[Published 12/20/22, Updated: 2/21/23]
With our school children back in school, administrators, police, and security teams are focused on the best ways to prevent active shooter events and ensure the safety of everyone on campus.
What are the Best Ways to Protect Your School?
Many school administrators and security teams think of surveillance systems, metal detectors, and armed security officers as the first line of defense in protecting schools. But these are not the only options, especially when balancing essential protections and campus security with an optimum learning environment.
Step 1: Consider Building Vulnerabilities via a Facility Risk Assessment.
For example, the Federal Commission on School Safety cites glass windows and doors as the most vulnerable points of a school building. Non-reinforced materials such as glass allow a shooter to breach the building through broken glass easily.
Is installing bullet-proof glass or bars over windows the best solution? Perhaps not.
Bullet-proof glass is expensive and difficult to retrofit into existing frames. Security bars make the building look more like a prison than a learning facility.
How Breach-Resistant Windows Keep Students Safer
Your best solution for hardening your school’s security at the most vulnerable access points is 3M™ Safety & Security Window Films from Epic Solar Control. These films add a crucial layer of protection by making the window harder to penetrate and holding glass fragments together after the impact from a bullet, a blunt object such as a bat or hammer, or debris from a natural disaster.
The 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film is applied to the inside of the window and then augmented by 3M Impact Protection Adhesive.The adhesive is applied around the frame in a 3/8″ to ½” bead to bond the glass, window film, and frame together. It significantly improves protection against intruders, severe weather damage, or bomb blasts.
3M™ Safety & Security Window Films will not stop a bullet- no window film does. But it makes forced entry more difficult by reinforcing the glass and making it more difficult to breach. This extra time is critical as it allows students and faculty more time to get to safety and more time for first responders.
This video shows how the 3M™ Ultra 800 Safety & Security Window Films with Attachment System increases breach resistance and protects against forced entry.
Step 2: Grants & Purchasing Coops Make Bullet Resistant Films Affordable for Schools
Because the 3M™ Safety & Security Window Films are a highly effective school security solution, they qualify for grant funding. In fact, it is recommended by the Federal Commission on School Safety to help secure a school’s vulnerable access points.
2019- 2021 Texas School Safety & Security Grant
Senate Bill 500 (SB500) appropriated $100,000,000 to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to fund public schools for security enhancements, including bullet-resistant glass or film for school entrances.
The TEA has extended the grant timeline. The new end grant date is June 15, 2023, so you still have time to contact Epic Solar Solar Control for your facility assessment and apply. Current grantees with an open grant can continue to draw down funds and amend their grant applications. See the TEA Grant Opportunities webpage for additional information and resources. Search “2019-2021 School Safety and Security Grant” in the Keyword(s) in the Application Name section to find the associated grant documentation.
These are the TEA’s tentative dates and a revised timeline for this grant program:
|March 17, 2023||Last Amendment Deadline|
|June 15, 2023||Grant End Date|
|July 17, 2023||Final/Revised Final Expenditure Reporting Deadline|
|July 30, 2023||TEA Grant Closeout|
Notice: Grant Update
The TEA released a proposed amendment to School Safety Standards in November, 2022 along with an additional $400M in grant funding to support the new standards. The new grant, called the 2022 – 2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant, has an application deadline of August 1, 2023. For more information on this important update, new required security measures, and grant funding- visit New School Safety Mandate for full details and deadlines.
Cooperative Purchasing Agreement Discounts
Public schools that are members of a cooperative purchasing group combine their orders to earn volume discounts on needed services.
Epic Solar Control is an approved vendor for most school purchasing agreements, including BuyBoard, Tips, and Choice Partners Cooperative. This means Epic has been pre-vetted for quality and price competitiveness. This pre-approval for cooperative purchasing programs enables Epic to help schools reduce time spent on RFPs and competitive bids, save money through volume purchasing discounts, and ensure compliance.
Step 3: Take the Next Steps to Ensure Campus Security
Contact Epic Solar Control for a free school security assessment. Our security experts will walk you through the process, including the documentation needed to secure your school safety grants.
Review Epic Solar Control’s recent school safety window film projects, featuring Princeton ISD, Paris ISD and many more.
About Epic Solar Control
Epic Solar Control is a premier 3M window tinting company providing window film solutions and installation, decorative and privacy glass, and safety and security window film for commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, architects, and energy consultants.
Epic Solar Control has built a reputation for providing exceptional quality craftsmanship and superior customer service. Have questions about window tinting or security film solutions? Give us a call anytime; we would love to help!
We’re here to help. Epic Solar Control is a 3M™ Certified Dealer Installer and we’re happy to answer any of your questions regarding window tint films, the installation process, or any other questions.
More School Safety & Security Resources:
School Safety & Security Window Films
School Cooperative Purchasing Programs