Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) June 2, 2002
If a window breaks from a brick, a bat, or worse, the glassbreak detector will send an alarm to the central station or monitoring center, which in turn will call the police. Of course, in a high-rise building, not every window is alarmed and in the event of a terrorist attack, the glassbreak detector could do nothing about the already shattered window that is catapulting fragments of razor sharp glass over 150 miles per hour.
The Danger of Flying Glass
During the recent World Trade Center terrorist attack, numerous deaths and injuries resulted from the shards of glass, which flew up to 1/2 of a mile away from the collapsed structure.
In the Oklahoma City bombing, more than 50% of the injuries sustained were the result of flying glass. Property damage to the interior of buildings was also costly, as shattered and fallen glass left dozens of buildings unprotected. There are also safety issues. With industrial factories, chemical refineries and food processing plants storing and transporting materials, workers are in danger of flying glass from accidental explosions.
Jordan Frankel, vice president of ShatterGARD, Inc. has an answer for anyone in charge of security: protect the glass; it's your weakest link. The company's flagship product, BlastGARD, a polyester glass retention film, works by holding the dangerous razor sharp shards together within the window frame.
Frankel and his partners realized right from the beginning that there would be a tremendous need and a multitude of applications for this incredibly strong yet simple polyester film. They were right. ShatterGARD, which started out small, has grown to have a worldwide presence with clients such as the FBI, The United States Military, NASDAQ and Verizon.
Originally, BlastGARD was marketed under the company name, ShatterGARD, until a number of different variations of the product were developed. ShatterGARD changed the thickness of the polyester, the type of adhesive used and in some cases added tinting. With those modifications and new products including BurglarGARD, StormGARD and VehicleGARD, ShatterGARD targeted specific industries and applications. For instance, BurglarGARD is designed for sudden impacts such as smash and grab crimes while StormGARD is intended for a strong wind loads, such as hurricanes that may create excessive wind load pressures for extended periods of time.
"BlastGard is our strongest product to date and is used to protect against explosions and acts of terrorism," says Frankel.
A member of (IACSP) The International Association For Counter-Terrorism & Security Professionals and (SIA) The Security Industry Association, ShatterGARD also provides expert consulting on blast protection preparedness. In the wake of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the company has received numerous appeals from both the private and public sector requesting immediate installations and threat assessments.
"We look at the height of the building, the direction of the glass, the type and age of the window frame and how it is secured to the building," explained Frankel. "Not only do we look at the internal area, but also external zones such as a parking lot or the street where the public may be in danger."
Types of Glass
The type of glass also dictates what type of protection is needed. Safety glass or ballistic glass are exceptionally high quality and can also be used against acts of terrorism and explosions. "The problem is that they are very expensive and not practical for most facilities," says Frankel.
"If they already have tempered glass, which is a step above plate glass, BurglarGARD might be used to save money. "If budget is not a concern and they are concerned with terrorism we will use BlastGARD in every instance, regardless of the quality of the glass," added Frankel.
NASDAQ, which had originally considered having ballistic glass installed, quickly realized how impractical that solution was. Because the existing window frames had to be removed they would have had to shut down all floors. It was cost prohibitive not only due to the disruption of the installation but the price of the glass. ShatterGARD provided an estimate that was one third of that price with no disruption and no toxic fumes.
BlastGARD is an optically clear plastic film although it is also available in an energy saving tinted form. It is applied side-to-side and top to bottom to the interior portion of a windowpane.
Installers sometimes use a special anchoring system, which ShatterGARD developed, commonly known as a flex-seal attachment bead. Applied around the perimeter of the window frame, the film adheres to the frame providing additional strength and integrity to the overall structure. If the window is struck with an object such as a baseball bat, cinder block or an explosion, the film serves as an invisible coat of armor, similar to rubber, absorbing a large portion of the shock waves. The energy then travels across the film to the window frame, which further disperses the energy. In the unlikely event the glass breaks, the film will help hold the broken shards stuck to the film. In many cases, a ShatterGARD treated window won't break at all.
Installation may look deceptively simple but if BlastGARD or any of the other ShatterGARD products are not applied correctly, they won't perform to specification, causing potential safety hazards. Becoming a ShatterGARD installer means formal instruction with hours of factory training involved for certification.
"This is not a window tinting product," says Frankel. "You can tear tinting products with your hands. This product is so thick and strong that you couldn't rip it with two pairs of pliers. Cutting it and custom fitting it to the window takes not only custom training and expertise but specialized tools and machinery as well."
After installation, there is a short curing process of approximately 30 days for the film to completely adhere to the glass and reach optimal clarity and strength.
Standards and Warranty
BlastGARD™ meets and exceeds all current GSA standards for window fragmentation retention film. The company is so confident in the product and installation that they offer the only lifetime warranty in the industry.
"ShatterGARD stands ready to meet the immediate and growing demands of a world shaken by the recent tragedies," said Frankel.