When float glass is broken (normal window glass), it breaks into sharp shards that are dangerous to anyone in the vicinity. This is particularly hazardous if the window is broken by human impact. Toughened (tempered) glass can produce showers of small glass pellets that can cause serious injury; especially in the event of a car crash (because most automotive side glass is tempered). The building codes of some countries specify requirements for personal safety in architectural glass and glazing. Certain films with correct certification can be used to upgrade existing glass and glazing to meet the safety standards specified in the building codes.
Protection of glazing during earthquakes
In many parts of the world, earthquake activity is an ever-present fact of life. Ground motion during seismic activity causes building movement, which in turn causes glass breakage and glass fall-out, endangering people below, and again exposing a building’s contents to weather damage and theft during looting sprees. Safety and security films have proven their worth in protecting people and property during seismic activity, by helping retain window glass in its frame, thus prevent injury by falling glass.
Increased protection from bomb and blast hazards
Explosions cause widespread damage, and in an urban environment (often containing lots of glass), the risk of injury is increased. In the event of an explosion in an urban area, flying glass is often the biggest cause of injury/trauma. However, certain specially designed films, when applied correctly, can contain these shards of glass, protecting the internal environment, and in some cases, retaining the pane of glass in the window frame. People sourcing films for this purpose should choose a product from a manufacturer that can produce results for General Services Administration (GSA) blast ratings, and check with the manufacturer that the installer has sufficient experience and knowledge to offer such products.
Protection from hurricanes and windborne debris
Safety films can be used as an additional protection against flying glass when glazing is broken by windborne debris. By helping to prevent windows from shattering, or retaining shattered glazing in its frame, these films help maintain the “weather seal” of a building. This helps reduce damage from water and high winds. If the seal can be maintained, roofs are less likely to be blown off, and it is more likely that a building can be saved.