Safety and security in film

Glass is widely accepted as a building’s weak point from a safety and security perspective. It enables relatively easy access to potential intruders and it is an easy target for vandals looking to cause a lot of damage and disruption. Micky Calcott, MD at The Window Film Company, looks at how quality window film can drastically improve the safety and security credentials of unprotected glazing to meet and exceed current legislation.

Enhancing a building’s existing glazing to improve safety, security and performance – or to meet certain standards – can be very costly. The cost of materials, labour and disruption to daily activity means that these crucial measures are overlooked in spite of the safety and security implications.

Rather than replace and install new and expensive glazing to mitigate potential risks and threats, high quality window film can be retrofitted to existing facades to provide an added layer of protection. The best films enhance the existing glazing performance to meet and exceed requirements such as:

Glass security enhancement to GSA standards as well as ISO16933, ISO16944 & EN356

Bomb-blast resistance and added blast mitigation

The Workplace (Health Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992: Regulation 14

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Regulations

European standards such as EN12600

These solutions can also provide: added impact resistance; keep broken pieces of glass in place when shattered to reduce the risk of injury from broken fragments; provide privacy and visual security protection; and burglar proofing when window film is combined with anchorage and containment systems, reducing the risk of smash and grab crime.

Safety and security film can be used in conjunction with other window film products to further enhance the properties of glass, and even add an aesthetic appeal. For instance, safety and solar control film can be combined to improve the safety of a window by strengthening it and protect occupants from the UV effects of the sun. The same aperture can be enhanced even further with security film to meet security specifications.

To meet aesthetic demand, mirrored, frosted or graphic printed film can be added to provide a design or privacy element – as seen on many leisure, retail and commercial environments.

Even with all the layers and specifications described, window film can be fitted faster than installing new windows and with all the extra enhancements. The product features and speed of installation from specification means that is a very cost effective measure that is sustainable, low maintenance, durable and future-proof.

The best window film suppliers and installers use the latest technology. Solutions should be high performing, and available in various thicknesses and specifications to meet requirements. Those specifying and installing safety and security products or components must always aim to exceed Building Regulations and standards to ensure properties are safe and secure now and in the future.

The Window Film Company, for example, sources its film products from Madico, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of laminating and coating solutions. As the exclusive UK supplier, the company’s installation teams receive extensive and ongoing product training to ensure quality standards are at their highest levels.

The benefit of working with a customer-focused company is that product quality and installation is assured from specification right through to install and aftercare.

As the prevalence of crime, anti-social behaviour and terrorism increases worldwide, retrofitting existing fenestration with products that improve safety and enhance security can only be beneficial in ensuring people’s way of life is not compromised.

Another point to confirm is that the supplier and installer has the capability to deliver bespoke solutions that are effective, durable and low cost in comparison to alternatives.