Security window film and bullet-resistant glass are different products offering different benefits. They both have their applications, but as you can see from the video, only bulletproof glass stops bullets.
Generally, security window film keeps a window from shattering into pieces and leaving an open space for an intruder to enter a building. Window films are designed to stand up to physical force, but they don’t stop a bullet from penetrating. This is because the product lacks the sophisticated design, thickness, and composition of bulletproof glass. Bulletproof glass is also extremely durable, but offers ballistic resistance to a variety of shots from a variety of firearms, depending on the level of protection you choose.
In the above video, the Level 1 bullet-resistant glass withstands three shots from a 9mm handgun. Handguns are the most commonly-owned firearm in the US. Handguns are also most commonly used in gun violence in schools, hospitals, workplaces, and other types of attacks. If you’re considering using film to stop a bullet, this video makes it clear that security window film can’t withstand fire from an extremely common firearm.
If you’re looking for higher levels of protection (for instance, something that could withstand more shots from a handgun or rifle fire) there are higher levels of protection to choose from.
All too often, we encounter people who are planning on installing security window film for ballistic protection. Unfortunately, without comprehensive education around the different security products available, more and more people will be put at risk.
To make sure you’re getting a window security product that can resist bullets, look for an Underwriter Laboratories or National Institute of Justice ballistic protection level rating. The UL and NIJ standards are two common ways to measure ballistic effectiveness; at TSS, we manufacture our products to the UL 752 standard. If there is no stated rating level for either standard, it’s a red flag.
If you’re not looking for ballistic protection for your windows, there’s no need to seek out products with these ratings. For instance, if you want to reinforce an egress window to prevent an intruder from easily getting through, security window film may be a good option. If you’re unsure about what level of protection a product can offer, read through the manufacturer’s website and ask their representatives direct questions.