School Safety Window Film Comparison

Student in a classroom learning about school safety

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

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

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

Shatter-Resistant Security Film

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

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

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

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

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

Privacy Window Film

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

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

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

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

Wayfinding Graphics 

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

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

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

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

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

Get the Right Window Films for School Safety

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

 

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

 

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