The Glass Factor: A window on home security and a plausible solution

How I break in to homes (or how to keep a professional out)
May 2, 2017

UPDATE!  We have a new product for window protection “on demand”.  Click the button on the left side of the main page to watch the video!

Back to the article:

Since providing the Bar-ricade to so many people and discussing their security situations, Ive heard one problem mentioned again and again.  What about all the glass in my house??

Glass is, indeed, the major weakness in most homes today.  We all want beautiful views and lots of natural light in our homes, but we trade security for them.  The obvious solution (and most common) is burglar bars.  While not particularly attractive, they’re effective in keeping people from entering through a window opening, but do nothing about projectiles like rocks and bullets from going through and, in many cases, turning the glass itself into one big fragment explosion on the inside of the house capable of causing major injury and even death.

Over the last 10 years great advancements have been made in a product type referred to as security films or security laminates.  These films are applied to existing windows like the sheet tinting used on car glass.  Most are clear if applied properly.  However, some actually have ballistic capabilities which are quite impressive!  I don’t deal in this product at all, but in the interest of helping my customers improve their overall home security, I’ve done some research on various solutions to the glass issue and found this to be a viable solution.

The costs of these films run a range topping out at around $30 per square foot, and many require installation by a factory approved technician.  The higher end films (laminates) have to be secured to the frame of the window with special tabs which anchor the entire pane.  This may not be a good DIY project for most, but what is your security worth?

Here is a youtube video which I found quite impressive!

While considering the use of security films on the window, bear in mind that while you might make your windows resistant to rocks, explosions, and even small arms fire, the walls in most homes have no ballistic protection properties at all unless you live in a home with poured concrete walls or one made of brick or stone.  Wood frame houses consist of a 2×4 or 2×6 framework with siding on the outside  and sheetrock or lath and plaster on the inside with some insulation in the middle.  While effective against rocks, not very resistant to bullets.  Ive seen suggestions for hardening a home in a time of unrest by building frames of 2x4s and plywood to fit into window openings and duct taping phone books to the plywood for ballistic protection.  While the phone books will, in fact, offer some protection from smaller caliber bullets, the walls surrounding the window opening will barely slow them down.

The ballistic protection factor aside, I feel that a security film that will keep a window from shattering when hit with a rock or hammer by a would be intruder can be a very wise investment.  If youre not looking to make them bullet proof, a lower cost film can do a fine job.  Looters and home invaders arent likely to try to shoot their way into a home.  After trying to kick the door in (hopefully, youve already got a Bar-ricade) and failing, then hitting a window a couple of times with some object and being frustrated, odds are they’ll move on to an easier target.

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