3M DI-NOC on retail storefront

The Wonderful Whimsical World of 3M™ DI-NOC™

By Architectural Film, Decorative Film and Branding Graphics No Comments

Pick a surface. Any surface.

Now, visualize that wall, or stairwell, or conference room, or hallway, covered in suede. Or wood grain. Or textured metal. Or sand.

You have now entered the world of 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes.

Drawing from countless inspirations in architecture, design, nature, and the elements, 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes are giving permission to decorators, interior designers, contractors, architects, landlords, and owners to create the look—or looks—they envision inside their building. And the results are just as varied as they are eye-catching.

Budget-friendly and faster to finish

As many architects and designers well know, sometimes a design finish cannot be achieved within a certain budget or time frame. It’s one thing to ensconce all the walls in velvet and inlay the floors with Italian marble. It’s quite another to source those materials and pay for them.

Let’s be clear: architectural finishes like 3M™ DI-NOC™ are not intended to be perfect substitutes for the real thing. Their brilliance lies in their close mimicry of the aesthetics of natural materials. And this close approximation to the actual look of stone, or wood grain, or leather, or stucco gets better and better with every new iteration of DI-NOC finishes.

Once you’ve honed in on the look you want to achieve on the interior of your building, another benefit of DI-NOC comes in its speed to the application. With proper planning and professional consultation, architectural finishes can be applied throughout rooms, halls, ceilings, elevators, and entire floors much more quickly than their natural counterparts. This time-saving also conserves resources and cuts costs.

A quick history of architectural finishes

The original purpose for the development of architectural finishes was for automobiles. The founding company that developed this product was formed in the 1930s and made high-quality, durable appliqués that gave metal automobile parts the aesthetic appeal of the old world. Soon, its films were replacing burl walnut instrument panels on luxury cars. A few years later, the films migrated to car exteriors. Among other applications, they replaced the wood panels on the long taxis at train and bus stations. These were called station wagons or, informally, “woodies.”

This use of the product for faux wood grain applications continued for the automotive industry into the 1960s before styles changed. During this time, Japan adopted the product for use in many applications beyond the automobile for several reasons: the country lacked natural wood resources, the lightweight of the material easily addressed earthquake design considerations, and the desire for surfacing refurbishment was high.

The manufacturing of this product was moved to Japan after the popularity of the woodies subsided in the U.S. Currently, all the major manufacturers producing this type of product are located in Japan. In the 1990s, the product was reintroduced into the U.S.

New aesthetic heights

Architectural finishes are used by designers and architects around the world as a decorative material. In the right hands, 3M™ DI-NOC™ has been used to elevate the aesthetic of luxury hotels, arenas, urban live/work environments, and entire highrises. And the fun really begins in the selection of the textures, designs, and looks you want for your space.

Metal. Wood. Stone. Sand. Gloss. Textile. Ceramic. Mortar. Carbon. The options for your finished look are countless, and that’s just for starters. Once you’ve decided on the material finish, you then get to choose from a variety of shades, textures, grains, patterns, and designs. The combinations are nearly limitless, only bound by your aesthetic imagination.

The use of architectural finishes gives you almost unlimited creative freedom in new construction, and they are easily converted and applied on-site for cost-effective refurbishment and repair options. Architectural finishes can be used in a wide array of projects on walls, fixtures, elevators, doors, and furniture, and are found in a multitude of structures from airports and hospitals to retail and cruise ships.

The nitty-gritty of architectural finishes

As the name implies, architectural finishes help “finish” a surface when applied to a substrate. Architectural finishes have a wide variety of attributes, from off-site or on-site application in a controlled environment to different types of finishes to flexibility of form.

Conformable finishes are quite pliable. They are usually delivered as sheet goods, typically in a roll, and are hand-applied. Flexible finishes, on the other hand, are capable of being bent or flexed but are susceptible to being influenced or changed. Plastic laminates are an example of a flexible finish.


Where do architectural finishes fit among the many other finish products today? While not intended to substitute for real materials in every situation, these finishes allow an architect or interior designer to achieve a design intent when budget and timing won’t allow for more expensive or scarcer materials, or to allow the useful life of existing finishes to be extended.

Architectural finishes like 3M™ DI-NOC™ offer designers and architects a versatile material to meet many design challenges while being both aesthetically pleasing and cost- and time-effective restoration or finish. These decorative materials can mimic the look of many natural materials, including wood and stone, at a fraction of the cost.

Does DI-NOC™ sound like the right solution for your project? Learn more about the DI-NOC installation process with NGS or contact a representative to get started on your custom quote.


Tower with reflective, mirrored window film

The Many Benefits of Solar Window Film

By Solar Window Film No Comments

What good is the dawn

That grows into day?

The sunset at night

Or living this way?

For I have the warmth of the sun

Within me at night

– “The Warmth of the Sun,” The Beach Boys

When Brian Wilson asked “what good is the dawn that grows into day?”, he probably wasn’t thinking about solar control window film. But in an odd way, the question applies—literally—to this uniquely advanced method to create energy efficiency, comfort, privacy, and protection in contemporary office buildings, highrises, and commercial properties.

When you think about it, a highrise, a big office building, or a large commercial property is kind of like a gigantic solar panel. By simply applying the latest solar window film to all the glass and windows in a building, you’ve created an energy-efficient ecosystem, with the ability to absorb or reflect the sun’s heat and penetrating solar rays throughout the year.

A brief history of solar window film

The original patent for solar window film dates all the way back to 1966. Since then, window film in general and solar window film, in particular, has gone through a series of evolutions and engineering advancements. While the original films were little more than tint, modern solar window films now bring a whole new set of features to the table, benefitting contractors, architects, planners, building managers, occupants, and tenants.

Let’s examine the primary benefits of solar control window film, including:

  • Cost savings through energy efficiency
  • Occupant comfort
  • Fade protection
  • Privacy and aesthetics
  • Glare reduction

Current multi-function window films like those in the 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film Solar Safety Series also include features like blast and intrusion protection.

Cost savings through energy efficiency

Solar control window film creates energy efficiency —and savings on heating and cooling costs —by managing the transmission of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, far- and near-infrared (IR), and visible light from the sun. By turning away the sun’s powerful rays, building managers and property owners can eliminate hotspots within a building, and insulate windows and glass from heat loss.

Of the solar heat entering a building, more than half is infrared light, yet over 40% is in the visible light range. Conventional window films lower both to provide good sun control performance. However, there are “wavelength-selective” films now available that are designed to block specific regions of the solar light spectrum, from infrared to ultraviolet. These films can be virtually clear, rejecting a very high percentage of IR while still allowing a very high percentage of natural daylight into the interior of the building.

By the numbers

In fact, modern solar control window films deliver up to 99.9% rejection of UV rays up to 97% infrared energy rejection.

Windows account for a major portion of cooling loads in any building. Across buildings in the U.S., 42% of the entire cooling load for residential buildings and 28% of the entire cooling load for commercial buildings are due to windows.*

Solar control window films save up to:

  • 19 kWh/ft2 on a single pane
  • 12 kWh/ft2 on a double pane

One final number: solar control window films can become carbon negative in as short as 6 months.

Occupant comfort

While energy savings is certainly important, another major benefit and factor in purchasing decisions for solar window films is occupant comfort. Solar control window films can reduce temperatures, hot and cold spots, as well as UV radiation (one of the leading causes of skin cancer).

Simply put, solar window films allow the sunny side of your building to be cooler. That means people are more comfortable, as one side of the building becomes overheated while the other is too cool.

The second most common concern in terms of occupant comfort that relates to windows is glare. And the most common approach to dealing with glare is by installing blinds or drapes.

However, blinds and drapes more often than not completely eliminate natural light, or create a patchwork dappling on the interior that can be distracting or aesthetically displeasing. And it’s safe to say blinds and drapes do next to nothing in terms of enhancing the insulative qualities of windows, not to mention windows’ energy efficiency.

Solar window films can also be used to address glare. Rather than obstructing the view, the right window film can optimize the transmission of light through a window best suited for each unique situation. A building with virtually clear solar window film can transmit as little as 9% of the visible light, should that best fit the room or interior space. 

Fade protection

One big concern for business owners and managers of commercial properties is the fading that can occur when objects are placed in the path of direct sunlight within the interior of a building. As a general rule, ultraviolet light is responsible for approximately 40% of the fading, visible light about 25% and solar heat about 25%. The remaining 10% can be attributed to humidity, pollutants, interior lights, dye anchorage, and more. 

Solar window films will typically reject 99% of the UV radiation, and depending on the film chosen, it can reject as much as 79% of solar heat, as well as 91% of visible light. Clearly, installing window film has a significant impact on the rate at which fading occurs.

Interior furnishings and property are particularly vulnerable to UV light, visible light, and solar heat that penetrates a building’s windows and glass. And though solar window film can’t stop fading altogether, it can be very effective in mitigating and delaying fading, prolonging the life of furnishings and property.

Privacy and aesthetics

Think of your building as a massive shell. Some shells look distinct and polished, some blend into the surrounding environment, some stick out like a sore thumb. The choice you make in solar window film has a great impact on the exterior look, aesthetic appeal, and privacy of the building itself. Fortunately, there are an abundance of designs, patterns, and privacy levels you can choose from in solar window film to deliver the aesthetic appeal and privacy level you want for both occupants and passersby.

Another part of the aesthetic equation includes reflectivity and transmission. Older, outdated window films often harshly reflected light, which created a real disruption for people traveling near or around the building. With modern solar window films, reflectivity can be entirely eliminated, and decorative touches like frosting or shading can offer a unique look and a specific level of privacy. In fact, the latest multi-optical layer film technologies such as those found in the 

3M™ Sun Control Window Film Prestige Series have no metals and thus are 5G safe — as well as non-corrosive and non-reflective.

Solar window films can improve exterior aesthetics by providing a uniform, polished look to the building facade. Buildings with reflective-type window film look updated and contemporary. An updated facility also makes occupants and tenants visually aware of the efforts being made to maintain a high aesthetic level and current, modern look.

Here comes the sun

Solar window film offers so much more today than in its original 1966 inception. And if The Beach Boys were tapped to write a jingle for solar window film today, they’d have a plethora of themes to explore.

Take a deep dive into solar window film with NGS’ James Beale in this webinar.

* Source: “Buildings in the 21st Century,” US Department of Energy, International Green Building Summit, 2010.


Photo by Bruno Passos from Burst

3M Window Film

More Than Window Tint

By Building Security, Safety & Security Films, Solar Window Film, Window Film No Comments

How 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film Protects People and Property

Imagine yourself in your office building. A typical Monday, when you meet with your team in the large conference room. 

The weather forecast didn’t call for anything unusual. But tornadoes don’t listen to meteorologists. In fact, there’s a twister headed directly for your building right now: you can see it approaching through the large glass window.

This scenario is extreme, but it does happen: extreme weather, earthquakes, and even explosions can lead to showers of shattered glass cascading on people and property inside your office, school, or highrise.

Add to this list of threatening scenarios intrusions, blasts and explosions, spontaneous glass breakage, and even graffiti, and you begin to see how safety and security window film can really help to protect both the people and the property within your building.

Advancements in window film engineering

When you think of window film, you probably think of shading, tint, and perhaps protection from the heat and cold. But did you know that advanced window films can also prevent dangerous shattering due to extreme weather, break-ins, and even explosions?

Films like 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film are engineered for a multitude of purposes, including protection from harmful UV rays, privacy, and energy efficiency. But these window films are also being applied to schools, hotels, retail stores and commercial, government, and medical buildings for another, invaluable reason: anti-shattering capabilities that hold glass together when catastrophic events, riots, or break-ins occur.

3M security films also come in dual-function options such as the new multi-optical layer, a high heat-rejection Prestige line. It is virtually clear but rejects almost 50% of the total solar energy while providing security benefits.

 3M™ Safety and security window films typically serve one or more of these purposes:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories to get a full sense of the benefits of these highly engineered, purpose-built window films.

Intrusion protection

One of the most common reasons for security film to be installed on a residence or commercial property is for intrusion protection. Windows and glass doors are among the weakest points on the building envelope and are often targeted as an entry point for criminals. Billions are lost due to property-related crimes in the U.S. alone, and unfortunately, fortified glass is often too expensive when considering security upgrades.  

Security window films and attachments are used to help deter intruders and would-be thieves from entering into a space, building, or property. With properly installed security window film, intruders will have a considerably more difficult time penetrating or breaking through the glass, adding precious minutes to the crime timeline—and giving police or security the chance to respond before a theft takes place.

Blast mitigation

In this day and age, the possibility of an explosion or blast near highrises, government and federal buildings, offices, shops, commercial properties, hotels, hospitals, and public spaces is unfortunately real. And if the worst actually does happen, broken glass shards from windows and doors are one of the leading causes of fatalities and property damage.

Some of the most advanced safety window films being developed today by 3M™ can actually mitigate the damage caused by glass shards resulting from an explosion or blast. Though it’s not possible to mitigate completely, these films can significantly reduce the penetration of glass shards into the interior of a building, which means a lower possibility of injury or fatality to people, and less damage to property.

Windstorm protection

Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Severe windstorms. Extreme weather events like these happen more and more frequently in the 21st century, and without question, they often have the force to break glass.

Fortunately, there are safety window films designed specifically for windstorm protection and mitigation. These films are engineered to keep shattered or compromised glass in the window frame should a severe windstorm or other extreme weather events occur. And when that shattered glass is kept within the frame, there is much less chance of injury or damage to people, patrons, and property.


We’ve all seen it: unsightly graffiti or tagging on storefront windows, bus stop terminals, bathroom mirrors, and public buildings. Though not as severe as an explosion or hurricane, graffiti is a much more common occurrence and one that gives building owners and property managers constant headaches.

Anti-graffiti window films are designed to create a layer of protection over bus stand ads, transit stop banners, storefront and retail windows, school windows and glass, and even mirrors. When a vandal tries to scratch, gouge, acid etch, or tag the glass, they are in fact tagging a film that can easily be removed and replaced.  If the vandalism is removed sooner rather than later, this often discourages repeat offenses, and it also preserves the image of the shop or advertisement. 

An anti-graffiti window film is a sacrificial film layer applied over the glass, either on the interior or the exterior. Typical areas where anti-graffiti films are used are retail stores, schools, bathroom stalls and mirrors, advertisements and banners, mass transportation and metro transit stops.

Protection is paramount

When it comes to your commercial property, business, or building, the protection of your patrons, tenants, employees, and property is the highest priority. And though no building is totally impenetrable, modern safety and security window films go a long way in mitigating injury, damage, and even fatality, and also serve as a significant deterrence to intrusion, theft, and vandalism.


Learn more about how 3M™ window film can secure your commercial property in our AIA accredited webinar: Protect People and Property with 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film

Contact Us to request a quote on making your property more secure with NGS and 3M™ window film

U.S. capitol building with police tape

Could the Raid on the Capitol Have Been Prevented with Riot Glass?

By Building Security, Government, Safety & Security Films No Comments

When a mob of insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, many of us watching the events on television were wondering: they’re not going to actually breach the building, are they? Police and security will turn the mob back, right?

Then, the unthinkable actually happened, as rioters broke glass windows and forced entry inside.

Once those windows were broken, a last line of defense against intruders was obliterated. Eventually, the Senate Chamber and congressional offices were overtaken, and a joint session of Congress was interrupted. When it was all over, five people had lost their lives.

The fallout from this seditious event grows as each day goes by, including an ongoing investigation that led to the discovery of two pipe bombs, the pursuit of several at-large insurrectionists, and a pending impeachment of the President of the United States. 

Could all of this have been prevented by simply replacing the windows of the Capitol building with Riot Glass?

Windows are the weak point

Security professionals, landlords, and building managers know all too well that windows are the most vulnerable points in a structure. Whether it’s a storefront window, a glass door, or the window of a congressional staffer’s office, when an intruder decides to enter a building with malicious intent, they are most likely to breach a window.

When you watch footage of the Capitol invasion, you’ll see rioters specifically targeting pane-glass windows, breaking and smashing them with ease. Once the windows were taken out, intruders poured through and into the interior of the building, where they ran roughshod over the Senate Chamber and overtook congressional offices.

For these invaders, breaching the glass windows was probably the easiest part of their insurrectionist afternoon. The windows shattered quickly, as we all could see in the media coverage.

What if the windows didn’t shatter so readily? What if the glass was somehow reinforced, preventing shattering and remaining intact and in place? Could such a defensive strategy have possibly prevented the sacking of the Capitol?

How Riot Glass and safety and security window film work

Riot Glass is a patented framing and clear ArmorPlast shield system made from a combination of polycarbonate and plastics that mechanically anchors to your windows and doors for maximum strength. The framing system comes in anodized clear and bronze, custom fit to your doors and storefront window system to create a protective shield that is always working. The panels are scratch-coated, solar UV treated, and extremely durable.

Riot Glass stops break-in attempts using sledgehammers, crowbars, knives, pickaxes, bricks, blocks, bats, and more. In short, it stops rioters and looters from getting in and has proven more effective than any other forced-entry protection system including boarding, roll-down gates, and security window film. 

Watch the video to see Riot Glass in action:

Advanced safety and security window films like those in the 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film family are specifically designed to mitigate shattering and to reduce the risk of flying glass. With the right window film application, vulnerable windows and glass—even those in the Capitol building—gain an extra layer of protection, becoming less likely to be penetrated by bricks, rocks, sticks, and crutches, and even if broken, far less likely to shatter.

Would the ransacking of the Capitol building have been thwarted with window film alone? Probably not. But there is no question that if those windows had been protected with powerfully engineered safety and security window film, rioters and insurrectionists would have had a much more difficult time breaking the glass, and penetrating the threshold through the windows. And that precious time would have granted police and security more time to adequately respond.

The 2020 Nashville bombing

On December 25, 2020, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb inside a recreational vehicle parked in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Eight people were injured and dozens of buildings in the vicinity were damaged.

Although the motivations and outcomes of the Capitol raid and the suicide bombing are entirely different, there is no question that safety and security window film could have mitigated much of the damage in Nashville. Broken glass and windows throughout the downtown area—had they been applied with quality safety window film—may not have shattered at all. And if they had, the spall effect, or penetration of shattered glass, would have been reduced or prevented entirely.

A simple measure of safety and security

The safety, security, and strength of a building’s windows and glass can be further enhanced with 3M Impact Protection Attachment Systems. These combination systems attach filmed window to the window frame, creating a robust shield that significantly outperforms window film-only systems. This extra level of protection guards against impact energy from earthquakes, forced-entry events, and bomb blasts. 

The Capitol riot and the Nashville bombing were tragic events, sobering as they remind us of how vulnerable we are even in the places we feel are the most secure. With the simple application of quality Riot Glass or safety and security window film, we can protect people and property, reduce the risk of flying glass, ensure less business disruption, and mitigate against the injurious and damaging effects of natural disasters, break-ins, and explosions.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can use Riot Glass and 3M Safety and Security Window Film to keep your people and property safe.


Photo by Pierre Blaché from Pexels

Unbreakable Glass & Shatterproof Windows – Possible or Impossible?

By Retail, Safety & Security Films No Comments

Since the riots began in May 2020, the question on many building owners’ and managers’ minds has been, “Are there such things as unbreakable glass and shatterproof windows?” If you have been worried about your building’s security with the ongoing looting and riots across the country, you will be glad to hear that there is a way you can properly protect your building’s glass. (Thank goodness!)

Let’s talk about the details behind ballistic glass and shatterproof windows, so you know how you can protect your building or business location from ongoing civil unrest.

What Is Safety Glass? Is It the Same as Ballistic Glass?

“Safety glass” is meant to keep people safe from flying daggers of broken glass as well as glass “spall,” which is the hazardous glass dust that erupts from the opposite side of an impact on glass. “Ballistic glass” is typically a combination of optically clear polycarbonate interlayers laminated in between sheets of plate glass that helps block or stop entry from bullets.

The category of safety glass windows includes:

  • Laminated windows (AKA laminated safety glass)
    This type of window and door safety glass sandwiches a layer of vinyl film, which helps to hold the glass together if it is struck by impact. Windshields are made with this type of safety glass.
  • Tempered safety glass windows
    Tempered glass is a type of security glass window that has undergone a special heating and cooling process to change the qualities of the glass. When struck by impact, tempered glass will shatter into tiny cubes of glass instead of large shards.
  • Polycarbonate bulletproof windows (AKA ballistic glass windows)
    Though not actually a form of glass, ballistic polycarbonate is a type of safety glass window and door material that does an outstanding job at resisting impact. Rocks, blocks, bricks, bats, and even bullets can be stopped or resisted by these “unbreakable windows.”

You can learn more about laminated windows and tempered safety glass windows in our in-depth guide on the topic – or keep reading this article if you are ready for more information on selecting the right type of ballistic glass to prevent shooters from gaining entry to your location.

How to Choose Ballistic Glass for Shatterproof Windows and Doors

When you’re looking at unbreakable glass fronting for your business or location, you may be surprised by the variety available to you. In addition to traditional Riot Glass, which is an access denial system installed invisibly over the tops of your existing doors and windows that has a 100% success track record in stopping forced entry attempts, you also have a wide range of ballistic-grade ArmorPlast solutions available to you.

Your ArmorPlast ballistic glass options include:

ArmorPlast 50

This 3-ply ballistic glass solution includes an exterior and interior layer of 1/8” AR-1 polycarbonate panels that sandwich a bonded ¼” layer of impact-resistant polycarbonate. Resists attacks by a .38 Special.

ArmorPlast 50 meets these standards:

  • ASTM F 1233-08 Class 1.4 standards for contraband passage
  • ASTM F 1233-08 Class 2.8 for body passage
  • HP White TP 0500 Level A (.38 Special)
  • ASTM F 1233-08, Level HG1 (.38 Special)

The AR polycarbonate panels are easy to clean and resist chemical and graffiti attacks, as well as marring. The polycarbonate panels maintain high optical quality. The bullet-resistant glazing also resists spalling and white-out after repeated high force and ballistic impacts, helping to maintain visibility of the threat.

ArmorPlast 75 – UL 752 Level 1 Bullet Resistance

This 3-ply ballistic glass solution includes an exterior and interior layer of 1/8” AR-1 polycarbonate panels that sandwich a bonded ½” acrylic sheet. Resists attacks by a 9mm weapon.

ArmorPlast 75 meets these standards:

  • UL 752 Level 1 (9 mm ballistic attack)

The AR polycarbonate panels are easy to clean and resist chemical and graffiti attacks, as well as marring, and maintain high optical quality.

ArmorPlast 100 – UL 752 Level 2 Bullet Resistance

This 4-ply ballistic glass solution includes an exterior and interior layer of 1/8” AR-1 polycarbonate panels that sandwich two bonded 3/8” layers of impact-resistant polycarbonate. Resists attacks by a .357 Magnum.

ArmorPlast 100 meets these standards:

  • UL 752 Level 2 (.357 Magnum)
  • HP White TP 0500 Level IV

The AR polycarbonate panels are easy to clean and resist chemical and graffiti attacks, as well as marring. The polycarbonate panels maintain high optical quality. The bullet-resistant glazing also resists spalling and white-out after repeated high force and ballistic impacts, helping to maintain visibility of the threat.

ArmorPlast 125 – UL 752 Level 3 Bullet Resistance

This 4-ply ballistic glass solution includes an exterior and interior layer of 1/8” AR-1 polycarbonate panels that sandwich two bonded 1/2” layers of impact-resistant polycarbonate. Resists attack by a .44 Magnum. This solution is especially good for use on doors.

ArmorPlast 125 meets these standards:

  • UL 752 Level 3 rating (.44 Magnum)
  • HP White TP 0500 Level IV
  • ASTM F 1233 Class 5

The AR polycarbonate panels are easy to clean and resist chemical and graffiti attacks, as well as marring. The polycarbonate panels maintain high optical quality. The bullet-resistant glazing also resists spalling and white-out after repeated high force and ballistic impacts, helping to maintain visibility of the threat.

ArmorPlast 125MS – UL 752 Level 6 Bullet Resistance

This 4-ply ballistic glass solution includes an exterior and interior layer of 1/8” AR-1 polycarbonate panels that sandwich two different bonded layers: a 1/2” layer of acrylic on the attack side and a 1/2” layer of impact-resistant polycarbonate on the opposite side (interior). Resists attacks by an Uzi.

ArmorPlast 125MS meets these standards:

  • UL 752 Level 6 rating for high-speed multi-shot 9mm (Uzi) ballistic attack

The AR polycarbonate panels are easy to clean and resist chemical and graffiti attacks, as well as marring. The polycarbonate panels maintain high optical quality.

Stop Bullets and More During Looting, Riots, and Civil Unrest

In today’s charged atmosphere, riots, looting, and gun violence can seemingly break out in any place and at any time – and all can cause extreme damage to your building or location. Even in cases of riot control, police and military may use flashbangs and rubber bullets to control crowds, which can cause significant damage to your glass windows and doors.

To protect your building or location from riots and riot control damage, as well as looting and shooting attempts, your best bet is to choose a permanent, attractive, “unbreakable glass” ballistic glass solution that works where boarding and metal gates fail.

In other words, your best bet is to use Riot Glass or ArmorPlast riot- and bullet-resistant solutions if you are looking to have unbreakable glass and shatterproof windows.


Contact NGS to learn more about your options for ballistic glass and how to riot-proof your location now.


Image by Republica from Pixabay

Retail Security Options Against Burglary and Riots

By Retail, Safety & Security Films No Comments

Retail security systems are extremely important in America right now because, as one restaurant owner in Chicago said recently, “This [looting] is the new normal.”

Upscale shopping districts from coast to coast are facing a nightmare scene of constant, unexpected riots and looting and, if there’s anything that the civil unrest of 2020 has shown, it is that the sudden destruction of luxury retail districts can happen on any day, with little to no warning.

Luxury retail store managers need to be prepared at all times – and these retail security tips will help.

The New York City Meltdown

“The looters tore off the plywood that boarded up Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, swarming by the dozens inside to steal whatever they could find before being chased down by the police. Others smashed the windows at a Nike store, grabbing shirts, jeans and zip-up jackets… a group of looters approached Madison Jewelers on Broadway, where the glass storefront lay shattered, and forced open the store’s metal gate. With the store alarm blaring, young men foraged inside and dozens of others rushed to the scene. When an unmarked police car with its lights on passed the scene, it paused briefly — and then continued down 37th Street.”

This chilling New York Times eyewitness account of the mayhem that erupted in New York City in early June 2020 serves as a stark reminder that luxury retail stores are likely to be the top targets during periods of looting and civil unrest. It also serves as a reminder that boarding and roll-down gates will not work to keep out determined looters.

Fortunately, boarding and roll-down gates aren’t the only options for retail security and, fortunately as well, alarms aren’t the only theft deterrent available for a complete retail store security system. In cases of looting, the best solution for luxury retail security is Riot Glass.

Retail Security Tip #1: Install Forced Entry Resistant Doors

Humans are creatures of habit, which means that whether you’re conducting legitimate business or you’re a looter intent on destruction, your first instinct for entering a building will be through the doors. Effective luxury retail security requires that you install forced entry resistant doors, such as ones with Riot Glass retrofitted onto them.

Fast Facts on Riot Glass

Riot Glass is a patented framing and clear ArmorPlast shield system made from a combination of polycarbonate and plastics that mechanically anchors to your windows and doors for maximum strength. The framing system comes in anodized clear and bronze, custom fit to your doors and storefront window system to create a protective, clear shield that is always working. (Think: Permanent, clear boarding up.) The panels are scratch-coated, solar UV treated, and extremely durable.

Riot Glass stops break-in attempts using sledgehammers, crowbars, knives, pickaxes, bricks, blocks, bats, and more – in short, it stops looters from getting in to your luxury retail store.

Does it really work? Riot Glass has proven more effective any other forced entry protection system including boarding, roll-down gates, and security window film. Riot Glass currently has a 100% success rate in stopping breach attempts. It has literally never failed.

A Scene of Destruction in Los Angeles

“…[D]emonstrators have descended on some of Los Angeles’ most upscale, iconic retail areas, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood and the Fairfax District. Looting has occurred in some of those locations, as some used the cover of what were largely peaceful protests to rob stores.

On social media, residents in some communities where the protests have raged complain of the destruction, the sound of helicopters and sirens and the thick smoke that hangs in the air.”

After a night of destruction in Los Angeles, also in early June 2020 and described by the L.A. Times, many upscale retailers were still struggling to contain the damage in what should have been a bustling luxury retail district. The stores had just barely opened after the coronavirus shutdown restrictions were lifted.

A local ABC news on-the-scene broadcast (below) shows smashed windows and doors at Gucci and construction crews struggling to board up a damaged Ermenegildo Zegna before the next night of expected mayhem continued.

Retail Security Tip #2: Have a Permanent Security Solution in Place

Lately, it seems that any town and city in the U.S. could be the next location of civil unrest and violent uprisings, yet it takes time to board up a large glass retail storefront or luxury hotel. The best idea for luxury retail store managers is to install a permanent solution that you can count on for retail security exactly when you need it.

Riot Glass reinforced glass windows are a great choice for permanent retail store security and, as a security glass solution, you can also rely on Riot Glass to help prevent damage from other disasters like wind storms, blasts, and active shooter attacks.

Looting is “The New Normal” in U.S. Upscale Retail Areas

“The looters arrived downtown in cars about 1 a.m. Police had major intersections blocked off, but that did not stop groups of mostly young people roving through the district of high-end retail stores, smashing windows and stealing goods. Clothes hangers and smashed glass covered sidewalks along North Michigan Avenue. Water Tower Place, the district’s premier indoor shopping mall, was broken into on both its west and east sides. Looters shattered windows of convenience stores and retailers including Macy’s, Ralph Lauren and Express.”

The damage and destruction hasn’t stopped. Riots still continue. Though the scene above sounds almost precisely like the events that happened in New York and L.A. in early June, these events in Chicago occurred in mid-August, 2020. And, sadly, they are likely to happen again and again in response to the brutal killings of Black people in this country.

As the Washington Post reported on the scene at the Chicago riots, “A woman who was quickly walking while carrying a Target basket filled with goods said she and her friends went downtown because they ‘felt like starting a riot’” and a 33-year-old restaurant manager who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated that “This [looting] is the new normal. At this point you become desensitized to it.”

Retail Security Tip #3: Understand Bullet Resistant Glass Levels

In scenes of mayhem and destruction, it’s common to watch looters wrench open roll-down gates and smash their way through boarded-up luxury storefronts. It is also common to watch looters use more weaponized methods to break in, such as Molotov cocktails, bricks, bats, concrete blocks – and even bullets – to gain entry to a valuable store.

Once the looters are inside, they can steal inventory, vandalize the property, and set fire to the building. The best idea is to keep looters out of your store entirely.

Though there are many methods to improve luxury retail security, one of the top ways to deny entry is to use bullet resistant polycarbonate panels that look like glass. Although ballistic-rated glazing or polycarbonate panels are incredibly effective materials for stopping forced entry, you can still stop forced entry with NON-ballistic-rated versions of Riot Glass. This approach allows you to reduce the cost while still achieving your objective of keeping looters out.

Choose the right level of bullet resistance for your needs by reading our handy guide on bullet resistant glass

…Or you can simply contact the retail security experts at NGS to learn more about your options.


NGS is a national window film and security glass installer focused on the top retail security solutions, including security window film, anti-graffiti solutions and Riot Glass. Riot Glass has a 100% track record of success for stopping forced entry attempts. Learn more about your options for retail security when you contact NGS today.


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

A person attempting commercial burglary

Commercial Burglary: Tips for Prevention

By Building Security, Commercial Property Owner, Retail No Comments

Commercial burglary is a crime of opportunity. The longer it takes for a would-be thief or looter to enter your premises, the more likely they are to give up. Therefore, your job is to slow down or prevent access to your building or location until the police arrive.

Here are 3 tips that will help you accomplish that goal.

3 Tips to Prevent Commercial Burglary

In most cases of commercial burglary, thieves or looters enter the building using physical force. Although Hollywood would like you to believe that all burglars are master lockpicks, the reality is that most thieves and looters resort to low-tech, low-skill tools like cinder blocks, sledgehammers, and crowbars.

Keep them out using these 3 things that deter burglars:

1. Clear the line of sight

Make it hard for would-be intruders to access your premises by trimming trees and bushes and using good lighting both inside and outside your building or location.

2. Rely on security technology

Alarms and security cameras are critical tools that help you reduce the time a burglar remains on your premises, as well as identify criminals (even looters!) after the fact.

3. Strengthen your entry points

As they say, “prevention is the best cure.” Prevent commercial burglary by making it nearly impossible for thieves and looters to get into your building or location. The best way to do this is to use shatterproof “glass” known as Riot Glass.

What Is Riot Glass?

Riot Glass is a patented access denial system consisting of a clear shield and mechanically anchored frame system that is invisibly installed over the tops of your existing doors and windows. It is shatterproof and extremely impact resistant, with a 100% success track record of holding up against sledgehammers, crowbars, cinder blocks, bricks, bats, and more.

In essence, Riot Glass looks and acts like an unbreakable glass that keeps looters and thieves out. Think of Riot Glass as a clear, permanent board up that is always working and requires no maintenance.

Let’s Look at a Real-Life Case Study…

Wondering how to prevent burglary at your business or location? Let’s look at a real-life example of a foiled commercial burglary.

Check out this brief, real-life video of an attempted smash and grab and see if you can identify the crime-prevention methods the building used successfully.

As you saw, the gas station in the video effectively and appropriately used the following methods to prevent commercial burglary:

  • Clear line of sight – there were no trees or bushes blocking our view of the would-be thief, and although there were a few low obstacles in the way of the windows that looked like pallets of water bottles, the gas station used bright lighting that illuminated the criminal’s actions.
  • Security technology – though entry was denied and we therefore weren’t able to determine if there was an alarm system, we do know that the gas station had multiple security cameras, both inside and outside. This is why we had a video to watch.
  • Strengthened glass – as you could see in the video, it appeared as if there was a metal security gate that someone had forgotten to close and lock on the interior of the door, but it didn’t matter because the entrance was protected by impenetrable Riot Glass.

If you watch the video carefully, you notice that, although the gas station used multiple burglary prevention tactics, the only method that truly foiled the crime was the Riot Glass. The would-be thief was determined — throwing his whole weight into those 19 hits from a large sledgehammer in his attempt to get in — but the burglar-proof “glass” door stopped him.

However, it was only when he realized he would not be able to enter the building that he finally gave up and left, presumably to find an easier target.

Protect Your Business with Riot Glass

When all else fails, you can trust that Riot Glass will act as your last line of defense. Riot Glass is the only access denial system on the market with a 100% success rate – it has literally never failed.

Learn more about Riot Glass and other commercial burglary prevention methods.


Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash


Broken glass to illustrate the importance of security glass

Security Glass Comparison: Laminated Glass, Tempered Glass, Security Window Film, and Polycarbonate Riot Glass

By Building Security, Safety & Security Films, Window Film No Comments

Curious which security glass solution would do the best job if you want to keep your business or location safe from rioters, looters, active shooters, thieves, storms, and more?

Here are the answers you’ve been looking for.

What Is Security Glass?

Let’s start with a quick definition:

Security glass is meant to reduce the likelihood that someone in your business or building would be severely hurt by flying glass or glass shards if your doors or windows were to break.

As an added bonus, certain types of security glass and security film help prevent your glass from breaking, which can deter thieves and looters, and slow down active shooters.

Now that you know what security glass is, let’s talk about the different types of security solutions you can trust to protect your windows and doors.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass consists of two panes of glass that sandwich a clear vinyl sheet. Although the glass on either side of the vinyl pane can be broken, the vinyl stays intact to reduce glass shards and spall, and to deter intruders.


  • Blocks 99% of UV rays
  • Dampens sounds
  • Cut and edged after laminating, which makes it easy and fast to install
  • Blast and impact resistant


  • Though it holds together with impact, it sure does look ugly after it’s hit
  • Can be pushed out of the frame if stressed enough

In addition to being used on windows, this glass is also used in windshields to keep you safe if a rock hits you on the highway.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is glass that has been rapidly heated and cooled in a tempering furnace at 1200˚ F. This process strengthens the glass to 4-5x its original capabilities and changes the structural properties of the glass, so it breaks into a trillion tiny cubes on impact.


  • Vastly improves the safety of anyone near the glass during an attack or blast because it breaks into little cubes instead of shattering into dangerously sharp flying shards


  • Because tempered glass is under pressure, it has been known to spontaneously break due to unseen chips or flaws
  • Cut and edged before tempering, which means it takes more time to procure and install
  • Is very easy for thieves and looters to breach

Tempered glass is most commonly used on doors and windows for safety, but it won’t do much to keep thieves and looters out if you don’t have additional security film for protection because it is easy to break.

Security Window Film

Security window film improves strength and impact resistance for both tempered and laminated glass, so you can keep your building, occupants, and inventory much safer than you could by solely relying on security glass.


  • Improves occupant safety by sticking glass together and reducing spall, which is the spray of broken glass that results from an impact or explosion
  • Can have an additional structural adhesive applied to anchor the film and glass to the frame for added forced entry protection
  • Strengthens all types of safety glass and plate glass
  • Slows down intruders and shooters
  • Can be applied to existing glass doors and windows
  • Delivers added benefits, including UV resistance, energy efficiency, and more
  • Provides protection from weather and blast events


  • Has limitations, will not stop intrusion if the right tools are used

Multilayered, tear-resistant security window film such as 3M Ultra won’t prevent an active shooter, looter, or other intruder from gaining access to your building, but it will slow them down long enough for you to get building occupants to safety.

Check out the video below to compare how long it takes to breach a window with security film, as compared to one without film.

Polycarbonate Riot Glass

Riot Glass is a patented clear shield and mechanically anchored frame system installed over top of the existing doors and windows. It is shatterproof and extremely impact resistant, and keeps looters, thieves, and other intruders out.


  • Shatterproof, usually requiring few replacements while staying attractive
  • Also protects against storms, hammers, and low and high-powered weapons
  • Has a 100% success track record in stopping forced entry (with NGS clients)
  • May make you eligible for an insurance discount (check with your insurance agent)


When selecting your Riot Glass solution, keep in mind that safety film is more affordable, but polycarbonate is more impact resistant. If you need to resist shooters, choose polycarbonate.

Watch the videos below to see how effectively Riot Glass prevents crimes.

Discover the Best Safety Window Film & Glass Solution for Your Needs – Contact NGS!

There’s a lot to know about security glass and security film – and the choices you make could end up being life or death decisions. Before making your final solution selection, it’s best to consult with an expert.

Find the right security glass solution for your precise needs when you ask the security glazing experts at NGS.

At NGS, protecting people is our mission. When you’re ready to protect your building or location, check with the nationally acclaimed security glazing experts first.

Get answers to your security glass questions.



Image by MichaelGaida from Pixabay

A burglar breaking though a storefront window without riot glass

Riot Glass Stops Burglars and Looters in their Tracks

By Building Security, Commercial Property Owner, Safety & Security Films No Comments
A burglar breaking though a storefront window without riot glass

The commercial burglary, riots, and looting that erupted after peaceful protests mourning the tragic death of George Floyd caused unthinkable damage to hundreds, perhaps thousands of U.S. businesses. According to Insurance Journal, these riots “may… become the most costly civil disorder for insurers in United States history.” The cost to businesses is extremely high.

It is time to strengthen security at your store or building with Riot Glass.

Options for Protecting Your Storefront or Commercial Building

Typically, and as we have seen in television broadcasts and in our own cities, retail storefront and commercial building security measures consist of three methods:


Probably the most cost-effective of the standard door and window glass protection measures, boarding is widely used as a stop-gap for emergencies. Unfortunately, boards need to be installed last minute, often among surging riot crowds, and boarding isn’t that effective. They may break or burn, granting violent looters access to your location.

Roll-down gates

A better long-term solution than boarding up your location, roll-down gates are an everyday measure that many businesses and commercial buildings rely on. There is, however, the risk that you may not have locked them properly and, as we’ve seen from the news broadcasts, determined looters can easily wrench open roll-down gates.

Security film

More attractive than roll-down gates and more permanent than boarding, security film presents a great solution for managers who are highly conscious of their building and store aesthetics. Security film is the perfect choice for isolated burglary attempts (but not looting) because it slows thieves down and prevents access before the police arrive. In a looting situation or violent riot, it doesn’t matter if your security film slows down the looters – they have all the time in the world.

Fortunately, there is a fourth security glass solution that is literally riot proof: Riot Glass.

Riot Glass – Stops Burglars and Looters in their Tracks

Riot Glass is a patented, clear shield with an anchored frame that is installed over the tops of your existing doors and windows. It is more effective than boarding, roll-down gates, and safety film combined because it literally never fails.

Riot Glass is an affordable, maximum strength security solution. When you install it, you’ll experience the benefits of no broken glass, no property damage, and no entry.

Protect Your Business with Nearly Failproof Riot Glass

At the time of this writing, we are well into our second week of this national tragedy. It is unclear how long the riots and looting will continue or if they will return in response to other unprovoked acts of violence.

This situation will likely continue to require ongoing risk mitigation for commercial property managers and retail operations, especially in our nation’s largest cities.


Contact NGS to learn more about Riot Glass and to request your personalized quote.