Ballistic protection can apply to any number of systems, from personal armor to custom entryway systems. When applied to storefronts, this term typically means custom-made entry doors and glazing partitions installed in the front of a government facility, corporate office, or in some cases police stations.

blue storefront ballistic glass lined in rows in a storefront

Ballistic protection has become increasingly important in recent years. These powerful materials can protect businesses, government offices, employees, resources, and visitors from a wide array of threats, from armed robbery to vandalism. While many physical barriers are rated specifically for bullet resistance, these partitions also provide added strength against forced entry and flying debris. 

If you’re looking for ways to improve the security of your physical storefront, here’s a basic guide to ballistic protection options and considerations. 

Importance of Ballistic Protection for Storefronts

Today, storefronts face a variety of threats, from forced entry theft to ballistic security incidents. The ability to quickly breach storefront glass and gain entry can make various establishments easy targets. Ballistic protection offers a stronger barrier between the interior and exterior, usually in the form of doors, windows, and glazing partitions. 

Typically produced using reinforced materials like laminated glass or glass-clad polycarbonate, storefront protection systems include multiple layers or lamination that holds the material together even if it’s struck by sharp, heavy objects or ballistics. Though no material can prevent deterioration indefinitely, these partitions make it significantly harder for assailants to gain entry to establishments without authorization, since they are not easily defeated by ballistic attack or impact. This can allow those inside to get to safety and provide more time for first responders to arrive before damage is done. 

In many cases, the deterrent effect can be just as useful as the physical protection offered by these systems. Those looking to steal money or inventory or break into storefronts are often looking for easy targets where there’s a low likelihood of being caught. These strong materials can make potential thieves think twice about targeting a particular business, contributing to the protection of property, employees, and visitors. 

Types of Ballistic Protection for Storefronts

Ballistic protection for storefronts can take many forms. And these systems can even be customized to suit the needs and architectural design of each particular establishment. For example, intrusion protection doors are a popular option for ballistic security protection. These exterior doors are intended to provide an extra level of security and protection from unwanted intruders after normal business hours. These doors can incorporate impact threat protection from projectiles, ballistics, or both. They can also be produced in various sizes and finish options to meet the practical and aesthetic needs of your business or establishment. 

ballistic glass panels with white frames stored in a room

Ballistic protection can also apply to storefront windows and glazing systems. Many businesses have large windows to let in tons of natural light and display products. Protective glazing provides all these benefits of glass, but with an added layer of protection. Products can be customized by size and material based on each establishment’s needs. For example, some storefronts may require one large bullet resistant window, while others may require a few smaller ones. There are also various levels of visibility and light transmission offered. 

What to Consider When Selecting Ballistic Protection Solutions for Storefronts

The main purpose of ballistic protection for storefronts is to enhance safety and security for businesses, corporate offices, & more along with their employees and visitors. So your top consideration when selecting materials should be choosing quality products that are tested against recognized industry standards. UL 752 is one of the top testing standards for materials that provide ballistic protection. There are eight different levels of protection available, all tested against different types of ballistic impact. We recommend completing a risk assessment and/or work with an industry leading vendor to determine the most relevant form of protection for your storefront. Many establishments can benefit greatly even from products rated for UL levels 1 and 2, since these offer the crime deterrent benefits while still providing plenty of light transmission and ease of installation. 

In addition to these important security considerations, today’s storefronts also require materials and solutions that suit the style and architectural needs of their existing facilities. Protective door systems can be customized with various materials, finishes, sizes, and details. For example, some doors include large metal frames with clear bullet resistant glass in the center to provide some light transmission and visibility while matching the rest of the building’s exterior. 

There are also windows and glazing partitions that can suit the existing architecture of your storefront to provide protection while allowing the store to maintain a consistent appearance. These aesthetic customizations don’t just help businesses maintain a quality reputation; they can also keep local companies in compliance with zoning ordinances, which are especially common in busy downtown or commercial districts. Many of these areas require local businesses to maintain a cohesive experience, so having materials that blend in can provide extra protection while still supporting the community’s goals. 

If you’re looking for ballistic protection options for your storefront, contact Insulgard to discuss the specific solutions that may be right for your business. We provide a full array of solutions in our BulletBlock line, with products tested against all UL 752 standards. Products can also be customized to the size and aesthetic needs of each client, and our knowledgeable team can walk you through the process and connect you with installers and vendors that can help you meet your goals. To learn more about our ballistic protection options for storefronts, visit our website and reach out to our team. 

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