Peter Davey, American Window Film, Inc.
You might think you’re nowhere near the risk of terrorist attack, far from the likelihood of violent weather, miles away from a multi-story glass tower of a building, or removed from the possi­bility of “break-in” entry. I suggest that where there are windows, there is risk. Involved in the window film industry since 1975, I have acquired many articles that mention injuries caused by flying glass. Some have occurred from shards of glass that have flown like daggers miles away from their point of origin. Most disturbing are those that need not have been published if window safety had been addressed. We seldom hear much about what we can do to make our environment safer with the relatively simple and economical application of safety and security window film. The blast, the hurricane, and the injured are front and center, as they should be, in any report on a catastrophic event. However, after the reporter has left the scene and the analysts have studied it, one has to search arduously to find reports that include preventative measures that could have been taken to minimize the devastating damage and injury. Mention of the cost to repair the damage or the ensuing litigation in the aftermath of a catastrophic event is generally old news and deeply buried. The application of security window film immediately provides protection to the occupants of a building as well as those in the vicinity. Though security film will not stop glass from breaking, it will hold glass in place. It is also a tremendous deterrent to “smash-and­grab” crime. Time is of the essence for burglars. A strong security film can slow them down to a frustrating halt. When you decide to invest in security film, consider only skilled and experi­enced installers. Verify that you are working with a manufacturer’s author­ized dealer. An authorized dealer will be happy to have you check with their distributor or manufacturer for confir­mation of their status as a dealer in good standing. An installation by a manufacturer’s authorized dealer that employs professionally trained installers will assure quality work and the security of a manufacturer’s warranty. Note the number of years the man­ufacturer has been in the business of window film, whether it is an ISO 9002 certified facility, and whether it is com­mitted to an investment in research and development.
A manufacturer that uses its own adhesives is a real plus. Window film is only as good as its adhesive. A bad adhesive will produce bubbling and blistering–distortions created from thermal cycling that can result in field failures. You will want to be assured of lifelong optical clarity, a characteristic of a good adhesive.
Does the film incorporate micro-lay­ered polyester technology for optimum strength? Find out specifics on blast testing on the brand of security film you are considering. Were the tests conducted according to GSA criteria? Be certain that the test data is indica­tive of consistent performance in all cli­mates and conditions. Naturally, the more film applied in the field, the more reliable the data for performance.
While security window film goes about its business of preventing injury and damage to property, it also mini­mizes temperature imbalances by reducing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer months. The resulting energy conservation ultimately reduces high energy costs and increases the lifetime of HVAC equipment. For those who need to justify an investment in window film, the energy savings alone will pay for most window film installa­tions in short order. As with any investment, you get what you pay for. A good rule of thumb is to trust experience, longevity in the industry, and indicators that the manu­facturer is here to stay. After security window film has been installed, pat yourself on the back for protecting those in and around your building. You did the right thing!
Peter J. Davey recently received recognition from 3M Company and Energy Products Distribution for out­standing performance. Davey was one of two dealers (the only dealer in the Northeast) whose 3M window film sales for 2002 exceeded all others in a 16­state region that covers New England and much of the eastern seaboard. Davey is president of American Window Film, Inc. (previously known as New England Sun Control of MA & NH), a 3M Authorized Window Film Dealer, located in Foxboro, MA; 800-274-TINT; www.americanwindowfilm.com.