Seismic Window Films

Seismic mitigation in the West Coast of Canada, specifically British Columbia, has become a very important issue, especially for the B.C. government.

The B.C. government created the Seismic Mitigation Branch in 1999 to administer the Seismic Mitigation Program. The program’s mandate is to significantly reduce the risk to life and personal safety of those people visiting or working in provincially owned or funded buildings during an earthquake.

Since December of 1999 when the Seismic Mitigation Branch began using the funds for non-structural elements, hundreds of thousands of square feet of glass at our public schools and government buildings have been treated with Glass-Gard safety window film in B.C.


To help reduce the possibility of injury during an earthquake, over 6000 pieces of glass at the Victoria General Hospital have been treated with our Glass Gard GGL 400 seismic mitigation window film. 75% of the film has solar reflective qualities further helping reduce eye strain, solar heat gain and improving the HVAC operating systems.


Glass-Gard®’s Role in Seismic Mitigation

Glass-Gard safety window film is used in seismic mitigation to help reduce human injury due to broken glass caused by seismic activity. During the Mexico City earthquake there was an observed failure rate of 17% of glazing in the affected buildings.

Windows under cyclic racking loads caused by earthquake forces can cause glass to break into shards and potentially harm people not to mention make exit ways unsafe during evacuation.

The potential damage of broken windows includes glass literally exploding out of their frames, sending deadly shards of glass flying through the air like daggers. Glass fragments following the Mexico City earthquake were found embedded in floors and desks.

How to Choose Which Glass-Gard

Glass-Gard is a polyester based product available in a water clear style or a number of colours and shades. The clear Glass-Gard offers an invisible safety component to glass, which also reduces 99% of UV rays. Coloured versions of Glass-Gard give additional properties such as heat and glare reduction.

Please see the seismic specifications for the most commonly used Glass-Gard window films for seismic mitigation in B.C.


Standards for Seismic Testing

After extensive testing performed in June of 2001, Dr. Graham Taylor of TBG Seismic Consultants, and Dr. Helmut Prion of the University of British Columbia, have developed the world’s first specification for Seismic Mitigation of Glazing.

Click here to download the seismic specification (PDF)


Protecting People First Foundation

The Protecting People First Foundation was created to promote increased preparedness for terrorist attack and natural disaster by promoting the use of available technologies to protect people from flying glass hazards. It was founded following the Oklahoma City Terrorist Bombing that caused dozens of deaths and injuries caused by flying glass. FTI the manufacturers of Glass-Gard Safety/Security Window Films are members of this humanitarian foundation.

Further Information

Seismic window film applications can be considerably more effective when the glass and film are anchored to the window frame. For more information, please see our anchoring systems page.