

If your building doesn’t already have energy-efficient windows, heat rejection window films will help manage SHGC and U-factor to make the building more energy-efficient and provide greater indoor comfort. In this way, these window films will greatly affect your bottom line by reducing air conditioning usage when temperatures outside heat up. 

Why You Need Window Film – UV Blocking

An additional benefit of solar window films is their ability to block dangerous UV rays. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause premature aging of the skin and damage to the DNA in skin cells which can lead to skin cancer. UV exposure can also break down the chemicals in furniture and fabric dyes, causing discoloration and fading.

The right type of reflective UV blocking window film can reject up to 99.9% of damaging UV rays which keep building occupants protected and helps to reduce distracting glare that may cause eye discomfort. This also means that furnishings and merchandise will be more resistant to fading, providing greater longevity to your investments.

What to Consider When Choosing Heat Reflective Window Film

Level of Protection

Sun reflective window films come in a variety of tint levels that provide varying degrees of protection from UV rays. Generally, if you want more protection from UV rays, the tint will be darker and more reflective, but there are also window films that provide very high UV defense while allowing plenty of light inside, like 3M’s Sun Control Prestige Exterior Series.

Exterior and Interior Appearance

Of course, aesthetics also play a role when choosing a window film. Solar reflective window films can be made from an array of materials that provide different effects for both the interior and exterior of a building. 

Some sun control films have darker tints while others are intended to provide the most visibility and highest transmission of visible light for those inside. As far as the exterior goes, some films have increased reflective capabilities to provide additional security and a variety of tones from silver to neutral that can be tailored to your aesthetic.

Installation Technique

Some heat reflective window films come with materials to install them yourself, while others are installed by professionals. There is generally less room for error when trained professionals are the ones installing the window films, so this is the recommended technique. Air bubbles and peeling films become an issue when these window films are applied by those without experience.

The Best Heat Reflective Window Film

If you’re searching for the best window films on the market, 3M’s UV protection films are affordable, non-metalized, multilayer optical films that reject up to 97% of the sun’s infrared light and up to 60% of the heat coming through your windows. 

What sets 3M’s films apart is the precision with which light waves are controlled as they pass through or reflect off of hundreds of layers of film. Compared to other films, 3M Window Films increase performance at a faster rate as the sun’s angle increases. That means greater protection and comfort when you need it the most.

These films are designed from the highest quality materials to be the best solution for your interiors. Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, choosing 3M Sun Control Window Films gives you peace of mind, increasing your level of comfort while minimizing your utility bills and protecting your furnishings.

Professional Installation

Since 1992, Window Film Depot has built a reputation as the #1 3M Window Film installer in the nation. We help a number of customers, ranging from governmental offices to healthcare facilities, purchase and install UV protection window film. 

In addition to sun blocking window film to protect against UV rays, our company is able to combine additional window treatments to help improve the security, comfort, aesthetics, and overall efficiency of your indoor environment. We will help you realize the energy-saving benefits of UV protection film by pairing these features with safety and security window treatments as well as decorative glass films to achieve your desired aesthetic and benefits.

To get the highest quality window films, installed by America’s installation pros, contact Window Film Depot for more information or call (866) 933-3456 to learn more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Does Window Security Film Really Work?

Does Window Security Film Really Work?

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Does Window Security Film Really Work?As a home or business owner, the safety and security of your property and its occupants is important to you. While there are many ways that you can safeguard doors and other access points, glass windows will always be the most vulnerable point in its security. 

In catastrophic situations, broken glass from smashed windows becomes a hazard by turning into razor-sharp projectiles. This is where safety and security window film products can offer a protective element to help mitigate such threats.

But when it comes to fully preventing breakage and shatters, does window security film really work? Below we delve into this important question and what customers should expect from their investment.

How Does Safety and Security Window Film Work?

Normally, when conventional glass windows break, the glass shatters into pieces with some falling to the ground and others remaining attached to the frame. In extreme situations, the loose pieces may fly off and potentially hurt someone or cause further damage. 

Safety and security window film is made up of a thin, micro-layered and tear-resistant plastic film that is applied over the surface of the windowpane and is designed to hold the glass in place when it breaks. Rather than separating into individual pieces, the windowpane stays in place. The film also provides extra strength and resilience to the windowpane which can help stop it from breaking in the case of less severe impacts.

An example of this type of product is 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film, which provides a budget-friendly solution to help minimize damage caused impacts or forced entry. While such safety and security window film provides a high level of glass protection, it’s debated whether or not it’s enough protection for extreme situations. 

Another product is 3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems which securely attach the film-coated window to the frame to stop it from being popped free. This is an essential feature as the window will often become flexible when it breaks. While the glass pieces would still be held in place by the film, the windowpane could potentially be pushed inward and freed from the frame giving an intruder easy access. The attachment system prevents this from happening.

Is Safety and Security Window Film Unbreakable or Shatterproof?

While these products from 3M™ offer adequate safety for most naturally occurring threats, the question remains: are these security window film products completely unbreakable and shatterproof? 

The short answer to this question is no. Although 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film and Impact Protection Attachment Systems are effective in minimizing breakage threats and delaying forced entry attempts, they do not make glass 100% unbreakable or shatterproof.

A stronger and more reliable solution to better prevent shatters and breaks is DefenseLite™, a window glazing solution that’s 250 times stronger than glass alone. DefenseLite™ is not an applied security film, but rather a heavy gauge architectural grade polycarbonate and extruded framing system that’s designed as a retro-fit security shield which mounts onto existing glazing.

DefenseLite™, along with its more advanced ballistic option known as BulletShield™, effectively transforms glass windows and doors into impenetrable shields. While most security window films can delay forced entry for about 30-45 seconds, DefenseLite™ has been engineered to prevent vandals, smash and grab threats, and forced entry attempts. It’s been independently tested with many different blunt force objects ranging from batons, hammers and hatchets with amazing results.

If you’re looking to make glass fully shatterproof and unbreakable, we recommend DefenseLite™ and BulletShield™ as reliable solutions for glass protection. These security window glazing solutions are optimal for schools, educational institutions, government facilities, and other buildings that may be vulnerable to armed intrusion, bomb blasts, and other outsider attacks.

What Situations Does Security Window Film Protect Against?

Although DefenseLite™ and BulletShield™ are the most dependable options to fully prevent breakage and shatters, security window film still has a place for many different applications. Here are a few situations where security window film can help protect your windows, your possessions, and your family from harm.

riot glass protectionVandalism, Break-ins, and Forced Entry Attempts

Burglars are always on the lookout for easy targets to rob. Windows provide easy access to the average home or business premises with a burglar just needing to smash the window and climb right in. By installing security window film, you make your windows a lot harder to break to provide an easy entry point for a robbery. This makes your home or business a much higher risk for the average burglar which means they will likely give it a miss and try to find a more viable target.

While riots and other forms of civil unrest aren’t a common occurrence, they do still happen. Vandalism is a far more common threat, particularly for businesses with large window fronts. In both cases, regardless of the intent of the person who caused the damage, your window has now become an open access point for anyone to enter your property and steal your possessions or business inventory. By installing security window film you limit the chance of your windows shattering entirely and leaving your property unprotected as a result.

Severe Weather and Accidents

The weather can get unpredictably intense at times, with abrupt windstorms and hail being a threat to the integrity of glass windows and doors. A tree branch blown against your window by a strong gust of wind can easily shatter it and send shards flying inside. This leaves the window open to the elements until you can get it repaired.

Accidents around your home can also be a threat to your windows. A backyard game of baseball or a similar sport can quickly get expensive if the ball goes through your window.

In addition to holding your window in place if it gets accidentally broken, safety and security window film can also provide added protection to potentially stop your window from breaking to begin with. A bit of extra strength and resistance can sometimes make the difference between temporary deformation and breakage.

Catastrophic Events

If you live or operate a business in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, and other catastrophic events, then one of your fears might be that such occurrences can result in window breakage in a severe way. This also includes mitigating blasts from human causes, such as riots or terrorist threats. Safety and security window film can help alleviate this concern as reinforced glass is less likely to turn into flying shards if your home is susceptible to violent catastrophic events.

Regardless of any other measures you may take to protect your windows, an extra layer of protection in the form of security window film is a smart investment to make. In addition to providing more protection against damage and theft, adding an advanced form of window protection film will likely help reduce your insurance premiums. Your windows will always be the weakest link in your building’s security chain, so every extra bit of protection you add helps keep you and your building safe and secure.


Safety & Security Smash and Grab Window Film for Retailers

How to Safeguard Your Store with Smash and Grab Window Film and DefenseLite™ Clear Shields

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Safety & Security Smash and Grab Window Film for RetailersRetail smash and grab events are occurring more and more often these days. Amidst times of pandemic and civil unrest, the prevalence of these events can escalate at alarming rates. 

Many types of businesses are at risk fir smash and grab occurrences, however retailers are especially vulnerable. A vast majority of these crimes happen through glass windows and doors. Within a matter of minutes, valuable possessions like computers, inventory, and even private information can evaporate. The idea that this could happen to any retail store is quite unsettling. Fortunately, there are measures that can help protect and reinforce glass windows and doors, and effectively prevent unwarranted entry.

Smash and Grab Prevention Solutions for Retailers

Various types of businesses around the country have invested in window film for its many benefits, including energy savings, enhanced customer and employee comfort, and protecting against the sun’s damaging UV rays. But now more than ever, optimizing the safety and security of a business, its occupants, and its inventory has become a critical priority.

safety security window film retailersAt Window Film Depot, we offer proven products and solutions to prevent smash and grab burglaries. Not only can we recommend the best smash and grab prevention solution, but certain products can also deliver on the various benefits mentioned above. In short, it’s an investment that pays for itself in more ways than one.

What are the best smash and grab prevention solutions for retailers? Below are three different products that we stand behind.

DefenseLite™ Forced Entry Glazing Solution

DefenseLite is an advanced forced entry glazing solution that’s designed to protect against intruders and minimize damage from break-ins and vandalism. Tested to be 250 times stronger than glass alone, DefenseLite is engineered using unbreakable, UV-coated polycarbonates and a proprietary anchoring mechanism that can be mounted onto existing window glazing. 

defenselite window glazing solutionDefenseLite has been independently tested with several different blunt force objects, including batons, hammers, and hatchets. Common applications include schools and universities, corporate offices, retail storefronts, governmental agencies, and other buildings exposed to large populations of people. For a bullet-resistant version of DefenseLite, there’s BulletShield – an impenetrable layer of clear glass protection. 

3M™ Safety & Security Window Films

When it comes to warding-off theft and vandalism, 3M™ Safety & Security Window Films is the best solution for retailers with vulnerable points of entry, such as glass doors and storefronts. In terms of anti-smash and grab window film treatments, 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film is the best measure next to DefenseLite™. 

smash and grab window film defenseliteNot only does it effectively prevent smash and grab attempts, but it mitigates hazards from shattered glass while holding windows and doors in place. In turn, 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film can significantly deter unwarranted entry, stolen products, and further harm to the premise or its occupants.

3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems 

3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems essentially “attach” the security window film to the frame of the door or window. Not to be used as a standalone smash and grab prevention solution, Impact Protection Attachment Systems bind together the glass, film, and frame to form a single, secure unit that’s designed to withstand repeated assaults.

Like other window film and glazing solutions, there are a variety of Impact Protection Attachment Systems available. Selection of the right attachment system is determined by your glass, frame type, and threat.

Protect Your Business and Its Assets

Whether a building demands anti-smash and grab capabilities or more advanced forced entry protection, there are a number of treatments that can reinforce glass against forced entry. For more information about suitable products and installation services, contact us at Window Film Depot or call us at (866) 933-3456.