Most security companies are in the crime detection business more so than the crime prevention business. While security detection devices such as motion sensors, glass break sensors, contact sensors and cameras may suggest that a break-in is taking place, they do not slow down the forced entry process.
It is a well known fact that glass windows and doors are the weakest link in perimeter security. By the time a break in is detected, the perpetrators or malfeasants are already in the process of vandalism or theft. Thieves need very little time to take what they are after and it is well documented that policing agencies are not often able to catch them in the act. In fact, with as much as 95% of the calls received from monitoring companies are false alarms, police are hesitant to respond quickly unless the break-in is actually being witnessed.
So what can policing agencies recommend to deter or even prevent break-ins? One option is the installation of bars on ground level glass. However, most facilities do not lend themselves to bars and even if they do, bars are not viewed as ‘welcoming’ to the public. If perpetrators want to get in they will. A not uncommon procedure is to use a vehicle and chain to pull the bars off a building. This can cause more structural damage than the cost of stolen property. Major business interruption can be another consequence.
3M Security Laminate, when properly installed by a Certified 3M Dealer/Applicator such as Titan Window Films, complements existing security/alarm systems while providing an effective deterrent by slowing down the forced entry process such that would-be thieves simply leave to find an easier target. When 3M Security Laminate is used in conjunction with a glass break sensor, the would-be intruder is detected but still outside the building. Using glass break sensors without film is similar protection to motion detectors – they are activated only after the crime occurs.
- Different levels of security are available to address different levels of risk. Higher levels of security may involve installing laminate under door or window stops, two sided applications and most importantly bonding the frame, laminate & glass together using the 3M Ultraflex Frame Bond System. The Frame Bond System is a must for tempered glass.
- Laminates with higher break strengths are typically used on doors and sidelights to inhibit access to door locks while higher tear resistant laminates are used on all other windows. 3M Security Laminate has proved its effectiveness time and time again. The Ontario Provincial Police (and regional police) provide CPTED training sessions to policing authorities, consultants, city planners, etc., which includes protection offered by security laminate and how they complement CPTED principles.
3M Security Solutions have effectively been used for a wide variety of commercial and residential applications to protect people and property from security and safety issues related to glass. 3M and Titan Window Films have taken a leadership role in education with local, provincial policing agencies on the protection and limitations related to security laminate.
- Security laminates are designed to deliver specific benefits and address specific concerns. Film selection and quality varies considerably among manufacturers. Choose a recognizable brand and a solution that best addresses the level of protection required.
- How the laminate is bonded to the frame is a critical component in glass safety and security. In some situations the level of protection may not require bonding. However, with other applications, such as forced entry protection on tempered glass doors or blast mitigation, bonding is a must.
- Since laminate will be expected to perform for many years, it is critical to select a manufacturer and applicator that have the financial stability to service any warranty issues over the long term.
- Select a dealer/applicator that is certified by the manufacturer and has the proven experience to guarantee a high quality install.
- Installing security laminate properly requires skill. Companies who provide security laminate as a sideline (i.e. auto tint, window coverings, painting contractors, etc.) or those companies that utilize third party contract installers may not offer the same experience as dealer/applicators whose primary business is security laminate.
- Ensure that the abrasion resistant coatings on the laminate will allow typical ammonia based window cleaners to be used.
- Ask for the manufacturer's warranty statements in writing. Warranties issued by local contractors may not provide the peace of mind that they will be in business to address service issues over the longer term. Be sure the warranty (usually between 10 and 15 years) includes the full cost of both laminate replacement and removal & reinstallation labour. This is important since the labour component cost is higher than the product replacement.
Ask for previous installations and check references - the lowest price is often the highest cost over the long term.
There are many companies in Canada that provide glass protection using security laminate. There are also a large number of installations that are of poor quality or do not provide the protection that was promised.
Titan Window Films is master applicator of 3M Window Film Products, ensuring our clients the benefits of premium warranty coverage and guarantees.