Smart Film used in Dressed event in Georgia

The Varied Uses of Smart Film

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Leading architect firm Hendricks taps NGS to spice up their runway model with Smart Window Film

NGS collaborated with architectural firm Hendrick, to enter Dressed – an event that gives “a unique opportunity to… architectural and design industry manufacturers to create one of a kind, wearable garments out of non-traditional materials for a runway extravaganza.”  NGS used Smart Window Film as part of the model’s shield. The outfit created by Hendrick and NGS won two awards:

  • Second place Overall
  • People’s Choice Award

Reach out to NGS today to discover even more of the wide variety of Smart Window Film uses!

Hurricane wind and waves crashing on a shore

Storm and Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Businesses

By | Storm Mitigation, window film | No Comments

Disclaimer: There is no such thing as “stormproof windows,” “hurricane-proof windows,” “hurricane-proof buildings,” or “hurricane-proof window film.” If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, please evacuate the area and stay away from windows. Learn more about what window film can and can’t do for hurricanes in our upcoming blog: “Hurricane Proof Buildings and Windows – Fact vs. Fiction.”

 

You’ve been watching the forecasts, reading the news, and checking all the updates. You know what the path of the next hurricane is… and you know that it’s coming your way. It’s time to take action immediately, so you can protect your business. 

But then panic sets in: What do you protect first? What’s the most important thing to take care of? What’s the best way to prepare for the worst? 

Typically, experts suggest that when you’re preparing for storms, floods, hurricanes, and other dangerous weather events, that you focus on the safety of the three most critical parts of your business: your people, your assets, and your location

Protect the most important parts of your company using this hurricane preparedness list, and please continue your research into hurricane and storm safety by tapping into other free resources, such as FEMA

Protect Your People

If your employees are caught inside your location during a storm, hurricane, or other weather emergency, it’s up to you to keep them safe. Flying debris is one of the biggest direct causes of injury and death during a wind-related weather event, so your first safety priority should be to limit the risk that flying debris will impact your location. 

To help protect your people: 

  • Use hurricane shutters or impact-resistant polycarbonate, such as Riot Glass, to shatterproof windows and prevent flying debris from breaking your glass storefronts. Add more protection with 3M shatter-resistant film for windows, which uses powerful adhesive to prevent glass from shattering, even if it does get hit by debris.

(As an added bonus, shatter-resistant security window film such as 3M Ultra and solutions such as Riot Glass can also stop thieves, burglars, and post-storm looters in their tracks.)

  • Get on the phone with your contact lists. Explicitly inform employees, vendors, scheduled maintenance professionals, and clients expecting meetings that no one should come to your location until the storm danger is cleared. If you have online customers, let them know that their shipments may be delayed. 
  • Stock your store with an emergency supply kit that contains food and water, first aid equipment, and other survival essentials, so that you and your employees can wait out the storm if need be. 

Safeguard Your Assets

Every weather event, from hurricanes to flooding and from fires to blizzards, is likely to severely damage your business assets. In a hurricane, inventory is subject to water and mud damage, fixtures can wash away in a sea of sewage sludge, and electrical hazards can cause smoke or fire damage. 

Protect your assets by preparing in advance: 

  • Look carefully through your insurance records, as well as through the paperwork for your assets. Check to see how your assets are insured, get the facts on what you’re leasing versus what you own, and figure out what your responsibilities are regarding assets that you’re leasing. 
  • Document all your inventory and assets with photos and videos and make sure you have a secure duplicate backup of your inventory records, including asset valuations. 
  • Ensure you have a backup generator (and that you know how to use it), and keep it topped off with fuel, so you can rely on it when you need it. 

Secure Your Location

Of course, natural disasters are extremely unpredictable, so nothing is ever 100% hurricane proof – but when you use the right window security solutions, you can trust that you’ll have done your best to mitigate the worst of the storm

Here are other ways you can secure your location:

  • Turn off and unplug all electrical devices at your store. Severe storms have a tendency to break gas lines, and it just takes one small spark from an electric device turning on to ignite a location filled with natural gas. 
  • Anchor large furniture and fixtures to wall studs. This helps prevent additional damage caused by flooding and can help reassure you that your location is more secure when you’re able to return to it. 

Keep Your Business Hurricane Savvy

These tips will get you started securing your people, assets, and location from storm-related disaster, but there’s a lot more you can do to protect your retail location. There are many resources online that can help you create a hurricane storm preparedness list for businesses and stay storm-ready in other ways, but one of the best ways to protect your location is to prepare in advance. 

Become a “hurricane savvy” leader, starting today, by taking a few minutes every day to focus on storm and emergency safety procedures. Look around your location to identify large fixtures you need to secure or electric devices you’ll want to turn off. Pick up an emergency supply kit next time you’re driving back from a meeting. Ensure your contact lists are up to date. 

And, of course, start investigating window and glass safety options by looking into your options for 3M shatter-resistant film and shatterproof windows. While none of these options are stormproof or hurricane-proof, they will help you mitigate the damage that severe weather events can cause. 

For that last one, NGS has got you covered

As the nation’s #1 Commercial Window Film Company and the team behind some of today’s top window security innovations including TRI-SHIELD and Invisicade, NGS has the expertise to help you determine the best window and storm security solutions for your store. 

 

Check out additional tips for securing your business from a wide variety of modern dangers.  

Strong blowing wind showing hurricane window film

Storm and Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for Offices

By | Damage reduction window film, Storm Mitigation, window film | No Comments

Disclaimer: There is no such thing as “stormproof windows,” “hurricane proof windows,” “hurricane proof buildings,” or “hurricane proof window film.” If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, please evacuate the area and stay away from windows. Learn more about what window film can and can’t do for hurricanes in our upcoming blog: “Hurricane Proof Buildings and Windows – Fact vs. Fiction.”

 

Hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30, and leading weather forecasting service, AccuWeather, has predicted a near- to slightly-above-normal hurricane season for 2019. Hurricane Dorian was only one of the 12-14 storms weather experts are calling for; according to AccuWeather’s estimation, we could be in for another 3 major hurricanes before the season is through

It’s a stormy year ahead of us and that means it’s up to you to protect your commercial buildings from hurricanes and natural disasters – starting now. 

Not sure where to begin? With this brief checklist, you’ll be well on your way to mitigating storm impacts on your building. However, this storm preparedness checklist for offices should be only the first step in your preparation process. Once you’ve read this article, check out more in-depth emergency planning recommendations from trusted online sources like FEMA

Start Your Checklist with These 5 Storm and Hurricane Preparedness Activities

As a commercial building owner or manager, your top focus will be to ensure your tenants’ safety and continued business operations. Stay on top of your responsibilities when you start with these 5 top tasks: 

Secure your building’s windows

Flying debris is one of the biggest dangers during a hurricane, which is why you have a supply of hurricane shutters in the basement. But hurricane shutters are a hassle because they have to be installed just barely before the storm hits. Shatterproof windows such as Riot Glass are a better solution for hurricane window protection because they keep your tenants and building emergency-ready at all times. They also have the added benefit of keeping out thieves, burglars, and post-storm looters.

3M shatter-resistant film is another option for storm protection that you may want to consider. Though it’s important to understand that no window film can be classified as “hurricane proof,” shatter-resistant films use a powerful adhesive, strengthened plastic films, and window anchoring systems to keep your windows from shattering in dangerous situations

Plan for pre-storm emergency service

Windows aren’t the only things that break during a hurricane. To prepare for dangerous high winds, make sure you shut off pipes for gas and flammable liquids to protect your building and tenants’ assets if the pipes break. In addition, it’s a good idea to check for weak areas on the roof and ensure your fire safety equipment is up to date and properly functioning. While you’re at it, check your sump pump too. 

Call in the professionals

Hurricanes and natural disasters are destructive, so it’s unlikely your commercial building will escape a major storm scot-free. You may need to take care of flooding damage or fire damage, and you’ll usually have to handle some wind damage too, so it’s a smart idea to create your preferred list of maintenance and repair people in advance. That way you can be ready to mobilize your repairs instantly, so your tenants can get back on their feet fast.

Educate your tenants

You may assume everyone in your building understands what to do to mitigate storm damage, but you know what they say about assumptions… 

It’s a good idea to remind tenants to turn off electric devices, backup their data, and stay home. While you’re at it, make sure your tenants understand your building’s emergency escape routes. (A good way to reinforce this information is to use reflective, waterproof wayfinding signage throughout your building, which tells tenants and their customers where building safe zones are located.) 

Check over your records

Not 100% sure what your responsibilities are before, during, and after a natural disaster? Double-check all your paperwork to make sure you’re meeting your obligations. Look over insurance policies and contracts – and while you’re at it, take care of some common-sense emergency precautions, such as cutting down trees that are too close to your building; setting up sandbags; and moving portable outdoor features, like planters and benches, inside.

Start Here for Better Natural Disaster and Hurricane Protection 

While there’s no such thing as “hurricane proof buildings” or “stormproof buildings,” you can certainly make your commercial building as hurricane resistant as possible. As you saw in the checklist above, most items focused on getting your building and tenants back to work as fast as possible after a storm hits. 

Only one item on the list helped you actually prevent damage from occurring in the first place: securing your building’s windows. 

Few commercial building managers realize the wide range of benefits that effective glass film installation can provide, including everything from storm mitigation with anti-theft capabilities to increased energy efficiency to happier tenants with more lucrative contracts for you. 

But to get all these benefits, you’ll need to work with an experienced, nationally recognized window film installer with a focus on security window film and storm-mitigation solutions.

NGS has got you covered. 

As a national leader in security window film and shatterproof windows, NGS, the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S., can help you choose the best storm safety solutions for your needs and budget. We can also take care of all the details and install your solutions in record time, with no interruption to your tenants. 

 

Access the guide, so you can learn more about protecting your commercial building and your tenants. 

Skyscrapers with commercial window tinting

The Benefits of Commercial Window Tinting

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Commercial window film or, as it’s commonly known, “commercial window tinting,” can bring benefits to many types of businesses. Hotels, hospitals, banks, retail stores, schools, government services, and many other organizations can maximize energy-efficiency, cost-savings, employee productivity, and security – all with the help of commercial building window tinting.

From aesthetics to security to sustainability, here’s a quick list of what you can expect from commercial-grade window tint.

Aesthetics

We’ve all seen the buildings with decrepit window tinting that’s cracked, bubbled, mismatched, and a hideously ugly color. There are many ways that old window film can make your building look dreadful, but these bad installation jobs are just that: bad installations from inexperienced window film companies.

When you choose an experienced, national leader for commercial window film installation, you have many options for beautifying your building. Modern window film technology can provide:

Security

It can take as little as 60 seconds for a thief to smash and grab your assets, but if this happens to you, it can take hours, days, or even weeks to sort through the resulting chaos.

Modern commercial window films offer a wide range of security-enhancing benefits, including:

Sustainability

All businesses are striving for sustainability in today’s world. Energy-efficient window film is an easy-to-maintain, low-cost solution that can lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

Although not all of the available sustainable options are technically “window tinting,” they are all advanced, modern solutions that any organization can use to boost their bottom line. These include:

  • Thermal window films or known as LOW E films that regulate your indoor temperatures to reduce overall heating and cooling costs (many businesses buy 3M Thinsulate window film to achieve this aim)
  • Cutting-edge solar films that offer clear, tint-free views, day or night, while maximizing employee productivity and reducing lighting costs
  • Attractive eco-wraps, also known as architectural film, which refresh building interiors and exteriors without resulting in the waste of a remodeling project

Get the Most from Your Commercial Window Tinting

Aesthetics, security, and sustainability are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of commercial window tinting – and since the window film industry is always changing, there’s always more to learn about your options for commercial-grade window film.

Get the facts and tap into all the benefits your organization deserves when you work with the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the US: NGS.

Specializing in nationwide service, available at a moment’s notice and around the clock, NGS helps you take care of every aspect of your commercial window tinting installation, no matter how big the job.

Check out the gallery to learn more about your options for commercial window tinting and get ideas for your project.

Skyscraper with commercial office window tint

Top 5 Reasons to Tint Your Office Windows

By | window film | No Comments

Before we begin, let’s get one thing clear. Crystal clear, in fact, because window “tint” can be crystal clear. “Tint” is an old term for an ancient concept.

You see, when commercial office window tinting first became popular, businesses only had the option of choosing from a range of different tints, somewhat like sunglasses for a building. But times have changed, technology has evolved significantly, and modern commercial office window tinting can pretty much look any way you want it to.

Perhaps you want it crystal clear, as we said earlier. Perhaps you want it colorful. Maybe you want something in between? Read on to learn why modern business leaders and building managers are choosing office building window tinting – which doesn’t have to be tinted.

Why Window Tinting Office Buildings Might Be a Good Idea for You

Here are some of the most popular reasons why business leaders like you are choosing window tinting for their buildings. If you get inspired by any of the ideas below and want to see how they would look on your building, contact NGS to set up an in-depth 3D Building Modeling session, so you can check out your options in action.

Here are the 5 reasons why window “tinting” may be right for you:

1. Security

There are many different ways that you can improve security for your building but, quite frankly, not all building security solutions make sense. For example, putting bars on your windows turns your building into a prison, and replacing 100% of your glass with polycarbonate panels is simply not cost-effective (though polycarbonate in key areas is extremely effective).

However, there are affordable and effective measures you can take that will increase your building security. 3M Mirror Film can provide a one-way privacy window film that helps your security team maintain full visibility of your interior, without giving away their presence.

Even better, the 3M Ultra window film series is designed to slow thieves and shooters down long enough for law enforcement to arrive on the scene and protect your people and assets.

2. Enhancing the View

If your building has impressive and spectacular views, you want to make sure that you can see them clearly. You’re certainly paying for the views… so why would you hide them behind distracting glass glare and ugly blinds?

Sun reflective window film is an easily installed, low-cost solution that highlights that view you’ve invested in, so you can show it off to your clients. NGS offers 3M sun control window film options, such as the 3M Prestige series, a spectrally select film that’s not only crystal clear, it also has the highest ratio of light transmission to heat rejection when applied to the exterior of dual-pane glass. Clearly put, window film allows for more glare-free, natural light along with unimpeded views.

Don’t forget your stunning nighttime views! The cityscape at night is also a breathtaking vision, and you shouldn’t have to block it with the reflection of your interior office lights. Make the most of your nighttime views with 3M Night Vision film.

3. Lowered HVAC Costs

Our planet just experienced the hottest summer ever recorded, and most business leaders are at least a little worried about what the coming winter might bring. Nobody wants to keep paying ever-increasing heating and cooling costs.

One commonly overlooked advantage of window film is its ability to reduce your heating and cooling costs throughout the year – it’s like insulation for your windows! Low Emissivity (“Low E”) Film, such as 3M Thinsulate, can transform a single-pane window into the thermal performance capabilities of a double-pane, or transform a double-pane window into the performance of a triple-pane.

Even better, achieving these benefits by installing window film gets you all the performance at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to replace all your windows, which means you’ll get double savings.

4. Lowered Lighting Costs

The second-most expensive cost in your commercial building comes from your lighting needs. At this point, it’s a workspace truism that natural light is better for employee productivity than artificial light, but natural light can increase problems like productivity-killing glare. Distracting glare is one of the reasons why window-filled offices are still paying too much for artificial lighting.

Flexible solutions such as 3M Daylight Redirecting Film rely on microscopic structures within the film to give you the ability to lower your lighting costs by comfortably redirecting up to 80% of natural light onto the ceiling. In addition, Daylight Redirecting Film can extend natural light as deep as 40 feet into the office, glare-free.

This provides you with an advantage on both ends: lower expenses and higher employee productivity. How can you lose?

5. Interior Aesthetics

One of the problems with motivating employees in an office building is that office buildings look too much like… office buildings. A University of Texas study showed that drab, colorless, featureless workspaces induced feelings of sadness and depression in workers. To us, that sounds like a recipe for disengagement and high turnover.

Patterned and frosted privacy window film is one of many window film options that can bring variation into an office environment; printed graphics are another motivation-boosting film solution. One example, 3M Fasara decorative window films, are textured, patterned, colored, and frosted, so they can be used in a variety of ways.

Will your company choose to make colorful, die-cut logos for branding, or use 3M Mirror Film as a beautiful one-way privacy window film that sets apart open office areas and conference rooms? Perhaps you’ll use solar window film to reduce glare like Delta did in the Atlanta Airport, or you’ll turn to smart film that changes glass from clear to opaque using your smartphone. The sky’s the limit with flexible window films.

You Can “Tint” More Than Just Your Windows

At this point, it’s clear (crystal clear!) that the idea that commercial office window tinting has to be tinted is a misconception. However, many business leaders also have a misunderstanding about where they can use office building window tinting.

Take note: You can tint more than just your windows and glass.

Today’s high-tech film solutions can be applied anywhere: from your floors to your ceilings, indoors and out. Some film solutions, like 3M DI-NOC, can be applied to the outside of your building to update your façade at a fraction of the cost of a remodel; other film solutions, like Casper Cloaking Film, can be used to filter out light from a TV screen in a conference room, so your strategic discussions stay private from outside eyes. Modern films can even cover the entire exterior of your building with a massive graphic!

There’s a lot more to “window” films than most people expect and investigating your options can get a bit overwhelming. That’s why it’s a smart choice to explore your options with an expert who can guide you toward appropriate solutions that will work for your office buildings.

NGS is the expert you’re looking for.

As the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S., NGS offers the guidance and expertise you need to select the right film for your offices – and we also have a nationwide team of installers who can get your film on your building in record time. Need a custom solution? We can handle that too with end-to-end services, including printing and design, that covers your whole project from concept to completion.

 

Check out the commercial office window tinting brochure to discover more of your options.

 

Children walking down the stairs in a school showing the importance of school safety

Back to School Safety Tips

By | Education, safety & security Films, window film | No Comments

The school season is back in full swing across America, which means school safety is on everyone’s mind. Whether you’ve been tasked with creating a back to school safety plan to stop an active shooter, or you’re simply looking for school safety ideas to keep your district’s students out of harm’s way, this article will help introduce you to the top tips experts suggest for enhancing safety at school during back-to-school time and beyond. 

Do you have specific safety questions? Get fast answers when you ask the school safety window film experts at NGS, one of the leading window film installers in America. 

Harden Your Glass

According to the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a key finding for school security lies in the use of better glass protection. The Sandy Hook Advisory Report recommends the following, because a school’s glass is its most vulnerable area.

  • “Design windows, framing and anchoring systems to be shatter-resistant, burglar resistant, and forced entry resistant” 
  • “Resistance for glazing may be built into the window or applied with a film”

Applying window film or using virtually shatterproof “glass” lookalike technology can maintain the sunlight required for effective learning, yet protect students and staff from shooters and other hazards, such as explosions, storms, and high-speed flying debris. 

Some of the most popular methods for hardening school glass include: 

3M Ultra 

A thick, yet fully transparent window film with various levels of tinting and frame anchors, 3M Ultra can resist attack from bullets, bats, rocks, kicks, and other aggressive entry methods

Watch the Houston ISD Police Department combine more than 100 hits from bullets and bodily attacks as they spend more than 6 minutes trying to break through 3M Ultra film: 

Riot Glass

When you want virtually shatterproof windows, Riot Glass is your answer. This innovative solution looks just like glass and is attractively installed using a nearly invisible rail mounting system, yet it keeps attackers and would-be intruders out of your building to increase safety at school. 

Check out how Riot Glass stops intruders: 

TRI-SHIELD

Providing a triple-layer of shatter-resistant glass protection that includes a solid door anchoring system to keep glass firmly attached to its frame, TRI-SHIELD delivers effective school safety at a fraction of the cost of many other solutions

Watch TRI-SHIELD stop an intruder: 

Obscure Line of Sight

Keeping intruders out of your building is only half the problem. If school safety issues arise from someone who is already in the building, it’s important to block their progress. 

Intrusions, attacks, and active shooter situations inside a school can be mitigated by privacy window film such as 3M Fasara decorative films or 3M Mirror Film. 

3M Fasara

Available in a very wide variety of patterns and styles, including privacy-friendly etching, fogging, and engraving, 3M Fasara lets light in but blocks the view for uninvited onlookers. 3M Fasara can be used in any lighting situation and on any glass surface, and can also be cut into shapes, swirls, or your school mascot – so your school safety window film does double duty as a school spirit booster. Window graphics may also help block line of sight. 

3M Mirror Film

One way mirror film from 3M offers classrooms a clear view out of the room, but displays an impenetrable, security-friendly mirrored view for outsiders looking in. This film is ideal for small classrooms and spaces, or for adding privacy to portions of rooms, but call in an expert before making your decision because it only works in specific lighting situations. 

Perform Regular Drills

They say: “practice makes perfect” and that concept applies to school safety as well. School safety window film provides the physical barrier required when creating a school safety plan for active shooters, but drills help your students, staff, and visitors understand how they can use these safety tools to their own advantage in an emergency. 

Effective active shooter training for schools includes making sure everyone in the school knows how to react and where to go during a crisis and, during drills, you can reinforce emergency information with clear signage posted throughout the school on windows, walls, doors, lockers – even on floors! 

Products such as 3M Envision and 3M Controltac affix to virtually any surface, indoors or outdoors, to help you designate school safety zones and direct school occupants throughout your buildings (even in low-light situations). They’re also one of those great school safety ideas that work especially well in non-school district buildings that don’t often run drills. 

Other safety and drill procedures that can help improve school security include: 

  • Self-defense training for teachers and staff
  • Mandated memorization of school floorplans and layout, for both students and staff
  • Strategic classroom setup, including natural barriers near the door, teaching as far away from the door as possible, and creating a quick entrance blockade option for lockdown situations
  • Non-standard drill procedures, such as evacuating through classroom windows or initiating lockdown drills during lunch
  • School closed-door policies with intercoms and camera verification at the entrances and locked classroom doors

Increased counseling staff and a focus on student bullying prevention strategies 

In addition, schools can benefit by learning about how security film and film anchoring systems work – and discover why there is no “one size fits all” method that covers all your doors and windows. Check out the security film training video below: 

How Can You Prevent School Shootings?

Your district’s teachers are in charge of educating children. The various school staff members are in charge of taking care of paperwork, advising students, supporting students’ health and wellbeing, and making sure your community’s children have well-balanced, healthy meals each day. However, Facilities and Maintenance professionals like you may have the hardest task of all

Without secure schools, students and teachers won’t feel safe or focused, the district will have a difficult time filling critical supplementary staff positions, and parents will worry about their children while they’re attending their day-to-day classes. 

In other words, it’s up to you to prevent school shootings – and that’s a heavy responsibility to have. 

Although there’s no way to predict when and where a school shooting will occur, there is a way to protect your community’s children while they’re at school. Preventing school shootings largely relies on stopping active shooters in their tracks, and the best way to do that is to harden your buildings’ security against the worst-case scenario

 

Continue your research into school security tactics when you access the resources available on our School Safety page. 

Students walking down a school hallway showing the importance of school safety

Top 5 Things to Improve the Safety of Your School

By | Education, safety & security Films, window film | No Comments

We’ve all imagined the scenario. After Parkland, after Sandy Hook, after Columbine, we’ve all thought, “What would happen if a school shooting happened here?” 

Perhaps you thought of it as you were preparing your district’s buildings for the new school year over the last month – while you were cleaning all that glass in the front, refinishing the floors, and painting the walls and lockers in the long, echoing, empty hallways. 

It’s enough to make your heart start hammering. 

The fact is that, these days, we all must accept that school shootings are at least a possibility in any school, in any district… but, luckily, it’s within your power to keep your students and staff safe

Here are the top solutions schools around the nation are using to strengthen their security and protect their students. To help you easily prioritize, we’ve listed these items in order of effectiveness. 

Impact-Resistant “Glass”

When you’re wanting to keep active shooters out of your school buildings with truly shatterproof windows, the absolute best solution for blocking them is to use impact-resistant technology that looks like glass, such as Riot Glass. 

As you can see in the video above, Riot Glass provides a virtually impenetrable defense against would-be intruders to your school. Plus, because of its nearly invisible rail mounting system, Riot Glass doesn’t stand out as an obvious security measure, thereby maintaining your schools’ aesthetics and welcoming façades. 

Shatter-Resistant Glass Films

Because it requires replacing the existing glazing, most schools choose to only install Riot Glass in the most vulnerable entrance points to their buildings. However, an active shooter may choose to sneak into a school using a window. If the shooter has already been admitted to the building lawfully (as in the case of a student shooter), the shooter can gain access to locked rooms by breaching interior door or window glass.  

To protect against active shooters inside the building, it’s a smart idea to strengthen windows and interior glass features using extra-strength glass bonding adhesives and films

Untreated glass typically prevents intrusion for a mere 67 seconds, but leading solutions provide 42 layers of tear resistance that can hold your existing glass windows together for a surprisingly long time – even if a shooter tries to break the glass by hitting and shooting the glass more than 100 times. 

Not sure if a window film can truly hold up against an active shooter? Check out this video, in which the Houston ISD Police Department tests various thicknesses of 3M Scotchshield Ultra safety and security films and is unable to breach the glass after 6 minutes and 15 seconds, 69 bullets, and 87 direct hits. 

Solutions such as 3M Scotchshield Ultra safety and security films paired with innovative 3M impact protection adhesive, create a virtually shatterproof security window film solution that also provides superior protection against storms, explosions, and flying debris. Choose a film that passes ASTM E 1996 / E 1886 Missile Level C rating to keep your district’s students safe inside your buildings during some of the worst natural and man-made disasters. 

Privacy Window Films

Of course, active shooters don’t have to breach glass and get inside a room or a building in order to do harm. With sniper rifles, they can shoot inside classrooms from a hidden, exterior location, or they can simply aim and fire into a classroom from that hallway you carefully painted this summer. 

An effective way to block sniper or distance attacks is to install privacy and reflective films throughout your buildings. 

3M Mirror Film provides the privacy classrooms need without blocking light or making rooms feel closed in. By creating a one-way mirror effect, students, teachers, and visitors can see out of the classroom, but an active shooter can’t see in. (However, 3M Mirror Film only works in specific lighting and isn’t usable for all situations. Learn more about 3M one way mirror film specifications.

To block a sniper’s view from outside the building, many schools choose to install reflective films, which maintain privacy inside a building during daylight hours and also provide significant energy savings. 

Clearly Marked “Safe Zones”

If your schools face an active shooter situation, one of the first actions you must take is to move all building occupants into safe zones and impose a lockdown. Regular drills are critical for orderly lockdown procedures, but we all know how chaotic the lockdown situation would be if a real threat were roaming the hallways. Children aren’t known for their cool approach to emergencies. 

To ensure the safety and security of all students and staff, as well as school visitors unfamiliar with the lockdown procedure, many school Facilities and Maintenance Managers are choosing to install clear signage throughout the school – on doors, floors, walls, and glass surfaces

3M Envision and 3M Controltac graphic signs can be installed on any surface, indoors or out, and can include anti-skid overlaminates that help students maintain their footing if the sprinklers soak the floors. These signs can also be manufactured with reflective lettering and images for low-light situations in a power outage or lights-out attack. 

An Atmosphere of Safety and Orderliness

Of course, one of the best ways to keep your school safe is to promote an atmosphere of welcoming safety and security throughout all school rooms and buildings. This means you must remove graffiti immediately on all surfaces, including on windows, doors, bathroom stalls and mirrors, administrative office countertops, and other areas that students often vandalize. 

However, we understand that removing constant graffiti can feel like a losing battle. 

To help make your maintenance activities faster and easier, 3M offers a variety of products, including anti-graffiti laminates that make it possible to simply peel off graffiti, etching, and spray paint, quickly and easily – from glass and other smooth surfaces. 

To restore cleanliness to vandalized bathroom stalls, many districts turn to 3M DI-NOC architectural film, which resurfaces metal doors (and a variety of other surfaces) within hours, at a fraction of the cost of remodel or replacement. 

Keep Your School Safe

School safety requires a different kind of critical thinking and it can be hard to get in the habit of viewing school rooms as “areas of vulnerability.” Worrisomely, many district Facilities and Maintenance professionals may overlook key areas of attack because they’re focused instead on the many other concerns that school buildings have, such as accessibility, aesthetics, HVAC, and plumbing. 

Concerns like these are important for the day-to-day functioning of a school but, as we’ve all seen time and again, aesthetics, HVAC, and plumbing considerations mean very little in the event of an active shooter situation. In worst-case scenarios, you need to limit access to your buildings and classroom, so you can protect the students and staff who are hiding inside. 

They’re counting on you for shelter. 

 

Get an expert security assessment for your district’s buildings. Contact NGS, the industry leader in safety and security film solutions, to schedule your district’s free school security evaluation now

 

Student in a classroom learning about school safety

School Safety Window Film Comparison

By | decorative films, Education, Floor Graphics, safety & security Films, window film | No Comments

You’re in charge of school safety and security for your district, which is a heavy responsibility. Ensuring the safety of students, staff, and school visitors from all manner of dangers requires you to think a few steps ahead of potential threats, every day

You know how important active security measures are (that’s why you run safety drills and why each classroom has a laminated booklet that outlines lockdown and shelter-in-place procedures), but you may not know how effective passive security measures can be. 

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission’s report states that schools should “Design windows, framing and anchoring systems to be shatter-resistant, burglar resistant, and forced entry resistant,” and states that “Resistance for glazing may be built into the window or applied with a film,” so let’s talk about security film, as well as other passive security tactics you can use to keep your district safe.

Shatter-Resistant Security Film

Shatter-resistant security film is one of your best defenses against everything from natural disasters to bomb blasts to intruders. Some of the leading brand names for this type of film include 3M Ultra and TRI-SHIELD.

Check out the active shooter simulation/ demo video conducted with Houston ISD PD  & NGS, using with 3M Ultra & TRI-SHIELD!

3M shatter-resistant film and TRI-SHIELD deliver tear-resistant technology with up to 42 micro-layers of protection and frame anchoring systems that: 

  • Prevent glass shatter and flying glass shards or spall, post-impact
  • Strengthen glass to resist breakage when hit with a weapon
  • Maintain glass structure, even after eventual breakage, requiring intruders to break all the glass before gaining entry
  • Buy time. Slow down or potentially prevent entry during an active shooter or forced entry event

It’s important to note that shatter-resistant film is not shatterproof. There is no such thing as shatterproof security window film. Instead, many schools use extremely strong, breach resistant Riot Glass which relies on an attractively invisible rail mounting solution for virtually shatterproof polycarbonate windows.

Privacy Window Film

Decorative privacy window film and one way privacy window film create safe zones that block a potential shooter’s view into classrooms and other indoor areas – without blocking natural daylighting. 

Innovative film solutions such as 3M Fasara and 3M Mirror Film support student, staff, and visitor safety because they:

  • Obscure the view into classrooms, activity areas, and administrative zones
  • Maintain a modern, welcoming façade with solid security
  • Prevent successful sniper attacks by blocking exterior views 

For privacy on demand, today’s school safety supervisors are increasingly choosing smart film, which transforms glass from clear to opaque with the tap of a button.

Wayfinding Graphics 

In an emergency, your #1 task is to get students, staff, and visitors to safety. Wayfinding floor graphics and wayfinding signage graphics can help direct everyone to safe zones protected by shatter-resistant film and privacy window film. 

Wayfinding graphics are especially useful in district administrative or activity buildings because these areas host guests who are unfamiliar with these buildings’ security drill procedures. 

Leading wayfinding products such as 3M Envision and 3M Controltac help ensure safety because they:

  • Can be placed anywhere – walls, windows, glass, or floors
  • Adhere to outside surfaces, such as playground equipment, blacktops, and sidewalks
  • Provide clear safety directions that help to maintain order in chaotic situations

To enhance security, a graphic installation expert can apply durable overlaminates that make your graphics anti-skid, as well as reflective in low light situations.

Get the Right Window Films for School Safety

Modern security film solutions for schools are effective, affordable, durable, and come with a fast installation process. In addition, many security window films can be combined with energy-efficient film solutions that deliver cost-saving benefits.

 

Not sure which films you should choose to secure your district’s schools, activity buildings, and administrative complexes? Get more information on how you can build your school safety plan checklist with NGS, the nationwide film installation experts.

 

Child looking out a window in severe weather

Preparing Your School for Severe Weather

By | safety & security Films, window film | No Comments

Severe weather storms and conditions have been getting stronger for years. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes have all been growing in both number, as well as intensity. Many parts of the country that never had to worry about these weather conditions previously are now finding themselves directly in a storm’s vicious path.

Naturally, this has many school districts concerned about how they can best prepare for school safety and protect their school buildings from future storms. 

First off, you need to know that there are affordable and effective options available like 3M window film. Protection from High wind & airborne debris from Hurricane & tornado weather events for your district’s schools doesn’t have to begin and end with the insurance company. By taking steps before a natural disaster, such as installing window protection film, you can help safeguard your school buildings, as well as the children, teachers, and visitors inside them. 

What Is Window Protection Film?

Window protection film is essentially a shatter-resistant security film that provides an extra barrier of protectionbetween the dangers of the storm outside your school and those seeking shelter inside.

If you take a look at the outside of any public, private, or charter school, you’ll notice something about the façade of every one: they all feature rows of windows. Daylight is great for learning but, unfortunately, windows can be some of the most vulnerable points in a school building.

As you know, one of the most dangerous aspects of natural disasters is debris from high winds. Thankfully, it’s easy to strengthen your district’s school windows against wind.

  • 3M window film has been tested to achieve up to 140 mph wind speed resistancewhen properly anchored on a suitable metal window frame
  • 3M Ultra series passes ASTM E 1996/E 1886 Missile Level C

Your district’s schools can achieve protection from high wind and airborne debris if you choose professionally installed 3M safety window films – the affordable, effective optionthat can help ensure the safety and security of your buildings, faculty, and students.

Why Are School Security Supervisors Choosing Window Protection?

In addition to increasing school safety because it makes glass stronger and more resistant to shattering, security window film like 3M shatter-resistant film also wins on price. Simply put, window protection film is more cost-effective and sustainable than new glass installation projects because it adheres to your existing windows. This also means it features a faster install time than new glazing.

Sometimes, however, 3M shatter-resistant film simply isn’t strong enough to block against gale force winds and all the debris dragged along by those high winds. If you’re looking for a stronger option than shatter-resistant film, you may want to consider Riot Glass. Check out the strength of Riot Glass in action here:

Riot Glass uses an innovative, nearly invisible rail mounting system that allows you to choose virtually shatterproof windows for your schools, without having to compromise your aesthetics with those ugly bolt-on mounting systems that polycarbonate windows typically require. Looking for impact-resistant glass alternatives? Riot Glass is definitely worth a look.

When Severe Weather Hits, Be Sure Your Schools Are Prepared

As the earth continues to cool off, following this nasty heatwave of a summer we’ve finally survived, meteorologists across the United States are now turning their worried eyes toward the hurricane season. They’re expecting around 14 named storms, which is above the 30-year average. 

Of course, the weather forecasts may be wrong. They often are. 

However, just because meteorologists can’t accurately predict the weather all the time, doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for the weather that’s truly dangerous.

 

Get the facts you need on storm mitigation films, so you can make the right decision for your schools’ safety.