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Sales of 'window film' surging. (On the Real Estate Scene).

Influenced by the events of last September, a vital building security product from 3M that can save lives and reduce the danger of catastrophic injury has experienced a marked increase in demand this year.

3M reports that sales of its Scotchshield brand window security film have surged close to 20% in major Northeast cities and about 10% nationwide in 2002. The product, already widely used in airports and government facilities worldwide, is increasingly in demand for office buildings and storefronts, the company says.

Scotchshield is a clear multilayer polymer film that helps prevent, against flying glass shards if glass is broken by an impact, such as from a bomb blast, high winds or intentional damage. Instead of being propelled through the air as potentially lethal shards, the broken glass remains in place, held together by the film.

"In acts of terrorism, and even in accidental explosions, broken glass traveling at high speed becomes a weapon that can claim as many victims as the blast impact itself," says Jeffrey F. Bradley, business manager of 3M's Consumer Safety and Light Management Department. "This is an issue that security directors are addressing with renewed intensity."

Scotchshield, the first window security film designed to hold together broken glass, was invented by 3M in the 1960s. Originally applied to plate glass in buildings within hurricane- and earthquake-prone regions, Scotchshield has evolved through generations of improving technology to emerge as a key security product with applications in office buildings, embassies and consulates, banking and retail facilities, and transportation systems.

Applied to the insides of windows, Scotchshield offers high-strength protection but is thin enough to allow for flexibility, clarity and easy installation. Many Scotchshield users choose a tinted version of the product that absorbs infrared radiation and provides energy savings and a cooler interior environment along with the shatter protection.

"Sharply higher energy costs are stimulating interest in energy conservation together with the other advantages of Scotchshield, and that factor is also pushing sales higher," says Bradley. "It's a matter of cost efficiency."

Scotchshield is often used by high-ticket-item retailers as a means of preventing loss to "smash-and-grab" theft from storefronts. But the security film underwent a more unusual test of its capabilities recently at the exclusive Regency Hotel on Manhattan's Park Avenue, home of the "power breakfast."

"We installed the safety film just prior to the World Economic Forum meeting that was scheduled in Manhattan," says Dick Hudak, director of corporate safety and security for Loews Corp., which owns the Regency.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 11, 2002
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