At Insulgard, we understand that the security needs of each business, organization, or public building differ drastically. A school may require a completely different type of bullet-resistant solution than an office building.
In addition to the actual levels of protection offered by different UL-rated windows and glazing systems, there are plenty of practical considerations that may impact these decisions.
For example, it is often easier to install entire bullet-resistant entry systems in new construction projects where the dimensions and layout can still be tweaked to fit with the available products. However, in existing buildings, you may need to select products that can easily be retrofitted to your existing doors and windows.
How Bullet-Resistant Window Companies Can Help You
Since each building and situation is so different, it’s usually beneficial to work with bullet-resistant window companies that can guide you based on the exact objectives of your project. Here’s a guide to some common scenarios and types of bullet-resistant solutions that may impact various types of commercial and public facilities.
Ballistic film is one of the easiest and most practical options for upgrading physical security and protection in existing buildings. This product involves adding a thin layer of protective material over existing windows and doors. This reinforced material essentially holds the glass or material together in the event that it is struck by a bullet or blunt object.
It’s important to note that this product will not actually stop a bullet in the same way that actual bullet-resistant glass can. Instead, it simply prevents the main material from shattering. This can prevent dangerous debris from causing harm, and it can make it more difficult for intruders to break open doors and windows to gain entry to a building or secure area.
Even if they are able to eventually break through the barrier, this simple addition can slow them down significantly, increasing the likelihood of apprehension by first responders and allowing anyone inside the area more time to make it to safety.
Forced Entry Glazing
Forced entry glazing is another popular option for existing buildings. This is a step up from window film, but it still will not physically stop a bullet from penetrating the material. Basically, you replace the existing glazing with material that has been tested against forced entry.
The benefit of this option over full ballistic glass is that due to the thickness of forced entry glazing it can usually be glazed in the existing window and door frames. So it can easily retrofit into windows and doors that are already installed in your location. This can keep costs down significantly, while still offering enhanced physical protection.
Although these products don’t offer protection against the penetration of the ballistic round, they can be a step up for many buildings looking to prevent intruders gaining access to the building. And it may be a solid mitigating step for buildings that want to upgrade to full ballistic glass but need to finish a full renovation project or make room in their budget first.
Though it won’t fully stop a bullet from penetrating, it can keep the material from shattering and leaving the secure area fully exposed. This is another option that is useful for preventing forced entry attempts. It can significantly slow down potential intruders, since it can hold up well against a forced entry attempt even after being struck by ballistics.
Above these steps, there is the option to install full bullet-resistant glass. These panes can be produced in various grades to provide a wide range of protection options. They do actually stop bullets from penetrating.
Though no material can hold up against ballistic impact indefinitely, these products are tested and proven to stop various types of bullets. For example, UL 752 Level 1 products are tested to withstand three shots of a 124-grain 9mm full metal copper jacket. And UL 752 Level 8 products are tested against five shots of a 150-grain 7.62mm rifle lead core full metal copper jacket military ball.
To meet UL 752 standards, bullet-resistant glass must not only stop the rounds, but also cannot allow spall to the safe side/interior at all when exposed to the specific types of ballistics designated for each level. If any spall is detected in the witness panel during testing it is a failure and does not meet UL752 ballistic standards.
It’s clear that bullet-resistant glass offers a higher level of protection than film or forced entry glazing. But it can be more complicated to install (especially in existing facilities) and there are various visibility and durability differences that must be taken into account.
Since bullet-resistant glazing materials are thicker than standard glass, many times the thickness of the glass exceeds the capacity of the glazing pocket and they cannot be glazed into existing door and window frames. So it can be a larger investment to purchase new systems that fit with these panes.
Bullet-Resistant Doors, Windows, and Entry Systems
Another option is to upgrade the entire window, door, or entryway system to include bullet-resistant glass and frames. In this instance, all the included materials are tested for bullet resistance and will provide complete protection within that particular testing standard. This does represent the largest investment of all the options listed, but it is also by far the most secure, since all the materials are reinforced to provide full ballistic protection.
This is a popular option for new construction or buildings where a significant renovation is already planned. You can then work with bullet-resistant window companies to cater your designs to fit these materials, and it is often easier to fit the cost into a larger budget.
Your Go-To Bullet-Resistant Window Company
If any of these options suit your building’s security needs now or in the future, our team at Insulgard is ready to assist you. As one of the top bullet-resistant window companies in the country, we walk teams through the options and lay out the process from concept to finished product.
We work with small businesses, nationwide corporations, and even government and military agencies, providing a huge array of quality bullet-resistant materials that can be customized to suit the needs of each space. We also work with one of the largest installation networks in the industry to streamline the process for clients. Visit our website to browse BulletBlock products, or call our team to get started.