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Bullet resistant Bodyguard Blanket provides duck-and-cover protection

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June 11, 2014

The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions an...

The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions and tornadoes

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Security blankets generally only provide youngsters with psychological comfort, but the Bodyguard Blanket, from Oklahoma-based ProTecht, LLC., is intended to provide some more concrete security. Made from ballistic materials, it is designed to provide protection from bullets in the event of a school shooting, or from falling or flying debris in the event of a tornado.

It's a sad state of affairs when children aren't safe from the threat of gunfire at school. But according to Oklahoma-based company ProTecht, LLC., the US has seen over 40 school shootings since the tragic events that took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In many areas, dangers from nature are of greater concern, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimating that around 1,000 tornadoes occur in the US each year, resulting in an average of 70 deaths and 1,500 injuries, most often caused by blunt force trauma.

To provide some protection from both these dangers, ProTecht has rolled out its bullet resistant Bodyguard Blanket, which the company says complies with Type IIIA of the broadly accepted National Institute of Justice (NIJ) ballistic and stab standards used for law enforcement armor in the US. As such, it can protect against a range of ammunition, including 9mm and .22-caliber bullets, absorbing a significant amount of the bullet's energy by "catching" and deforming the bullet within the layers of the blanket.

ProTecht says it has conducted extensive laboratory tests and estimates the blankets can absorb approximately 490 – 660 joules of energy, or 361 – 486 foot pound of force, whether it be from a bullet or falling or flying debris. They are made from Dyneema, a polyethylene-based material that we've seen before in the ballistic whiteboard, which is also intended to provide protection from bullets in the classroom.

The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to provide protection from bullets and debris from a tor...

Despite its stopping power, the 0.3-in (7.9 mm) thick blankets are flexible and light enough for a small child to carry. They come in three sizes and also feature straps that make it easy for them to be fastened to the user so they can keep them in place while ducking for cover. To make them – and the user – easier for search and rescue teams to locate, they are bright orange in color.

The Bodyguard Blankets aren't cheap at US$1,000 each, but the company points out they would still be a cheaper option than building dedicated shelters at every school in tornado-prone areas.

At $300, the Ballistic Backpack provides a cheaper alternative, but with less coverage. Well-heeled teachers – if there is such a thing – also have the option of bulletproof suits, including the Diamond Armor and Garrison Bespoke's offering.

A ballistic test of the Bodyguard Blanket can be seen in the following video.

Source: ProTecht

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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38 Comments

Against natural disaster, better get cover under the pre-existing school desks than under very expensive blankets ! This will also be far more efficient against falling objects. Against a gunner, i don't think making all the kids laying on the ground waiting for a kill under their blanket is better than making them run for an exit away from the shooting ...

Deres
11th June, 2014 @ 01:49 am PDT

This seems well meaning but misguided. I haven't read stories on all the shootings but some of the worst ones were the ones where people got under their desks submissively and waited for their turn to be checked out.

I'm looking at a photo of $10,000 in security blankets taken in a room with a $200 wooden door. Of all the commentary I have seen on dealing with the shootings one of the best ones went into detail about the great lengths schools go through for fire prevention in terms of building design, construction, materials, and practice drills.

I remember attending a school board meeting for an 8th grade journalism assignment and one of the things that came up was the ridiculous costs of replacement light fixtures in the library because special fixtures were needed to meet strict code.

The number of school children killed in fires in a year has been aproximately 0 for years yet we lose numerous children to shootings every year but schools were never constructed with active shooters in mind.

The harsh reality is that the physical security of schools must be addressed even if doing it is expensive. At Sandy Hook the doors were locked but they were just glass so he just broke them and went through.

Imagine if the front doors had bullet proof glass and the classrooms had doors that served as proper barricades? The office monitoring the guy trying to get through the door could have hit an "active shooter" alarm that puts the school on lockdown and alerts the authorities.

Nobody wants schools to feel like prisons but they basically have to be fortified at this point and windows off the ground don't have to be barred or anything. Safely blankets aren't going to be enough and schools are already under funded for things like securing the main entrance.

Daishi
11th June, 2014 @ 02:23 am PDT

"but the company points out they would still be a cheaper option than building dedicated shelters at every school in tornado-prone areas."

But a much better option. The shooter will start in one room. The sound a warning for all the other classes to funnel into individual shelters.

There is no time for any person to down their bright orange rectangular cape if a shooter wonders into the class.

Reinforced dead bolts and steel structure to the doors of classrooms will also help.

Nairda
11th June, 2014 @ 03:02 am PDT

Am I the only person who finds it horrifying that kids get shot often enough that someone came up with this ?

nicho
11th June, 2014 @ 03:03 am PDT

So now a rampaging madman (does not need to be using a gun) can get free and plentiful bullet resistance armor for when the police finally do arrive.

That sounds like it is a good idea.

Brian_KeepitSimpleStupid
11th June, 2014 @ 04:23 am PDT

If a gunman can see a body part he or she can shoot it and the photos show how inefficient the blankets are at covering a body.

The thought that school children have now to be able to escape from expected gun attacks is a very worrying trend.

uksnapper
11th June, 2014 @ 04:38 am PDT

Understand the American backstory. The critical step in "marketing", now, is bribing sufficient politicians to acquire regulations mandating acquisition of this paranoid crap by school districts.

Eideard
11th June, 2014 @ 04:41 am PDT

@nicho It's something of an epidemic at this point and they only seem to be getting more common. Here is a chart of school shootings per year: http://i.imgur.com/Ti8JyHn.jpg

The source of the data is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

The graph was from 2010 but it hasn't gotten better.

Daishi
11th June, 2014 @ 05:02 am PDT

Nicho, you are not alone in thinking that. It is a shame it seems to have come to the point where we need 'body armor' when kids go to school.

I think it would be better used a protection from the back as the kids run away from the shooter instead of just sitting there waiting to see if they will be shot next.

Perhaps with a tornado, they could use it in addtion to hiding under a desk chair or desk to shield them from debris?

BigGoofyGuy
11th June, 2014 @ 05:20 am PDT

The mind boggles!

Grunt
11th June, 2014 @ 05:33 am PDT

I have to agree with previous comments. This is not a solution for active shooters. at $1000ea if the classes are like the ones in my area that is $30-35 grand per classroom. Our elementary has 200 classrooms so these would cost $7M... 7 million dollars for one school... I've worked with security firms who have secured entire businesses for less than that.

These things are as other point out very ineffective looking. It provides protection from only one side. If the kids are large or don't get balled up enough it doesn't even offer full cover.

That $7M would be better spent installing effective security features. I like Daishi's idea of bullet resistant doors, and an emergency lock down capability. It would even involve off the shelf capability as mag lock doors and windows have already been designed with that in mind.

VirtualGathis
11th June, 2014 @ 06:44 am PDT

nothing more than fear profiteering. these people should be ashamed of themselves. trying to take advantage of parents worries to sell a worthless product at a ridiculous mark-up. People like this give capitalism a bad name. Shame on you.

Artisteroi
11th June, 2014 @ 08:11 am PDT

Here's what happens to Spree killers with armed citizens. The Oregon Mall murderer 3 1 dead 2 wounded when confronted by an armed citizen he Suicided with lots of targets & a full magazine.

Mayan 14 theater shooting 2 dead murder dealt with by a conceal carrier.

School shootings Edinboro Pennsylvania 1 dead murderer dealt with by a gun owner.

Pearl Mississippi 2 dead murderer handled by a gun owner.

Appalachia School of Law 3 dead murderer again dealt with by gun owners.

JoejustJoe
11th June, 2014 @ 08:41 am PDT

Like trying to fix internal bleeding with a band aid.

It's a tragedy that such an item is even worthy of debating. Even if all kids are given those and the doors are beefed up and the schools security turns them into bomb proof bunkers it won't change that the impact of those school shootings is much more than unnecessary tragic loss of life.

As long as there is guns a plenty out there then everyone with a loved one in a School will be fearing that phone call or the knock on the door - it seems to me the guns that are supposed ensure freedom has instead everyone slaves. Be it fear for love of a loved one being at school, fear from accidental shooting or perhaps fear from an ex spouse that isn't handling a break up very well.

It is long overdue to have things change and telling the politicians that they need to make it happen is the way forward - not bullet proof protection for school children.

BZD
11th June, 2014 @ 08:43 am PDT

Fit pepper spray into the fire sprinkler system. That ought to make everything stop.

flylowguy
11th June, 2014 @ 08:49 am PDT

GUN FREE ZONES----> Here Mister Sociopath, here! The Sociopath only kills himself when other people with guns arrive. These shields are ridiculous, but then they might be bought by the same people who think that Gun Free Zones work, are a bright idea.

Gun Free England: What England should do is warn you that one out of two people there have been assaulted, battered, robbed, even murdered. The Orwellian 1984 Police State there, likely trains its police in the fine art of chalk body outlining or listening with profound sympathy about your beating, mugging...

Making sure that it is a most uncertain place where others will shoot you in your desire for a Sociopath murderous rampage, keeps a lid on the Sociopath to be content with video games. Gun Free Zones are created in the vacuous minds of the person saying yes to this and putting up the signs.

Per Sandy Hook: Police Detective Colombo was not allowed to ask questions, to follow up on forensic evidence... and the crime scene has been bulldozed. Nice. In Criminal Law we studied all sorts of vile, inhuman people, but we never came across something like Sandy Hook.

Yes, pure glass security doors, silly. In most schools, the glass is interwoven with wire. I saw a student high on something, smash his fist into such a glass wired window. It broke, as did his bloody fist, but that was about it, save for a powerful memory.

lwesson
11th June, 2014 @ 08:49 am PDT

Seems to me this is nothing more than a shame to take advantage of fearful parents who will not think things through and realize many of the points already made here as to why they are a waste of time. But it does play in nicely with the entire gun control movement - I saw a blurb about this on the news yesterday so it's getting publicity.

f8lee
11th June, 2014 @ 09:03 am PDT

Just how much do tornado shelters cost? These blankets only provide partial protection.

theotherwill
11th June, 2014 @ 09:50 am PDT

We put a man on the moon, now we're just crazy and stupid.

mookins
11th June, 2014 @ 09:55 am PDT

Australia was able to solve their mass gun shootings problem without the use of fraidy blankets.

ZGare
11th June, 2014 @ 10:32 am PDT

Looks like the ballistic clay dented in about 3/4" behind the barrier cloth. Ouch! A shot may not kill you but could break a rib, crack a skull or shatter a vertebrae. Better than dying I guess. I agree with Daishi, there are better ways to spend the money.

JAT
11th June, 2014 @ 10:34 am PDT

This is a stupid and useless product that would encourage kids to stay in place helplessly and be shot underneath. They would be better off running out of the school. School shootings can be prevented by allowing school employees to volunteer to carry concealed firearms. School buildings can be better designed to improve security.

Jeff Goldstein
11th June, 2014 @ 10:43 am PDT

Tornado protection?

It'll preserve the crushed bodies.

You want tornado protection? And don't want to pay more?

Then build tornado proof buildings! Quit building buildings that fly apart or collapse! And costs what you'd pay anyway--minus the $7,000 "safe room." (Which allows you to come out after the storm and see what you've lost.) Save yourself, your loves and your stuff!

Monolithic.net shows how to build bullet-proof, tornado-proof, hurricane-resistant buildings of any size. Homes, schools, churches, offices, stores....

Don't be "Glad that I survived, even though all my stuff is gone."

Charles Barnard
11th June, 2014 @ 12:37 pm PDT

I guess that NO GUN ZONES should work right? Right? Or is this naughty thinking deserving of censorship? Likely.

And I am certain that the US is rather different from Australia so outright gun confiscation should be really a slick thing here in the US. Just ignore that pesky Bill of Rights, The Constitution and see what happens. Everything solved in no time.

lwesson
11th June, 2014 @ 12:47 pm PDT

I think everyone, students, teachers, ordinary civilians, cops, in fact every citizen ought to wear bullet proof burkhas just like Islamic women.

Imagine the impact on the fashion industry. Watch the fun when people try to eat soup, spaghetti or pizza through the hole. Whole new business in man/women backpack portable cooling systems that fit inside.

A much better solution than a mere blanket or god forbid, gun controls.

grtbluyonder
11th June, 2014 @ 01:36 pm PDT

Can't remember the last time a kid was shot at school here in Australia.. Oh thats right - we took put strong gun laws in place and made damn sure nut jobs couldn't get them... The US gun lobby needs to take a long hard look at itself and wake up and realise the average joe has no need of handguns and assault rifles...

cruro02
11th June, 2014 @ 02:19 pm PDT

The supposed expert failed to use 5.56 mm ammunition such as that used at Sandy Hook. Had he done so the "protection" would be fully penetrated along with the ballistic clay and the wood frame.

There is a solution that would have worked for Sandy Hook and most other shootings by unstable people. The smart gun and laws to support it.

Laws like.

Smart guns may be kept loaded in the home convenient for self-defense to the owner. Along with the next item helps promote the acquisition of smart guns.

All other guns must be kept locked in a safe at all times except when being transported to a range or use area.

All smart guns will disable on approaching a school, mall, theatre or other major venue. Protects the innocent.

attoman
11th June, 2014 @ 02:23 pm PDT

Great idea. Have the kids strap sails to their backs so they'll fly higher and farther when a tornado blows the roof off.

To make schools more secure, have all but the main entrance doors be lock out types that always open from the inside but are always locked from the outside and require a staff member to enter a code to get in.

Cards or RFID or a key or any sort of physical unlock device should not be used because an attacker can obtain it to get in.

The front entrance should have an inner access door that has a keypad for staff and a protected area for a staffperson (main office secretary or other that already works there) to unlock the door to allow people in.

This system is already in use at many businesses that require external security, especially ones that have high value, easily portable stuff like jewelry.

But in the short term, well trained, armed guards inside the front entrance and posted elsewhere so they can get to anywhere in the school quickly would provide both a deterrent and a quick reaction.

Signs should be posted that there are armed guards there at all times there are students and/or staff. All these school shootings have happened at schools where it's well known they are gun free zones.

BTW, there's a list of supposed school shootings that even FOX News took the bait on. Many of them were incidents of gang warfare near a school, drive by shootings where the bullets happened to enter school grounds, or other incidents of violence that just incidentally happened to be at or near a school.

Gregg Eshelman
11th June, 2014 @ 04:07 pm PDT

In any sensible democratic country full of intelligent people you'd never get to the state where you'd have to consider such a stupid invention.

Most of the sensible Americans I know no longer live there, having given up on the country long ago.

Williamshatnerspants
11th June, 2014 @ 04:48 pm PDT

Revelatory product. Living in a nation where such a thing is plausible.

Steve Raznick
11th June, 2014 @ 05:45 pm PDT

@ attoman - "All smart guns will disable on approaching a school, mall, theatre or other major venue. Protects the innocent."

Who is going to determine what venues are deemed important enough to disable a smart weapon?

Are the lives of the 30 or so people in a coffee shop somehow less important than those few hundred in a theater simply because the necessary population quota needed to be deemed a protected venue wasn't met?

Rt1583
12th June, 2014 @ 01:18 am PDT

"It's something of an epidemic at this point and they only seem to be getting more common."

Read the shooting descriptions. so many of them are "gang-related" and "outside the school".

Ron Johnson
12th June, 2014 @ 05:27 am PDT

Protection from a tornado? I don't think so. You need a real storm shelter. Protection from an armed intruder? I don't think so either. Schools should have armed guards. Funny how I grew up with a shotgun and box of shells next to the back door. As kids, we were told not to touch it, so we didn't. We did play cowboys and indians with our cap guns and knew it was pretend. We even had quick draw contests to see who was the fastest. Today many kids are not disciplined, taught responsibility, or the value of life and many grow up almost totally unsupervised. They are bored and seeking attention and gratification. They have open access to totally inappropriate entertainment. Partying is the goal and hard work is shunned. Now, do you see the problem?

Bob
12th June, 2014 @ 07:37 am PDT

For tornado debris build the schools with proper storm shelters.

For protection against psychopaths require the teachers and the rest of the school staff to be proficient with and carry a weapon that will reliably bring a man down at 50' and less. this could be shuriken, spears, guns, or a well thrown brick.

Slowburn
12th June, 2014 @ 09:34 pm PDT

lets do the math.. 30 kids a classroom is 30k and 50 class rooms in a school would be 1.5 million per school. A full time resource officer or 2 would be 100k a year, 80k in upgrades that last 10 years, we come to only a million over 10 years. Wow I created jobs and saved every school in the country 500k over 10 years.

FYI the "shields" only absorbs "361 – 486 foot pound of force" while a 12 gauge shotgun 00 round has over 2000 foot pounds of force, 20 gauge is 1320 foot pounds so they are useless against Biden's preferred home defense weapon.

Michael Raines
14th June, 2014 @ 07:16 am PDT

Gun Free Zones kill people. They are nothing but a place for people to target as many people as possible without the chance of return fire. ONE concealed carry permit carrier could have stopped Sandy hook. ONE concealed carry permit carrier DID stop a mall shooter (without even firing a shot).

We have not had a child die in a fire in schools

for over 60 years. Why? We build out of fireproof materials, have regular drills, and train people in how to respond in need.

Whsy do we do for a shooter? Hide under a desk and wait to die.

I know plenty of teachers willing and eager to defend their kids if needed. Concealed carry trainer have offered their classes for free to teachers. But it is the teachers union and the school boards who will not allow them to protect themselves and our kids. Gun free zones need to be abolished. They are as much of a violation of our Rights as "freedom of speech zones". Take back your RIGHTS, and understand that the police are NOT there to protect you, they are there to catch criminals. That is usually way too late for the victims.

kellory
22nd June, 2014 @ 10:38 am PDT

Don't take killers off the medication that makes them the way they are, scare the kids with orang mats! A lot more kids get killed on the ride to school than in school, but road safety isn't a problem.

njaohnt
22nd June, 2014 @ 07:02 pm PDT

Why would a school need these? There are signs posted on schools that say "No Guns Allowed". Doesn't that mean that criminals won't bring their guns in? So there isn't anything to fear? That's the way it works... Right?!

Michael Loos
14th July, 2014 @ 07:57 pm PDT
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