Bullet-resistant glass part of campus security upgrades

Feb. 1, 2018—Being proactive can make the difference in keeping campuses and school facilities safe and secure, and that’s one of the steps CFISD has taken.

One in particular is the bullet-resistant glass being installed at the main entry windows at the campuses. A major component of the 2014 Bond program was safety and security upgrades, of which $4.2 million was allocated for the high-tech glass.The upgrades also included secured front entrances with buzzer door releases, security vestibules, and added security cameras, card reader access points and “lockdown” panic buttons.

In total, all security implements will be completed by December 2018.

Existing school main entries will feature the bullet-resistant glass.

“When you put in the bullet-resistant film, that reduces the likelihood of (an assailant) making entry into a campus,” said CFISD Police Chief Eric Mendez. “It significantly slows that person trying to make entry and it allows for a response from law enforcement to get to the school even quicker. You’re buying time by slowing a perpetrator down.

“Nothing is 100-percent foolproof – you can put a burglar alarm on a building but that doesn’t mean a burglar is not going to make entry and commit theft. But we’re trying to put in different safety measures to slow an individual from making entry into a campus. That’s our goal – we want to buy time for the students and staff that are at the school so they get a proper law enforcement response.”

 As part of the $1.2 million Bond in 2014, the bullet-resistant film used is manufactured by C-Bond Systems, LLC in Houston. C-Bond technology is designed to increase the strength of glass, replacing the soap-and-water approach to installing window film with non-toxic nanotechnology designed at Rice University that bonds to glass surface imperfections that otherwise weakens the glass structure. The result as it relates to CFISD campuses is a thicker, stronger window.

Sunset Glass installed the windows and C-Bond film product. Ballistic-resistant materials in the past were too thick, too heavy or simply too expensive, Sunset Glass Owner Eddy Russell said, adding this need as more construction projects are utilizing more glass and more windows.

“When I first heard, I said no way,” Russell said. “(But) it actually fits. The tight piece of rubber around the glass might be different, but I don’t think we ran into a single school where we couldn’t take out the thin glass and put in the thicker glass.”

The windows feature a C-Bond II, which is a ballistic-resistant film validated to pass test standards from both the National Institute of Justice and United Laboratories. The glass strength is increased by up to 250 percent and is able to withstand low- and high-velocity ammunition.

The safety measure, along with other additions can make the difference in slowing an assailant and protecting the students and staff on a campus.

“One minute is a lifetime when you’re responding to an emergency,” Mendez said. “So you want to be able to add minutes to a response in an emergency because we want our students and our staff to be safe at school.