Category

safety & security Films

NGS Films and Graphics Assists Schools with Security Grant Applications

By | Damage reduction window film, 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].

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

By | Damage reduction window film, 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].

Hallway looking is to offices with glass windows with smart window film

Comparison of Smart Window Film and Other Privacy Window Film Options

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

By this point, you already know that smart window film is eye-catching, exciting, high tech, and a cost-effective alternative to mechanical blinds or new glazing… but if you’re using it solely for privacy, it’s worth figuring out how smart window film compares to other privacy film options. 

That’s what we’ll be discussing today. 

Smart Window Film vs. One Way Privacy Window Film

One way privacy film, such as 3M One Way Mirror Film, enhances security and privacy in buildings, creating a private area within the building that looks like a mirror to outside observers, but provides an unobstructed view to people within the mirrored area. 

Because of these highly specific capabilities, one way privacy window film is a great fit for interior rooms in schools, as well as security areas in commercial spaces – but be aware that mirrored privacy films require a light differential, so you’ll want to consult with a window film expert before investing in one way film. 

The bottom line: Smart window film transforms from opaque to clear at the touch of a button, blocking or clearing views on both sides of your glass. One way privacy film maintains privacy on one side while allowing full visibility on the other side. 

Smart Window Film vs. Decorative Privacy Window Film

Decorative privacy window films provide a welcoming façade as well as flexible, attractive privacy on any of your glass doors, windows, or walls. Decorative privacy film is useful in any situation in which you don’t require a clear line of vision. Since it comes in a nearly unlimited variety of textures, colors, and patterns, you can use it to easily personalize and modernize your space. 

When most people think of decorative privacy window films, they think of solid-surface applications, such as covering a glass wall with frosted privacy window film or white opaque window film. However, decorative films can also be cut precisely into shapes, bands, and other designs (including your logo!), which can provide privacy without covering your glass entirely. 

The bottom line: Smart window film can be used on part or all of your glass windows, doors, or walls, but can switch from clear to opaque depending on your current needs. Decorative privacy window film obscures your view at all times, but it can also cover part or all of your glass doors, windows, or walls. 

Smart Window Film vs. Blackout Film

Sometimes you want flexible privacy – and sometimes you wish your location just didn’t have so many darn windows. When you need to block prying eyes from sensitive data at your POS terminals, or you simply want to block the view of your storage room, blackout film, such as 3M Blackout Film is probably the right choice to use. 

Blackout film is an opaque black that completely obscures the view of something you don’t want seen. However, if black isn’t your style, you have color options. 

In fact, that’s exactly, what Dollar Tree did at a few of their stores, hiring the window film manufacturing experts at NGS to create a custom opaque window film in Dollar Tree’s signature shade of green. 

The bottom line: Smart window film changes from clear to opaque, which isn’t necessary for situations in which you want to completely obscure the view, all the time. In those situations, blackout film is the right choice. 

Read the Dollar Tree Case Study

Smart Window Film vs. Glass Graphics

If you’re looking for privacy and eye-catching designs, consider using full-size glass graphics on your windows, doors, and interior glass accents. Glass graphics help increase your signage and is therefore extremely effective for retail applications. It can also help strengthen your brand message, call attention to a new location, and even share the news about limited-time deals and sales. 

Interested in glass graphics but aren’t sure how to get started? The team at NGS can help you with every stage of this process, including selection of the most appropriate glass graphics materials for your needs, high-quality design and manufacturing of your graphics – and even installation

From concept to completion, NGS has got you covered, no matter if you’d like glass graphics, blackout film, decorative privacy film, one way privacy film, or smart film. 

The bottom line: The high-tech, switchable nature of smart film does a great job of grabbing attention, especially in retail locations, but if you want to grab attention while building your brand or sharing new information with potential customers, glass graphics may be a better choice. 

Choose the Smart Window Film Experts – NGS! 

Hopefully, this article helped you determine whether or not smart film was the right choice for your windows in your office building, school, hospital, hotel, retail store, or government building

If you decided that, Yes, You Would Like More Info on Smart Film, you may as well get a detailed consultation that takes your specific needs into account

Smart film is extremely flexible and cost-effective, especially when compared with smart glass windows, which may require full glazing replacement if the smart electrical components wear out, but there are certain areas in which smart window film is a better choice – and certain areas where privacy window film is a better choice

Instead of wasting your time trying to do all the glass film research yourself, it’s a better idea to simply get the experts to walk through your location and help you determine your best options for longevity, aesthetics, and, of course, effective privacy. 

As the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S. and the team behind some of the largest smart film and privacy film installations in the nation, NGS has the experience and know-how to get you started off right with your smart window film and privacy film selections. 

Check out these creative applications for smart film, so you can start thinking about how you can transform your space with NGS.

Man on phone standing in front of smart film, frosted windows and a staircase

How Smart Film Can Transform Your Space

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

Window film technology is highly advanced these days, using microprisms, chromatic manipulation, and smart films that can be controlled with a switch, an app, or even an Alexa / Siri voice command. 

As you can see, smart film brings a definite “cool factor” to your modern space – and it’s a great cost saver when compared to smart glass windows because the film is a retrofit that covers your existing glazing and is easy to replace. 

If you’re wondering how you can apply smart film technologies to enhance and beautify your retail, medical, education, government, hotel, or commercial space, this article will help. 

Spark your creativity with this list of 5 great benefits and uses for smart film. 

A luxurious, comfortable atmosphere

Modern stadiums and performance venues must provide comfortable seating and an atmosphere of luxury to keep ticket holders satisfied. 

Smart films help you provide the ultimate in comfort and luxury by giving your guests the feeling of privacy in every seat or section – check out how the window film experts at NGS helped the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta leverage smart film to do exactly that! 

Secured sensitive business data

In today’s regulatory environment, it’s important to keep sensitive business data private from prying eyes. A variety of privacy films, including one way privacy window film and smart window film, can help you achieve that goal. 

Check out how NGS protected sensitive data in an operations center with full-glass smart film privacy protection:

And then check out how NGS used a different kind of privacy film, known as Casper Cloaking Film, to block only sensitive data on an LCD TV presentation, while leaving the conference room visible: 

Open office privacy

Open offices are a great use of space and they effectively foster collaboration, but sometimes privacy is required to incubate great, new ideas. 

Unfortunately, some decorative privacy window film can “close off” open office space – whereas the switchable technology of smart window film makes it possible for you to maintain both open space and closed space, depending on your changing needs. 

Provide your staff with both an open office setup as well as flexible privacy, with smart window film, just like this innovative company did: 

Glare-free lighting in skylights, atriums, and glass-filled accents 

Studies show that natural lighting increases workplace productivity – but sometimes too much light can hamper, rather than help, productivity

Since the sun moves throughout the year, your natural lighting might be perfect in some seasons, but in other seasons you have two choices: either fight with impractical blinds that are so large they’re prone to breakage… or use smart film that blocks out glare at the tap of a button

Here’s one example of a smart film application with a frosted privacy window film trim that blocked sunlight and glare in a luxury condo: 

Eye-catching projection displays

Smart films aren’t only for privacy. Since they become a frosted white opaque window film when activated, they’re also great for displaying eye-catching videos on any glass surface in your space. 

Check out how smart film turns regular glass into an LCD screen in this example: 

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

The previous 5 examples were only a starting point to spark your creativity, but we’re sure you can come up with the perfect idea to enhance and beautify your space. 

Want more suggestions? There are many more applications in which smart window film or privacy film are the best option, including: 

Once you’ve got an idea in mind — of if you’d like help brainstorming — get in contact with the smart film and privacy film installation experts at NGS. We’re always happy to help you develop the right idea for innovations that stick. 

Ensure Your Smart Window Film Project Is a Success – Work with the Experts!

Ready to get smart film in your space? Make sure you work with film installation experts, so you can ensure an attractive, unobtrusive installation. 

Because NGS is the nation’s #1 Commercial Window Film Company with smart film expertise, NGS is the team to trust to ensure your smart film project is a success. 

NGS knows that since smart film is an electrical film, it comes with wires – and no one wants to see ugly wires near their beautiful glass. The NGS team has the tools and expertise to cleverly disguise wires by trimming out your glass with matching framing and color-matched wire moldings that keep your smart film fully invisible when you don’t want it to be seen – and fully opaque when you don’t want to be seen. 

 

Learn more about smart window film options from NGS when you check out the creative privacy and smart window film applications from our online gallery. 

Broken window with hole

Ballistic Film

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

We know what you’re thinking: Is ballistic film bulletproof? 

Quick answer: NO. There is no easy or cheap way to bulletproof your existing glass windows reliably. 

However, you can use ballistic film to delay or deter active shooters – and that’s what this blog is about. 

If you’re looking for a glazing replacement that stops bullets, that also exists (just not as a window film). Contact the building security glass experts at NGS to learn more about how you can create a bullet shield for your building. 

What Can Ballistic Film Do?

If ballistic film can’t stop bullets, what can it do? Well, quite a bit, actually. 

It can:

  • Keep your building occupants safe
    Because ballistic film is a shatter resistant security film, it reduces spall hazards to your building occupants or guests. (“Spall” is the dangerous, small glass shards that bullets produce when they hit glass.)
  • Keep your inventory and equipment safe
    Most commercial doors and windows are made with tempered glass, which breaks into a trillion little cubes on impact. While those little cubes are great for reducing window shard injury for people, their crumbly nature doesn’t do much to protect your premises when thieves or intruders shoot your windows. 
  • Ballistic window film transforms all windows into shatterproof windows, which keeps your premises and occupants safer in the event of an attack or shooting.
  • Slow down intruders to buy time for escape
    This is probably the most important feature that ballistic film offers. Because practical, bullet-resistant glass doesn’t actually exist, security solutions such as 3M shatter resistant films are used to strengthen existing glass windows and doors and keep active shooters out of your building.

How this works:

In the video below, compare the first window attack with the second window attack. As you’ll see, the tempered glass shatters into thousands of tiny cubes in the first window attack, and the gunman is able to breach the glass with little to no effort. Compare that to the second window, which uses ballistic window film, and you’ll see how the film maintains the structural integrity of the glass cubes, keeping them safely stuck together and delaying the gunman

Buy Critical, Lifesaving Time with Ballistic Film

As the video shows, the shooter took nearly 10x as long to get even partially through the glass treated with 3M security film:

It took only 20 seconds for the shooter to breach the untreated glass, as compared to 2 minutes for the treated glass. 

Consider how many more people could escape or get to safety zones in an armed gunman situation if they had 2 minutes to react, rather than 20 seconds. 

Then consider how many more people would survive the attack if you could increase that time to nearly 6 minutes, as shown on the third window attack in the video, which includes the triple-thick security of ballistic film, plus a TRI-SHIELD anti-intrusion system

In an emergency active shooter situation, those extra minutes can save extra lives

Learn More About Ballistic Glass Solutions from the Experts at NGS

A building properly hardened with 3M security film can do a lot more to save lives than untreated glass, but for next-level protection, you may want to consider a virtually bulletproof glass solution. Riot Glass is one such solution, but it’s just one of many options. 

If you’re ready to improve your building’s protection capabilities, so you can save more lives in an active shooter situation, your best bet is to discuss your options with the experts. 

 

Contact NGS to learn more about your ballistic film and window options. 

hurricane cyclone showing the impossibility of hurricane proof buildings and windows

Hurricane Proof Buildings and Windows – Fact vs. Fiction

By | Damage reduction window film, safety & security Films, Storm Mitigation | No Comments

Disclaimer: There is no such thing as “stormproof windows,” “hurricane-proof windows,” “hurricane-proof buildings,” or “hurricane-proof window film.” If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, please evacuate the area and stay away from windows.

 

You may have heard that the Florida Attorney General’s office is calling window film “a scam” when used to protect against hurricanes or windstorms – but is it? Hurricane season is here, so it’s time to get to the bottom of this question.

When it comes to window film, let’s start separating fact from fiction.

Here are a few statements you may have heard:

In the state of Florida, it is illegal to sell or market window film solutions as “hurricane, windstorm, or impact-resistant.”

This is a fact. Florida HB 849 (2011) makes it a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act to “advertise, sell, offer, provide, distribute or market any product as hurricane, windstorm or impact-resistant” unless it is in compliance with the provisions for product approval in the Florida Building Code.

Since the Florida Building Commission only approves products that are part of a complete window system and assembly, the retrofit solution of window film does NOT meet the criteria for building code compliance. According to the state of Florida, window film is NOT a form of hurricane window protection.

Window films can make your building or windows “hurricane-proof.”

This is fiction. Florida is correct. Though high-quality commercial window film strengthens your building’s glass windows, doors, and architectural features against a range of safety and security events, it does not make your glass unbreakable. Nothing can make glass unbreakable.

In fact, there’s actually no way to make your building truly 100% hurricane-proof because hurricanes are unpredictable, often resulting in roof destruction, uprooted trees, and flood or fire damage. However, many building managers turn to security film solutions such as 3M shatter resistant film to reduce the damage from many of the side effects of hurricanes.

Window films can help protect your property from dangerous weather conditions.

This is a fact. According to a statement made by the International Window Film Association, which is an educational organization, “Safety/security window films applied to glass are tested to the same break-safe standards required of tempered glass, heat-strengthened glass, and laminated glass. Window film manufacturers have copies of the actual laboratory test reports validating that their products do, in fact, meet specific impact testing.”

In practice, this means that, although window films are NOT part of a complete window system, like tempered glass, heat-strengthened glass, and laminated glass – and are, therefore, NOT approved for hurricane protection per the Florida Building Code — window films have been tested and shown to provide added protection against many storm-related events.

Considering the high average cost of hurricane-proof windows and window systems, building managers who supplement their safety plans with the added support of films often find that they can increase their building and tenants’ safety, cost-effectively, with products such as 3M window film. Hurricane protection isn’t complete with window films, of course, but it is stronger – and in a destructive natural weather event, every extra bit of safety matters.

Florida building managers must rely on steel storm shutters for adequate hurricane protection.

This is fiction. Since the Florida Attorney General’s office has deemed window films inadequate for truly hurricane proof windows, you may think that your only option for storm safety is those ugly, cumbersome storm shutters that require pre-storm installation by you or your building management staff. Thank goodness, storm shutters are only one of your many options for adequate hurricane protection.

Instead of troublesome storm shutters, many building managers choose to use thick polycarbonate panels to ensure that they have shatterproof windows for approved hurricane protection. Plus, in addition to storm safety, polycarbonate windows such as Riot Glass offer enhanced protection from thieves, smash-and-grab opportunists, and explosions – and they can provide additional security in an active shooter scenario.

How to Investigate Further

Though it may be difficult right now for you to determine what your best option is for protecting your building and windows against a hurricane, windstorm, explosion, or other destructive impact event, it’s important to understand that you have a wide range of safety solutions.

Explore all your options for storm, blast, and impact safety when you get in touch with NGS, the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S.

NGS’s team of nationally recognized experts can help you understand all your options for window film, polycarbonate storm protection, and other methods of strengthening your building’s envelope. And, once you’ve decided on the right safety solution for your buildings and tenants, NGS can also help you achieve the fastest, easiest installation you’ve ever experienced.

 

Start the conversation with NGS today, so you can get the facts – and only the facts – on how to hurricane-proof buildings and windows.

 

Add School Safety with Window Film

School Safety Easier to Obtain with GSA Schedule 84

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

Installing safety and security window film on school campuses just got easier for school officials.

National Glazing Solutions LLC dba NGS Films and Graphics, 3M’s largest window film dealer in the United States, received a GSA Schedule 84 contract that will allow school districts to streamline the requisition process to install 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film without the lengthy bidding processes.

Schools districts across the nation are increasing security measures on their campuses due to the increased number of active shooter 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. In response, the Federal Commission on School Safety released a report in December 2018 with recommendations on how schools can enhance their security – including hardening windows with security film.

Purchasing Vehicles: Enhance School Safety

GSA Schedule 84 is designed to serve as the government’s premier purchasing vehicle for law enforcement and security solutions for state, local and federal officials. To obtain a GSA Schedule 84 contract, NGS Films and Graphics went through a rigorous prequalification and vetting process.

“GSA Schedule 84 will allow school districts to procure 3M safety films at pre-negotiated, ‘best customer pricing’ without having to go through a hard bid process where the end result may be having to accept a vendor or material that is not in the district’s best interest,” said James Beale, managing partner. “The way GSA Contracts work is that the federal government has already gone through the vetting process with vendors. Now that we have the contract, we are able to work with local, state and federal governments while saving their purchasing departments time and resources.”

Offering More Than Film: School Safety Plans

NGS Films and Graphics has worked with thousands of school districts nationwide on installing 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film Ultra Series and attachment systems. However, the company does more than just install film. NGS Films and Graphics works one-on-one with school district officials to create a school safety assessment. The assessment mirrors the Federal School Safety Commission’s recommendations on layered zones. It can be used for grant applications as well as meeting state reporting requirements.

“We care deeply about our schools and children and we work hard to ensure schools are secure,” James said. “This GSA Schedule 84 is a contracting vehicle that makes it much easier for schools to work with us. We want every school to have safety and security film because we believe that 3M’s Ultra Series and attachment system, ultimately, can save lives.”

NGS Films and Graphics also works with local, state and federal governments on a variety of other large-scale public projects, including international airports and other government-owned facilities.

Learn more about NGS Films and Graphics’ contracting vehicles and the GSA advantage.

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

Back to School Safety Tips

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

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

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

Harden Your Glass

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

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

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

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

3M Ultra 

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

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

Riot Glass

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

Check out how Riot Glass stops intruders: 

TRI-SHIELD

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

Watch TRI-SHIELD stop an intruder: 

Obscure Line of Sight

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

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

3M Fasara

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

3M Mirror Film

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

Perform Regular Drills

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

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

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

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

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

Increased counseling staff and a focus on student bullying prevention strategies 

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

How Can You Prevent School Shootings?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Top 5 Things to Improve the Safety of Your School

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

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

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

It’s enough to make your heart start hammering. 

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

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

Impact-Resistant “Glass”

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

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

Shatter-Resistant Glass Films

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

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

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

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

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

Privacy Window Films

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

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

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

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

Clearly Marked “Safe Zones”

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

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

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

An Atmosphere of Safety and Orderliness

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

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

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

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

Keep Your School Safe

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

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

They’re counting on you for shelter. 

 

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

 

Student in a classroom learning about school safety

School Safety Window Film Comparison

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

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

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

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

Shatter-Resistant Security Film

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

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

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

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

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

Privacy Window Film

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

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

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

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

Wayfinding Graphics 

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

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

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

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

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

Get the Right Window Films for School Safety

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

 

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