Addressing School Safety Vulnerabilities and Safety Weaknesses
As kids head back to school from the holiday break, school safety and what can be done to protect students and staff in a variety of ways is being discussed. While much of the discussion is surrounding COVID, many updates / upgrades also being discussed across the country have to do with school security. Specifically, keeping people off campus that should not be there to enhance student safety.
It can become difficult to discuss school security and student safety strategies without appearing to have an agenda or be trying to sell something. While we are sensitive to this, we also feel that it is important to share information that can have a positive impact on these incidents in the future. This article is designed to illuminate the topic of glass being one of the greatest school safety vulnerabilities.
Liz Crawford wrote an article for WTSP in Florida titled “Is Your Child’s School Safe? Examining The Top 3 School Safety Vulnerabilities“. In this article, she noted glass as being one of the top three vulnerabilities because of the extensive use of tempered glass in schools. She, along with Craig Gundry, Vice President with Critical Intervention Services, discussed and said the following
“Another common security vulnerability in schools is extensive use of tempered glass glazing. Tempered glass shatters into small pieces and Gundry believes one gunshot into the glass will make it easy for a gunman to enter the building. Critical Intervention Services estimates a gunman can get into a school in roughly nine seconds if confronted with tempered glass.” Gundry said, “One of the reasons tempered glass has historically been much more common in architectural design as well as indoor environments is because of the price. It is less than half the price typically of laminated glass,”.
We unfortunately see this specification in schools regularly. There is good news though. These school safety vulnerabilities can be addressed by retrofitting existing school glass with a security window film. When someone tries to gain access through the glass of a protected door or window, the security window film would allow the glass to break, but it would maintain the glass in the frame. While this film / glass combination can eventually be penetrated to gain access, the objective is to create resistance. Slow the entry down. The goal should be giving school officials and authorities time to respond.
In another article in Business Insider titled “Here are the best ways to protect schools, workplaces, and ourselves from active shooters” they discuss a variety of ways to increase school safety, and they specifically mention security window film. The article states the following in the section on the use of technology to improve safety:
“Protective and intrusion resistant doors and windows creating delays in an aggressor’s ability to gain entry. For pre-existing locations the addition of protective window film, improved locking mechanisms and/or frames as well as other reinforcement techniques can be effective.”
Finally, in a third article in District Administration entitled “Building Blocks of a School Security Plan” discussed strategies that can be implemented to improve the safety of a school. One of the items discussed was utilizing Security Window Film to make it harder for someone to forcefully enter a school. The article states:
“Make your building perimeter harder to penetrate. If you already have locks on your outside doors, the next item you should consider on your list is security film for your windows. After the doors, the next obvious place a person with bad intentions will try to enter the building is through your windows. Security film maintains the integrity of the window, even if the glass is broken.
It helps to hold the glass in place, acting as a screen that is difficult to breach, even with a sledge hammer or baseball bat. I believe that simple is better. Make sure that your plan is based on principles such as distance or time. Ask yourself, Does this security device offer my community additional time by delaying the threat?”
As you can see, this is a real issue and we are on a mission to do what we can to educate people about possible solutions. We do not want to create fear, but we want to help integrate technology where possible to mitigate the risk. If you would like more information about security window films and how they can help address school safety vulnerabilities, or if you have questions about how window film can be implemented into your school, contact one of our Window Film Pros for answers to your questions and to schedule a free, no obligation on-site consultation and estimate.