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.
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.
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.
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.
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.