Each year hundreds of children and adults around the country visit their local emergency ward because of injuries sustained by broken or shattered glass. Despite safety decals now being mandatory on sliding glass doors in the home, accidents are still occurring when children – and the odd grown up – run into a glass door thinking it open.

The architectural trend for large expanses of uninterrupted, clear glass windows and doors has not helped reduce the incidence of glass related accidents.

To help prevent potentially fatal injury and serious damage caused by shattered glass, safety conscious parents and home owners are installing safety film on their windows and doors. This window treatment is especially popular in children’s play rooms and high traffic areas in the home.

When safety film is applied to the interior surface of glass, it holds the shards together if the window or door is broken. Safety film also helps bring old ‘float’ glass up to current Australian Standards for safety glass.

The Herbert family, living in Collaroy on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, recently installed safety and solar film onto 15 sliding glass doors in their home after their nine year old son ran into a glass door and it shattered around him.

Mrs Herbert said that her son was playfully running through the house and he ran straight into one of their sliding glass doors upstairs. He was lucky as he bounced back from the door and survived the incident with just a few cuts. The door smashed completely.

This made her aware of the serious dangers of normal float glass, and she knew that she needed to do something about the 15 glass doors in their home. When the glass company replaced the glass in the door they recommended to look into safety window film as a convenient and inexpensive option.

After some research, Eddie Meth from Instint Window Tinting was hired to install safety and solar window film at the Herbert residence. The job was completed in one day.

Mrs Herbert said that their upstairs living area catches the afternoon sun so it used to get extremely hot. They used solar control safety film up there. Now she knows it is safer, plus it is much cooler and more comfortable on hot days.

Mrs Herbert said that they do not need to worry about curtains or blinds to block the sun, which is a huge relief as their view is beautiful. Another benefit is the fresh appearance the tinted film has given their house.

Instint Window Tinting has been in business for 28 years. As a member of the Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand (WFAANZ), Instint Window Tinting abides by an industry code of practice.

Safety and security films are available throughout Australia.

Many schools around the country are also turning to safety film to bring their windows in line with modern safety regulations.

In 2008, Queensland’s Currumbin State Primary School approached local window film applicator Les Hefford of Budget Tinting for advice on managing glare and safety issues within classrooms. The windows in question faced south, but were on the first floor facing light coloured shade sales and roofs.

Les Hefford said that float glass had been used in the windows, many of which were in the impact zone of children with desks and chairs. So for the bottom row of windows in each classroom they used a safety film, and for the middle and top rows a solar film was applied, to mitigate the effects of the sun.

With over 300 panels, the job was labour intensive and took place over the school holidays so as not to disrupt classes.

The application of the safety film ensured the school windows met Australian Standard 2208, and the school’s glare and safety concerns have been solved due to the clever use of window film.

WFAANZ advises all schools and child care centres to have their windows checked by a safety film installer or licensed glazier as a key component of their duty of care.

Les Hefford has been in the window film application business for 25 years on the Gold Coast.

There is no denying the dangers associated with broken or shattered windows and doors. Safety film lessens the dangerous consequences of broken glass as it helps hold the glass together if there is an accident.

Optically clear and highly transparent, safety film allows light to pass through, while reinforcing the glass so it is not brittle.

The term ‘elastomeric’ applies to safety film, as it has the ability to stretch. When safety film is applied to the interior surface of glass with a pressure-sensitive acrylic adhesive, the broken shards are held in place in the event of breakage.

New variants combining the benefits of various films are constantly being introduced. The solar control safety film is among them. Window film, or window tint, has come a long way since its introduction in 1961. Advanced technologies mean window films now offer greater variety of shades, colours and performance levels.

The best products are assured to survive the harsh Australian climate with scratch resistant coatings for protection and metallic layers for colour stability.