Gun violence is a major point of discussion in today’s society. And it’s especially prevalent among those who spend time in facilities that tend to be at high risk for these incidents, including schools, churches, and government buildings.
It’s a complicated issue, to be sure. But there are solutions available to help building owners shore up security and curb these incidents or at least minimize their impact. Here’s what educators, officials, and building decision makers should know about the issue and some of the options for increasing protection.
Recent Events in School Shootings Highlight The Need for Increased Security Measures
There have been more than 15 school shootings so far in the first half of 2019 where at least one person was hurt or killed. Gun violence in schools has certainly become a major talking point over the last several years. And regardless of political affiliation, most people would agree that making schools safer is an important goal.
Many schools have started taking precautions, like practicing active shooter drills and creating entry policies. But there are still plenty of concerns that those intending to do harm will find ways to do so. In fact, most Americans do not believe that schools are any safer today than they were 20 years ago in the wake of Columbine.
And it’s not just schools that are experiencing this issue. Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, and government facilities have all been targets of violent incidents in recent years.
While it’s never fun to consider the possibility of a violent incident occurring at any facility, it is important to take precautions. If building owners can shore up security around the entry points of buildings and make it more difficult for individuals with nefarious intentions to gain access, they can potentially give first responders more time to act, minimize damage, or even dissuade aggressors before they have a chance to act at all.
Solutions That Resist Ballistic, Impact, and Forced Entry Threats
Schools, churches, and other facilities can benefit from a wide array of safety measures. Safety and security policies are important. Mental health support and access to resources can have wide reaching benefits, but physical building security should also be part of the plan.
There are plenty of protective solutions available to help building owners stop threats in their tracks. Ballistic resistant materials are made to withstand the shots from a firearm, which can serve as a physical barrier and a deterrent in the case of an active shooter situation. Impact resistant materials are made to stay put even under stress from strong blows, flying objects, or explosives, and forced entry doors and windows are available to help protect building exteriors or entry points within a space from being physically manipulated.
How Do Security Windows, Doors, and Enclosures Make My Building Safer?
Security windows and doors are designed to secure potential entry points within a building or around the exterior. They allow you to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the building or a specific area.
These materials use a protective glazing that is designed to better absorb impact from ballistics or another specific type of impact. Normally, these products include multiple layers, so the impact from a bullet or flying debris is spread out, rather than concentrated in one specific spot. This prevents the material from shattering or breaking apart immediately like traditional glass. Though no product is fully bullet proof, these bullet resistant materials are often able to stand up against multiple gunshots without shattering, and in many cases without letting ballistics through at all. Even if they are able to get through the material, the ability to absorb much of the impact should slow it down dramatically.
No matter how the specific product or material functions, the basic idea is the same. If a shooter or other threat tries to use force to enter a space they are not authorized to enter, they will either be stopped or slowed down significantly, giving first responders more time to react before any additional harm or damage is done.
Additionally, enclosures or entryways can give you practical solutions for improving security within a building space. You can have a transaction window or front desk solution designed to protect those who are there to screen those coming into a building. You can even add protective glazing products to a protective entryway where you have metal detectors, searches, or other security procedures in place. Finally, you can use protective doors and other products to effectively turn classrooms, offices, or other interior rooms into safe rooms in the event of a shooting or serious incident. If your school or facility has a lockdown procedure in place, as many do, educators can more easily keep students safe by simply locking interior doors of these safe rooms and staying secure until the threat is cleared.
Of course, the issue of school and building security is a complicated one. There are many layers to the discussion of how to best curb these issues. And physical security solutions shouldn’t necessarily take the place of support or resources. But they can pick up where these solutions leave off and help building owners and occupants enjoy a more complete sense of security and peace of mind in these places of education, work, or worship.
Insulgard offers a wide array of security products that can help schools, religious facilities, and government buildings improve physical security. Our BulletBlock line of bullet resistant products is tested to stand up to a wide array of ballistic threats. We also offer impact resistant and forced entry solutions designed to keep other types of intruders at bay. If you’re looking for any of these types of protection or want to discuss your options with an expert, contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss customized solutions.