Security Window Film vs. Bulletproof Glass – which security application is best for your commercial building?
While bulletproof glass and security window film both offer exceptional benefits and keep people secure, they are not the same. These products offer different features and installation methods. So, which one is right for your commercial building?
Read further to get an idea of how they are different.
What is Safety & Security Window Film?
Security window film is a protective layer applied to existing windows and used to help protect against vandalism, break-ins, bomb blasts, and natural disasters. High-quality security window films can also help reject the sun’s heat, reduce energy usage, and minimize the harsh effect of UV rays on people and building assets.
Professional security window film companies can install this film on commercial building windows of any size and shape.
Benefits of a Safety & Security Window Film
Defend against Burglaries & Forced Entry
Security film provides an added layer of protection to slow down intruders trying to gain access through glass windows and doors, thus buying occupants valuable time to get help from first responders. Due to durable construction, this film can absorb great energy and help protect against unwanted entry to your building, retail store, or school.
Adds Protection from Severe Weather
No matter where your business is located, severe weather events such as tornadoes, high windstorms, and hurricanes can interrupt your business and cause serious harm to occupants from flying glass and debris.
Security and Safety window films help fortify window and door glass with a specially-formulated tear-resistant coating and adhesive that holds broken glass together and prevents impact-related injuries from flying glass shards. Quality safety and security window films such as 3M safety and security window film by Epic Solar Control are tested and proven effective in wind speed up to 170 mph.
Provides Energy Savings, UV Protection & Glare Reduction
When paired with solar control film, safety and security window film provides security benefits plus energy savings, temperature control, glare reduction, and mitigating harm from UV radiation.
These specialty window films help reduce excessive heat, control cold and hot spots, and reject up to 79% of the sun’s heat. Additionally, while many tenants enjoy the natural light from windows, they are not as fond of the harsh glare on computer screens or exposure to UV rays from windows. Security window film with solar control helps solve all these issues and helps building owners and managers keep tenants safe and comfortable.
Costs for Security Window Film
As with all capital improvement projects, cost and payback time are considerations. In general, the cost of security window film and installation is around 7x less than the cost of replacement windows with a payback time of fewer than three years.
Factors in security window film costs include:
- Size, location, and number of windows
- Quality and technology of film product
- Film features and options selected
- Prep work required such as removal of existing film or repairs
- Elevated or extreme heights for install
- Unusual requirements and specifications
Your hired experts will evaluate all the factors before giving you an estimate. Typically, a security window film can cost you around $8 to $18 per square foot, depending on the type of film you need.
Special Note: Film quality, installer quality, and manufacturer’s warranty are critical considerations for any commercial building window film project.
- Do your research to find a high-quality film tested and proven to stand up to harsh conditions. We recommend 3M Window Films.
- Don’t opt for a cheap film made with inferior materials that peel and crack before the intended lifespan resulting in increased cost and lower ROI.
- Choose a top-rated and certified installer with a reputation for superior work and excellent customer service.
What is Bulletproof Glass?
Bulletproof glass is also known as ballistic glass and bullet-resistant glass. The term ‘bulletproof glass’ is a misnomer. No glass or security film can completely protect against all types of bullets, especially against repeated stress or persistent attacks such as high-caliber automatic weapons. Bullet-resistant glass refers to different kinds of durable and optically transparent materials that resist or withstand penetration by bullets. State-of-the-art bullet-resistant glass uses several alternating layers of strong glass and synthetic materials, such as polycarbonate.
The level of protection it can offer you greatly depends on the manufacturing process, thickness, and material used.
Benefits of Bulletproof Glass
Offers High Security
Bullet-resistant glass typically has a specially-glazed coating that provides additional protection against a ballistic assault. Banks, high-end retail, and some government buildings often use bullet-resistant glass.
Protects from Hazards
Bullet-resistant windows have a composition that can tolerate and endure the impact of storms and hurricanes to help protect your building and people from impact damage.
Allows You to Choose Different Levels of Protection
The more durable your window is, the more you will have to pay for its material and labor. To help find the right level of protection, choose *UL from level 1 to 8, which indicates the caliber of bullets the window can effectively deter. For example, a UL Level 1 glass is best for withstanding fire from a small-caliber handgun, while UL Level 8 rating is tested to withstand at least five shots from a 7.62mm rifle.
Note: *UL refers to the Underwriter’s Laboratory rating system for bullet-resistant glass and includes the ability of the glass to stop projectiles without shattering, absorbing energy, and retaining the bullet.
Cost for Bulletproof Glass
The cost will depend on the UL for your window. The higher the security you need, the higher the price. Additionally, installation difficulty, the size of your window, and your location are also significant factors that affect the cost.
Generally, for levels 1 to 3, you should pay around $70 per square foot.
Note: Bullet-Resistant windows require the replacement of current windows with new bullet-resistant glass, while safety and security window film is applied over the existing glass.
Should I Choose Security Window Film or Bulletproof Glass?
The answer depends on your unique security situation. Both of these types of protection offer additional security to your building and provide several benefits.
Security window film is ideal for added security and safety protection, in addition to sun control, energy savings, and weather-related impacts. Moreover, it is best for creating a secure, comfortable, and energy-saving environment for tenants and occupants. On the other hand, bullet-resistant glass may offer additional protection in high-risk situations and environments.
So, which option is the best for you?
As both bullet-resistant glass and window films are beneficial in commercial buildings, it might be tricky to understand which one will work better for you. In that case, Epic Solar Control can help you make an informed decision so that you can get the most out of your windows. We assess the risk, listen to your goals, and offer the best solution based on your needs.
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.