Secure glass

Enhanced Protection Glazing (EPG)

When struck toughened glass breaks into thousands of pieces

When struck toughened glass breaks into thousands of piecesthan half of these are never recovered

If you're in the market for a new car then you might want to ask the dealer whether the specification includes fitment of security glazing – specially designed glass that prevents opportunist 'smash & grab' attacks on your belongings. It reduces noise and blocks UV light as well.

For the thief with his eye on valuables in your car, glass might as well not be there. In only a few seconds and with little noise he can smash the glass, take what he wants and be away.

The windscreen must be made of laminated glass, but all other car windows are generally made from toughened safety glass. When struck - particularly with a sharp object - toughened glass breaks into thousands of pieces. The fragments are smooth and won't cut because it's safety glass.

Latest developments

Glassmakers have developed a special type of laminated glass that can be used for side windows.

The new glass, called security glazing, impact-resistant glazing or Enhanced Protection Glazing (EPG) is now being fitted as standard or an option on more and more cars.

  • EPG won't resist attack indefinitely but it will prevent quick, 'smash & grab' attacks. The noise and time required to break in means that the thief must take much more account of the surroundings and the possibility of being caught in the act.
  • Crime prevention is only one of the benefits of EPG which also reduces interior noise. It blocks UV light, thereby reducing fading of interior trim. It can also reduce the severity of crash injuries by preventing full or partial ejection of occupants.

EPG is potentially the most significant development since the introduction of the immobiliser. We hope that manufacturers will offer this glass as standard across more and more model ranges.

Security film

Offered by some manufacturers as an alternative to secure glazing, this is a plastic sheet, possibly tinted, that's applied to the inside surface of car windows. The glass can still be broken, but it is more difficult to remove as the film holds it intact. We have concerns about safety, durability and vision.

The original car glass is required, for type approval, to pass a range of strength, durability and optical tests including light transmission, abrasion resistance, optical distortion and secondary image.

Applying a plastic film to the inside of the glass reduces light transmission.

We're concerned that the film will become scuffed, especially when the windows are opened.

We can't recommend security film until a suitable material meets the right safety standards as well as providing security benefits.

(updated 4 May 2012)