You may have heard about using bullet-resistant fiberglass panels for reinforcing walls, counters, doors, and other non-transparent architectural surfaces against forced entry and active threat attacks.
But when it comes to protecting glass doors, windows, and glass walls against ballistic attacks and forced entry attempts, what options do you have to retain visibility and functionality, without compromising on security?
Without a doubt, the best bullet-resistant panel material for glass surfaces is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is incredibly durable and impact resistant. Polycarbonate glazing shields are available in both containment-grade (non-ballistic) and ballistic-grade (bullet-resistant) varieties.
Compared to other types of bullet-resistant security glass, polycarbonate is the most suitable for protecting against ballistic attacks because of the high levels of ballistic resistance ratings that relatively thin polycarbonate panels can obtain.
Looks and feels like regular glass
Polycarbonate security glazing is crystal clear by default, so it doesn’t affect visibility or change the appearance of windows and other types of glazing.
This makes polycarbonate glazing panels ideal for all types of commercial buildings where both security and aesthetics are a concern. Polycarbonate bullet-resistant panels fortify your property, without making it look fortified.
Ballistic-grade polycarbonate glazing is ideal for schools, government buildings, luxury retail stores, office buildings, corporate headquarters, banks, and other properties where you want virtually invisible protection against forced entry, active threats, and other security threats, but don’t want to detract from the curb appeal of the property or make it look like a jail.
Can be retrofitted over your existing glass
Ballistic-grade polycarbonate panels, such as those from Riot Glass, Inc.’s ArmorPlast® AP series, are designed to be retrofitted into or onto existing framing systems to protect the existing glass behind them.
Such a retrofit solution means that you don’t have to undertake an expensive, disruptive glass replacement project to achieve bullet-resistant glass protection for your windows, doors, and other glazing surfaces. In fact, a polycarbonate retrofit is the most cost-effective option available when you want bullet-resistant protection for your property’s glass.
Protects against forced entry
All polycarbonate security glazing, including non-ballistic varieties, provides an extremely high level of forced entry protection and access denial.
Polycarbonate glazing shields are designed to withstand prolonged attacks and forced entry attempts using heavy hand tools, such as sledgehammers, bats, pry bars, and more.
In fact, even if riddled with bullets, polycarbonate will not shatter or noticeably diminish in strength. So, if an active threat manages to penetrate the glazing, they still won’t be able to reach through it to open a door from the inside or otherwise force entry.
Can stop multiple bullets
No material is 100% bulletproof, which is why we always use the term “bullet resistant” to refer to ballistic-grade glazing panels.
Depending on the number of layers and the overall thickness, polycarbonate panels are capable of stopping one or more rounds from certain types of firearms.
All bullet-resistant panels must undergo a series of tests to determine their exact level of ballistic resistance. They are then typically given a UL 752 rating, which is an industry standard for rating the bullet resistance of all types of security products.
For example, Riot Glass’s ArmorPlast® AP series of ballistic-grade polycarbonate security glazing is available with ballistic resistance ratings up to UL 752 Level 8. A panel with this rating is capable of resisting a high-speed, multi-shot attack from an active threat or sniper using an AK-47 rifle and .308, 150-grain military rounds.
Gives people inside the chance to react during active threat scenarios
While bullet-resistant polycarbonate can eventually be penetrated by ballistic rounds, it provides the highest level of protection for people inside a building under attack by an active threat.
During the initial seconds of an attack, the polycarbonate can save lives by stopping the first few rounds fired at people through a glass door, window, or wall. The glazing shield also denies access to the active threat, so they cannot gain entry to do maximum harm to those inside.
The protection provided by the bullet-resistant panels gives people inside the building time to react by running, hiding, and barricading themselves inside somewhere safe, while calling the authorities and waiting for them to arrive and neutralize the threat.
All types of commercial properties face a range of security threats. Here are a few examples of the most common ones:
Whether you own a specialty retail store and are worried about burglary, or you administer a school and want to implement active threat protection, bullet-resistant polycarbonate provides the highest level of ballistic protection and access denial.
If you have a business located in an area where you are concerned about civil unrest, you can also install forced entry-resistant panels for 24/7 protection against rioting and looting.
For businesses located in hurricane zones, the level of impact resistance of polycarbonate glazing sheets also makes them adequate storm damage mitigation barriers — as an alternative to storm shutters and board ups.
If you’re interested in hardening your building’s security with ballistic-grade polycarbonate glazing, we highly recommend starting with a threat assessment.
A threat assessment is a professional evaluation conducted by a security expert who specializes in identifying a building’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities against specific security threats
After a thorough assessment of your property, the expert provides you with specific recommendations on how to increase its security, including by reinforcing specific doors, windows, and walls with bullet-resistant panels.
The next step would be to work with a security glazing company, such as Riot Glass, Inc., to supply and install the selected ballistic-grade glazing in your property, to the exact specifications determined during the threat assessment.
We manufacture 100% custom containment-grade and ballistic-grade polycarbonate glazing retrofit solutions for all types of commercial applications.
Contact us today for a free consultation or to schedule a threat assessment.