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Safety film applied to glass

Safety film applied to glass

Play it safe with safety film.

Leon Levy of Klingshield Johannesburg South Africa explains how to make Glass Safe.

Glass is one of the potentially dangerous materials used in the construction of the home. As one safety expert succinctly put it : "If someone tried to introduce ordinary glass onto the market today he would certainly be prevented from doing so by existing safety regulations".

The world would be a duller place without glass and while everybody knows how dangerous ordinary household glass can be when it shatters, few people are aware of how many accidents occur every year in the household, involving glass doors or windows. In 2010 glass injuries represented approximately 5% of home accidents amounting to a total of 320 000 accidents involving glass, of which nine were fatal. Many were admitted to hospital with injuries ranging from minor cuts to the amputation of fingers to the severing of major arteries and leaving many permanently handicapped (children are twice as likely to be injured as adults).

What’s more, most of these accidents could have been avoided if accident prone areas of glass were properly treated.
The most dangerous areas of a house are patio doors and internal glazed areas – either passage doors or windows and shower doors. More often than not the glass in these areas is of the ordinary kind, liable to
shatter under any sudden impact.

There are four kinds of glass generally in current domestic use:

1. Float Glass – This is the normal glass used in domestic buildings.
It shatters under sudden impact.
2. Toughened Glass – This has been specially heat treated to make it four to
Five times stronger than ordinary flat glass and is very difficult to break.
Even if it does break, like the side windows of a car it shatters only into small granules, but is still dangerous in a smash and grab attack.
3. Georgian Wired Glass – This is ordinary glass that has a wired mesh embedded in the middle. Its major drawback is that it can shatter under impact leaving sharp protuberant edges.
4. Laminated Glass – This is made by sandwiching a piece of tough plastic between two sheets of glass. On impact the glass may crack but the plastic layer holds the panel together. It is definitely the most effective
of all treated glass.

What can the average householder do to protect his family without getting involved in high expense?

Klingshield gave a demonstration in which they showed the practical applications of various different gauges of a polyester film attached to plate glass sheets. Sheets of transparent polyester film are treated with a specially developed adhesive which is then applied to the inside of a pane of glass. Once treated, the glass is considerably strengthened and able to withstand much greater pressure.


While the treated glass did break under the impact of several bricks, the film held the fragments together and prevented any flying splinters, thereby cutting down substantially the danger of sharp splinters.
Klingshield Safety Film was initially designed for industrial and commercial use as a protection against bombs, chemical or gas explosions, and to eliminate the dangers caused by flying glass and as an added protection to prevent looting of shop premises and smash & grab attacks on cars. It meets the specifications laid down by both the Department of the Environment and the Property Services Agency.
When a bomb went off outside the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square, London, all the glass that had been treated with a film, held together, did not shatter and may well have saved many lives.
The film was originally developed in two gauges - .05mm as an anti shatter and .10mm as anti missile protective film. It is easy to install and far cheaper than protective glazing.
For the domestic householder concerned over the safety element in his residence, but worried about the costs and difficulties inherent in installing treated glass, Klingshield Safety Film offers a viable alternative. As the following installation procedure instructions show, it can be put up by anyone with a minimum of fuss.

Equipment required:

Spray bottle filled with wetting solution. Wetting solution prepared by mixing 1 teaspoon of clear household detergent in one litre of cold water.
Razor blade scraper and spare single edged blades.
Steel or cloth measuring tape.
Lint free paper towels – not cloth!
Rubber squeegee.
Straight edged trimming guide.
One waste container.
Window Film


This is the most important step in any application. Unless the glass area is cleaned thoroughly, no application can be successful. Thoroughly clean the window inside using a good quality cleaning solution. Use a razor blade scraper to clean the window of any paint, varnish, stubborn dirt, decals or other foreign matter.
Wipe clean and dry with paper towels. Respray entire glass surface with window cleaning solution. Squeegee all the glass, using vertical strokes from top to bottom. Dry edges and corners carefully with paper towels. We can supply a full manual on request.


Make sure that any heating or ventilation fans are either switched off or covered up with cardboard, so as to eliminate any air blowing directly onto the filming area. The smallest air movement on the glass will not only make the glass dirty, but will dry the wetting area and make application difficult. It makes application easier to have two people assisting each other.
Cut window film to the appropriate size (slightly larger than the glass area), peel liner back from window film half way down the sheet and spray solution onto film. Repeat the process with second half of film.

Spray glass with solution. While the glass is wet, lift the film by the top corners and position adhesive side of film against glass so that it overlaps the edges. Lay remainder onto glass.
Smoot out any bubbles and wrinkles by spraying solution onto nearside of film. Then run your hand lightly over bubbles, being careful not to crease the film. It is easy to lift the film off the glass and relay it in case of difficulties.

Once film is flat on the glass, lightly tuck edges into the frame. Spray side of film facing you and using squeegee make one horizontal stroke across the film from the top left hand corner. Using squeegee make a series of vertical strokes from top left hand corner to bottom, until all excess water has been squeezed out of the bottom. Mop up water with paper towels.

Trim excess film edges using a straight edged trimming guide which is placed firmly against the glass frame. Using a razor blade, cut along the straight edge leaving about a 3mm clearance between window film and glass frame. Trim sides and bottom and finish at top edge.
Spray window film with solution once more and make a final set of vertical squeegee strokes to remove remaining moisture. Place paper towel on squeegee and brush all the edges dry by stroking towards the glass frames.


The window film will appear hazy for two weeks until the excess wetting solution has evaporated. This is perfectly natural and is no cause for alarm.
Allow at least 30 days drying time prior to cleaning. Use clear water or non-ammonia based window cleaner and do not use paper towels or anything abrasive for cleaning or drying.
Provided that the simple instructions are properly carried out, to install this film on glass in the home is a very simple, quick process.

To lay film on a patio door should take no longer than one hour. Although laminated or toughened glass have a higher safety margin than glass treated with Window film, Klingshield safety film is the only way of upgrading your existing glass.