How Can Retailers Make a Bullet Resistant Storefront?

By February 15, 2021Blog, Storm Protection

When you think of candidates for bullet resistant glass, retail stores might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are many reasons retailers can benefit from upgrading to a bullet resistant storefront.

The most obvious purpose of bullet resistant glass is that it protects against gun crime and active shooters, which can unfortunately happen anywhere. 

When it comes to retail businesses, not only do bullet resistant storefronts protect against ballistic attacks, but they provide a high level of security against more common threats like forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, vandalism, rioting, looting, and more.

Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Storefronts

Why Would Retailers Want to Make Their Storefronts Bullet Resistant?

Bullet resistant glass doesn’t just make a property more secure in the event of a ballistic attack — it improves storefront security in just about every way.

While video surveillance, alarm systems, and security patrols do go a long way towards deterring burglary and theft, what they don’t do is make your glass storefront any less vulnerable.

An experienced burglar or even an amateur with a rock can smash through standard window glass in a matter of seconds, gaining access to your property and all the valuable merchandise inside.

What bullet resistant security glass and glass-like products do is actually create a physical barrier to reinforce your existing glass and significantly delay or even prevent forced entry altogether.

Bullet resistant glass protects against:

  • Active shooters
  • Forced entry
  • Burglary
  • Smash-and-grab theft
  • Vandalism
  • Rioting
  • Looting
  • Bomb blasts
  • Storm damage

What Materials Can You Use for a Bullet Resistant Storefront?

For the absolute highest level of ballistic and forced entry protection for retailers, we recommend the ArmorPlast™ polycarbonate panels and security framing system.

These polycarbonate panels look and feel like window glass, but they have the virtually unbreakable strength of polycarbonate. ArmorPlast™ polycarbonate sheets are available in a variety of thicknesses and compositions, from containment grade to ballistic grade.

Before we continue, it’s important for you to understand the difference between containment-grade and ballistic-grade glazing shields.

Containment-grade glazing shields are non-ballistic polycarbonate sheets, meaning that they don’t actually stop bullets from passing through. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t provide an extremely high level of security.

In fact, containment-grade glazing shields can be riddled with bullets and still not break down or appreciably diminish in strength. 

This means that even an active shooter trying to gain access to a facility can’t shoot out a window, so a burglar attempting to force entry certainly can’t get inside your property through a window. 

We recommend containment-grade ArmorPlast™ AP25 for most retail applications when the primary concern is forced entry.

For those looking for a higher level of security that protects more against ballistic attacks, there are a variety of ballistic-grade ArmorPlast™ options available. Each model of ballistic-grade glazing shield is provided with a UL 752 ballistic rating by the Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL).

UL is the global leader in safety science, and their ballistic ratings for security glass are a standard in the industry. Each UL rating means that a specific piece of material can withstand a certain number of ballistic rounds of a certain caliber and weight, fired at different velocities.

This chart shows the different levels of UL 752 ratings:

For example, ArmorPlast™ AP75, the entry-level ballistic-grade glazing shield offered by ArmorPlast™, has a UL 752 Level 1 rating. This means that it can withstand three 124-grain rounds fired from a 9mm handgun.

The strongest ballistic-grade ArmorPlast™ sheet is AP125MS, which holds a UL 752 Level 6 rating. It can withstand 5 rounds fired from a high-speed 9mm firearm, such as an Uzi.

The different types of ArmorPlast™:

  • AP25 (containment grade)
  • AP375 (containment grade)
  • AP50 (containment grade)
  • AP75 (UL 752 Level 1)
  • AP100 (UL 752 Level 2)
  • AP125 (UL 752 Level 3)
  • AP125MS (UL 752 Level 6)

Keep the Bad Guys Out with ArmorPlast™ Bullet Resistant Storefront Glazing

So, now that you understand more about how ballistic glazing shields work, let’s take a closer look at exactly how ArmorPlast™ can protect your business from many types of threats that retail stores face.

These polycarbonate panels are designed to fit over your existing glass to create a protective barrier that resists all types of impacts.

If even a containment-grade glazing shield, such as AP25, doesn’t break after being shot at, can you imagine how little a bat or a crowbar can do to it?

Take a look at this video to see just how strong AP25 is:

Besides stopping would-be burglars dead in their tracks, ArmorPlast™ protects your business during times of civil unrest, with no need to board up your storefront. Rioters and looters move on quickly once they realize that hurled or swung objects won’t break your store’s glass!

In addition to protecting your business against criminals, bullet resistant storefront glass also makes it more secure when mother nature acts unpredictably. 

If your storefront gets impacted by a piece of flying storm debris, the glass remains totally protected by the virtually unbreakable security glazing. 

Your windows aren’t going to shatter dangerously inwards, potentially injuring anyone inside and requiring expensive repairs and replacement. 

Polycarbonate glazing shields even protect glass from seismic damage and bomb blasts to some degree.

Characteristics of AP25:

  • 1/4-inch AR polycarbonate glazing shield
  • Abrasion- and UV-resistant sheet
  • Resists yellowing and hazing
  • Highly resistant to cracking and shattering
  • Ideal for retail forced entry and smash-and-grab burglary protection

Conclusion

Every retail store needs a comprehensive security system to protect their storefront against forced entry, vandalism, looting, accidental damage, and more serious violent attacks. 

Even a containment-grade polycarbonate glazing shield provides a much higher level of security than any type of safety or security glass on the market, making it a worthy investment to protect your business against potentially devastating financial loss or worse.

 

Riot Glass™ has years of experience making retail stores and all other types of commercial facilities more secure with our line of products, including ArmorPlast™. Contact us today for more information.