Written By: Brad Campbell | May 12, 2022
Chances are, your school or commercial facility will never be the target of an active shooter. However, you should still be prepared to face active threats in order to protect lives in the unfortunate event of a violent attack against your property and people.
An active threat is when a violent attacker is actively engaged in harming or trying to harm people in a populated area. In many cases, this means an active shooter is trying to gain access to a facility, often a school, to kill the people inside.
Most such active shooter scenarios are over within a matter of minutes, though they have been known to go on for longer. What happens during the first 2-5 minutes of an active threat often determines the final outcome, so it’s important to have the right training and physical protection in place to help prevent loss of life.
According to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are three things you should do when there is an active shooter in the vicinity of your facility: run, hide, and fight (in that order).
The best thing you can do is run away from the active threat, ideally by evacuating the facility and getting to somewhere safe.
However, in many cases evacuation may not be safe or possible, so the next best thing to do is to hide, preferably by barricading yourself inside somewhere secure.
Finally, as a last resort, you should act aggressively towards the shooter and try to incapacitate them. But, with the right physical security measures in place, an active shooter scenario should never come to this…
What many commercial facilities lack is actual physical protection against active threats.
Training and having an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place can go a long way towards mitigating threats, but they don’t create any type of physical barrier to forced entry to keep active shooters out of your school or commercial building.
Although every active shooter scenario is different, many follow a similar pattern: the attackers gain access to a facility through an unprotected door or window, and from there they are free to wreak havoc inside.
While locks, access control points, and security systems are great to have and provide some level of security, many active shooters can gain access to a building by shooting or otherwise breaking a glass door or window.
Standard annealed window glass is no match for a blow from a heavy object, let alone a bullet, so you need to do something to protect your building’s vulnerable doors and windows against forced entry.
For active shooter protection, the absolute best access denial solution is something called polycarbonate security glazing, specifically ArmorPlast®.
ArmorPlast® is Riot Glass’s proprietary line of polycarbonate glazing shields designed to be retrofitted over your existing glass to protect it from impacts and deny forced entry attempts.
These glazing shields are available in different thicknesses and compositions, from containment-grade AP25 (non bullet resistant) to ballistic-grade AP125 (bullet-resistant).
Although polycarbonate isn’t glass, ArmorPlast® looks and feels very similar to standard window glass. However, it has the virtually unbreakable strength of polycarbonate — even non-ballistic polycarbonate won’t diminish in strength when riddled with bullets.
When you retrofit ArmorPlast® over your existing windows, it prevents an active shooter from shooting out a pane of glass to open a locked door from the inside or from breaking a window to climb through, buying valuable time for those on the other side to react.
When a commercial building, such as a school, an office, a government facility, or any other property is targeted by an active shooter, the best way to save lives is to prevent them from gaining access to the building.
ArmorPlast® fortifies vulnerable windows and doors, without making them look fortified. So, an attacker may think they have found an easy point of entry, but will be surprised when they find they can’t shoot out a door or window protected by ArmorPlast®.
This forces the active attacker to rethink their attack plan and look for another entrance, allowing people inside to react by evacuating, barricading themselves inside somewhere safe, and calling 911.
After the authorities have been contacted and are on the way, ArmorPlast® glazing shields can continue to protect those inside from the active threat until the police arrive and neutralize the threat.
ArmorPlast® is ideal for:
We understand that you may be hesitant to fortify doors and windows because you don’t want to hurt the curb appeal of your property. This is especially true for places that are meant to feel very open and inviting, such as schools and places of worship
That’s why we’ve designed ArmorPlast® with a sleek, modern profile that won’t significantly alter the outward appearance of your property.
The polycarbonate infills and their accompanying security framing fit neatly into or onto your existing framing systems, and the glazing continues to let natural light in and allow views of the outdoors.
For anyone who doesn’t know the security glazing is there, there isn’t likely to be any noticeable difference in how your windows and doors look and perform.
We hope that you never experience an active threat on your property. But, unfortunately, we never know when or where an active shooter scenario could unfold next.
That’s why we want you to have the ultimate in fenestration security to protect your vulnerable doors and windows against forced entry and keep the bad guys out to help save lives.
Contact our compassionate, knowledgeable team today for more information about ArmorPlast® or to schedule a threat assessment for your facility.
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