Good Thinking

Bullet resistant Bodyguard Blanket provides duck-and-cover protection

The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions and tornadoes
The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions and tornadoes
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The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions and tornadoes
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The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions and tornadoes
The Bodyguard Blanket features straps that make it easy for them to be fastened to the user
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The Bodyguard Blanket features straps that make it easy for them to be fastened to the user
The Bodyguard Blanket is made from Dyneema, a polyethylene-based material
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The Bodyguard Blanket is made from Dyneema, a polyethylene-based material
Close-up of a 9mm bullet caught in the layers of the Bodyguard Blanket
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Close-up of a 9mm bullet caught in the layers of the Bodyguard Blanket
The Bodyguard Blanket is bright orange to make it easy to spot for search and rescue teams
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The Bodyguard Blanket is bright orange to make it easy to spot for search and rescue teams
The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to provide protection from bullets and debris from a tornado
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The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to provide protection from bullets and debris from a tornado

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

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

Bodyguard Ballistics Test

38 comments
Deres
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 ...
Daishi
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.
Nairda
"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.
nicho
Am I the only person who finds it horrifying that kids get shot often enough that someone came up with this ?
bjh616
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.
uksnapper
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.
Caimbeul
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.
Daishi
@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.
BigGoofyGuy
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?
Grunt
The mind boggles!
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