How to improve your glazing to increase security
Can window film products improve the security of buildings and homes? Here we provide an overview of the protection they can provide.
The window film industry has come a long way since NASA first asked 3M to invent a lightweight product to use in space exploration to reduce heat and glare.
You may not have heard of this product, but you have almost certainly experienced it, even if it is just within your sunglasses. These advances in window film technology can form part of your overall security measures.
Protection from blast
Although a terrorist attack with an explosive device is thankfully a rare occurrence, the effects can be devastating, resulting in death, serious injury and major damage. When a blast occurs, windows and glass wall panels are shattered. The glass particles from toughened or annealed glass fly with incredible force and it is these particles that cause the damage and trauma.
The risk assessment for new build projects will determine which damage limitation measures should be specified. Existing or historically protected buildings may need a different solution. The National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) recommends the use of Anti Shatter Film (ASF). Read more here: Windows and Glazed Facades
Retrofitting ASF to existing glazing is a low-cost option to replacement: the existing glazing will be upgraded by its application to laminated glass standard. It should be noted that film will need replacing after a number of years. NPSA advice says: “Manufacturers’ warranty periods range from 10 to 15 years, depending on the product and environment it is installed in. External applied films tend to offer reduced lifespans, typically between 5 and 8 years.”
Security with glass safety film
The glazing in your building or home is likely to be the weakest point of entry for any would-be intruder. An attempt to enter premises is usually by force: either by damaging locks or breaking a pane of glass. Most intruders want to be in and out quickly, giving you, your neighbours and response agents little time to apprehend them. Breaking a pane of glass with a few quick blows can be easy in some instances: the entry and exit is established and is relatively quiet save for one crash of glass – usually ignored by those that hear it.
Safety film retrofitted to glass can significantly increase the time taken to break through the glass and require repeated hammering to break through. The noise and time taken is your protection; no intruder will continue to attack glass that is strengthened in this way, and if they do, the chances of apprehension improve as each second ticks by.
The greatest asset of glass is its transparency. Unfortunately, it is also its weakness. The use of glass in buildings and homes provides for easy viewing for anyone to see what you may have or what you are doing. Blinds and curtains provide protection, but for reasons of fashion, safety, cost, and cleaning, may not be practicable.
Privacy window film retrofitted can be the solution to the problem of clear glazing. There are many options available, ranging from slightly obscure to fully mirrored. There is an option for the ability to switch from clear to obscure: and combined films for security, anti-glare, and privacy. Installation of this type of window film can also improve energy efficiencies, leading to large cost savings on energy bills.
Solartek Films Ltd. www.solartekfilms.co.uk