When it comes to ballistic glass, building security needs have changed dramatically over the last several years. Increased concerns about gun violence, robberies, and break ins have led many to consider upgrades when it comes to physical security, especially when it comes to public and commercial buildings. Upgrading security can mean many different things for different facilities, from creating firearm policies to adding security personnel to installing bulletproof glass around the facility.
Whether you are in charge of building security for a school, religious center, government facility, or commercial business, it is important to at least learn about the options. Bulletproof glass isn’t necessary for every facility. But it may be beneficial for adding extra protection or deterring potential violence at certain types of locations.
Why Is Bulletproof Glass Important for Building Security in 2020?
The rise in gun violence has made plenty of headlines in recent years. Though school shootings have been top of mind for many, and for good reason, those aren’t the only facilities that have been impacted by shootings or other types of security incidents. Religious centers, government buildings, and even offices have had to worry about potential threats and consider how to best protect their team members, patrons, and other visitors.
However, even with these headlines popping up regularly, not every building necessarily needs to jump in and overhaul their facility with bulletproof glass. It’s important to first consider all the potential risks and benefits that may impact your facility specifically before deciding whether or not to make the investment.
What Benefits Does Ballistic Glass Offer?
Bullet resistant glass is made to withstand impact from ballistic rounds. Basically, multiple layers of glass, plastic and inner layers provide a glass makeup that will stop the bullet by absorbing energy at impact and providing complete protection from glass and spall to the safe area. This offers physical protection to those behind a door, window, or entryway system made with this material. It can be used in exterior doors and windows for buildings where outside threats may be present. But it can also be used internally, where entryway or counterline systems may provide protection for employees or secure visitors.
However, even though “bulletproof glass” is a commonly used term, it’s important to understand that no material is completely able to withstand ballistic impact completely and indefinitely. Bullet resistant glazing materials are given ratings based on very specific testing criteria and performance results. For example, a bullet resistant window with a UL 752 level 1 rating can withstand three shots from a small caliber 9mm handgun with no penetration of the bullet or spall to the safe side. However, every material will eventually break apart when exposed to enough ballistic impact over time. So “bullet resistant” is really a more accurate term than “bulletproof.”
Even with this disclaimer, bullet resistant glass can still provide plenty of protection for buildings that may face potential ballistic threats. Since the material doesn’t shatter immediately upon impact like most traditional glass would, it gives people within a facility a better chance to stay safe, and can also give first responders more time to respond before significant damage is done. Additionally, the mere presence of bullet resistant glass within a facility can give pause to anyone who might commit an armed robbery or act of violence. If they know that getting by a specific barrier will be difficult or time consuming, they may be less likely to choose that spot as a target, or may even rethink their plan altogether.
What Buildings Can Benefit From Bulletproof Glass?
Even with all of these benefits, it doesn’t mean that every single building must add bullet resistant glass to their doors, windows, and entryway or countertop systems. Before making this change, it’s important to evaluate the particular risks that your building might face. If you think there’s a threat of armed robberies, break ins, or violent incidents at your location, then it may at least be worth considering.
More specifically, buildings that face threats may include financial institutions, convenience stores, religious sites, schools, police stations, and courthouses. In fact, you may benefit from looking at threats or incidents that may have been present at similar facilities in your community or around the country in order to determine your own level of risk. If you don’t notice a lot of activity at buildings similar to yours, then other types of security measures may be sufficient. However, if there have been incidents of gun violence or serious threats at similar facilities, then more drastic steps may be in order.
In addition to choosing whether or not bullet resistant glass is right for your facility, it’s also worth considering what type of systems may be most beneficial. For example, banks or convenience stores may benefit most from protective countertop systems that provide security for employees. However, schools or government facilities may benefit more from entryway windows and doors that provide protection from those who have not yet been granted access to a given area. Additionally, it’s important to consider the type of ballistic threats your facility might face. For example, those who are worried about small caliber handguns may simply want systems rated at UL level 1, while those worried about larger ballistics may want to look at systems rated at a higher level.
If you think that your building security could benefit from bulletproof glass, contact Insulgard to discuss your options. Our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you choose the best materials for your building’s specific protection standards. We can also help you customize solutions and install the ideal protective systems at your location. We offer solutions that provide protection against everything from ballistic threats to extreme weather. And our products are tested to meet rigorous standards from nationally recognized entities like UL and FEMA. Contact us today to discuss your building security needs with one of our helpful team members.