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Making Schools Safer With Window Film Blog title

Making Schools Safer With Window Film

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

The tragic shootings at Sandy Hook in 2012 left a nation shocked and grieving. Not only were there 26 victims whose families would be forever altered, but most of the violence took place at an elementary school in a relatively small, quiet, peaceful Connecticut town.

Sandy Hook was not the first nor the last school shooting. And though the nation has tried to deal with the threat of violence on public school grounds, the massacre in Newton elevated the issue to a new level. As a result, the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission issued a 277-page report in 2015 and the Federal Commission on School Safety has continued to issue recommendations and guidelines for school districts across the country.

When it comes to school safety, there is no perfect solution. No building can be made 100% threat-proof.

But we can implement strategies, response plans, and deterrents that can make a difference should the worst happen. In fact, the Federal Commission on School Safety and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission report both recommended safety window film as deterrents in schools. Safety window film, security window film, and hybrid safety-security window film are three such deterrents.

 

How window film can make schools safer

Today’s contemporary safety window films offer a baseline level of protection for vulnerable buildings, offices, and classrooms. Most are designed to reduce shatter when the glass is broken or penetrated. Safety film layered on the interior offers a first line of defense, and school administrators can opt to include a second layer of protection on the exterior. 

One of the original functions of window film—tinting—continues to be a feature of many modern safety-security window films, though with a newly evolved purpose: privacy. Today’s highrises, office complexes, and exposed building facades often have a shaded, or tinted window film application throughout as a way to ensure privacy. This tinting also very likely reduces the solar load on a building.

As it turns out, the privacy benefit that comes with shading and tinting in window film also has a particular safety benefit: windows that are shaded or darkened on the exterior make it more difficult for shooters to target individuals within a classroom, office, or building. This benefit can serve as a major deterrent to a single-minded individual who means to do harm with a firearm.

No deterrent can stop all threats. But safety and security window film can help significantly deter the impact of a threat emanating from outside the classroom or office. NGS offers a unique building hardening program ideal for school districts, offering:

  • Zoned survey approach that mirrors the Federal Commission on School Safety
  • Free surveys delivered with area maps and photos numbered to match zone and area
  • Free proprietary software to tailor the scope and price of each building to match a budget or grant
  • Nationwide government and education contracting vehicles to streamline requisition
  • Government contracting vehicles that are Edgar-compliant to streamline requisition

Available Funding For Building Hardening

Every public school district in America has a budget, and every public school has a list of things they need. Many times administrators have to choose between salaries, supplies, safety, and security. It’s an incredibly tough spot to be in, and budget allocations will continue to be a source of wrangling, dispute, argument, and controversy.

Thankfully, there is money out there for cash-strapped school districts. They’re called grants, and you might qualify! Here’s a list of potential grants that could help you harden your buildings: 

NGS has a team of consultants who are dedicated to just this issue: locating and procuring grant money for the specific purpose of making your school safer. As teachers, principals, and administrators well know, the universe of grants can be more difficult to navigate than you can imagine, and even when you do lock onto a particular grant that suits your needs, the proposal process can be an entirely separate, even more complex process.

Schedule a complimentary glass hardening assessment for your school or district with NGS. We can also help show you the grant money, so you can procure the safety, security, and hybrid window film products that make your school districts safer for future generations.


Photo by Max Fischer from Pexels

Woman wearing a mask

How to Promote School and Workplace Safety during COVID-19

By Education, Floor Graphics, Hospitality, Retail, Signs, Sneezeguards No Comments

The best way to ensure that staff, customers, visitors, and students follow COVID-safe hygiene and social distancing practices at your location is to keep safety at the top of everyone’s minds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that American businesses and schools:

  • Post signs in highly visible locations that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering)
  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, particularly in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart (e.g., reception desks)
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that staff, customers, and children remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g. guides for creating “one way routes” in hallways)

Because NGS is committed to your safety, we’ve created a new line of social distancing and safety signs, sneeze guards, floor tapes, and decals to help your school or business get back on track safely and quickly.

Introducing Safe at Work and Safe at School Packages from NGS

There’s an easy way for you to stay Safe at Work and Safe at School: rely on turnkey graphics packages and premium sneeze guards from NGS!

Graphics Packages

The Safe at Work and Safe at School packages include turnkey social distancing and safety graphics, which help to educate your staff and customers, students and visitors – and remind them of current health and hygiene practices at all times.

Like you, our goal at NGS to get your location reopened safely and quickly. To speed your reopening, NGS offers a range of tailored base packages you can choose from, including:

  • School safety educational series – with CDC-approved posters!
  • Business office / kiosk / customer-facing area safety
  • Back of house or F&B staff-only area safety
  • Elevator safety – with swab instructions!
  • Drive through, takeout, and pickup safety
  • Cafeteria or quick service restaurant (QSR) safety
  • Bathroom hygiene and safety – with step-by-step handwashing instructions!
  • Front entrance safety and notifications
  • Retail safety
  • Commercial building safety
  • Gas station safety
  • Safety walk graphics
  • Vehicle graphics – with removable, reflective social distancing graphics!

Most packages include social distancing instructions, hygiene reminders, off-limit area notifications, and clear instructions and signage that help students, parents, customers, contractors, employees, and visitors feel confident, safe, and secure at your location.

Safe at Work and Safe at School graphics packages from NGS range from single $5 a-la-carte graphics to packages ranging from $22-$150 and include:

  • Wall, glass, and countertop stick-on decals that don’t damage surfaces and can be removed easily
  • Durable floor decals and tapes that withstand scuffing from thousands of footsteps and help prevent slips and falls
  • Curated “best practice” sizes and shapes with clean and easy-to-understand messaging
  • Fast shipping and turnaround

Volume pricing is available on all graphics packages, and you are welcome to mix and match your safety and social distancing graphics with optional package add-ons that help you fit the needs of your unique space exactly. TIPS members receive an additional 10% off graphics and Sneeze Guard products.

View your graphics options

Sneeze Guards

Enhance classroom and workplace health and safety with Essential or Premium Sneeze Guards at your school or organization. These attractive transparent physical barriers are made of crystal-clear and durable acrylic or polycarbonate and block the transmission of airborne pathogens, including contagious COVID droplets, flu viruses, and the common cold.

Sneeze Guards are essential to safety in area where social distancing is difficult, such as:

  • Densely packed workspaces
  • Call centers
  • Conference rooms
  • Cash registers
  • Shared tables
  • Classrooms

Why Choose NGS Premium Sneeze Guards?

Great question. At NGS, protecting people is our mission – and we understand that long-lasting, permanent safety solutions must also reflect your business’s high quality standards.

To be honest, there are a lot of ugly, hard-to-use, painfully temporary sneeze guards out there. You’ve seen them, and you probably don’t like them much. Sure, they get the job done when it comes to safety… but their stark, utilitarian setup is a brutal reminder of the pandemic.

NGS Premium Sneeze Guards are designed with your student and staff comfort in mind. NGS Sneeze Guards are unobtrusive, elegant, and attractive – and easy to install with the highest stability of any sneeze guard because they’re mechanically fastened to your walls or top surfaces of your tables or counters. (We offer removable ones too!)

NGS Sneeze Guards are the finest, longest-lasting sneeze guards available, with the smallest possible footprint, and they come in multiple models, such as:

  • Full frame for walls or flat horizontal surfaces
  • Wall mount for vertical surfaces on counters, desks, and tables
  • Transaction pass-thru window design to fit paperwork, payments, or merchandise
  • Stand-alone for classroom desk setups

Frames on most Sneeze Guards are made of heavy-grade anodized aluminum, available in dark bronze or silver, and their modern, slimline design makes them the perfect solution when you need year-round protection that doesn’t get in the way.

View your sneeze guard options

Interested in a setup that wasn’t in the brochure? We’ll be delighted to help you design your custom configuration that meets your precise needs. Sneeze Guards are priced at $28 – $102 each and TIPS members receive an additional 10% off Sneeze Guards. Due to potential shipping delays, sneeze guards may require a 1-4 week turnaround.

Trust NGS, the Experts in Safety

At this point, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Health and safety experts predict at least another year of required COVID-safe practices – perhaps many more months or years.

But you can’t wait that long.

At your school or workplace, the time to start promoting healthy habits, including hygienic and social distancing procedures, is right now.

For more than a decade, NGS has focused on protecting schools and businesses with security glass and window film, balancing the needs of your operations, your staff, your visitors, and your students to help you maintain smart, effective, secure solutions that promote wellbeing and safety at all times and in all areas of your building. Protecting people is our mission.

The turnkey Safe at Work and Safe at School packages from NGS deliver convenient, cost-effective safety solutions that help you reopen the right way – with the proven quality and durability you can trust to help maintain health at your school or business for as long as it takes.

 

Be Safe. Stay Healthy. Shop our Safe at Work and School Graphics, Sneeze Guards, and Packages on our online site today!

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NGS Films and Graphics Assists Schools with Security Grant Applications

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

School districts across the nation are improving security measures on their campuses due to an increased number of school gun violence incidents. In 2018, there were 191 incidents – which is more incidents in one year than in the last four decades, according to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Recently, the federal COPS School Violence Prevention Program began accepting applications from school districts. This federal competitive award program provides funding to improve schools through evidence-based school safety programs that include several factors, including placement of deterrent measures such as security film.

NGS Films and Graphics can assist school districts in their application for this program.

School Safety Assessments: The First Step in Identification

At no cost, NGS Films and Graphics works with school districts nationwide to provide school safety assessments of windows and entryways. The assessment mirrors the Federal Commission on School Safety’s recommended layered zones.

NGS reviews each school and generates a report that includes recommendations on hardening three areas (or zones) with 3M™ Safety and Security Film and one-way mirror privacy films. The report can be used for grant applications and annual state reporting requirements.

“We work one-on-one with school districts to provide them information they need to be able to move forward with a plan to secure their schools,” said James Beale, managing partner of NGS Films and Graphics. “The report that we produce is designed to mirror the recommendations of the Federal Commission on School Safety. We want to protect our children and teachers and we understand that schools need this type of assessment when determining how to best move forward with securing campuses.”

Procurement Contracts Made Easy

NGS Films and Graphics has made it easier for schools to work with them. They are the only window film installer to have obtained Schedule 84 Contract 47QSWA20D00C from the General Services Administration. They also offer TIPS-USA Contract 190101.

These types of contracting vehicles make it easier for public school districts to work directly with the national company without having to go through lengthy bidding processes.

“Time truly is money when you consider the time invested by procurement staffs for lengthy quote processes. We understand that schools are looking for ways to save time when it comes to securing their schools,” Beale said. “We also know that competitive bid processes are important. That’s why we went through the process to get the TIPS contract and, most recently, the GSA Schedule 84 contract.”

Both procurement vehicles prequalify vendors from a financial and performance standpoint via an extensive quote, bid and prequalification process. “Now that we’ve been through the bid and prequalification process, school districts can easily contract with us because we have met procurement and compliance rules,” Beale said.

3M National Dealer of the Year as a School Partner

NGS Films and Graphics is 3M’s largest window film provider in the United States. The company recently received the 2019 National Dealer of the Year from the St. Paul-based company.

NGS Films and Graphics specialize in the installation of 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film, Ultra Series and 3M™ Impact Attachment Systems in schools. The experience team has developed a field-proven TRI-SHIELD installation method that dramatically improves performance.

In 2019, NGS Films and Graphics partnered with Houston ISD Police to demonstrate the power of the TRI-SHIELD installation. It took more than six minutes to break through the glass – which, in a real world situation, would mean more valuable time for victims to take shelter and for emergency officials to arrive.

Contact NGS Films and Graphics to Assist with the COPS SVPP grant

The federal COPS School Violence Prevention Program is accepting applications for school safety grants from now through 7:59 p.m. on April 8, 2020. School districts will need to have a safety risk assessment and pricing as part of their application.

For more information on how we can help you apply for the COPS School Violence Prevention Program, contact us at (866) 925-2083 or at [email protected]ndgraphics.com.

NGS Films and Graphics Assists Nonprofits, including Private Schools, with Security Grant Applications

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

School districts across the nation are improving security measures on their campuses due to an increased number of school gun violence incidents. In 2018, there were 191 incidents – which is more incidents in one year than in the last four decades, according to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security began accepting applications from nonprofit organizations, including private schools, for its Fiscal Year 2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This federal program provides funding to put mechanisms in place to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks.

NGS Films and Graphics can assist private schools in their application for this program.

School Safety Assessments: The First Step in Identification

At no cost, NGS Films and Graphics works with school districts nationwide to provide school safety assessments of windows and entryways. The assessment mirrors the Federal Commission on School Safety’s recommended layered zones.

NGS reviews each school and generates a report that includes recommendations on hardening three areas (or zones) with 3M™ Safety and Security Film and one-way mirror privacy films. The report can be used for grant applications and other reporting requirements.

“We work one-on-one with schools to provide them information they need to be able to move forward with a plan to secure their schools,” said James Beale, managing partner of NGS Films and Graphics. “We want to protect our children and teachers and we understand that schools need this type of assessment when determining how to best move forward with securing campuses.”

3M National Dealer of the Year as a School Partner

NGS Films and Graphics is 3M’s largest window film provider in the United States. The company recently received the 2019 National Dealer of the Year from the St. Paul-based company.

NGS Films and Graphics specialize in the installation of 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film, Ultra Series and 3M™ Impact Attachment Systems in schools. The experience team has developed a field-proven TRI-SHIELD installation method that dramatically improves performance.

In 2019, NGS Films and Graphics partnered with Houston ISD Police to demonstrate the power of the TRI-SHIELD installation. It took more than six minutes to break through the glass – which, in a real-world situation, would mean more valuable time for victims to take shelter and for emergency officials to arrive.

Procurement Contracts Made Easy

NGS Films and Graphics has made it easier for schools to work with them. They are the only window film installer to have obtained Schedule 84 Contract 47QSWA20D00C from the General Services Administration. They also offer TIPS-USA Contract 190101.

These types of contracting vehicles make it easier for private school districts to work directly with the national company without having to go through lengthy bidding processes.

Both procurement vehicles prequalify vendors from a financial and performance standpoint via an extensive quote, bid and prequalification process. “Now that we’ve been through the bid and prequalification process, school districts can easily contract with us because we have met procurement and compliance rules,” Beale said.

Contact NGS Films and Graphics to Assist with the 2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program

The 2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program can offset costs on security-related activities including the installation of security equipment on real property (buildings and improvements) owned or leased by the nonprofit organization at the time of application. Completed applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on April 15, 2020.

For more information on how we can help you apply for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, contact us at (866) 925-2083 or at [email protected].

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 Film and Branding Graphics, 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.

 

Belbien desk retrofit

DINOC & Belbien: The “eco” Architectural Solution

By Architect or Engineer, Architectural Film, Commercial Property Owner, Customers, Decorative Film and Branding Graphics, Education, ESCO, General contractor, Government, HealthCare, Hospitality, News No Comments

DINOC & Belbien: The “eco” Architectural Solution

It’s tempting to tear down and start over, but budget and operations considerations can put a damper on demo. With LEED considerations thrown in the mix, improving the appearance of spaces large and small demand a better alternative. Enter DINOC and Belbien architectural laminate—an excellent “eco” alternative.

Architectural laminates are a textured, hefty 8 millimeters thick vinyl and come in more than 400 style variations from wood grain, fabric, and metallic to stucco, stone, and others. Thanks to their high-tech adhesion and flexibility, transforming any smooth surface is possible, even areas with complex curves.

NGS has been using this dynamic, indoor/outdoor material for several years now with great success. One of our largest projects involved refreshing ten thousand square feet within the Dallas Convention Center.

Washington DC jeweler, IGorman, also needed a fresh take on its aging facade. The company selected a wood grain that matched the original. The end results? Both the finish and the final cost were a sight to behold. Said NGS Managing Partner, James Beale, “The store was completely overhauled with a stunning new & modern look for a fraction of the cost of replacing the original facade substrate.”

Stay up to date on NGS projects, emerging trends and leading-edge applications on social media.

Solar Films

Why No Building Should Be Without Sunscreen

By Architect or Engineer, Commercial Property Owner, Customers, Education, Energy modeling, ESCO, General contractor, Government, HealthCare, Hospitality, News No Comments

Why No Building Should Be Without Sunscreen

If you’re unwittingly letting your building fry like a lobster, that’s your business. Slathering it up with sun protection is ours. Here’s why it matters. According to the International Window Film Association (IWFA), window film can stop more than 80% of the solar energy coming through windows, with up to a 30% reduction in cooling costs and some films up to 30% reduction in heat loss in the winter.. The IWFA notes that window film can even save seven times each dollar spent on replacement windows.

More than 250 window films have even been certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) for energy efficiency. (“Fenestration” means an opening in a building—basically, windows, doors and skylights). The NFRC is the same independent, nonprofit organization that rates glass windows. Ratings take into account factors including energy absorption, solar heat gain, air leakage and resistance to condensation.

As if energy savings weren’t a good enough reason for solar-savvy window film, this “sunscreen” also means:

  • UV protection for the people inside
  • Fewer hot spots
  • Less glare
  • Reduced fading of furniture, carpeting and artworks

According to James Beale, managing partner and vice president of sales for NGS, “Solar considerations have emerged as a major factor for our clients in weighing their window film options. Energy costs and ways to mitigate them should really be on every client’s window solution check list.”

Beale also pointed out that many clients have been taking their solar solutions to the next level with specialty solar-control window films in a variety of categories. These include traditional reflective, ceramic ultra-blocking, and spectrally select for preserving the highest degree of natural daylight.

Get more news you can use about window film solutions from and stay up to date on leading-edge applications on social media.

Size matters

Size Matters – for Window Film Projects

By Architect or Engineer, Commercial Property Owner, Customers, Education, Energy modeling, ESCO, General contractor, Government, HealthCare, Hospitality, Installation Services & Programs No Comments

Size Matters…For Window Film Projects

Size matters when it comes to window film jobs, according to one of the latest articles in Window Film Magazine. Window Film Magazine contacted National Glazing Solutions (NGS) to feature one of various large projects that NGS had completed recently to highlight the different window film applications in the commercial marketplace. The Project chosen was Sutter Health, a hospital in Northern California that NGS partnered with an ESCO on. The project took approximately 35 days and two installation teams to complete the installation at the campus. The film selected was Solar Gard Silver 20 reflective window film that achieved an incentive from the local utility company to help offset the cost of the project.

Energy Efficient Window Films Work for Hospitals

Solar control window films offer many benefits for commercial properties but hospitals in particular can benefit from the many benefits. In addition to the energy savings hospitals can benefit from the UV & glare rejection afforded by window film. Window film is endorsed by the american skin cancer society as an effective measure to reduce exposure to harmful UV rays that can cause skin damage and promote skin cancer.  Another ancillary benefit that this hospital achieved was an aesthetic overhaul that made the windows all look uniform and cleaned up the “patchwork” effect of seeing windows with clutter & different window treatments installed.

Contact the Pro’s at National Glazing Solutions to learn how window film can benefit your building and if there are incentives or available rebates available. Most property managers are not aware that the window film can pay for itself in under a year  with the combination of rebates and energy savings.

Call today 866.925.2083 or email info[at]NationalGlazingSolutions.com