An In-Depth Look at Security Window Film

By January 26, 2024 Uncategorized

Enhancing the safety and security of buildings protects both people and property against threats like forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, storm damage, and glass-related injuries.

When it comes to reinforcing commercial glass doors and windows (any building’s most vulnerable points), security window film is a versatile and budget-friendly solution.

This translucent film, when applied to windows and other glass surfaces in commercial settings, shields glass against various security threats and delivers additional advantages that can provide a strong return on investment.

In this in-depth guide, we will take a look at all the most important aspects of security window film—what it is, the threats it guards against, and the array of benefits it offers. We will also make comparisons between security window film and Riot Glass®, an alternative security glazing option designed to take threat protection to the highest levels.

What Is Security Window Film and How Does It Work?

Security window film is a specialized poly-based film that transforms ordinary commercial windows and glass doors into reinforced barriers.

Crafted with many microscopically thin layers of polyester and adhesive, the film is engineered to retain shattered glass upon impact, averting scattering and minimizing the risk of injuries and property damage.

Being optically clear, security window film allows natural light to pass through and ensures visibility is maintained, while still providing a higher level of safety and security than standard annealed or tempered safety glass.

Available in various thicknesses to provide different levels of impact resistance, security window film facilitates a cost-effective upgrade for existing windows without the need for extensive renovations or the higher expenses associated with alternative security glazing solutions.

Security window film is widely employed in different commercial settings, as it serves to fortify security measures and, crucially, enhance human safety within glass-laden buildings.

Thwarting Threats with Security Window Film

Forced Entry Deterrence

Security window film complicates intruders’ attempts to break through windows and doors, providing an additional layer of protection for businesses and facilities and acting as a deterrent against forced entry and burglary.

While it doesn’t prevent windows and doors from breaking, security film holds shattered glass in place, impeding intruders from easily passing a hand through to open a door from the inside and gain unauthorized access to the interior of a building.

The presence of security window film alone often deters criminals, prompting them to seek easier, less secure targets.

Storm Debris Impact Protection

During strong windstorms, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, security window film prevents glass fragmentation caused by flying debris. By holding shattered glass together, it minimizes the risks of injuries and further property damage, mitigating the potential for further storm-related havoc inside buildings.

Blast Damage Mitigation

In scenarios involving blasts or explosions, security window film reduces the risks of broken glass-related injuries by holding shattered glass in place, averting the release of sharp, jagged shards into the building.

Vandalism Protection

Protecting against graffiti, scratches, and etching on glass surfaces, security window film acts as a sacrificial layer. In the event of an act of vandalism, often only the film requires replacement, saving time and money on glass repairs.

Additional Perks of Security Window Film

Potential for Increased Energy Efficiency

Certain security window films improve energy efficiency by reducing heat transfer through windows, potentially lowering energy bills by minimizing the need for heating and cooling.

Optional Privacy Enhancement

Tinted and reflective security window films provide an additional layer of privacy, restricting views from outside when the exterior light is brighter than that of the interior. This feature is especially valuable in commercial spaces where privacy and confidentiality are important, such as in glass office buildings.

window film1

Glare Reduction

Engineered to reduce glare from sunlight, specific security films create a more comfortable working environment, particularly in offices where people work near windows.

UV Protection

Many security films offer high levels of protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, safeguarding interior furnishings from fading and enhancing overall comfort and safety within indoor spaces.

window film2

Quick Installation

Compared to more robust security measures, such as security glass installation, security window film is quick and easy to install, causing minimal disruption during the application process and saving on labor costs. This makes it a convenient, budget-friendly option for retrofitting existing structures.

Security Window Film vs. Riot Glass for Access Denial

While security window film provides a modest reinforcement for commercial glass surfaces and acts as a deterrent against forced entry and associated threats, its primary focus is on enhancing human safety, not providing complete access denial.

For properties requiring comprehensive protection against forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, looting, and active threats, Riot Glass offers a more effective solution.

Riot Glass access denial systems consist of advanced forced entry- and/or bullet-resistant security glazing and framing, providing a higher level of protection.

Cost and Installation Comparison

Security window film is a more economical option than Riot Glass, both in terms of materials and installation. The installation process is swift, involving the direct application of the film onto existing glass surfaces.

While Riot Glass may involve a framed system installation, it is not significantly more complex or costly. Retrofittable framing adapters can be used for installation, making Riot Glass a cost-effective solution compared to other comparable security glazing options.

Considering the enhanced protection it provides against all manner of security threats, Riot Glass offers a potentially greater return on investment over time than security window film.

Riot Glass Offers Increased Physical Protection

Riot Glass surpasses security window film in providing a high level of physical threat protection. Designed to withstand more significant impacts, it is suitable for high-security environments or areas with an increased risk of violent attacks.

All Riot Glass options are forced entry resistant, and some are even ballistic grade, capable of stopping bullets from specific firearms.

Aesthetic Considerations and Customization Choices

Clear security window film maintains the existing appearance of windows when applied directly to the glass surface. Tinted, colored, or mirrored security window film can also be used for aesthetic changes if desired.

Riot Glass involves a framed system installation, potentially altering the aesthetic of windows to some extent. However, the framing is sleek and minimalistic, and is available in various styles and finishes for easy customization to match a building’s architectural style.

Customization options are available for both security window film and Riot Glass, allowing property owners to tailor the level of protection and appearance according to their specific requirements.

window film3

Closing Thoughts

For those looking to fortify commercial doors and windows on a modest budget, security window film stands out as a valuable and accessible option. Its versatility and added benefits make it suitable for a wide range of commercial applications.

For those seeking virtually unbreakable security, Riot Glass provides a highly cost-effective solution for hardening commercial window and door security against even the most serious threats.

Naturally, the choice between Riot Glass and security window film depends on factors such as budget, the level of physical protection required, and aesthetic preferences.

At Campbell, we offer a full range of security window film and forced entry/bullet-resistant Riot Glass security glazing products and installation services. Contact us today for a free consultation!