Having a lot of glass windows is seen as a plus by a lot of people, however there are risks and issues that can make it harder. Window security film is designed to combat several problems associated with having glass windows.
Security film is a neat product for making glass harder to breach. Intruders have to use a lot more force and the resulting noise can give you more time to react. Security film can also save lives by keeping the glass from windows and doors from becoming sharp projectiles when subjected to major forces and it can reduce the speed at which a bullet or object enters your home or business.
Sure it is great to have a good view and let light into your home or business. Having a lot of light can help with mood, decrease the amount you spend on lighting, etc. However, the visibility and exposure that windows cause, especially on ground level or if you are near other multiple story buildings, can mean others can clearly see what is going on in your home or if you have valuables that are enticing to thieves. Those that are up to no good may see that you or someone else is home alone or that the building is probably empty.
Clear security film of course only offers you protection from shattering and provides no privacy. Some of the films discussed further in this post also offer a mirrored appearance on the outside and a clear but subtly tinted one-way view from the inside looking out that can be a good compromise for some people.
The glass is the weakest point in the exterior of your home. Even glass that is tempered will break with some force and something like a carbide tip tactical pen. Glass can be shattered and it doesn’t even make that much noise if care is taken. With so many people completely absorbed in music, video games, watching tv, or just talking to others, it can be amazing what can be going on all around and that no one notices. In the small town we live near, someone got caught with their pants down and streaked down the main street and only a few people noticed on a busy day.
So what good is window security film?
Security film is something anyone can use it to get some extra privacy. Some films are glued on while others use static. This means even if you are renting, this is something that you can do to increase your privacy and security.
Security film keeps the glass from shattering into harmful or fatal shards. It was invented in response to the problem of blasts or bullets actually shattering glass and the shards causing damage.
The shock from explosives can channel and travel a much greater distance than you would think. If buildings are lined up properly, blasts can channel a block or two and blow out windows. It doesn’t have to be your building that is taking the main hit. You don’t have control over what is going on a block or two away but you can do something to prevent glass shards from raining down on you, your children, and pets.
Getting a bullet through your window is horrible enough without worrying about glass shards.
There are a lot of different natural disasters that could lead to a broken window. High winds or tornadoes can hurl objects through the glass. Thick window film can help prevent objects from making it as far and will eliminate the glass shard issue.
Fire can also blow out windows. At least with window film, they will not be as likely to cause injury. If you need to escape through a window during any type of natural disaster or fire, then having the glass where it can be broken but not shatter can make it easier to create a safe hole to crawl through. There has been a lot of people cut trying to escape.
If you live in an area that regularly experiences some shaking then having tempered glass or thick security film is highly recommended. It doesn’t take much of a shake to spell trouble for your windows. Spend the extra money to get the 8-12 mil thick film if you live in an area of seismic activity.
Film is less expensive than switching to tempered glass if your windows are not otherwise in need of replacement.
One thing we learned when building our house was that any glass on doors or close to the door needed to be made of tempered glass. I think the main issue the building code people are concerned with is security. Since tempered glass costs more than regular glass, people usually only use it when necessary.
If you have ever seen a busted windshield or car window then you might have noticed how it cracks and does a starburst pattern but holds together really well. It has to be very shattered to just collapse and fall and when it does the pieces are tiny and while capable of cutting you, they are not jagged shards that are likely to cause great damage in a crash.
Changing regular glass to tempered is not realistic or even possible for most. If you are building a new house or have to replace your glass anyway you might ask for a quote if you are really concerned about strength, safety, and security. There is a chance it would be cheaper than using film on all your windows.
Tempered Glass + Thick Security Film=Ultimate Protection
The glass around doors or that is built into doors is often already tempered. This means that adding thick security film will give you a very tough piece of glass. If there are windows that you are very concerned about than replacing the regular glass with tempered and adding the thickest security film you can find is going to give you the most protection short of getting actual bulletproof glass.
Security film can be beautiful and decorative.
There are plenty of people that use security film for a little extra privacy but they also use it to change the look of their home. Some films offer gorgeous designs and colors that offer an inexpensive way to change the way your place looks without spending a ton of money.
If you get tired of one design, you can peel it off and try another. If it just uses static to stick, then it is a lot easier to change designs. If you rent, it can sometimes be hard to find ways to creative ways to make things look different. Film can be used practically anywhere.
Many films that have a primary purpose of shatter proofing rather than security, have an easy to find thickness listed. The thicker the film the more durable and more protection you are getting. Thicker costs more naturally.