Safety and Security

Window Film and Water

Most windows films are applied using a solution of soap and water. The adhesives of window film are on the film. To activate the adhesives they need to be completely soaked with water, making water one of the most important aspects of a good window film installation, well that, and a great Installer.

Because water is so important, Solar Vision Inc. has decided to partner with Culligan Water to ensure we are only using the best water on the market for our window film installations. Our in-shop water filtration system uses reverse osmosis, and softening to ensure the cleanest install possible. 

Water can be different all over town depending on the city you live in. Some cities have very hard water which can leave a haze on your glass, and make the install very difficult, by using purified Culligan water straight from our shop, our installs are consistent, no matter what part of Colorado you are from. 

A good film install starts with a great Installer, the best window film on the market, and Culligan Water. 

A good film install starts with a great Installer, the best window film on the market, and Culligan Water. 

This little co-branded contraption is a pressurized water tank used for installing window film. 

This little co-branded contraption is a pressurized water tank used for installing window film. 

Security Window Film...What you need to know.

While Security Window Film may seem like a new invention, it's actually been around for a long time, over 40 years! Safety and Security Window Film may not be new, but it has come a long way, and new features like the Attachment System have been recommended to increase its performance.

If you've landed on this BLOG, you're probably a bit interested in the product, and you've probably watched footage of security window film being put to the test on YouTube, and other sites. While these videos do give us a good idea of how Security Window Film performs, they can also be a bit confusing.

Let's start with answering the question, just what it is Security Window Film?

  • Security Window Film is a thick piece of window film ranging from 4 mil - 18 mil's (a mil is a thousandth of an inch) in thickness. Some of these films are developed using a cross woven process of the polyester material (I'm sure that was confusing). Long story short, an 8 mil cross woven film may provide as much protection as a 14 mil security film that isn't cross woven. Check with the window film manufacturer or a reputable window film dealer to better understand what type of Security Window Film will work best for you.

Regardless of the mil, security film is designed to hold the glass in place should it break. Holding the glass fragments together can reduce injury, as well as deter potential intruders by making the glass more resistant.

Another important component of any Security Window Film system is the addition or lack thereof, of the Attachment System. Any video you've watched online most likely has an Attachment System applied along with the Security Window Film.

So just what is this attachment system?

  • The Attachment System is typically a silicone bead, much like you see on the frame of commercial glass, applied after the installation of the Security Window Film, the Attachment System bonds the Security Window Film to the frame of the glass, giving you the highest level of security. In some instances Security Window Film, and an Attachment System are strong enough to withstand a bomb blast!

So what if you're not concerned with a bomb, why do YOU need to consider the Attachment System? Think of it this way, many times the most trouble free windows for an intruder are typically ones like your sliding glass door, or the front entrance to a store. That is because tempered glass (safety glass) is used on these areas. Tempered glass is designed to shatter into thousands of pieces once broken to prevent large shards of glass from injuring someone. Making these windows pretty easy to break out.

Let's say you put Security Window Film on tempered glass without an Attachment System. The Security Window Film will hold the glass together, leaving the intruder to push the glass out in one piece. You may have just help the intruder not get cut while he’s breaking in. If the attachment were to be added, that film is anchored to the frame, making it very difficult to penetrate.

If you add the Attachment System, does that mean your glass in impenetrable?

  • Well, no. Like most security products, security film is a deterrent. It is not 100% foolproof. However it can turn a couple of seconds to respond, to over a minute, allowing you time to protect yourself, and additional time for authorities to respond to a security alarm, or 911 call.

The most FAQ window film dealers get is: Is it bullet proof?

  • The answer is no. Security window film is not bullet proof, and be leery of anyone that says it is. There are some films that claim to be bullet proof. Maybe they are, just do your research on these products, and make sure they're 3rd party tested. And while most Security Window Films are not bullet proof, they are designed to hold the glass together. This will give you some extra time to respond or find safety should someone shoot at your glass.

Another important question is cost. About how much does a Security Window Film install cost?

  • Price can vary depending on where you live, the brand of security film you are purchasing, and the company you are hiring for your film and installation. A professional Security Window Film installation will probably run you between $10-$15 per square foot installed. The Attachment System will be in addition, and is charged per linear foot. Many times the Attachment System can be as much as the film, this is due to the labor and skill required for the application. Be sure to work with a reputable experienced window film company when purchasing security film, you'll get what you pay for!

A professional estimate is typically required as Security Window Film installations are not all the same. The application and type of security window film will be determined by your windows and frames. The Attachment System won't work in every scenario, and may have a high potential of turning out ugly, think Wood Framed French pane windows, not a good look with the Attachment System. Always work with a credible window film dealer that works alongside a credible window film manufacturer like 3M, to ensure you are having your film applied to the manufacturers recommendations by a Professional Window Film Installer.

Also, Window Film Dealers may be experts in our field of window film, however we are not “security” experts. Consult with a security expert if you need assistance deciding which windows in your home or building need Security Window Film the most.  

 

 

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Anti-Spy Window Film

Anti-Spy window film is blocks wifi and cell phone signals.  It is made up of aluminum and titanium sputter coated polyester in several layers. It has a scratch resistant coating.  According to the Standard Test Method for Measuring the Electromagnetic Shielding Effectiveness of Planar Materials, it is 90-99% effective.  Natural light still enters the room. Businesses that have a lot of glass and use wireless devices are susceptible to being targeted by people who know how to get into their systems.

Anti-Spy window film can:

  • Help prevent credit card fraud
  • Eliminate the outside use of wireless internet connections
  • Prevent corporate espionage
  • Help stop eavesdropping by hackers
  • Reduce the signal signature of a building

Wifi signals can go through walls, but most go through windows.  Architectural trends show that more and bigger windows are being put in offices all the time.  Along with that, the use of wireless signals has also increased and will continue to do so.  These things combined increase security risks.  Reflective window film reduces leakage.

To increase its effectiveness a metal strip can be placed around the gap between the film and the window frame.  No window film application can be done with no gap between the film and the frame though the gap is small.  1/8 inch is an acceptable application.

Solar Vision is experienced in applying this type of window film.

 

 

3M Film Uses in Hotels

3M film uses in hotels are many.  Window film can provide energy savings, comfort, and added safety and security.  Architectural films can provide beauty and give the hotel a unique look.  The creative environment is limited only by one's imagination. Safety and Security is enhanced by using a safety and security film to prevent break-ins.  In vulnerable areas, the film will prevent intruders from breaking a glass to get in the building.  Often hotels are in places without a lot of people around, so this would give extra security to a building.  Another way 3M window film can add to security is that if there would be an event such as strong winds, hail, etc. which could break the glass, the glass would hold together and not allow shards of glass to fly and cause injury.  If a hotel is in an area where there is graffiti, anti-graffiti film can be applied to the glass protecting it from paint, acid, scratching.  The film acts as a sacrificial layer which takes the graffiti and can be removed. (solutions.3m.com)

Solar Control can be achieved through 3M Window film.  Glare can be greatly reduced.  Heating and air conditioning costs can be reduced with the application of one of 3M's variety of solar control films.  UV rays are reduced by most films by 99 % eliminating the harmful effects of the UV rays on carpeting, drapes, art, furniture and other furnishings.

Decorative Films can be used in the building to make updated creative environments.  Graphics on film can put any picture on a wall at any size.  Fasara films can be used to add privacy and beauty.  The films can be die-cut or custom printed. Di-Noc can be used to remake surfaces such as pine into teak or paint into marble. There are hundreds of surfaces to choose from.

Solar Vision's Mission Statement is to inspire a passion for and generate living and working environments that are comfortable, safe, energy efficient and innovative.  Let Solar Vision's staff inspire you.

Window Film Uses in Churches

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Window film uses in churches add to their beauty, safety, and energy efficiency. There are few things more beautiful than a stained glass window.  The window creates a worshipful environment and help to set the tone in the church building.  Stained glass is very expensive and not all churches have the resources to have them.  Window film can be used in place of stained glass to give the church the atmosphere it wants.  Traditional art can be used or modern art can be used.  Any picture or any graphics can be imprinted on the film and put on the glass at a fraction of the cost of stained glass. The picture can be on one side or both sides.  A picture can be made so that one can see through the glass on one side and have the picture on the other.  Logos and murals can be put up on any flat surface of the church.  Some churches are mixing new art with the more traditional art.  New technology is used to create whatever look the artist imagines.

Bible versus can be used to remind people of messages the church wants to emphasize.

Privacy can be added where it is needed in the church using Fasara frosted film.  So many looks can be achieved through the use of Fasara films. Computer aided design techniques are used to plot and cut the film.(solutions.3m.com)

Solar control window film will cut down on energy costs and if there would be film breakage  because of something like a weather event, the film would hold the glass shards together and prevent injuries.  The film cuts down on glare and protects furnishings from harmful UV rays.

Unfortunately, sometimes churches are targeted by vandals.  Anti-graffiti film can be placed on signage or windows to prevent vandals from ruining the sign or glass.  Safety and security film can be put on glass to prevent break-ins.  Because some of the time no one is in the church, the church may be a target for robberies or vandals.  The films give an extra layer of protection.

The window film is used in retrofitting situations as well as new construction.  It is easy to clean.

Our Solar Vision mission is to inspire a passion for and generate living and working environments that are comfortable, safe, energy efficient and innovative.  If you have any design needs, comfort, and/or security needs in your church, please call Solar Vision.  Our staff will work with you to meet your needs.

 

 

3 New 3M Films

3 new 3M films were announced at a webinar last Friday.  3M expects to introduce at least 10 new products over the next year. Two of the new products are value priced security films.  One has a matte finish.  It is priced for use on a large scale when prices need to be low.  It carries a 1 year warranty.  It is not as good as the Fasara film.  The Fasara is whiter and is easier to cut.  Also the Fasara leaves less residue when it is removed.  The new film is able to compete with the lower priced films though Fasara is always the more recommended product.  When pricing is an issue, this new film can meet a clients needs.  The other security film is a black-out film and again is value priced.  It is black on black and is glossy.  It is used on the interior of the glass. (solutions.3m.com)

The third new 3M film is a mirrored film for a one-way mirror effect.  No mirrored film that makes a one-way mirror is completely mirror on one-side and see through on the other. It is impossible to make this. The effect is achieved by a combination of light and film.  The room on the mirror side must be brighter than in the room of the non-reflective side of the film.  When I was teaching, we had a one-way mirrored glass from the teachers office to the classroom to be able to record student behavior.  It was not film, but a special made glass for that purpose.  It was not as effective as it could have been because of the lack of understanding of how the lighting affected the way it worked.  When it was first installed, that might have been explained to the school staff but as time went on the information was not passed on to new staff.

These 3 new 3M films announced will be available March 1.

 

Window Film Products

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There are many window film products.  The technology to create these new films is continuing to advance.  We can look forward to many new uses for window film to save energy and to improve safety.  The way we use window film to create beautiful working and living environments will continue to improve.  I'm sure my list is not complete, but here is a good start to what is available in the window film industry. Anti-Fog Window Film is a film that is used in areas of high humidity. The glass does not fog.

Anti-Graffiti Window Film is used as a sacrificial layer when vandals use acid, permanent markers, paint, etc. The film is removed and replaced and protects the glass.

Anti-Spy Window Film protects computer information from hackers or communication from being overhead by listening devices.

Blackout Window Film is film that blocks almost all light.  It is used in places like sports viewing rooms or to completely block a view.

Bomb Blast Protection Window Film is used in buildings where there may be a risk of an explosion or terrorist attack.. The film holds the glass fragments together and greatly reduces injury. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqUjGNmh0zg)

Bullet Proof Window Film prevents or slows the ability of a bullet to penetrate the glass.

Daylight Redirecting Window Film controls the light coming into a room, directs the light to the ceiling and down into the room, reducing the amount of artificial light needed in a room.

Decorative Window Film is used to provide privacy and beauty to a room. It comes in patterns and a number of degrees of frost. It can be die-cut to do branding or almost any custom design.

Dichroic Window Film has a shimmering color shifting effect. It comes in warm and cool colors. The cool have a range of purple and blues and the warm yellow to red.

Exterior Window Film is film applied to the outside of the window when it is very difficult or impossible to apply it to the inside.

High Impact Rear Projection Film is film that transforms any window or glass partition into a digital display screen.  It can be any shape or size.  (multimedia.3m.com/mws/.fn=PROJECTION%20COMBINED.pdf)

Gradiant Window Film starts with frost on the bottom and gradually goes to clear. It can also have a color on bottom and go to clear on the top.

Graphic Window Film has any picture printed on it and at any size.  The picture can be seen on one side and a clear window on the other.

One Way Mirrored Film has a mirrored surface and one can be see through from the other side undetected.

Photovoltaics Window Film has tiny solar cells to convert sunlight into direct current electricity.

Reflective Window Film has a metallic look.

Smart or Switchable Window Film changes from frosted to clear when it is turned on or off.

Safety and Security Window Film prevents intruders from getting into a building easily. Also comes with attachments to increase effectiveness.

Solar Control Window Film is the most common window film. It is used to reduce glare, eliminate UV Rays, protect furnishing, increase comfort, and provide energy savings. There is a wide range of this film.  (solutions.3m.com)

View Controlled Window Film is a film that controls what is seen through the glass. There are 3 different view control films that offer 2 angles of view. The product is applied vertically or horizontally giving a different view. This can accent one space over another. This product is put out by Lumisty.

Most of these products are offered by 3M.  Other brands also carry some of these window film products.  Solar Vision is a dealer for the 3M Prestige line.  We know that the 3M company stands behind all their products.  The reputation of the 3M company is unsurpassed. We are, however, able to install other brands as well.

School Safety Improvement

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School safety is an ever growing concern for schools. As a teacher of 34 years, I have seen a number of ways window films can be effectively used to improve school safety. The window film is retrofitted into already existing buildings which is much less expensive than replacing windows. Applying the film creates no mess and the windows are easily cleaned. Safety

Accidents involving glass account for a large percent of injuries in schools. Large areas of glass may not be seen by students and they may run into them. It is important to make the glass more visible. This can be done by applying opaque film or simple patterned film to the glass such as Fasara (http://solutions.3m.com/ ) It is important to make it apparent that the glass is there. The film can cover all or a portion of the glass. Every window or other transparent surface in a wall, partition and door or gate should be of safety material or be protected against breakage of the transparent material. It should be appropriately marked or have something to make it apparent. Film around door handles also help make the glass visible. Graphics can be used to make the glass more visible. The film can add to the learning environment and make it very creative and appealing. Graphics can be used to increase school spirit or motivate achievement in students and staff. Any picture or logo can be printed on the film.

Lettering Applied at Education Center

Safety glass is required in high risk areas. Window film will hold the glass in place if someone runs into the glass. Tempered or toughened glass breaks into squares. Tempered glass may be defective because of manufacturing flaws. Impurities can get into the glass. Sometimes during installation small chips may occur. As the glass expands stresses will develop which may break the glass. When the stress is greater than the strength of the glass it will break. Window film on tempered glass assures that no one will be cut by the glass. Clean up is also very easy.

Glass should be:

  •  Safe from breakage
  •  Visible to avoid accidental collision

Safety can also be increased during weather events with window film. With straight line winds or a tornado most injuries are caused by flying glass. The window film holds the glass shards together. People in the building will not get cut by flying glass.

Security

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we need to keep unwanted intruders out of our schools and away from our children. As a teacher in a rural public high school, quite often we had bomb threats. Real or just a stupid prank, the school officials had to take it seriously. We would have to be moved to another school or a nearby church until the building was secure. If the threat had been real and there had been an explosion, bomb blast window film would prevent glass shards from entering the rooms and injuring students. 90% of all injuries from bombs is caused by flying glass. Even a small piece of glass can injure someone.

If a gun was rumored to be in the school or if there was a tip of a threat, then the school goes into lock down. All the classroom doors are locked until the threat has passed. Schools now have all outer doors locked. One generally has to be let into the school by someone in the office. If a person comes to the door shooting or begins shooting after entering, there is bulletproof window film. The film is expected to delay an active shooter from entering a school from three seconds to two minutes.

Security window film with an attachment will prevent entrance into the building.  A person using something like a baseball bat or crowbar, will be disappointed. Chances are the person will move on. A determined person still may get into the building, but his entry will slowed to the point that the police will have an opportunity to arrive on the scene.  The security film helps to prevent break-ins for theft or vandalism.  Solar Vision has applied 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film to several  school entrances as a test sites for other schools. 3M™ Safety and Security Film is being used in an increasing number of schools. 3M recommends using the Ultra Series S600 or the Safety Series S140. Impact Protection Attachment Systems bond the filmed window to the frame optimizing security. (http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/Support/Safety_and_Security_Window_Films)

At a 2014 Campus Safety Conference held at the University of Southern California , Brad Spicer, SafePlans CEO, outlined strategies to improve the safety of main entrances. One thing he recommended was having shatter resistant security window film applied on the doors and windows to make it harder for intruders to enter the building.. (http://www.campussafetymagazine.com/article/physical_securitys_role_in_a_k_12_environment)

Why use security Film in Schools:

  •  Security film is less expensive than replacing all windows and doors with laminated glass.
  •  The security film is easy to apply over existing glazing
  •  The film doesn't stop a determined individual from entering a building, but gives extra time for help to arrive.

Anti-Graffiti

Why do kids do graffiti??? It is such a waste and such a problem in schools. Anti-Graffiti film can be applied to windows. The film acts as a sacrificial layer. The acid, paint or permanant marker is on the film. The film then can be removed and reapplied. Doing this quickly keeps from giving the vandals the attention they seek. The film can be applied to bathroom mirrors and outdoor signs as well.

Anti-graffiti film at the City County building

National Accounts

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National Accounts across the United States have given our installers opportunities to see many things. In Philadelphia, they got to see the place that the movie "Rocky" made famous. They've been to Washington D.C. and drove down the Oregon coast from one job to the next. On a lonely road in Savannah, they came upon a crossroad with hundreds of cats. The cats were in trees and on the street everywhere. They have listened to the blues and country music in Virginia and Louisville. The song "I've Been Everywhere" by Geoff Mack and made popular by Johnny Cash seems appropriate to their experience. (They did travel by plane though.)

I've Been Everywhere by Geoff Mack I was totin' my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road, When along came a semi with a high an' canvas-covered load. "If you're goin' to Winnemucca, Mack, with me you can ride." And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside. He asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand. And I said, "Listen, I've traveled every road in this here land!"

[Chorus:] I've been everywhere, man. I've been everywhere, man. Crossed the desert's bare, man. I've breathed the mountain air, man. Of travel I've had my share, man. I've been everywhere.

I've been to: Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Philadelphia, Portlandia, Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Minnesota, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee to Davenport, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devils Lake, Salt Lake, for Pete's sake.

Solar Vision carries national accounts. The team travels all over the United States. Solar Vision does installations for clients with multiple buildings spread across the United States. Doing business with us makes it easy to get the film you need installed and to have it be consistent throughout the US. In situations where union membership is required, Solar Vision acquires local installers for the job. Solar Vision makes all the arrangements and still assures the quality of the work. This past month teams have been in New Hampshire and Daytona Beach, Florida. Procuring through one company means: ⦁ Consistent quality and workmanship ⦁ Best pricing available ⦁ The same look can be achieved for each of your sites. ⦁ Communicate with one person ⦁ Time saving Solar Vision has a proven track record completing projects for Hallmark and Sports Authority stores throughout the states.

Hallmark Store Remodeling Project with Architectural Film

Di-Noc Used at the Sports Authority Elite Store

Clean Filmed Windows

Clean filmed windows is an easy process.  You basically clean it as you would any window after 30 days. What to expect:

  • Window film takes a period of up to 30 days to dry and cure.
  • There may be a haze which will cause a visual distortion.
  • There may be small water beads or bubbles.
  • This is normal.  The haze or bubbles will disappear in a few days as the window film dries and cures.  The water used in installation needs to evaporate through the film during the curing process.
  • Cold weather may lengthen the time while warm weather will shorten the time.
  • Security films are thicker and take longer to dry.

Note:  The film may cure less than 30 days.  To be on the safe side to clean filmed windows, wait the 30 days.

What to use to clean your filmed windows:

  • A soft cloth or clean synthetic sponge is recommended to clean filmed windows.
  • To dry them use a soft cloth, paper towel or soft squeegee.
  • Most glass cleaners work well.
  • A good cleaning solution is 1/2 ounce of dish soap or baby shampoo in about a quart of water.  This is about one or two drops in a spray bottle.  You do not need much soap.

What to avoid:

  • The film has a scratch resistant coating not a scratch proof coating, so never use any abrasive material on the window.
  • Coarse paper towels may leave fine scratches on the film
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or abrasive sponges.
  • Do not use cleaning materials that are contaminated with dirt.  This might happen if you clean outside the windows and then use the same sponge to clean the inside filmed window.
  • Do not use industrial strength cleaners.
  • Do not use cleaning tools that may scratch the film, such as hard squeegees.
  • Products containing ammonia can be used but not in large quantities or often.

If you ever have any question about caring for your window film, please ask your installers or give Solar Vision a call.  We will happily give you the information you need.