how does bulletproof glass work

How Does Bulletproof Glass Work

Read More

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.

examples of reinforced storefronts for retail theft prevention

The 2023 Anti-Theft Guidebook for Retail Stores

Read More

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.

Can Bulletproof Glass Be Broken? Bulletproof Glass Myths and Misconceptions

Read More

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.

historic window restoration film

Benefits & Best Practices for Using Window Film for Historic Window Restoration

Read More

window film historic window restoration

Are you looking for a better alternative to new glass additions for a government-owned historic building? Historic window restoration is another suitable option for revamps.

Older buildings provide a sense of nostalgia that allows us to recollect memories from our past. This especially applies to long-standing governmental properties found in historic neighborhoods and major cities. Many have a gorgeous architectural style with classic features and design accents, including vintage-style window film frames. The most popular styles back then were stained glass, arches, and transoms.

Upkeep of a historic property may present greater challenges than that of a modern design. Building decomposition and outdated framing styles are just two of many threats faced by historic building owners. On top of that, they’re up against present-day building code requirements that can be costly to adapt to meet.

When structural window damage affects a government-owned property, remodels should quickly follow. Some building owners automatically believe that new window installations are the answer. To replace window film entirely is not only costly. It can also compromise a building’s historic integrity. Ideal upgrades to an older property should preserve the property’s original elements as closely as possible.

3 Benefits of Historic Window Restoration

When restoring windows on government-owned historic buildings, the U.S. Department of Interior recommends the usage of window film. They even provide guidelines and best practices for doing so in their “Standards for Rehabilitation & Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.”

When the time comes for window renovations on an older property, these benefits alone should convince you that window film restoration is the way to go.

Preserves & Restores Historical Buildings

Simply put, you’re more likely to keep a historic building’s appearance intact with window film restoration–not window film replacements. Going the route of preservation and restoration has its fair share of benefits, including the avoidance of glass damage and the protection of valuable interior furnishings.

Proper maintenance on a building’s original windows is not as invasive as other methods of repair. It’s also less expensive, less time-consuming, and much more sustainably sound.

Increased or Improved Energy Efficiency

Professionally-restored windows are known to increase energy efficiency, which can potentially lead to a 25-30% reduction in heat escaping from the windows.

Much can also be accomplished by retrofitting historic windows with clear film or high-performance glazing, including greater energy efficiency that’ll likely reduce cooling costs by 25-30%.

Additionally, retrofitting curtain-wall systems and historic steel windows has its fair share of sustainability perks–one being improved thermal performance and greater indoor comfort

Advanced UV Ray Protection

When restored properly, window film achieves the goal of blocking harmful UV rays. This can increase prevention of skin damage and deterioration of property valuables.

Where Do I Find Solutions for Historic Window Restoration Near Me?

Do you have pressing needs for historic window restoration on a government-owned building? You can trust Window Film Depot to get the job done!

We offer a vast selection of 3M™ window films used for restoration purposes–including specified products for certain industries. Rest assured that we’re equipped with the right solutions for your project.

Our restoration techniques are top-tier, guaranteeing that you’ll be left with a finished product that exceeds your expectations.

Costs for window preservation may vary based on a number of factors. Contact our team today to request a personalized cost estimate!

Active Shooter Prevention in Schools

Best Window Protection for Active Shooter Prevention in Schools

Read More

Active Shooter Prevention in SchoolsWith cases of gun violence on school campuses on the rise, active shooter prevention should be at the forefront of any security professionals’ mind.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “active shooter situations are usually over within 10 to fifteen minutes.” By that time, law enforcement officials typically arrive on the scene and are able to subdue the threat. This means that active shooter response should focus on slowing the shooter down by making it more difficult to enter the building. 

The primary points of weakness in most schools are the doors and windows on the building’s street level. Our focus will be on reinforcing those areas to deter entry, allowing those inside to get to a safer area, and stopping the shooter from accessing students and staff.

While security measures like locking doors during school hours are necessary to overall safety, they neglect the fact that these aggressors are armed and usually able to gain entry by damaging glass windows and doors. For example, in the Sandy Hook school shooting, the shooter gained entry by shooting out nearby windows after finding the doors locked. Reinforcing glazing near lobbies and other points of entry is a highly effective way to mitigate active shooters

There are two main ways to reinforce existing glazing:

Window Films

Security window films can offer active shooter protection for schools by reinforcing the existing glazing and making windows harder to breach. These multilayer films are tear-resistant and can prevent the glass from shattering, slowing the intruder and allowing more time for law enforcement to arrive on the scene.

“Test data collected in projects supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. General Services Administration have clearly demonstrated that some applications of properly installed security window films and thin laminated glass systems can provide resistance to forced entry even though they were not specifically designed for that purpose.”Applied Research Associates, Inc.

In addition to slowing dangerous criminals, these security films also protect occupants from flying glass shards, a common cause of injuries related to bomb blasts and natural disasters. 

Polycarbonate Security Shields

The best defense against active shooters in schools is bullet-resistant polycarbonate security shields, like BulletShield. Unlike most security window film treatments, BulletShield is a bullet-resistant glazing system that is specially engineered to protect building occupants from ballistic threats. It is typically installed over the existing glass, providing a retrofit solution custom-designed to protect against forced entry. In addition, Bulletshield can be installed on the interior of buildings to create “safe zone”.

BulletShield has been used by thousands of customers throughout the U.S., providing a transparent design that delivers unbeatable performance under attack. It is independently tested to provide UL 752 ballistic ratings, preventing breach against 9MM, .44 Magnum, and AR-15 bullets, to name just a few. In active shooter situations, BulletShield flexes in response to ballistic attack, keeping bullets from entering the building and stopping the shooter from being able to gain entry.

Prevent Active Shooter Situations at your School

If you’re interested in enhancing the safety of your school, following this active shooter protocol for schools can prevent attacks and keep students and staff safe. At Window Film Depot, our top priority is making schools safer, so we offer discounted programs offered specifically for schools and campuses. 

In addition to making bullet-resistant glass treatments more available to schools and educational facilities, there is also a program designed specifically for NSSF members and protecting stores from unwanted entry and inventory theft. If you’re ready to install BulletShield or have more questions about enhancing the safety of your school, contact Window Film Depot online or call 1-866-933-3456.

BulletShield Ballistic Window Protection Product

What is Ballistic Glass? Which Solutions Protect Windows Best?

Read More

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.

How to Burglar Proof Windows and Prevent Break Ins

Unbreakable Glass Windows: What Options Actually Work?

Read More

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

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

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

What Is Unbreakable Glass?

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

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

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

Laminated Glass (aka “Shatterproof Glass”)

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

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

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

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

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

Polycarbonate Panels

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

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

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

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

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

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

retail theft prevention

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

Read More

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

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

Mobile Communications Store

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

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

See more information about the case study.

Outdoor Clothing Retailer

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

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

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

See more information about the case study.

Retail Warehouse

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

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

What’s the Best Retail Theft Prevention Solution?

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

glass door security film

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

Read More

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

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

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

Protecting Schools Unwarranted Entry and Threats

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

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

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

Preventing Looting, Burglaries, and Smash and Grab Attempts

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

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

Glass Door Security Film for Residential Applications

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

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

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