Frequently Asked Questions

You can find detailed answers to the most common questions about our products here. If you have a question we didn't answer on this page, please send us a message on our Contact page.

Why is this a better solution than bullet-resistant glass or doors?

Bullet-Resistant Glass (BRG) can be ideal in certain situations.  It is transparent, allowing the window to remain in use, and since it is a permanent installation, it is always ready to protect.  However, it can have some severe drawbacks:

1. Depending on the protection level needed, BRG can cost between $25 and $100 per square foot just for the material; however, it is not a drop-in replacement for a conventional window design.  To convert unbuilt construction or develop a retrofit for it in older construction can easily make the cost reach $400 -$600 per square foot once you consider:

  • Local approvals and permits
  • Engineering approval
  • Architectural review
  • Current window removal
  • Wall/window frame reinforcement
  • Site installation
  • Interior sheetrock and trim repair, exterior siding repair

2. It is heavy, weighing between 14 and 26 pounds per square foot.  This can make it challenging to add as a retrofit as this weight may exceed the structural ratings of the building walls.  It is also difficult to transport, handle, and install.  This is especially true in multi-story buildings.

3. A converted BRG window can no longer be used as an egress without very complex design.

4. It is impractical to install as a door, as it would make the door extremely heavy, making it cumbersome to open and close and it would prohibit the use of conventional hinges to support the weight (adding more cost).  Glass in a door is really only practical when limited to small portal windows.

Using a BBP fabric shade can resolve some of these issues:

  • When considering shipping and installation costs, fabric shades can be often be a lower total cost that BRG (the exact price will vary based on the details of the installation).
  • It weighs approximately one pound per square foot, making it much easier to install.
  • It requires no modifications to the existing window, which then can continue to open and close as normal and act as an egress.
  • It is only deployed as needed.
  • It is removeable which is important if the property is a lease or rental.
  • When used to protect a door, there are no modifications to the door itself, allowing the door to be standard residential or commercial construction for size and weight.

What is the anti-ballistic material made of?

A proprietary fabric design, the core of which is a custom weave of Kevlar® para-aramid fiber, the same type of fiber used in the anti-ballistic body armor used by the military and law enforcement.   Unlike body armor, our design does not rely on the strength of the Kevlar fibers alone to stop the projectile.  The patented mounting design acts as an energy-dissipating system, which enhances the shade’s ability to absorb the impact of the bullets while transmitting less stress to the construction around the window or door.

Is this solution any better than just using a sheet of Kevlar as a protective curtain?

  • Without the BBP patented "energy-dissipation" solution, the mounting would have to be significantly stronger to withstand the impact of the bullets without being torn off the wall.
  • A simple curtain made of Kevlar would have an issue defending your home if successive rounds were fired at it.  In BBP’s testing of Kevlar alone, it was found that the first round will hit with sufficient force that the curtain will be pushed into the air (like a cape in the wind), which will allow successive rounds to pass through unencumbered.
  • Exposed Kevlar degrades in the presence of UV light.  Without an opaque covering, the Kevlar would eventually have its strength significantly reduced.
  • The thickness required for the Kevlar to stop handgun fire would make the Kevlar curtain very stiff and cumbersome to move out of the way of the door or window.

Can a non-professional install the BBP shades or door shields?

Great care was taken during the development of the product to make the installation easy enough for a novice to handle it.  The product installs with no more effort than what installing common residential window shades would take.

  • The average installation time is less than thirty minutes.
  • Requires no specialty tool.

However, if the area around the window/door has any kind of complex trim or casing, this could complicate the installation.  If this is the situation, please include pictures of the area with your quote request so that we can examine the surrounding structure.  We may determine a highly customized installation package is required or even recommend you to one of our installation partners.

My windows have a mullion separating them (a slender division of frame or wall space between windows); is there an option to protect that area as well?

If there are adjoining window frames separated by a mullion or section of the wall that is not likely to have solid enough construction to stop a projectile on its own (see image below), two options exist to allow for the protection of these areas:

  • Option A: a single-shade construction that is wide enough to cover both windows and the mullion in between.  This option may have other design limitations, such as requiring a motorized roller if the weight of the fabric exceeds the limits of the manual roller design.
  • Option B:  At an additional cost, we can provide ballistic fiberglass plating to cover the mullion spacing.  This would mount permanently to the wall.

What size of windows and doors can you protect?

  • The smallest size is for a 16” wide window.
  • The maximum dimensions that can be accommodated for a single shade are 103” x 106”.  For needs that exceed this size, there are options for piecing together multiple sections or extending the height, please contact us directly if this is your need.

What is the general cost?

As there are a lot of options that can affect the cost (manual, motorized, protection level, mounting options...), it is nearly impossible to put a generalized number to it; however, the fabric product is similar in cost to body armor as the ballistic core is very similar.  Our product also includes oversizing the coverage area by several inches in each direction to protect against rounds that are fired at the window or door at an angle.

How do I store the rolls of fabric if I remove them from the window or door and they are not in use?

It is critical that the fabric is either stored rolled up on the rod it came with, with no bunching, wrinkles, and misshaping to the roll, or stored completely flat.  Wrinkles and creases can reduce the strength of the Kevlar.  If you do happen to store it incorrectly and it develops a permanent crease, DO NOT iron the fabric.   Let the fabric rest completely flat using weights to flatten the wrinkles with gentle pressure.

Is the material Berry Compliant?

Yes, but international shipments may use alternate material sources.

Is this product really bulletproof?

The term “bulletproof” is often misused when referring to flexible fabrics used in body armor or for glass used in buildings and specialty vehicles.  Bulletproof vests or bulletproof glass do not really exist by the definition of being able to stop ALL bullets, ALL of the time.  The term the ballistic industry prefers to use is “bullet-resistant”. This means the product can resist the penetration of specific bullets based on its rating, and up to a certain number of impacts.   Given enough firepower, all body armor, Kevlar fabrics, or most bullet-resistant materials can eventually be overcome.

So, just like body armor and glass, the BBP products are rated as being bullet-resistant for certain calibers, being certified to one of the most common standards UL752.  

BBP not only passes the certification tests, but has done so with a significant margin.  In the armor industry, the material strength is determined by one of two evaluation methods: V0 or V50 testing.  With V0, the product is tested to determine the bullet velocity at which 0% of the rounds penetrated the material (the material will stop everything).  Given the variability of the testing, this method is not generally deemed conclusive in determining the strength of the material.  In V50 testing, the rounds are fired at higher and higher velocities until they begin to penetrate, increasing until a point at which 50% of the rounds at least partially penetrate the material.  This type of testing is done to understand the margin by which the product is passing the standard and in routine testing, determine with greater confidence how the materials are performing in ongoing production, thus ensuring the product will work as advertised.

What caliber of bullets will it resist?

  • The product has been certified by Underwriters Labs to prove that it meets the requirements of the UL 752 Level 3 standard, the highest standard UL has for handgun rounds.
  • Passing Level 3 means the product is sufficient to protect against most pistol calibers using the most commonly available ammunition for the caliber (e.g. commercially available and typical for .38 Special, .357, 9mm, .45, .40, 10mm, .44 magnum rounds).
  • There are also variants of several of the products that are available as Level 2 certification, which allows the fabric stack to be slightly thinner (making it more flexible and allowing it to roll up to a smaller roll), which also lowers the cost as well.
  • Level 2 fabric is tested against .357 Magnum rounds, but most experts would agree that it is sufficiently strong to stand up against typical 9mm and .45 caliber ammunition as well as some 10mm rounds.
  • Ballistic Barrier Products cannot make any guarantees about the product outside of this certification testing.
  • BBP maintains the certification as a UL-listed product, meaning, UL conducts quarterly audits of the manufacturing facility to confirm the product is being made to the same standard that was originally tested.
  • In addition to Level 2 and Level 3 UL certification, BBP has also done informal internal testing to the Level 1 and the Level 6 standard and passed. For the Level 6 testing, 100 consecutive rounds of 9mm FMJ, as well as 100 consecutive rounds of .45 ACP were fired at the same sample (both rounds fired in full automatic mode) and saw zero penetrations.
  • Below is a quick summary of what calibers are within the protection levels for this product (highlighted in green) and the calibers that are not included (highlighted in orange).

UL 752 Requirements

Is the product certified to any of the international standards, such as DIN EN 1063?

Not currently.  There is no issue with passing any of the European standards, but because product certification is a long process, and there are over dozen major standards and quite a few more minor standards, at this time only the UL standard has been tested.  For international use, it will be up to the customer to determine if certification to the UL standards defines the appropriate fitness for use in their country.

Will it resist automatic fire?

The product has been tested with .45 ACP firing at 700 rpm and 9mm firing at 1100 rpm, spread evenly over a 20 sq ft shade.  In both test cases, there were no penetrations through the fabric. In a highly controlled targeting of 30 rounds spread evenly in an area of less than 4 sq ft, the product consistently withstood any penetration. That being said, the more concentrated the fire, the better chance the rounds have at eventually breaking up the fibers and passing through. Regardless of this informal testing, the product has only been certified up to the UL 752 Level 3 standard, and that is the limit of the product guarantee.

Is there a limit to the number of rounds it will stop?

In one informal test case, 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition were fired evenly into a 20 sq ft shade without any penetrations through the fabric.  However, the product has only been certified up to the UL 752 Level 3 standard and that is the limit of the product guarantee.

Is there a variant that will resist rifle fire?

At this time, the design is limited to handgun fire.

Are the shades reusable after resisting a projectile?

After the material has absorbed the impact of actual live rounds, it is no longer certified as the fibers around the impact point will have been weakened.  Given the amount of variation of damage that could exist, it is nearly impossible to assess the exact amount of fiber-weakening that occurred and allow the product to be certified for a second, separate attack.

Once your shades have had any kind of impact from live rounds, please contact us to discuss what components must be replaced for the shades to maintain certification.

Can they be used (lowered/raised) every day or only when in an emergency?

The product is designed so that the window shades can be deployed daily and used as a normal window treatment.  Life testing shows that it will withstand daily use for a period of at least seven years.

Can they be installed outside/exterior of the building?

The window shade and door cover shield products are designed for interior use; however, they can be modified to work outdoors with some customization. If you have an outdoor application, please contact us directly.

How many years can the shades be used and still be expected to perform to the certification?

The fabric is warrantied to remain viable for at least seven years when consistently stored at a temperature range of 32 to 120° F and humidity up to 85%.  It is also critical that the polyester cover fabric remains completely intact and in good condition.  To maintain the certification during this allotted time period, the fabric must be routinely inspected for any signs of damage such as creases in the Kevlar, as well as tears or worn spots in the cover materials that would expose the Kevlar to sunlight (which degrades its strength).

Can the cover fabric be customized?

Custom solid colors or even prints are possible with the polyester cover fabric.  Please contact us directly with your requirements.

Changing the polyester cover material to a different type of fabric is not possible.  The polyester is a special weave that meets very specific requirements for the design to maintain certification.  However, it is possible to laminate other materials to its surface, such as designer fabrics.

Can I modify the cover fabric?

It is critical that the cover fabric that is shipped with the product is never modified.  Doing so can significantly affect the strength of the Kevlar fabric.

Can the fascia/valance be customized?

The fascia face can be customized to add a fabric or laminated covering that complements the cover material of the shade itself.  Please contact us with your request.

The sheet metal and end caps for the fascia are available in several standard colors or custom painting can ordered to have them color matched to any shade.  Additionally, since they are only cosmetic coverings and serve no structural purpose, they are the only items that we can allow the customer to customize on their own by painting or adding material to the outside surface.  However, they cannot be removed or replaced entirely as doing so may expose the mechanical shade components to unintended wear or damage.

Can the curtain be customized for additional protection?

The standard product cannot be customized for this, but please discuss your needs by contacting us as there may be other options that we can suggest.

What options are there for a motorized version?

There are several motor options from two major brands in the window treatment market. These motors are available in 120/220 VAC, 24VDC, and battery-powered 12V systems.

The motor wiring can be plugged into a wall outlet or directly wired to a power source.

Activating the motor can be done with a variety of wired and wireless control options.

Can it be connected to an alarm or remote activation switch?

The motorized version can be actuated with a handheld remote, wall mount, from a central control system, a security system and a variety of alarm or sensor equipment.  

What if I can’t mount the brackets to a wall stud?

To meet certification, it is required to attach the upper and lower brackets directly to wall studs, with at least 1” of screw engagement into solid pine wood, per the installation instructions.  If the particulars of your window/door architecture do not allow for this, a custom design may be possible; please contact us directly if this is your need.

What if the brackets don’t fit around my door/wall trim as they are unusually large or ornate?

If the trim or area around the window/door has some complexity that inhibits normal installation, please include pictures of the area with your quote request so that we can examine the surrounding structure.  We may determine a highly customized installation package is required or recommend you to one of our installation partners.

Is there an option to have a professional handle the installation?

Yes, we have an ever-expanding network of installation partners that can handle the installation and even take the initial measurements.  Please contact us directly with your request and we will put you in touch with one in your area.

Can I use my own mounting hardware or screws?

To maintain certification, the installation must be completed according to our instructions and with our supplied hardware.  If there is an issue with using the hardware provided or if it was damaged during the installation process, please contact us for replacements.

What is the warranty period of the product?

The product is warranted to be free of material or workmanship defects for a period of one year from the date of initial purchase.  This warranty includes the cost of repairing or replacing materials (at BBP’s discretion) and any shipping costs involved.  Outside of this, the cost of repairs will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  For more details, see our full disclosure here: warranty and guarantee

What is the product guarantee?

The product is guaranteed to meet the criteria certified by the UL 752 Level 3 or Level 2 testing in a single attack from a handgun (an “event”). This guarantee extends for a period of seven years from the date of manufacture.  Due to the numerous variables that can be associated with an event (proximity, angle of attack, custom loaded rounds, rate of fire, number of rounds fired, multiple guns used simultaneously, successive events…), it is not practical to test and guarantee the product for all the possible threat variations that could exist.  It is up to the customer to review the certification to determine if the product is appropriate for their needs.  After a single event, it is recommended that the product be replaced in its entirety as it will no longer be certified to the UL 752 standard and the product guarantee will be void.   For more details, see our full disclosure here: warranty and guarantee.

What is the return policy?

As each product is custom-made to the dimensions submitted, there are no returns or refunds allowed once the order has been started.  For this reason, it is recommended that utmost care be exercised in reading the instructions for taking the dimensions for the door or window.   If there are any questions or doubts about the measurement process or concerns about the framework or trim that might interfere with mounting the hardware, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will assist with the process.

How do I clean the fabric?

  • Never machine wash or machine dry.
  • Do not dry clean.
  • Surface clean the fabric only, do no soak the material.
  • Do not let any chlorine-based products risk contacting the para-aramid fibers, as chlorine can severely degrade their strength.
  • They can be vacuumed with an upholstery attachment to remove dust or light debris, or a lint brush can be used.
  • Spot treat as needed using a mild commercial detergent. For stubborn stains, use an oxygen-based solution, such as OxiClean™ Max Force Laundry Stain Remover or Tide® Rescue Laundry Stain Remover.
  • Scrub with warm water and a soft rag or sponge; never use a stiff bristle brush.
  • Test for color fastness on an area out of view before using the detergent in more visible areas.
  • Hang and air dry only after any cleaning event, ensuring the fabric has had plenty of time to dry completely before rolling up.

OxiClean™ is a registered trademark of Church &Dwight Co., Inc
Tide® is a registered trademark of The Procter &Gamble Company

Can I iron or steam-press the fabric?

  • Ironing or pressing should not be required. Due to the weight of the material, the folds and wrinkles dissipate quickly if left deployed.
  • If a stubborn wrinkle persists, hand ironing is permissible, using no higher than medium settings as the fabric is sensitive to heat applied directly to the surface.
  • No steam can be used at all.