Volume 34, Number 7, July 1999


Safety and Security Film–
The Retrofit Alternative

by Kym Singer

If one of your customers is looking for an affordable product to help protect their windows from the natural elements or from forcible entry, safety and security window films are viable alternatives, particularly in retrofit construction.

In fact, after researching various safety products, including laminated glass, the U.S. State Department selected shatter-resistant window film to protect embassies around the world. The film was selected because it is a retrofit product and provides the most affordable protection.

"Basically, the bombings of our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi have caused a worldwide increase in security," said State Department spokesperson Andrew Laney. "One of the things we are planning to do is put window film on the windows of most of our facilities overseas."

Seventeen companies participated in the embassy solicitation and five were selected to provide the shatter-resistant window film and installation services. The companies awarded contracts are: 3M Specified Con-struction Products Department of St. Paul, MN; Greenway Enterprises Inc. of Helena, MT; Madico Inc. of Woburn, MA; MSC Specialty Films Inc. (SFI) of Clear-water, FL; and Western Glass Restraint Systems Inc. of San Jose, CA.

The State Department selected an 8 mil clear shatter-resistant window film manufactured by MSC/SFI to be one of a few film products scheduled for installation on the 12,000 buildings under their control. The MSC/SFI film was chosen based on performance characteristics established during the solicitation.

The 12,000 buildings consist of approximately 10,000 residences and 2,000 embassies, recreational facilities and other various buildings. All of these buildings are located outside the continental United States. The State Department solicitation requires approximately 24 million square feet of shatter-resistant window film and some installation service to be provided.

Additional Uses and Advantages

Safety and security films also protect from damage caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and windstorms. Since the shattered glass is held together better with window film, the threat of injury from flying glass shards is reduced. In addition, safety and security films help deter would-be thieves by withstanding blows that would shatter untreated glass.

"Safety and security films, also referred to as shatter resistant window films, are thicker than standard window films," said MSC/SFI government sales manager Nick Routh. According to Routh, safety and security films are a retrofit product, applied to the interior pane of glass. The films range in thickness from 4- to 14-mil and provide varying degrees of anti-penetration resistance.

All safety and security window films block almost 100 percent of damaging ultraviolet rays. The tinted solar control versions can reject up to 77 percent of total solar energy, helping to reduce electric costs and the fading of furnishings.

Kym Singer is public relations coordinator for MSC Specialty Films Inc. of Clearwater, FL.


Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.