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Brad Campbell

rg9 is a laminated glass solution for top notch security

RG9 Laminated Glass and the Increase of Visibility and Strength

By | Blog

Security concerns resulting from active shootings, civil unrest, and burglary, among other things, have caused most commercial building owners and homeowners to increasingly move away from standard glass windows. There is an ever-growing need for stronger glass to keep attackers and would-be intruders at bay to protect your property and the lives of those inside it. Security glass products like laminated safety glass are highly effective at delaying and preventing forced entry and protecting against armed attacks targeting all types of residential and commercial properties.

10 Important Facts About Laminated Safety Glass

 

1. Laminated safety glass consists of layers.

Unlike the standard glass for windows and doors, this one is made of two glass layers and an interlayer. The two layers of glass are hardened, mainly through heat strengthening. They are then bonded by the interlayer, which is usually a vinyl material, to keep the two layers intact.

The construction of safety laminated glass is what makes it different from standard window and door glass. This construction helps prevent forced entry and keeps the glass intact when faced with various types of impacts, which is what makes the glass “safety glass.”

2. Laminated glass does not shatter.

When impacted, this safety glass does not shatter and fall off the window or door frame; the vinyl interlayer holds the glass fragments. As such, it does not pose an injury threat to building occupants, which often result from flying glass pieces in the case of standard window and door glass.

Laminated glass is, therefore, effective at blocking the entry of attackers and intruders to homes, stores, or classrooms, since it remains in place even after an attempt to shatter it. This feature gives building occupants time to react as well as security officers time to arrive.

3. Laminated glass is not bulletproof.

While some people may mistake laminated glass for bulletproof glass, it is important to note that it falls into the category of non-ballistic glazing products. This means it doesn’t stop a bullet from penetrating, but it will maintain its structure after a bullet impact.

Laminated glass does not, therefore, keep bullets away, but still holds together upon bullet penetration. This is important as it delays the attacker and buys occupants precious time to find cover and authorities to arrive at the place. Unlike standard glass, it provides a safety barrier against flying pieces of glass that may cause injuries to room occupants.

4. It is virtually invisible.

Laminated glass does a great job of keeping you away from intruders and attackers while maintaining crystal clear views of the surroundings. In the design of laminated glass, the interlayer has minimal effect on the view, and building occupants can still enjoy clear views of their surroundings.

The common type of material used as the interlayer makes laminated safety glass panels virtually invisible. This makes it useful for schools, homes, and particularly retail stores, as it makes it possible for potential customers to window-shop while maintaining the safety of the valuables inside.

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5. It’s 100X stiffer and 5X stronger than other types of safety glass.

Laminated glass is categorized as a containment-grade glazing material, which means it is reinforced with a more robust interlayer. The strength of this safety glass comes down to the number of glass layers used. These layers go through a hardening process where heat is used to make the glass sturdier.

The thickness of the glass is used to determine its protection level. The thickness can vary from 0.60 to 0.90+ mm, depending on the glazing pocket or user preference. The use of stronger interlayer materials, other than the standard polyvinyl butyral (PVB), makes laminated glass stronger and stiffer compared to standard glass and other types of safety glass.

6. Safety glass can be used for new installations or retrofitting.

Glass companies have long used laminated glass for windows and doors in new buildings. These may be homes where owners wish to take security measures like preventing forced entry. Jewelry store owners also prefer the installation of laminated glass for the door and windows to safeguard their valuables.

This glass can also be retrofitted into almost any existing door and window system. The existing standard glass is removed and replaced with the laminated glass. It can even be retrofitted into most existing frames, apart from old and damaged framing or framing that can’t support its weight.

7. Laminated glass is a great second layer of defense.

While typical applications of this glass include exterior glass doors and windows, it also comes in handy as a second layer of defense. It can be fitted into interior locations like conference rooms, skylights, and office doors.

Laminated glass can also be used for entry doors from a vestibule into the main area of a building. For this application, however, this glass should not be fitted into weak framings or old-school framings like casement frames.

8. Laminated glass is more expensive than standard and tempered glass.

It is specially manufactured for bolstering security and preventing forced entry. Laminated safety glass cost is, therefore, higher than other glass types used for door and window systems, including the standard and tempered glass types. Whenever you are planning to install or retrofit your doors and windows with this glass, be ready to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

9. Laminated glass has soundproofing properties.

While this may not be the primary reason for the invention and use of laminated glass, it is well worth noting. The vinyl interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass can absorb sound up to some level, which helps prevent noise into homes and interior rooms such as conference rooms.

10. Laminated glass provides some level of UV resistance.

This property of the glass may not be obvious, mainly because laminated glass does not distort views of the surrounding. Depending on the thickness of the glass and interlayer material, the amount of UV light that penetrates the glass may vary. Because of this, laminated glass does a lot to provide UV resistance

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Why Should Retailers Use Laminated Glass?

Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when it gets broken. Rather than shattering inwards, the shattered glass is held in place by a thermoplastic interlayer. Laminated safety glass is much tougher than tempered safety glass, making it a better choice for retail applications when safety and security are a concern. Tempered safety glass can easily be shattered into millions of tiny pieces to gain entry to your retail store, whereas laminated security glass can delay entry from anywhere between 4 minutes to complete non-entry

rg9 is a laminated glass solution for top notch security

RG9 Laminated Glass: Increased Visibility and Strength for Retailers

Riot Glass offers our RG9 laminated glass in a low-iron version for retail that is far superior to regular laminated glass in both strength and appearance. Why is low-iron glass beneficial for retailers, you ask? When we make our Riot Glass products using this type of glass, you get increased visibility while still receiving the dramatically increased strength of Riot Glass.

Riot Glass laminated security glass is even tougher and stiffer than other types of laminated safety glass on the market—up to 100 times stiffer and five times stronger. RG9 is the top-of-the-line forced entry laminated security glass product offered by Riot Glass. It is specifically designed to resist forced entry attempts and can stop would-be intruders dead in their tracks, making it an ideal choice for retailers who want to fortify their storefront glass with the highest performance laminated glass.

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Retail stores, especially high-end, luxury retailers, constantly have to worry about burglary, smash-and-grab theft, and rioting and looting, among other things. This is why laminated security glass is one of the best ways for retailers to achieve peace of mind and know that their property and merchandise is protected against these types of threats. Riot Glass RG9 laminated security glass can hold your glass in place against blows from bats, hammers, crowbars, bricks, and even ballistic impacts.

Imagine getting a call from the police in the middle of the night and finding out that your retail store has been broken into and thousands of dollars of merchandise is gone. When you reinforce your windows and doors with laminate window glass, it can delay entry completely or at least long enough to deter criminals and give the police time to arrive. Making a few repairs to your storefront is much better than suffering devastating inventory and revenue loss.

Benefits of Low-Iron Custom Laminated Glass Windows for Retailers

Maintaining clarity and visibility through your windows and glass display cases is important when it comes to retail. If potential customers can’t clearly see your merchandise, they are much less likely to go into your store and make a purchase. So, how do you balance visibility and security? This is where low-iron custom laminated window glass comes in.

Low-iron glass is a type of glass made with silica sand that has a low iron particle count compared to other types of glass. This eliminates the greenish-blue tint that you see in standard window glass applications. When you use low-iron laminated safety glass, you get all the benefits of increased security, without sacrificing any visibility. In fact, the visibility through your glass will be even better than before.

This type of low-iron security glass can be extremely beneficial for high-end retail stores like jewelry stores, designer clothing retailers, art galleries, and electronics stores. Retailers that stock high-value goods are much more likely to be the victims of burglary, but locking up all the expensive merchandise out of sight at night can be time-consuming and impractical. With low-iron laminated security glass, you can feel more at ease leaving expensive items on display in your shop’s windows overnight and get the added benefit of higher visibility.

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High-clarity retail storefront glass is especially important if your store is located in an area with high levels of foot traffic, making it so passersby can clearly see what you’re selling. The green-blue optical distortion that occurs in regular window glass can make it difficult for someone to see the items you’ve chosen to put on display facing the street, but low-iron glass makes everything on display crystal clear. Low-iron security glass can also be used for indoor displays, such as jewelry display cases when you want a perfectly transparent glass with a high level of strength.

laminated glass is the best option for security

Who Else Can Benefit from Low-Iron Laminated Glass Windows?

Glass office buildings and luxury homes are two other examples of types of architecture that can benefit from low-iron laminated security glass. Office buildings face many of the same security concerns as retailers when it comes to protecting expensive computers and other equipment against burglary, but you might also not want to compromise the view out of your office windows. On the other hand, owners of high-end homes with stunning views might want to preserve those views without sacrificing visibility for security.

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In both these cases, laminated low-iron security glass can be used to increase the security and safety of a commercial building or luxury property while preserving and even enhancing your views. With low-iron glass, there is none of the optical color distortions that you experience when looking through regular window glass. Conventional clear glass and other types of laminated safety glass simply can’t match the performance and clarity of Riot Glass low-iron RG9 laminated security glass.

About Riot Glass

Riot Glass is a leading manufacturer of security glass and door systems. Our Riot Glass product line is reliable, cost-effective, and American-made. We design all our Riot Glass products to secure your property’s vulnerable entry points like glass doors and windows without sacrificing visibility and visual appeal. We specialize in protecting retail stores, luxury homes, and more against man-made and natural threats, and we work closely with all our clients to help them choose the security glass solution that is right for them and fits their budget.

Contact Riot Glass today for more information about our RG9 laminated low-iron glass or to schedule a consultation and receive an estimate.

 

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riot glass sells unbreakable glass systems and solutions

Is Unbreakable Glass Really A Thing?

By | Blog

A question we hear a lot at Riot Glass is, “does unbreakable glass really exist?” The answer to this question is more complicated than just a “yes” or a “no”. The short answer would be that no, there is no truly unbreakable traditional glass. Still, there are certain glass products that can reinforce or replace standard glass and are either shatter-proof or virtually unbreakable.

At Riot Glass, when we talk about unbreakable glass, what we are really referring to is laminated security glass or polycarbonate panels.

What Is Laminated Security Glass?

Laminated security glass or laminated safety glass is a type of robust, shatterproof glass composed of a thermoplastic interlayer sandwiched between glass panels. Though not truly “unbreakable,” this type of security glass can withstand heavy, repeated impacts. Unlike standard window glass or even some tempered safety glass, laminated security glass will not shatter inwards when it is broken.

riot glass sells unbreakable glass systems and solutions

Laminated Security Glass Uses

Laminated shatter-proof glass protects against multiple man-made and natural threats. For example, retailers can install it to protect their stores and merchandise against burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, and looting. Depending on the thickness of the glass and the determination of an individual trying to gain entry, laminated security glass can delay entry by at least four minutes to total non-entry.

In addition to the security it provides against forced entry and theft, shatter-resistant glass also protects against threats posed by mother nature, such as storms and seismic events. When a window has been reinforced with security glass, it can withstand high-force impacts from flying storm debris or stay intact during an earthquake. This not only prevents more serious property damage but more importantly, prevents the glass from shattering inwards and potentially injuring someone on the inside of the glass.

Does Riot Glass Offer Laminated Security Glass?

The answer to this question is a resounding “yes!”

In fact, Riot Glass laminated shatter-resistant glass is 100x stiffer and 5x stronger than traditional interlayer safety glass. Riot Glass shatter-proof windows and doors can even be retrofitted right on top of your existing window and door glass, making it much more cost-effective and hassle-free than a complete window replacement.

All Riot Glass laminated security glass panels are custom-made to fit your window openings and door frames. Riot Glass is also available in single-pane and dual-pane options, as well as clear, tinted, or low-emissivity versions, so you can receive even more benefits than just safety and security.

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Benefits of Riot Glass Shatterproof Windows:

  • Can be retrofitted over existing glass
  • Doesn’t typically require frame replacement
  • Cheaper than full window replacement
  • Stronger than other types of laminated safety glass
  • Holds glass doors and windows solidly in place
  • Protects against multiple threats
  • Can provide energy savings

riot glass is about as close to unbreakable as you can get

What Are Polycarbonate Panels?

When you’re looking for truly unbreakable window glass, polycarbonate panels are the “glass” that you want. These panels look just like regular window glass, but they are actually made of a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastics. The combined strength of these materials makes polycarbonate panels the only virtually impenetrable solution for your glass doors and windows.

Polycarbonate Panel Uses

Polycarbonate unbreakable windows provide all the same security benefits as security glass, but with even more protection. While in some cases shatterproof windows will only delay forced entry attempts, a polycarbonate unbreakable window will always maintain its strength to prevent entry completely. Polycarbonate is the best defense against prolonged, violent intrusion attempts.

If you require the highest level of security, polycarbonate panels are available in several ballistic grades. Ballistic-grade unbreakable window glass is designed to stop bullets from firearms of varying calibers. It will not break down or lose its strength, even after repeated ballistic impacts. This means that the bad guys and their guns will remain outside, while those inside can react by calling 911 and evacuating the building or barricading themselves inside while the police arrive to deal with the situation.

Does Riot Glass Offer Polycarbonate Panels?

ArmorPlast is the proprietary line of polycarbonate and acrylic panels designed and built by Riot Glass. We offer a full range of ArmorPlast shields, from containment-grade to ballistic-grade strengths, so you can choose the unbreakable barrier that fits your security needs and budget. Like all other Riot Glass products, ArmorPlast shields can usually be retrofitted onto your existing glass and can be either back-glazed or over-glazed.

ArmorPlast break-proof windows also come packaged with our security framing system. Standard frames are often the weak link when a window or door comes under attack, and can be displaced to allow entry. The ArmorPlast framing system is designed to withstand prolonged forced entry attempts, so you can be confident in the integrity of your windows and doors.

Benefits of ArmorPlast Unbreakable Glass Windows:

  • Can be retrofitted onto most existing glass
  • Comes with a matching security framing system
  • Available in containment-grade and ballistic-grade options
  • Has an attractive, low profile
  • Resistant to scratching, marring, and vandalism
  • Virtually impenetrable
  • Offers a virtually unbreakable glass product

Final Word on Unbreakable Glass

No traditional window glass is truly unbreakable. However, the two types of glass products that we covered in this article provide varying degrees of “unbreakable” protection. If you’re looking for a very cost-efficient solution with a high level of security to protect against things like burglary or storm damage, consider installing laminated security glass on your property. If you want virtually impenetrable glass to protect against forced entry and more serious threats like determined, armed attackers, then polycarbonate panels are the way to go.

At Riot Glass, we offer a wide range of options for the aforementioned types of unbreakable and shatter-proof glass. We strive to ensure that our clients find the security solution that is best for them, which is why we always prefer to start with a threat assessment to evaluate your property’s security and make recommendations about the type of unbreakable glass that would work best for your unique scenario. Contact Riot Glass today for more info about our laminated security glass and ArmorPlast polycarbonate shields or to schedule a consultation.

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Protecting Your Windows Against Blasts With Riot Glass

By | Blog

Blast-resistant windows are an essential part of any facility’s bomb blast mitigation system. Riot Glass offers a full range of security glass products with different blast resistance ratings. From security window films to complete Riot Glass retrofits, there are options for every budget, you can choose the right solution for your specific needs and goals. Blast windows play a crucial role in minimizing damage and injury in the event of an accidental or intentional explosion. Keep reading to find out how you can secure your facility and protect those inside against a bomb blast or another type of thermal blast with Riot Glass.

What Types of Explosion-Proof Windows Are There?

It’s important to remember that it’s not possible to make any building 100% explosion-proof. That being said, there are several options that you can choose from to increase the blast resistance of your windows and keep employees or building tenants safe. Let’s take a look at the three main types of blast-resistant window products offered by Riot Glass.

Safety and Security Window Film

Window films offer the lowest level of blast resistance but are also the most cost-efficient way to add an extra level of blast protection to your window glass. Riot Glass safety and security window films are a pliable polyester Mylar coating that is applied to the inside of glass windows and doors to strengthen them against bomb blasts, accidental explosions, and other security risks. An additional layer of window film can be applied to the exterior surfaces of your glass to increase the protection level even more.

These window films can hold a building’s glass in place when it is shattered by the force of a blast. This prevents the shards from flying inwards and minimizes the risk of injury to those inside. Riot Glass is an authorized dealer and installer of 3M safety and security window films, which are widely considered to be the best on the market.

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Laminated Security Glass

Riot Glass laminated security glass features a thermoplastic interlayer that is 5x stronger and 100x stiffer than standard laminated glass interlayers. This provides a higher level of protection against blasts than window films, for when the threat is higher. Laminated security glass can withstand high-force impacts from explosions and other sources and will not fly inwards when it is shattered. Laminated security glass can completely replace your facility’s existing glass or be retrofitted on top of it to add an extra layer of blast protection.

ArmorPlast Polycarbonate Panels and Framing

ArmorPlast shields provide the highest level of blast protection offered by Riot Glass. In fact, ArmorPlast isn’t even glass. These blast-resistant panels are composed of various combinations of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastics. Riot Glass ArmorPlast shields are available in non-ballistic, containment-grade and ballistic-grade options that offer varying degrees of blast protection. Riot Glass can also install impact-resistant framing along with protective panels to mitigate blast damage to the framing surrounding your windows and doors.

How Do I Choose the Right Blast Mitigation Solution?

If you want to proof your windows and doors against bomb blasts and accidental explosions, the first step is to conduct a threat assessment. When you schedule a threat assessment with Riot Glass, a blast consultant will do a thorough inspection of your property to evaluate the threat level and identify vulnerable points. They will then use this information to determine the GSA blast mitigation performance requirements that your site needs to meet.

After the threat assessment, Riot Glass will develop a fully-custom system to meet or exceed the blast resistance standards required for your window glass. Of course, your budget is also important and will be factored into the recommendations. Riot Glass will work hand-in-hand with you to come up with a solution that suits your security requirements and doesn’t demolish your budget.

How Are Riot Glass Blast-Resistant Windows Installed?

The most common way that Riot Glass installs blast-resistant windows is to retrofit them onto your existing window glass and framing. This is the most budget-friendly and efficient way to install a blast-proof system onto any type of facility. Retrofitting provides a similar level of protection to full window replacement, but without the higher cost. When it comes to security window films, they are just applied directly onto your existing glass using a water-based adhesive.

In some cases, a building’s existing frames might not be compatible with a Riot Glass retrofit. If this is the case for your facility, your existing glass panes and framing can be removed and replaced with Riot Glass blast-resistant windows and framing. No matter what specific installation process is required, Riot Glass always aims to get it done in the agreed upon timeframe and with as little disruption to you as possible. That’s why Riot Glass is happy to perform commercial installations on nights and weekends.

Additional Security Benefits of Blast Windows

Blast resistance is not the only security benefit provided by Riot Glass products. Blast-resistant window films, security glass, and ArmorPlast shields all offer protection against other natural and man-made threats. These threats include forced-entry, burglary, active shooters, rioting, looting, storm damage, and earthquakes.

The same qualities that make Riot Glass effective at mitigating blast damage and injury make it an effective all-around security solution. For example, blast-proof windows can also withstand forced entry attempts using hammers, crowbars, and other tools, or hold the glass together against repeated ballistic impacts. Riot Glass also prevents your windows from shattering when they’re impacted by storm debris or when experiencing a seismic event.

Riot Glass protects facilities against:

  • Bomb blasts
  • Accidental explosions
  • Forced entry
  • Active shooters
  • Burglary
  • Smash & grab theft
  • Rioting & looting
  • Vandalism
  • Storm damage
  • Earthquakes

Conclusion

When you install Riot Glass, you can be confident that you’re getting a full security treatment. You can rest easy knowing that your glass windows and doors are protected against much more than just explosions. Contact Riot Glass today for more information about Riot Glass blast mitigation systems or to schedule a threat assessment with a blast consultant.

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how strong is security glass

How Strong is Security Glass?

By | Blog

If you’ve been researching ways to improve the security of your glass doors and windows, you’ve undoubtedly been looking into security glass—but exactly how tough is it? There are many different glass security products on the market that offer varying degrees of protection, so it can be hard to sift through all the info out there and choose the best option for you. Whether you’re interested in increasing your home security or protecting your business, this article will help you make the distinction between different security options and get a better understanding of how strong each one is.

What Is Security Glass and Which Type Is Best for Me?

Security glass is a type of fortified glass or glass alternative that is specially designed to protect your property’s most vulnerable entry points. When people talk about security glass, they can be referring to a range of different glass security products, including window security film, laminated security glass, and polycarbonate panels. At Riot Glass, we offer all three levels of glass protection, so let us explain to you exactly what each type is and just how tough they are.

 

Safety and Security Window Film

Window security film is not actually glass, but rather a pliable Mylar coating that is typically applied to the inside surface of your glass. This film creates a protective barrier on top of your existing window glass to delay forced entry and prevent your glass from shattering inwards. Riot Glass provides and installs 3M safety and security window film, which has been proven to delay forced entry by up to three minutes as well as hold glass together and reduce the chance of injury during an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or wind storm.

With window film, it’s still possible for a would-be intruder to smash your windows to gain access, but the time that it delays entry is often enough to deter the bad guys. If people are inside during a forced entry attempt, it can at least give people inside time to react by calling 911, barricading themselves inside, or evacuating the building through another exit. Window security film provides a basic level of protection for your existing glass doors and windows that can make a big difference without breaking the bank.

Laminated Security Glass

Laminated security glass is a type of fortified glass composed of laminated glass panels with a thermoplastic interlayer. Riot Glass laminated security glass is 100x stiffer and 5x stronger than traditional interlayer safety glass and is proven to delay forced entry by at least 4 minutes or completely deny entry. This type of glass won’t stop bullets, but it can withstand multiple ballistic impacts and help with bomb blast mitigation.

Laminated security glass is the middle-of-the-road window security option and is very popular among our residential and commercial clients. It gives you all the functionality of regular glass with a high level of protection against all types of man-made and natural threats. Whether you want to protect your retail store from theft or fortify your glass patio door against forced entry, this type of laminated glass is a very cost-effective security solution.

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Polycarbonate Panels

Polycarbonate panels are a glass alternative made from a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastics. This is the top-of-the-line when it comes to security glass. Riot Glass offers our proprietary line of polycarbonate panels called ArmorPlast shields, which are available in containment-grade and ballistic-grade options. This is what you want if you’re looking for a truly unbreakable glass for the highest level of protection against burglary or active shooters.

ArmorPlast shields are the most expensive window security alternative that Riot Glass offers, but the good news is that they can typically be retrofitted onto your existing glass. This results in a much cheaper installation than a complete window replacement. We also install our proprietary ArmorPlast framing system that fortifies the frames around your windows, so they are no longer a weak point that can be compromised and displaced.

What About Safety Glass?

When people talk about safety glass, what they usually mean is tempered safety glass. This should not be confused with security glass because it is not actually designed to prevent things like forced entry or protect against active shooters. What safety glass does is break apart into tons of tiny little cubes when it is shattered, so it falls to the floor close to the window or door instead of flying inwards or leaving jagged broken edges around the window or door frame. It is safer than standard window glass, which breaks into large, sharp shards, but it is not an effective security solution.

How Do I Know Riot Glass Is as Tough as You Say It Is?

All our glass security products are tested in labs under a variety of real-life stress tests. We do everything from hitting them with bats and hammers, throwing multiple bricks at them, and shooting them with live rounds from firearms of varying calibers and velocities. We’ve seen over and over again that Riot Glass laminated security glass and ArmorPlast shields do not lose their integrity or shatter, even when they take prolonged abuse. In fact, it’s usually our testers who tire out first after trying so hard to break our products.

In addition to our own test facility, we have testing results for various forced entry tests conducted at HP White Laboratories which you find on our products resource page on our website. You can also take our AIA approved continued education (CEU) course here: https://aecdai.ly/riotglass

how strong is security glass

 

You can see tons of real-life footage of our glass security tests and actual surveillance video of attempted/failed break-ins on our YouTube channel.

Don’t Wait Any Longer to Protect Your Home or Business

At Riot Glass, we are always happy to talk to you about your security options and help you choose a solution that fits your goals and your budget. We can schedule a threat assessment with a security professional who will conduct a thorough evaluation of your property, discuss your security concerns, and make recommendations about the best types of security glass for you and your property. 

Contact Riot Glass today for more information about our security windows and unbreakable glass alternatives or to schedule a consultation and get an estimate.

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how is tempered glass made

How Is Tempered Glass Made and Is It Good for Security?

By | Blog

Tempered glass, also known as safety glass, is something that commonly gets confused with security glass. We’re here to help clear up some of the misconceptions about this type of glass and answer some of the questions we often hear at Riot Glass. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of exactly what tempered safety glass is, how to tell if glass has been tempered, its uses, and how it’s different from the types of security glass that we offer and recommend for increasing your property’s security.

What Is Tempered Glass?

In short, tempered glass is a type of toughened safety glass that has been heat-treated to make it stronger and safer than standard window glass.

how is tempered glass made

 

How Is Tempered Glass Made?

During the manufacturing process, this type of glass is heated up intensely in a special tempering oven, then cooled down with a special quenching procedure that cools down the exterior surfaces of the glass much quicker than the center. This forces the exterior surfaces to compress, which gives the glass its strength. 

Before a glass is passed through a tempering oven, it is thoroughly inspected for imperfections that could cause it to break during the tempering process. Once the glass has been approved for tempering, it goes into the oven and gets heated up to above 600 degrees Celsius (1112 degrees Fahrenheit). When the glass comes out of the oven, it is immediately blasted with high-pressure air from different nozzles pointed at the glass from all angles to quench it. Some glass is also tempered using a chemical treatment, but it is much more expensive than using a tempering oven and quenching the glass with air, so it is not as common.

Regular glass differs from tempered glass because it is cooled down using an annealing process, which is slower than quenching. This different cooling process makes standard glass significantly weaker than tempered glass. In fact, tempered safety glass is about 4x stronger than traditional glass. One of the major differences between tempered glass and regular glass, as you may have seen at one point or another, is that standard glass breaks apart very easily into large, jagged, sharp shards. Safety glass, on the other hand, shatters into tons of tiny little square shards that are relatively harmless.

Another big difference in the manufacturing processes for traditional glass sheets and tempered glass sheets is when they get cut. Standard glass can be cut, drilled, shaped, and totally customized after it has been fabricated and annealed. However, tempered glass must be cut and shaped to the desired size before it goes into the tempering oven and gets quenched. If you try to cut or drill tempered safety glass after it’s been toughened, it will just break apart.

tempered glass manufacturing process

 

How to Tell if Glass Is Tempered

One of the telltale signs of glass that has been tempered is that tempered glass sheets have smooth edges. This is because they are sanded and washed before the glass is tempered to remove the sharpness, unlike traditional glass sheets that still have sharp corners and edges. Another sign of glass that has been tempered is that you can easily see surface imperfections on the glass. Also, if you look at the glass through polarized glasses, you will be able to see dark lines and spots on the glass. Finally, the surefire way of knowing whether a piece of glass is tempered is to watch it break and see if it shatters into tons of tiny square shards.

Signs that glass has been tempered:

  • There are visible imperfections on the surfaces
  • It has smooth edges
  • You can see black spots and lines through polarized lenses
  • The glass shatters into little squares when broken

Can I Use Tempered Glass for Security?

Though it is stronger and safer than standard window glass, tempered glass is not recommended for security applications. A determined intruder will have no difficulty smashing right through tempered glass panels and gaining entry to your home or business. If you have ever seen a car with a smashed out window, well, that’s tempered glass—it doesn’t seem very secure, does it?

is tempered glass good for security

 

Tempered safety glass is safer than standard window glass, which is why it’s common applications include things like automobile side and rear glass, shower and tub enclosure glass, and patio furniture. For these types of applications, when the main goal is avoiding injury caused by sharp broken glass, tempered safety glass makes perfect sense. However, it is not an effective security solution when your concern is to protect your home or business against things like forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, looting, vandalism, storm damage, ballistic attacks, or bomb blasts.

What you can use to increase the security of your glass doors and windows is security glass, which can refer to a range of products, including security window films, laminated security glass, and polycarbonate panels. All these types of custom glass security products can help protect your home or business against man-made and natural threats, to varying degrees. For example, security window film can delay would-be intruders by up to about 3 minutes. In contrast, polycarbonate panels are virtually unbreakable and can even stop bullets, keeping bad guys and their guns outside at all times.

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Choose Riot Glass Security Glass for Home and Business Security

Riot Glass offers a full range of security glass products for residential and commercial clients. Our team of security professionals is dedicated to helping you choose and install the right security glass for your goals and budget. Whether you want to secure your home or business against forced entry and burglary, fortify your property against storm damage, or protect against ballistic attacks and bomb blasts, we can help. We are happy to schedule a consultation with one of our security experts who can conduct a threat assessment of your property and provide security recommendations.

Contact us today for more information about our 3M safety and security window films, Riot Glass laminated security glass, and ArmorPlast polycarbonate unbreakable glass shields.

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gsa blast mitigation

Bomb Blast Resistant Doors & Frames: FAQs

By | Blog

Bomb-blast-resistant doors and frames protect people and property against explosions and shrapnel, such as flying glass fragments. It’s important to know that blast-resistant does not mean the door and frame are completely immune to damage from a bomb blast or another type of explosion, but it does mean that your property and people inside the building will be much safer in such an event. Blast-resistant framing systems and doors are an essential part of any facility’s blast mitigation security solution. Below you will find answers to some common questions we hear about this topic.

What is the difference between blast-proof doors and blast-resistant doors?

For a door to be considered completely blast-proof, it would have to be made of very thick steel and concrete. Thus, an explosion-proof door is not something you would see on your average home or commercial building. You would be more likely to see a completely bomb-proof door somewhere like a bomb shelter or a bank vault. On the other hand, a blast-resistant door is a more standard door that has been reinforced with certain materials, including framing, to make it more resistant to a bomb blast or an accidental explosion.

What is glass fragmentation?

Glass fragmentation is when a glass door or window shatters as a direct result of an explosion. This is actually one of the biggest dangers of an explosion because these glass fragments can travel at extremely high velocities and cause serious injury or further damage. Fragmentation is one of the main factors you should consider when upgrading your door to make it blast resistant. A properly reinforced door will retain shattered glass fragments, so they don’t fly dangerously inwards.

What is GSA blast mitigation compliance?

The GSA is the United States General Services Administration. This organization provides regularly-updated blast mitigation compliance standards for commercial buildings and facilities that include glass and shatter requirements. The lower the GSA blast mitigation compliance level, the safer a building’s glass is. For example, a facility with a GSA rating of 2 has a very high safety rating, meaning that cracked glass is retained within the framing and does not fly inwards. Higher GSA ratings correspond to the distance fragmented glass caused by a blast travels inwards.

gsa blast mitigation

How can Riot Glass make doors and frames blast-resistant?

If you have doors made entirely out of glass or that have glass components, Riot Glass security glass products can be retrofitted onto your doors to increase their blast resistance. Riot Glass can also install impact-resistant security frames around your doors to improve the blast resistance of the surrounding door infrastructure. Though Riot Glass will not turn your standard glass door into a 100% explosion-proof door, security glass and framing systems can greatly increase your glass door’s safety and security in the event of a bomb blast or another type of explosion.

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Do blast-resistant doors and frames have any other benefits?

In addition to protecting people inside from injury and reducing the damage caused by a bomb blast or accidental explosion, doors that have been retrofitted with security glass and framing provide all-around security for your property. These types of doors and frames are proven to protect your home or business against forced-entry, active shooters, storm damage, vandalism, and many other common threats. Depending on the specific type of security glass and framing system that you install, bomb-resistant doors can keep bad guys out, prevent door glass from shattering inwards when it’s impacted by flying storm debris, and even stop bullets.

bomb blast resistant doors and frames

What types of facilities can benefit from increasing the blast resistance of doors and frames?

Any type of commercial building or even a residential building that could potentially experience a bomb blast or an accidental explosion can benefit from installing blast-resistant framing systems and door retrofits. Naturally, certain types of facilities face a higher threat level, which is why we most commonly see these types of installations in government buildings and high-security privately owned facilities. Government facilities are more likely to be targets of intentional bomb attacks, whereas a privately-owned commercial building like a chemical storage facility might be more concerned about accidental explosions.

What other factors should I consider to improve my facility’s blast resistance?

If you’re going to upgrade your doors and frames to reinforce them against bomb blasts and other explosions, you can’t overlook your windows. All the principles that apply to making your doors and frames safer and more secure apply to your windows as well. If you want to achieve a lower GSA blast mitigation compliance rating for your site, you must ensure that all the building’s glass has been retrofitted or replaced with some type of security glass that will retain the glass shards and prevent them from flying inwards if an explosion shatters your windows.

How do I get Riot Glass installed to make my doors blast resistant?

If you’re ready to take the first step towards improving the safety and security of your property in the event of a bomb blast, we recommend you start with a threat assessment. When you schedule a threat assessment with Riot Glass, a blast consultant will visit your property to conduct a thorough evaluation and discuss your security questions and concerns. The expert will then determine the level of GSA blast mitigation compliance that your site needs to meet and provide recommendations on upgrading not only your doors, but also your windows and the rest of your property to make it more blast resistant and improve overall security.

How can I be sure Riot Glass products work?

All Riot Glass products are extensively researched, developed, and tested in labs under real-life conditions. Riot Glass systems are fully adaptable and we custom-fit all our products to your existing doors, windows, and framing. We use American-made materials and craft all our security glass and frames with expertise, care, and attention to detail.

Contact Riot Glass today for more information on our blast-resistant doors and frames or to schedule a threat assessment with a blast consultant.

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How to Keep Your Riot Glass Looking Pristine, Clear, and Shiny

By | Blog

Our clients often ask us about how they can clean their Riot Glass and whether it’s any more difficult than cleaning standard glass. We’re happy to inform you that you don’t need to use any special or more complicated window cleaning methods to take care of your Riot Glass. Traditional window washing methods work perfectly well to clean Riot Glass security glass.

In this article, we’ll clearly explain to you what the best way to clean windows is and provide some helpful tips for keeping your Riot Glass looking its best.

How to Clean Glass in 5 Steps

Step 1: Pick a Cool, Cloudy Day to Clean Your Windows

Even though you might prefer to do your outdoor window cleaning on a clear, sunny day, this can actually be counterproductive. On a hot day, the sun shining directly onto your windows can dry your window washing solution too soon and leave unsightly residue and streaks on your glass. Instead, pick a cool, cloudy day to do your window washing, so you have plenty of time to clean your windows meticulously and leave them looking streak-free and pristine.

Tip: Check the forecast before you get started on any outdoor windows to make sure it’s not going to rain on you while you’re working. You don’t want to get caught in the rain and have to abandon your window cleaning halfway through!

Step 2: Make a Homemade Window Cleaning Solution

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to use any special commercial window cleaning solution for cleaning windows. In fact, a homemade window washing solution usually gives you better results. Fill a bucket with about 2 gallons of water and add 1 teaspoon of mild liquid dishwashing detergent to make an effective homemade window washing solution.

Tip: To make an indoor window cleaning spray, combine 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of 70%-strength rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.

 

Step 3: Start Cleaning at the Top of the Window

Always begin cleaning glass at the top and work your way down. That way, your cleaning solution won’t drip down onto areas you’ve already cleaned as you work and leave behind streaks. Make sure you thoroughly clean each section of glass before you move down to the next part.

Tip: If you can’t reach the top of the glass, get a sturdy stepladder to stand on to help you get the job done. Alternatively, you could use a sponge and squeegee attached to a telescopic pole handle to reach all the glass.

Step 4: Scrub the Glass Using a Lint-Free Sponge or Cloth

Dip a lint-free sponge or cloth, such as a microfiber sponge for washing cars or a regular microfiber cloth, into your bucket of cleaning solution. Wring it out, so it isn’t dripping all over the place, then use it to scrub every square inch of the glass. Make sure to get right up against each side of the window and into the corners. If you’re using a spray cleaner to clean interior glass, just spray it directly onto the glass and wipe it up with your sponge or cloth.

Tip: If you don’t have a microfiber cloth or sponge, you can use an old cotton T-shirt. The cotton won’t leave behind any lint on your windows. If you’re cleaning indoor glass with a homemade spray cleaner, avoid using paper towels to wipe it up, as they can leave a lot of lint on your glass.

Step 5: Squeegee the Glass from Left to Right

Press the squeegee into the top left-hand corner of the glass, right up against the top edge of the window, and pull it firmly across the glass all the way to the opposite corner. Move down to the next wet section and squeegee across the window from left to right, overlapping your stroke with the above section that you just squeegeed dry. Wipe off the blade of the squeegee periodically with a clean cloth to remove any excess moisture and dirt. Keep working your way down the glass until you’ve removed all the cleaning solution and the glass is clear and residue-free.

Tip: You don’t need to squeegee indoor windows that you cleaned with a homemade spray solution. The spray solution will get wiped up with your lint-free cloth as you clean, and any that doesn’t will evaporate quickly and won’t leave behind any streaks.

Benefits of Regularly Cleaning Your Riot Glass

Just like a car, your windows are exposed to all kinds of dirt and contaminants in the air every day that can build up and cause your glass to look dingy. Just like you would take your car through the car wash regularly to keep it from building up a layer of grime, it’s important to clean your Riot Glass virtually unbreakable glass regularly to keep it in its optimal condition. As long as you treat your security glass as you would treat a treasured new automobile, you’ll get years of hassle-free service out of it.

If you’re not yet a Riot Glass client, now you know that it’s not any more difficult to care for Riot Glass security glass than it is to maintain your standard window glass. For more information about Riot Glass products or to schedule a consultation with one of our security experts, contact us today.

protecting schools from active shooters

Protecting Schools from Active Shooters

By | Blog

In the first 46 weeks of 2019, there were 45 school shootings at elementary, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. Of those, 32 were at campuses serving Kindergarten through 12th grade, leaving parents, teachers, students, and communities unsure of what steps to take to guarantee the safety and security of students and faculty while attending school. 

As anxiety increases around this sensitive subject, schools are holding active shooter drills, parents are purchasing bulletproof backpacks, and educators are arming themselves. 

But one question remains: How do you keep an active shooter out of your school today? The answer is: hardening your school to keep those meaning to cause harm out. 

 

But what is hardening? 

 

Hardening is a term often used by security professionals, military personnel, and police officers that refers to the process of strengthening a facility’s security to protect occupants in the event of an attack. 

Every building has unprotected entry points that intruders can use to their advantage. The process behind hardening a school is identifying and addressing these physical locations and implementing solutions so that they are not left undefended. 

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Two of the most vulnerable points of entry for any building are windows and doors that can be easily broken or kicked in. If these areas contain large amounts of unprotected glass, they are especially at risk.

vulnerable glass is an easy entry point for active shooters

Riot Glass, Your Best Option

 

After years of frustration with the security glass and framing options on the market, the diverse suite of Riot Glass products was born. 

But how is Riot Glass different from tempered or annealed glass? Riot Glass is glass that has been reinforced to provide protection from active-shooters and forced-entry. Once installed, it is nearly indistinguishable from unreinforced glass. 

Riot Glass blocks determined intruders leaving them baffled and unnerved, providing precious time for those inside to react and law enforcement to arrive. The Riot Glass line of highly fortified laminated glass uses a thermoplastic interlayer that is up to 5 times stronger and 100 times stiffer than regular laminated glass. 

While some Riot Glass products are bullet-resistant, other options will not stop live rounds but are intended to maintain their structural integrity, continuing to keep intruders out even when riddled with bullets. 

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When an Intruder Breaks in

 

When doors and windows are locked, those inside may feel a false sense of security. While installing products such as deadbolts, alarms, and cameras can help, often ignoring windows and glass doors is a fatal flaw in many active shooter protection strategies. 

When we want to enter a building, our brains are programmed to look for a door. The same thinking can be applied to an armed intruder seeking access to a building. If they find the door locked, it usually creates a sense of urgency, causing them to immediately seek the closet point of entry. 

If the door is partly or completely comprised of glass or has a nearby window, it becomes extremely likely the intruder will simply break or shoot the glass to make their way inside of the building instead of searching for an alternate entry point. 

Once inside, it can take a matter of minutes for damage to be done and lives to be lost. Upon the realization that an active shooter has penetrated a school, panic can set in causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, trembling, dizziness, or even an out of body experience. 

ordinary glass offers little protection from active shooters

 

Those panicking may be unsure of what to do to protect themselves and need assistance. Active shooters count on the element of surprise.  As a result, every second matters. Time is needed to focus and plan effective action. Quick decisions must be made to either exit the premises or barricade yourself in a room. 

What studies have learned is that deterring or slowing an intruder is the key to increasing the chance of survival. 

 

Conclusion

 

Keeping an active shooter out of your school is directly related to saving lives. An FBI study between 2000 and 2013 determined 64% of active shooter events are over within 5 minutes. 

Typical police response times for an active shooter situation is 6 -10 minutes, which is not an effective option when lives are at stake. What we have learned from the events of the past is that time is of the essence. 

We must empower our staff and students by giving them the tools to protect themselves. 

Riot Glass has created viable solutions for anti-intrusion and ballistic resistance that won’t break your budget. A recent independent laboratory test of our ArmorPlast 25, which is the thinnest and most affordable of its product line, ended after 8 minutes of the lab tech using everything from a sledgehammer to bullets without gaining entry. 

Our products work when it matters most, creating a physical barrier between those that mean to cause harm and those that need protection.

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