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Can Security Window Film Actually Stop a Bullet?

Can Security Window Film Actually Stop a Bullet?

With the increase of shootings in schools, churches, businesses, and other public places, many are seeking cost-effective security solutions for their windows and are reaching for window safety film as an answer. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding regarding this product. Some are led to believe that security film — or shatter resistant film — has the ability to stop a bullet. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 


Security film is applied to glass and glazing in order to hold the glass together if shattered, but it will not keep a bullet from going right through it. Shatter resistance is very helpful in instances of impact because it not only prevents window pieces from becoming sharp projectiles, it also delays or deters invaders. Giving people even just a couple more seconds to get to safety can absolutely save lives, but consider the protection potential of not only deterring invaders, but also stopping the bullets from ever entering your facility. This is what you need to consider when trying to protect the people in your building, especially against active shooters or armed robbers who are less likely to be deterred. 


Unfortunately, the price of security film makes it a very tempting alternative to bullet resistant windows when taking new security measures in your facility. This is especially the case if you are on a budget or are dependent on voters who might not fully understand the product. It’s very important to understand that security film is not protecting you from bullets, it’s only protecting you from glass projectiles and hopefully deterring an invader. Bullet resistant glass on the other hand, not only has the same impact resistant features of security film, but it will also stop and absorb a bullet. There would then be no risk of bullets entering the facility, therefore saving many more lives.


If you are researching security film and see a product that says that it will make your window bullet resistant, we encourage you to look at two things. One, is to see if the manufacturer adheres to a quality management system such as U.L. or similar. If the manufacturer cannot produce this third party certification, you cannot trust that their product is actually bullet resistant. The second thing to look for is to read the fine print and see what the specific conditions the product must be under to make it bullet resistant. The only time a security film can actually be considered bullet resistant is if it is an extremely thick security film interleaved with layers of hefty heat-treated and annealed glass, then bonded with a special film-mounting solution. If you are going to go through all this trouble, you might as well just buy a bullet resistant window and save yourself the hassle. 


Don’t be fooled into thinking that security film is a legitimate alternative to bullet resistant glass. Bullet resistance saves more lives than impact resistance, so when you are researching your options, check out our line of bullet resistant windows that have various levels of protection, and feel confident in the security you are providing for the people you want to protect.

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