A brittle material such as glass can fail suddenly during an earthquake or from windborne debris, throwing shards of glass throughout a room and injuring those nearby. Tempered glass, similar to the glass installed in automobiles, is designed so that the glass will break but the pieces are less likely to be sharp, jagged pieces that will seriously injure someone. Installation of a protective window film is a less expensive option than tempered glass to protect building occupants from glass fragments.
Known as Shatter Resistant Window Film (SRWF), the plastic film is applied to the inside of the window to protect building occupants from shattered glass, which occurs when a considerable amount of pressure is applied to a window. While it is not a building code accepted substitute for impact resistant finishes in high wind areas, SRWF in 4 or 8 mil thicknesses provides a sufficient level of protection in emergency situations when used for earthquake and blast protection from broken window glass.