fiberglass bullet resistant panel at a bank

Bullet-resistant glass has gotten a lot of attention recently, especially with all the increased focus and press attention on violent crimes, break-ins, and vandalism in communities around the country. 

However, there are also instances where businesses, government agencies, and building owners may benefit from bullet-resistant material that is opaque. These materials provide similar levels of security and protection, but without the visibility and optical clarity that bullet-resistant glass products often come with. 

Specifically, fiberglass bullet-resistant panels can benefit businesses and organizations in a huge range of industries and applications, especially when used alongside ballistic glass products. Here’s a basic guide to this powerful material and how to make the most of it for your security and protection needs. 

Benefits and Applications for Fiberglass Bullet-Resistant Panels

Fiberglass bullet-resistant panels are pieces of opaque wall material that include multiple layers of woven fiberglass materials. This product includes tiny pockets between the fibers that absorb much of the energy from ballistics. It essentially traps the bullet between the fibers and prevents the material from fully breaking apart or shattering. The various layers can even delaminate, or separate from one another, to absorb the force and prevent the bullet or projectile from fully passing through the panel. This is different than the exact process that bullet-resistant glass materials use to prevent damage. But it offers similar levels of protection, with various grades and gauges available. 

Fiberglass window profile with triple glazing

Thanks to these unique bullet-resisting characteristics, bullet-resistant fiberglass panels can protect individuals from a wide array of threats and prevent theft, damage, and other forms of loss that may harm businesses and organizations. Though no material is 100 percent “bulletproof,” these panels do make it much more difficult to penetrate through barriers. They can deter criminals and require significantly more time to breach, thus giving first responders a better chance at apprehending assailants and increasing safety overall. 

As far as applications are concerned, fiberglass bullet-resistant panels can offer excellent protection in a variety of buildings and instances. For example, businesses like convenience stores, office buildings, and financial institutions often benefit from this added layer of protection. Specifically, it is often used around safe rooms or sensitive areas like money counting or storage rooms. However, it can also provide extra lining underneath exterior walls. Bullet-resistant fiberglass panels are also often found in government and military facilities to protect personnel and/or sensitive information. 

Types of Fiberglass Bullet-Resistant Panels

Fiberglass bullet-resistant panels are available in UL752 levels 1 through 8, which is the same metric used for gauging ballistic protection in bullet-resistant glass products. These ratings are not linear, aside from levels 1 through 3. So complete a threat assessment for your facility to determine exactly what level products would most benefit your facility. 

Additionally, fiberglass bullet-resistant panels generally come in both stock and custom sizes. Stock products are generally more cost-effective and readily available. They can work for new facilities or even be retrofitted to existing ones, depending on the measurements of the space. However, you can also order custom sizes to ensure the panels arrive ready for use and perfectly fitted to the needs of your application. 

Both the sizing and level of protection you select are likely to depend on the exact spaces where you want this opaque armor to be installed. Generally, these products can provide protection behind interior or exterior walls, ceilings, or even around doors and millwork or trim. 

What to Consider When Choosing Fiberglass Bullet-Resistant Panels

Level of protection is generally considered to be the most important choice when it comes to purchasing any type of bullet-resistant product. Since fiberglass ballistic panels are available in all UL752 levels, you have a large array of options to suit various instances. For example, a small business like a convenience store may benefit from products rated UL752 level 1. However, a government facility may require products tested against UL752 level 8 standards. Consider what type of threats your facility is most likely to face and opt for the level that most closely fits. 

To ensure that your fiberglass bullet-resistant panels actually fit and suit the aesthetics of your facility, you also need to consider the size and format of panels. Those looking to line doors or millwork may require thinner, lower-level products. However, those lining walls around a safe room or restricted area are likely to prefer thicker, higher-level panels. From there, it’s time to consider whether custom sizes or other design finishes may benefit your facility. However, fiberglass bullet-resistant panels are generally installed underneath walls or other finishes, so the actual look of the material is unlikely to matter much in most applications. 

And of course, it’s important to choose a supplier who offers quality products and can connect you to the value-added services needed to make the most of your purchase. Insulgard Security Products offers a high-quality line of fiberglass-reinforced structural polyester laminate to suit the needs of various businesses and government facilities. Our FG Series products are available in UL752 levels 1 through 8 and come in both stock and custom sizes. Our knowledgeable team can connect you with the resources and installers to suit your specific project goals from start to finish. Visit our website to browse FG Series fiberglass bullet-resistant panels and connect with a member of our team to discuss your security needs today.

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