Written By: Brad Campbell | June 5, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 threats, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.