Should You Add Security Window Film to Your Windows?

One of the problems that windows present is that they are easy to break, giving determined criminals a way in as long as they’re willing to deal with shards of glass. You’ve got your choice of security features, but installing them often requires you to modify the windows cosmetically.

For example, rather than add bars that would block the view through the window, many people turn to security window film. If you want additional safety features, you may have questions about security film. What are the pros and cons of the film? If you are about to get dual-pane windows installed, is it still a good idea to get security film installed? Read on to find out.

Purposes of Security Film

Security window film looks like other window films used for blocking heat transfer and light. The film can be clear or tinted, and it can combine insulating and anti-glare properties or be constructed for security only. You really have a wide range of choices if you want to add security film.

When you add security window film, what you’re doing is bonding the film to the glass so that if someone tries to break the glass, the film continues to hold all of the glass together. If any glass shards fall off, the film itself should hold together and resist cutting.

Note that security film has to be attached to the window frame. If you place it on the glass only, all a criminal has to do is break around the pane for the entire window to come out. You’ll need to find an installer who can attach the film properly in order to make the film worth the money it costs.

Emergency Safety and Comfort

Obviously, having windows that prevent entry into the home is a good thing if you’re worried about intruders getting through by breaking glass. Windows that are hard to break through could present an issue with emergency entry and exit, though. The film could make it tougher for emergency personnel to get into the house if the door is blocked and they need to enter through the window.

It is possible for emergency personnel to cut through the film; however, they need to know that the film or lamination is there so they can bring the right tools. So if you want to get security film, you should contact your local emergency services first to see whether there is a type that is easier to deal with or whether your local emergency personnel have procedures for identifying houses with security film.

If you’re worried about getting out through a window yourself, you should know that there are solutions. For example, you can have a film dealer show you how to use film to push a pane out. If you plan ahead and ask the right questions, you can make your home secure both against intruders and in the case of a break-in.

Installation Issues

If you currently have single-pane windows, installing security film isn’t that tough. You still want to have the work done professionally instead of doing it yourself, but other than that, installation is straightforward. If you’re fine with the possible issues with emergency exists, security window film can be a great addition.

However, if you’re getting dual-pane windows, the situation can be a bit more complicated. The two panes in a dual-pane window need to expand and contract (this happens with heat and cold) in essentially the same way. If one pane expands more or more quickly than the other, the difference can lead to a crack. The window’s seals would be broken, and all the insulating properties would be gone.

Some heat-insulating films can make one pane expand more quickly than the other. While security window film doesn’t necessarily have to have heat-insulating properties mixed in, you should check with your window installers to ensure adding security film is okay.

Adding any film risks changing the heat properties of the window. You must be sure you add a film that will work with the window and not against it. If your window installers advise against security film, listen to them. However, the window company may actually say that a few types or brands of film would be fine.

Next you need to check whether you have to use security-only film or can add anti-glare or insulating features. Don’t assume anything: ask specifically about various options.

If you’re looking to get some new windows and want to discuss security, contact Arch Design. With the ability to custom-make windows to fit your home, the staff at Arch Design can provide you with the panes you need and the advice you seek.

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