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safety & security Films

Unbreakable Glass & Shatterproof Windows – Possible or Impossible?

By Property or Facilities Maintenance, retail, safety & security Films No Comments

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

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

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

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

The category of safety glass windows includes:

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

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

How to Choose Ballistic Glass for Shatterproof Windows and Doors

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

Your ArmorPlast ballistic glass options include:

ArmorPlast 50

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

ArmorPlast 50 meets these standards:

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

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

ArmorPlast 75 – UL 752 Level 1 Bullet Resistance

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

ArmorPlast 75 meets these standards:

  • UL 752 Level 1 (9 mm ballistic attack)

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

ArmorPlast 100 – UL 752 Level 2 Bullet Resistance

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

ArmorPlast 100 meets these standards:

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

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

ArmorPlast 125 – UL 752 Level 3 Bullet Resistance

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

ArmorPlast 125 meets these standards:

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

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

ArmorPlast 125MS – UL 752 Level 6 Bullet Resistance

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

ArmorPlast 125MS meets these standards:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 


Image by Republica from Pixabay

Retail Security Options Against Burglary and Riots

By retail, safety & security Films No Comments

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

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

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

The New York City Meltdown

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

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

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

Retail Security Tip #1: Install Forced Entry Resistant Doors

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

Fast Facts on Riot Glass

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

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

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

A Scene of Destruction in Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retail Security Tip #3: Understand Bullet Resistant Glass Levels

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

A burglar breaking though a storefront window without riot glass

Riot Glass Stops Burglars and Looters in their Tracks with a 100% Success Rate

By Building Security, safety & security Films No Comments
A burglar breaking though a storefront window without riot glass

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

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

Options for Protecting Your Storefront or Commercial Building

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

Boarding

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

Roll-down gates

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

Security film

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

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

Riot Glass – Stops Burglars and Looters in their Tracks with a 100% Success Rate

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

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

Protect Your Business with Failproof Riot Glass

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

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

 

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

Building Access Denial – Riot Glass

By Building Security, safety & security Films No Comments

Best-in-class storefront protection, Riot Glass has never been penetrated.

Benefits

  • Protects glass and frames to where it has stopped almost all attacks from damaging glass/frames
  • No emergency board up required
  • Comes in anodized clear or bronze frames to blend beautifully with existing storefront (no unsightly expand-a gates or roll downs visible)
  • No maintenance required. Set it and forget it, a clear permanent board up for your stores
  • Being tested later this month for windstorm as we are confident it will pass large missile impact
  • Comes with scratch resistant coating and UV coating, extremely durable
  • 100% success rate, never been breached for any of our clients

About

Riot Glass is a patented framing & clear ArmorPlast shield system that is a combination polycarbonate and plastics for maximum strength that mechanically anchors to the windows and doors. The framing system comes in anodized clear and bronze and is custom fit to the doors and storefront window system creating a protective shield that is always working (think permanent, clear board up). The panels are scratched coated, solar UV treated and extremely durable. NGS has had a 100% success rate with stopping break in attempts from items like sledgehammers, crow bars, knives, pick axes, and more.

 

Contact us today to learn more!

 

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.