Window Security Film?

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44Dave
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Window Security Film?

Post by 44Dave » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:50 pm

So my house needs some basic hardening. I find multiple threads here about door hardening, but I don't see much specifics about window hardening (other than to do it). Perhaps my search is weak.
Bars are not an option. Perhaps nice rolldown shutters could work, but they would have to pass the aesthetics and budget test.
Google lists a multitude of window film commercial products of which they all look the same to me.
So: who here has actual experience with window security film and/or what is the general recomendation? I'm trying to strike a balance between protection and affordability. I realize I can't harden to the point where I can withstand a major assault, but I want to try and make sure that
1) I'm a less attractive target than the next guy down the road (sorry dude, but... yeah)
2) It will slow down the guy enough that he might attract attention from passersby.
The nearest neighbor is a mile away but there is some traffic on the road. I can only hope that if someone drives by and sees someone using a baseball bat on my windows he might be suspicious enough to call the cops.
3) It will create enough noise that I will hear him if I am home.
4) Help to resist wind blown debris and tree downings. I expect that the window will be ruined, but I think we should at least keep the item from coming into the house bringing all the broken shards of glass with it.

Anyway, if there's already bunches of topics like this let me know but I could not locate them :|

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by Xale D » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:12 pm

My experience is that Security Laminate is like car window tinting: you can do it yourself, but unless you've done it several times, you're best off leaving it to the pros.

If you feel confident of your ability to get all those pesky air bubbles out, the here are a few options for the laminate:

DIY Window Security
3M Window Film from HyLine

I have never dealt with either of these companies, they just popped up at the top of my search.

Good luck!
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raptor
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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by raptor » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:41 pm

Window films work very well, up to a point.

The real problem is that while the glass may not break the frame may give way. So window film is only as good a the frame attachment points.

Now if you have a good quality hurricane resistant window and it is installed properly then the film will provide extra protection but the glass should already be impact resistant.

Roll down shutters are great but they are expensive and worse awkward and ugly to retrofit to most homes.

I personally like these lexan hurricane shutters. They are strong, relatively inexpensive and low key. They do not give your home that fortress look. You can mix and match steel shutters with the lexan if you want more protection. They also do not rely on the strength of the window frame.

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44Dave
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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by 44Dave » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:53 pm

I had not thought of the frame aspect but that only makes sense. So perhaps I need to start with looking at these hurricane window things and go from there.

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by 44Dave » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:56 pm

The lexan panels look like they would trap you in the house while it burns.

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by raptor » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:58 pm

44Dave wrote:The lexan panels look like they would trap you in the house while it burns.

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So do not leave them on all the windows all of the time.

That or use film and beef up the frame attachments.

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by Davo » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:54 pm

raptor wrote:Image
Is anyone else confused by the wisdom of supplementing high visibility, non-functioning shutters with low visibility, high functioning shutters, versus just replacing the decorative ones with functional ones?
Image Image

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by raptor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:31 pm

Davo wrote:
raptor wrote:Image
Is anyone else confused by the wisdom of supplementing high visibility, non-functioning shutters with low visibility, high functioning shutters, versus just replacing the decorative ones with functional ones?
Functional shutters are more expensive than the lexan panels when they are retrofitted. The answer is cost. :D

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by azrael99 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:08 pm

i was thinking about the film too for my window but i need to find someone who could make it.
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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by scortez » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:20 am

yea ive been thinking about this too a lot. I live in a neighborhood with strict HMO rules so i cant just add bars or rolling gates on mine. There are no real good options huh :/
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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by 44Dave » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:34 am

There are 3M film dealers a few cities over. Next time I am in that area I'll look into the costs and processes to see if I can get them. What I'd like to do is get new storm windows with the security film on them but I'm not sure if they are physically tough enough to make it worth while. It would suck to pay for the film just to watch the storm window pop off at the first tap. Something else to research...

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by Sojourner1104 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:28 am

44Dave wrote:So my house needs some basic hardening. I find multiple threads here about door hardening, but I don't see much specifics about window hardening (other than to do it). Perhaps my search is weak.
Bars are not an option. Perhaps nice rolldown shutters could work, but they would have to pass the aesthetics and budget test.
Google lists a multitude of window film commercial products of which they all look the same to me.
So: who here has actual experience with window security film and/or what is the general recomendation? I'm trying to strike a balance between protection and affordability. I realize I can't harden to the point where I can withstand a major assault, but I want to try and make sure that
1) I'm a less attractive target than the next guy down the road (sorry dude, but... yeah)
2) It will slow down the guy enough that he might attract attention from passersby.
The nearest neighbor is a mile away but there is some traffic on the road. I can only hope that if someone drives by and sees someone using a baseball bat on my windows he might be suspicious enough to call the cops.
3) It will create enough noise that I will hear him if I am home.
4) Help to resist wind blown debris and tree downings. I expect that the window will be ruined, but I think we should at least keep the item from coming into the house bringing all the broken shards of glass with it.

Anyway, if there's already bunches of topics like this let me know but I could not locate them :|

In my humble opinion "security film" is not accurate as far as what the product does. Simply put it holds the broken glass together to keep the weather out not people. Bermuda shutters however could afford you some protection from both the elements and intruders while allowing you to escape a house fire easily.
Bermuda shutters sometimes called Bahama shutters would not attract undue attention to your home and also allows you to see what is going on outside (more than Lexan with holes in them would). Check out this link:
http://www.allaboutshutters.com/bermuda-shutters.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This is not an advertisement for the product or the retailer just my thoughts on the subject. Be advised they are expensive so you might want to do a window or two at a time.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke

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phil_in_cs
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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by phil_in_cs » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:33 pm

44Dave wrote:There are 3M film dealers a few cities over. Next time I am in that area I'll look into the costs and processes to see if I can get them. What I'd like to do is get new storm windows with the security film on them but I'm not sure if they are physically tough enough to make it worth while. It would suck to pay for the film just to watch the storm window pop off at the first tap. Something else to research...
Bump; did anyone ever get costing on the 3M or this http://www.johnsonwindowfilms.com/TR.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; similar from Johnson?

I've seen pricing on the rigid panels; not too bad and you can DIY it without too much trouble. Not so sure the films can be installed without f'ing it all up.
Don't confuse a belligerent and aggressive attitude with the strength, training, and conditioning needed to prevail in a fight. How do you know you have the Will To Win, if you don't even have the will to train?

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by feedthedog » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:02 am

I did my windows with film from here: http://www.diywindowsecurity.com/

Install was not too hard. Take your time and follow the directions. Make sure that you anchor the film to the frame with DOW 995 structural sealant. If you don't then you let the bad guys break the glass and push the whole thing through the window frame.

For about $200 per window, you can have a local window company build you some fixed lexan storm windows. This sucks because you can't open the windows or get out if there is a fire, but lexan is WAY stronger. 1/4in lexan will take a ton of abuse. It will slowly yellow and become brittle over time if it is exposed to a lot of sun light. I went with lexan storm windows over two of the least secure windows.

Another option that I've been looking into recently is used "bullet proof" glass. This is the stuff that you see at gas stations in bad neighborhoods. I check out a lot of local salvage places and craigslist, and the going rate seems to be $15-25 per square foot. From looking at the stuff close up, it looks like a sandwich of 1/4in glass, 3/4in lexan, and 1/4in glass. This may or may not be all that bullet resistant, but 3/4in of lexan is going to be VERY tough stuff. Properly anchored, its going to be way easier to go through a wall than to go through that.

Edit: The big thing for me, was something that I could have in place year round. I don't want to have to button up my house to put it in safe mode. If this is just for hurricanes, then I'd go with Raptor's lexan shutters.

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by williaty » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:59 am

In addition to the strength of the frame's hold on the sash, as mentioned by Raptor (and for that matter the strength of the mounting between the frame and wall!), FTD brings up an important point about using the correct adhesive to bond the film to the sash. However, there's yet one more detail that's critical. IIRC, the correct sealant calls for a minimum of 3/8 or 1/4 inch of sash to bond to. Many modern windows are actually thinner than this. For instance, the windows in the house we're currently living at only have the glass inset 1/8" into the sash. So there's not enough material there for the adhesive to bond to even if you use the right stuff in the right way.

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by phil_in_cs » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:57 am

Film won't stop anyone serious, but it will slow them down enough someone inside can be alert and ready. Still trying to cost this.
Don't confuse a belligerent and aggressive attitude with the strength, training, and conditioning needed to prevail in a fight. How do you know you have the Will To Win, if you don't even have the will to train?

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by feedthedog » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:49 am

phil_in_cs wrote:Still trying to cost this.
$500 did all of the windows and doors on the first floor of my 2300sqft house.

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Re: Window Security Film?

Post by phil_in_cs » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:55 pm

feedthedog wrote:
phil_in_cs wrote:Still trying to cost this.
$500 did all of the windows and doors on the first floor of my 2300sqft house.
Thanks!
Don't confuse a belligerent and aggressive attitude with the strength, training, and conditioning needed to prevail in a fight. How do you know you have the Will To Win, if you don't even have the will to train?

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