Increasing Building Safety
with Window Films

24/7 Building Safety and Protection

Designed to hold broken shards of glass together, safety and security window film systems can provide protection against acts of terrorism, vandalism, intrusion and bad weather.

Building and occupant safety are at the top of every facility manager, business owner and school administrator’s mind these days.  The one security measure that is often overlooked: safety and security window film.

These films offer various benefits including:

  • 24/7 passive protection;
  • When installed, these systems are virtually undetectable.
  • an enhanced barrier to entry for windows and doors.

Safety and security window films are polyester-based products incorporating multiple layers of film laminated together for strength and durability, while utilizing an aggressive pressure sensitive mounting adhesive designed to hold broken fragments of glass to the base polyester.  These films are applied to the interior surface of a building’s glass windows.  These products include a durable scratch-resistant coating to help protect the film from damage due to everyday wear and tear.

Safety films are designed to mitigate injury and loss, with increasing popularity for architectural applications.   Available in clear, safety and security films are also available in tinted and metalized versions, offering solar control benefits such are glare reduction and heat rejection.

Safety measures for commercial buildings

Curved glass building featuring architectural window film.

Windows and doors are the most vulnerable parts of any commercial building since they provide access and entry. With countless employees, confidential documents, and valuable assets, commercial buildings should have multiple safety measures in place.  Safety and Security Window film systems add a layer of protection against those looking for easy points of entry by delaying potential intruders. Safety and security films also offer protection from shattered glass.

Safety and security window films stand up to various threats, such as severe weather, civil unrest, burglary, terrorism, and even bomb blasts, to varying degrees. These films, along with the appropriate window attachment systems, hold shattered glass in place, protecting the occupants from dangerous flying shards.

By holding the glass in place, the film can prevent intruders from entering through a window once it is impacted. This is especially beneficial in the case of damage from a storm, so building owners need not worry about further damage taking place. While attached safety and security films do not protect against bullets, they can protect the envelope of the building by obscuring the view and making it harder for the assailant to enter the building.

The importance of testing

As with all safety measures, there are limitations to what a window film can do. Rigorous independent testing to recognized standards is the only way to ensure the highest quality product for a specific building.

Certified third party testing facilities have extensively tested films and attachment systems to meet both domestic and international safety and security criteria. Such criteria may include Blast Mitigation, Intrusion Resistance, Windstorm and Earthquake Mitigation and Safety Glazing.

Solar control benefits of installing window film

Exterior view of a brick commercial building with large windows.

Solar control safety and security window films can also have a positive impact on commercial buildings as well.  Aside from the safety and security benefits, Solar Security films can reduce heat transmission, reduce glare and help eliminate hot and cold spots with a floor.   While offices favor natural sunlight and unobstructed views, the glare on computer screens becomes an annoyance and hindrance for the staff. Often blinds or shades are used to control glare, eliminating beneficial, natural lighting. The application of window film can reduce interior glare and alleviate eye fatigue, while maintaining the views and natural sunlight.

Window film also has the ability to lower energy consumption and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, by keeping out up to 86 percent of the sun’s heat. Installing window film can be a smart way to cost-effectively conserve energy, reduce heating and cooling costs, and enhance occupant comfort.

Window films in action

A Texas school district with more than 15,000 square feet of windows wanted to upgrade the safety and security of its 48 buildings without changing their appearance. Clear safety and security film provides 24/7 passive protection and holds shattered glass together in the event of impact. Its clear appearance does not alert would-be intruders that the protective film is in place and is extremely difficult to penetrate, delaying entry. By installing window film to aging schools, the school district was able to increase the safety and security of the buildings and better protect the students, teachers and staff while staying with their budget.


Millions of people head into commercial buildings every day for work, school, shopping, eating, and more. Developers and specifiers need to ensure these buildings are safe and secure for all inhabitants. Safety and security film is one safety measure to consider when looking to improve an existing building or develop a new one.