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.”
“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.
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.
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 Reportrecommends 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:
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:
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:
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 schoolcan be mitigated by privacy window film such as 3M Fasara decorative films or 3M Mirror Film.
Available in a very wide variety of patterns and styles, including privacy-friendly etching, fogging, and engraving, 3M Fasaralets 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 3Moffers 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 decisionbecause 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
Mandatedmemorization 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
Schoolclosed-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.
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.
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.
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 reportstates 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 filmis 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
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 filmand 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 Filmsupport 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 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 expertcan 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.
Severe weather storms and conditions have been getting stronger for years. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes have all been growing in both number, as well as intensity. Many parts of the country that never had to worry about these weather conditions previously are now finding themselves directly in a storm’s vicious path.
Naturally, this has many school districtsconcerned about how they can best prepare for school safety and protect their school buildings from future storms.
First off, you need to know that there are affordable and effective options available like 3M window film. Protection from High wind & airborne debris from Hurricane & tornado weather events for your district’s schools doesn’t have to begin and end with the insurance company. By taking steps before a natural disaster, such as installing window protection film, you can help safeguard your school buildings, as well as the children, teachers, and visitors inside them.
What Is Window Protection Film?
Window protection film is essentially a shatter-resistant security film that provides an extra barrier of protectionbetween the dangers of the storm outside your school and those seeking shelter inside.
If you take a look at the outside of any public, private, or charter school, you’ll notice something about the façade of every one: they all feature rows of windows. Daylight is great for learning but, unfortunately, windows can be some of the most vulnerable points in a school building.
As you know, one of the most dangerous aspects of natural disasters is debris from high winds. Thankfully, it’s easy to strengthen your district’s school windows against wind.
3M window film has been tested to achieve up to 140 mph wind speed resistancewhen properly anchored on a suitable metal window frame
3M Ultra series passes ASTM E 1996/E 1886 Missile Level C
Your district’s schools can achieve protection from high wind and airborne debris if you choose professionally installed 3M safety window films – the affordable, effective optionthat can help ensure the safety and security of your buildings, faculty, and students.
Why Are School Security Supervisors Choosing Window Protection?
In addition to increasing school safety because it makes glass stronger and more resistant to shattering, security window film like 3M shatter-resistant film also wins on price. Simply put, window protection film is more cost-effective and sustainable than new glass installation projects because it adheres to your existing windows. This also means it features a faster install time than new glazing.
Sometimes, however, 3M shatter-resistant film simply isn’t strong enough to block against gale force winds and all the debris dragged along by those high winds. If you’re looking for a stronger option than shatter-resistant film, you may want to consider Riot Glass. Check out the strength of Riot Glass in action here:
Riot Glass uses an innovative, nearly invisible rail mounting system that allows you to choose virtually shatterproof windows for your schools, without having to compromise your aesthetics with those ugly bolt-on mounting systems that polycarbonate windows typically require. Looking for impact-resistant glass alternatives? Riot Glass is definitely worth a look.
When Severe Weather Hits, Be Sure Your Schools Are Prepared
As the earth continues to cool off, following this nasty heatwave of a summerwe’ve finally survived, meteorologists across the United States are now turning their worried eyes toward the hurricane season. They’re expecting around 14 named storms, which is above the 30-year average.
Of course, the weather forecasts may be wrong. They often are.
However, just because meteorologists can’t accurately predict the weather all the time, doesn’t mean you can’t be preparedfor the weather that’s truly dangerous.
Today’s commercial building design focuses on large, open areas and workspaces, but sometimes building aesthetics get in the way of business needs – specifically the need for privacy. Though modern retail stores, hospitals, government buildings, and schoolstend to feature an open look, their employees, customers, and students still need privacy to ensure security and confidentiality.
3M One Way Mirror Film offers specifications that provide an elegant solution to the question of how to increase privacy in an open space. That’s why building managers are increasingly choosing to install 3M Mirror Film in their locations.
What Is 3M One Way Mirror Film?
Part of the 3M privacy film line, 3M Mirror Film covers your interior glass to provide a highly reflective, mirror-like appearance.
In addition to improving privacy, 3M One Way Mirror Film enhances safety and security throughout a commercial building, delivering the look and results you want at a fraction of the cost of new glass.
It’s important to note that the physics of mirrored film means that it always requires a light differential (it must be brighter on the outside than it is on the inside), so you’ll want to work closely with a mirror film installation expertto choose the best areas for your 3M Mirror Film.
3M Mirror Film Specifications
Curious to know the exact specs on 3M’s mirrored privacy film? As usual, the experts at NGS have got you covered.
If these stats have got you scratching your head, here’s what that says in layman’s terms:
3M Mirror Film’s light transmission qualities help boost the lighting differential needed for mirrored film to work well in a range of settings, and its reflective qualities make it hard to see into a mirrored area – but easy to see out. The film is fog-free, providing for crystal-clear visibility, and its thickness provides admirable durability paired with a fast cure time.
Like all 3M window and glass films, 3M Mirror Film is flexibly crafted to fit a range of applications. However, most building managers tend to use 3M One Way Mirror Film in three ways:
Security Areas – In retail, office, and government buildings, fully mirrored walls and areas help conceal security guards. Visitors can’t see in, but security has a clear view out and can act quickly when the need arises. In schools, it also allows children to shelter in place in a locked, dark classroom while an active shooter is loose in a lit hallway – not allowing the shooter to see in from the hallway side of the glass.
Privacy Zones– In banks, schools, hospitals, and many office buildings, certain departments tend to work with more sensitive data. This film’s mirrored effect helps secure those areas from prying outside eyes, while maintaining spatial aesthetics for those inside the mirrored area.
Modern Offices– The increasing trend toward co-working spaces and shared workstations in modern office buildings means meetings can take place anywhere in the building. Savvy building managers support this trend with 3M Mirror Films cut into decorative patterns, which supply privacy throughout an open office space without breaking the flow of the floorplan.
Work with an Experienced Professional for Your Mirror Film Installation
3M One Way Mirror Film is a great solution for a range of safety, security, and privacy needs, but it requires highly specific lighting conditions to work. Your best bet for a flawless film installation is to work with NGS, the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S. That way, you can ensure that your mirror film meets your exact specifications and fits your needs.
Most people would never leave their home and family vulnerable or unprotected. Even the idea of such a thing is absolutely absurd. However, many businesses, schools, and commercial building managers leave their goods and locations unprotected, which is equally absurd.
Of course, there may be a reason for this. Perhaps businesses or schools leave their locations vulnerable because they believe that great security will cost too much or take too much time to install.
Those worries may have been valid in the past, but with today’s modern 3M window security film solutions, businesses, schools, and government properties can finally keep their locations, schedules, and budgets secure.
The Commercial Window Film Advantage
Commercial security window film is a convenient, easy-to-install, and affordable solution that keeps your building, people, and property safe from many of today’s unwanted intrusions by providing a dual protective layer to harden your glass and reduce its likelihood of shattering when hit with a blunt instrument like a rock, brick, or bat.
Therefore, the #1 thing that security film does is help stop a would-be intruder from gaining access into a building, whether that’s for smash-and-grab theft or an active shooter scenario, by delaying the “smash” part of the crime. Though the film won’t resist attack forever, it should block a would-be intruder’s access to your business/school and property long enough for the police to arrive on the scene.
In fact, security window film is so effective that the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission’s (SHAC) final report recommended window film as an effective measure to mitigate an active shooter’s entry into a school.
However, commercial window film does a lot more than block crime. Here are three more reasons why you should invest in 3M window security film:
Not only is window film an effective school security feature that’s fast and inexpensive to install, it also helps you avoid losses from burglary. Without window film, you’ll be responsible for any theft and physical damages that need fixing and businesses will experience loss of income from downtime. Plus, schools, businesses, and government buildings will also have to handle emergency, overnight guard services, which can add up while you’re waiting on glass replacement. Security film reduces costs by minimizing downtime as well as the need for emergency services.
Glass can be very dangerous. Flying glass is always incredibly dangerous. Since the world and its inhabitants are unpredictable and you can never foresee the events that lead to flying bits of glass, you can trust in 3M window security film to mitigate the hazards of flying glass or glass spall brought about by natural or human causes in any type of building.
We mentioned above how commercial window film protects your school/business or property by limiting a would-be intruder’s access to your building. In addition, 3M window security film can also extend the life of your merchandise or assets by significantly reducing the harmful UV rays that are the main cause of fading. That’s double protection for your property.
Ensure Your Building’s Safety with the Security Film Experts
As you’ve seen, commercial window film has many advantages to offer schools, businesses, commercial property managers, and government buildings. However, in order to capitalize on these advantages, your security film must be installed properly by professionals who know what they’re doing.
The experts at NGS can work with you to figure out which security film will be most effective for your specific circumstances, and then they’ll work around your hectic schedule to complete the job and install the film properly, on schedule and on budget.
We all know that window film reduces heat and glare, and also saves significantly on HVAC costs, but what most people don’t realize is that window film provides a wide range of benefits to businesses and their buildings.
In no particular order, here are just five of the benefits that we came up with.
Lowered Inventory Replacement Costs
You’ve seen those companies that have unsightly, cracked, faded, and worn-out merchandise on display. And you don’t want to be one of them. That’s why you rotate your stock, cover your display windows, and replace inventory. Often.
Inventory replacement costs add up, especially for your stores in sunshiny states like Arizona and California, so you’ll be relieved to hear that solar window film blocks nearly 100% of UV rays from getting inside your store and harming your merchandise.
We’ve all heard the advice from the Skin Cancer Foundation: wear sunscreen even on cloudy days, and reapply your sunscreen every few hours. But no one thinks to wear sunscreen indoors near a window, which is why the Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends using solar window film for your building.
Window film doesn’t have to be tinted to protect your—and your employees’—health. In fact, crystal clear films keep your building looking attractive and provide necessary UV protection to keep everyone safe.
Increased Employee Productivity
This time of year can be very difficult for employees because the shorter days mean that they come to work in the dark, and they leave in the dark too. Studies prove that employees work better with natural light than with artificial light (and artificial light costs a lot too), so maximizing the little sunlight we have at this time of year is a good idea.
With Daylight Redirection Film, a high-tech type of window film manufactured with micro-planes like tiny prisms inside it, light will be redirected away from the floor and towards the ceiling. This extends light further into the room to keep natural light on your employees for more of their day.
More Attention on Your Building
There’s nothing that says “out of date” like bronzed window film, and there’s nothing that says “low cost” like a facade filled with thousands of unsightly and crooked venetian blinds. Studies show that people really dislike ugly, boring structures, so updating your building with window film is sure to get you more positive attention.
In addition to the typical mirrored films building managers often use to modernize their windows, there are also video projection films, smart glass installations that change from frosted to clear at the tap of your smartphone screen, and anti-graffiti films that make it easy to keep all your glass beautiful at all times.
People often think of window films as a heat-reduction measure, but they don’t often realize that effective film can keep cold air out too!
Like a cozy, clear sweater for your windows, Low Emissivity films (called “Low E” for short) insulate your windows year round, keeping your building occupants comfortable and reducing wear and tear on your heating and cooling systems. These next generation Low E films can stop up to as much as 42% heat loss associated with the glazing.
What Does Your Building Need?
Remember, this is only a short list out of the many cost-saving improvements that window film brings to your building. Your company will probably experience even more benefits than this.
With installation from NGS Films and Graphics that works around your schedule, there’s no reason you should deny yourself the pleasure that window film can bring to your organization. This year, it’s time to give yourself the gift that keeps on giving for years to come: window film.
Contact NGS at (866) 925-2083 to discover the wide range of solutions and benefits available to you.
As if the increased rates of inventory shrinkage weren’t bad enough, retail burglary is on the rise too – and retailers are suffering the impact on their bottom line. Not only do those emergency overnight glass repair fees and security fees add up after a crime, burglary can also result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profits. Even worse, the perpetrators are rarely caught; retail burglary has the lowest arrest rate of all serious crimes reported to the FBI annually.
Since you can’t catch them and it costs a lot to clean up after them, the best way to deal with retail thieves is to prevent their access to your business. The easiest ways to do this are with physical security measures such as security screens and grating, bollards, increased lighting, video surveillance, and strengthening the glass at your location.
Let’s talk about your glass strengthening options.
For retailers looking to shore up their security by slowing down thieves, the clear solution lies in glass security film. This cost-effective measure can be applied and anchored to the inside and outside of your vulnerable glass doors and windows.
By essentially sticking the window together, security film resists shattering and prevents criminals from coming inside your store. Though window film will eventually fail in response to repeated attacks, it slows down thieves enough that they may get nervous and leave or they may still be trying to break into your store when police arrive on the scene a few minutes later.
One of the market-leading solutions for security film is TRI-SHIELD, which meets ASTM F1233 Level 1.0 anti-intrusion tests to resist attacks from low-powered weapons such as rocks, bricks, and hammers. This triple-layered defense system uses an advanced design to anchor securely to your glass and frames, so you can increase security in your store.
“Bulletproof” or Ballistic Glass Polycarbonate
Establishments requiring more protection, such as banks, government buildings, and retail locations looking to minimize smash-and-grab damage may want to consider “bulletproof” glass solutions. Here’s a quick tip though: official Burglar Resistant Glazing Material isn’t really glass at all, it’s actually acrylic or polycarbonate, sometimes layered with glass, that protects against storms, bomb blasts, car crashes, hammers, flame, and both low- and high-powered weapons.
Though these plastics can’t really stop bullets (nothing can), they do resist shattering when pierced by a bullet, meaning that a criminal must shoot the glass quite a few times before he or she can gain access to the building. Effective “bulletproof” glass is classified as UL 972, and is then further categorized by levels based on how thick the glass is and how many bullets, of which caliber, it can withstand before shattering.
When considering bullet-resistant solutions, you should know that acrylic is more affordable, but polycarbonate is more impact resistant. Polycarbonate holds up better to high-powered weapons and, though it can be pricey, may make you eligible for significant discounts from your insurer once you install it.
But “bulletproof” glass isn’t without its challenges. Many of the mounting systems for these materials require hard-to-remove glue and ugly, bolted-on mounting systems – and the glass itself isn’t breathable, so your attractive clear windows are likely to become an icky, fogged-up mess from condensation. However, there is a solution.
All-new Invisicade, from NGS Films and Graphics, is an innovative, nearly invisible rail system that’s vented to maintain airflow and eliminate condensation, and that keeps your windows looking lovely as you increase your storefront protection. In addition, because it’s glue-free, Invisicade makes it easy to replace your polycarbonate panels if they become damaged or marred. For busy retailers, no-hassle security is always a great idea.
Don’t Forget About Vandalism
Loss can be anything that impacts your bottom dollar, which means that part of counteracting loss at your location can come from minimizing vandalism damage so you can keep your storefront looking great.
Flexible, low-cost solutions such as anti-graffiti film help protect your building from the long-term damage that results from etching, scratches, or tagging. The film helps protect your storefronts by providing an invisible layer that can be peeled off to easily remove unsightly vandalism. That’s right, no buffing or polishing should be required, which means your storefront can get back to looking good as new in mere minutes.
Preventing Loss Requires Staying a Step Ahead of Thieves
If you’re ready to fight against loss at your retail or commercial location, you’ll need to keep thinking and keep protecting your vulnerable glass from becoming a target for burglars.
Though organized retail crime (ORC) rates have been steadily increasing since 2015, ORC perpetrators still only comprise a small percentage of the total burglaries your business will experience. Most thieves are simply opportunists. And, according to the FBI, once a store has become the victim of theft, it’s likely to become a repeat victim.
Don’t give criminals the opportunity to break into your store even once. Consider moving valuables out of sight to the rear of your store, train your employees to follow highly secure closing procedures, and collaborate with other retailers near you to address crime concerns head on. With more of the good guys working together, we can all prevent retail losses.
Learn more about the security films and barricades developed by industry-leading window film experts, NGS Films and Graphics. Contact glazing security expert James Beale for more information on how you can prevent retail burglaries.
If you’ve looked into commercial building security on the Internet, you’ve probably noticed that most of the advice out there assumes your building is a high target area for terrorists. Their advice is a bit… scary.
We’re not here to worry you; we’re here to help. Check out this list for practical, real-world tips that show you how to mitigate common security risks in your commercial building.
Stroll Around Your Neighborhood
Your first step is to put on your sneakers and walk through your neighborhood to get a clear picture of your current local security standing. As you’re walking, take notes on creepy dark alleys, empty lots, abandoned buildings, or obscured streetlamps. Also keep an eye out for nearby federal buildings that could become terrorist targets.
Expert tip: As you’re looking over your area, take a glance at your neighbors’ security measures. If they all have bars or security gates, these deterrents won’t stand out if you use them. If their buildings have streamlined, invisible security measures, you’ll want to follow suit.
Look Over Your “StandoffPerimeter”
The area between your building and nearby vehicles, the standoff perimeter, can be small, especially along streets in urban areas. Depending on nearby traffic lights and parking situations, cars could jump the curband smash into your building.
Expert tip: High impact solutions such as extra-thick polycarbonate can create a seamless barrier that helps protect your building from accident-prone cars outside, but it may be expensive to install. A more affordable solution could be to slow traffic with bollards, heavy planters, or bolted-down benches on the sidewalk out front.
Investigate Your Building Envelope
The exterior of your building, called the envelope, is your most important security protection point. Simply put: if thieves or flying debris can’t breach your building envelope, your building’s occupants and their possessions will stay secure. Fortify your glazing, your façade, and your HVAC vent systems to create a strong barrier.
Expert tip: The envelope of your building defines your building’s aesthetic and it also psychologically provides cues that improve tenant and guest comfort. It’s hard to have a sleek, modern, reassuring building if you have to bolt ugly security panels onto the exterior. Invisible security barriers, such as theft-resistant, field-proven TRI-SHIELD security window film or impact- and theft-resistant Invisicade, help your building stay appealing, attractive, and secure.
Assess Your Management and Operations
Your building management procedures will determine your tenants’ safety in case of an emergency. Make sureevacuation routesare clear and well-marked with bright signage, utilize daylighting in key areas to provide light during power loss, and install blast-resistant glazing or films that limit airborne glass shards from hurricanes or tornado impact.
Expert tip: Security solutions can sometimes get in the way during an emergency situation. Invisibly installed impact barriers or security films offer a clear line of sight for surveillance systems, and they can minimize or prevent glass shatter entirely.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
As you consider your security solutions, remember that physical improvements last a long time and that you don’t always need the most expensive solution. Today’s best security film and impact barrier installers offer long-term warranties of a decade or more for many of their products, but your ROI doesn’t have to stop there. Window films can also reduce your long-term energy costs and cut down on your graffiti-cleaning costs.
Expert tip: Plan for reduced security maintenance charges in the long run. If you need to replace a damaged security feature, it shouldn’t cut into your bottom line too deeply. The right security solutions will not only prevent crimes, they’ll also save you from emergency overnight glass-repair fees and security guard payments during repair time.
It’s Time to Safeguard Your Investment
Commercial building security doesn’t have any one-size-fits-all solutions. Determine your specific needs by evaluating your surroundings, assessing your likelihood of experiencing various environmental and societal risks, and then calculating the costs to mitigate each risk in a variety of ways. Your building investment is worth the work.