The Nashville School Shooting Revealed Glass Door and Window Vulnerabilities. Here’s How to Fix Them.
Security window film delays forced entry through glass openings and has other features that can mitigate or even prevent mass shootings.
Security camera footage from last month’s Nashville school shooting clearly shows the weakness of unprotected glass windows and doors. The perpetrator shot the glass and entered the building within seconds (the same way the Sandy Hook shooter gained access).
Had the glass been hardened with security window film or another glazing security product, the perpetrator would have been delayed by several minutes, allowing precious time for first responders to arrive – potentially saving lives.
Click here to watch the security camera footage from the Nashville tragedy to see how quickly the perpetrator gained entry through the glass. (Viewer discretion advised).
As the video clearly shows, glass is easily broken, making it the first target for perpetrators and the weakest link in the chain of school safety and building perimeter security. Thankfully, there are cost-effective, cutting-edge solutions to help harden glass and improve school safety. Security window film has been proven to strengthen glass and delay intruders by up to 6 minutes.
Click here to watch this active-shooter demonstration we facilitated with Houston ISD Police Department to see how security window film can help buy time and save lives.
How Security Window Film Helps Prevent School Shootings
The Federal Commission on School Safety and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission report both recommend security window film for schools. Following the Uvalde tragedy, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) mandated safety and security window film in schools.
Security window film can help prevent or mitigate mass shootings by delaying forced entry, reducing visibility, and containing spall.
- Delay Entry: Security window film has been shown to delay entry by between two to six minutes. This prevents perpetrators from gaining immediate access to the school and gives schools additional time to initiate emergency response plans and first responders to arrive at the scene.
- Reduce Visibility: The privacy benefit that comes with shading and tinting in window film also has a particular safety benefit: windows that are shaded or darkened on the exterior make it more difficult for shooters to target individuals within a school. This benefit can serve as a major deterrent to a single-minded individual who means to do harm with a firearm.
- Contain Spall: Whether from a bomb blast, windstorm, gunshot, or human impact, glass will shatter with the right amount of force. This shattering creates spall: flying pieces of glass that can cause great harm to anyone nearby. Serving as a containment system, security window film prevents spall from becoming harmful projectiles flying through the air.
When hiring a contractor to install glass reinforcement solutions, be sure they have the necessary expertise and experience recommending and installing these types of products. Have the products they are representing been tested, and are they appropriate for a particular application? Is the company an authorized dealer/installer for the manufacturer’s products they are selling? Have they been awarded and successfully completed government contracts or contracts for other K-12 districts, institutions of higher education or healthcare facilities?
Additionally, be careful that the solution selected does not hinder building evacuation during emergencies.
Jesse Chase is vice president of marketing at National Glazing Solutions LLC (NGS Films and Graphics).
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