School intruders intent on harm is a community-wide concern, and delaying their entry with security window films on windows and doors may buy time to allow for more response time and save lives, according to the International Window Film Association (IWFA), Martinsville, Va.
“Recent school shootings reveal plain or tempered glass doors and windows are often the point of entry that is breached by intruders ready to do harm,” says Darrell Smith, IWFA’s executive director. “All glass doors and windows on the ground level need to be evaluated with an eye toward security to protect everyone inside.”
IWFA has published a free, downloadable guide that states what security window film can and cannot do. No security window film known to IWFA will make glass bulletproof. Any claim to the contrary should be brought to the IWFA’s attention.
Security window films are an option for any structurally sound window. The application of security window film may not prevent the entry of a high-velocity projectile, but it may increase security by holding the glass together and reducing spalling and total window failure.
The average U.S. public school is more than 40-years old and most have not had a major renovation in 12 years, states the U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. This leaves a majority of school leaders looking to improve security within the constraints of the annual budget. When designed to save energy, security window films may reduce solar heat gain by as much as 80 percent. For energy savings and return on investment, they are proven to be a cost-effective solution with a payback period in many instances of less than five years. This benefit is likely to offset much of the capital costs of adding security window film to a school.