Window Films Can Keep You Safe: Earthquake Protection

October 27th, 2014 | By | Posted in Uncategorized

If you live and work in an area such as California, then earthquakes are just part of the deal.  We have more than our share of these natural events.  Luckily things have improved dramatically and most structures do quite well with the rocking of mild earthquakes.  One of the weakest links is the glass in our homes and buildings.  Glass by nature is not really good at flexing and giving.  When the earth shakes our homes and buildings the structures are designed to give and twist and bounce back.  The window frames in these structures also twists and flex.  Unfortunately often times more than the rigid glass is capable of.  When this happens the glass can simply crack under mild stresses or in the case of moderate to severe stress the glass can shatter and fly out of the frame in large jagged shards that can cause serious injuries and even death.  Given that the 1994 Northridge quake struck at 4:30 am and Sylmar/San Fernando quake of 1971 struck at 6:00 am many people were woken from sleep by the violent bouncing and shaking.  Numerous people went running to get their kids and make sure everyone was ok.  The problem is that when this happens people get up and run barefooted without looking at what they are running across. Many people suffered severe injuries from running across broken glass and mirrors. Since the Northridge quake struck at 4:30 am it was still about 90 minutes before the sun came up and people could see just how bad the damage was.  Most people were left without power and in the dark.

Window Films can save lives and protect people:

Window films have a solution to the flying glass shards and the scattering of broken glass across floors and walkways.  The use of safety films which have a special multi-layer construction and are thicker than normal window films with a strong adhesive to hold the glass together, could save your life or the life of a loved one.  The technology used in the safety films was developed in the late 1960’s to help protect US Embassies abroad.  They wanted a product that could be used to strengthen the existing glass and not be obtrusive or noticeable.  Something that would hold back objects that were thrown at the windows like bricks and Molotov cocktails during riots and civil unrest.  Safety films were developed and are used to this day on US Embassies and government buildings all over the world.  The film is also readily available to the general public for increased safety and security.  These films come in various thicknesses depending on the level of security desired.  In the thicker forms these films are used worldwide for bomb blast protection.  For general safety and basic security we recommend the 4 mil thick version of the film.  This provides excellent strength increases and provides a strong barrier between you and the glass to help protect you from broken glass.   Additional safety is gained by having windows that typically remain in the frame even after being broken thanks to the safety film.  After the Northridge quake you could not get plywood to board up open windows and many people had to live for weeks with gaping holes in their homes and offices where windows used to be.  This left them vulnerable to the elements and made securing your home or office virtually impossible.

Unprotected Glass

Protected Glass

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