Written By: Brittney Phillips | January 11, 2023
Burglary has been a common threat to all kinds of businesses for centuries because of how ‘easy’ it is to break into a property and steal whatever is inside. It’s an even bigger issue for retail stores that are filled with cash and valuable merchandise.
The number of reported burglary cases in recent years has been on the rise and there’s always a constant risk associated with owning commercial properties such as retail stores. This is especially true for areas in the US where violent crime and burglary are rising sharply.
Luckily, there are many different burglar-proofing options available to business owners that increase security and deter crime.
Now, you might be thinking that business owners would have to use bulky, solid steel, forced entry-resistant doors to protect their businesses but this isn’t the only method of burglar-proofing a property.
One of the most common security choices nowadays is the use of ‘burglar proof windows’ that prevent forced entry.
In essence, there isn’t just one form of burglar proof windows; there are multiple that can be referred to as ‘burglar proof’. The three most popular choices are security window film, laminated security glass, and polycarbonate glazing shields.
Let’s go over all of them:
Security window film, such as the Riot Glass® brand film, is a pliable, poly-based Mylar coating that is applied directly to glass surfaces to add a basic layer of security and forced-entry protection. It also reduces the risk of injury due to broken glass.
Although it won’t fully burglar-proof windows, it can delay potential burglars for a couple of minutes, giving security personnel, the business owner, or the police to react in time.
Security window film works by keeping broken glass shards in place instead of letting the windows shatter inwards. A criminal may attempt to break the glass but they’ll find that it’s not as easy as it looks. This is where security film truly shines; it doesn’t prevent the glass from breaking but it does reinforce it enough to protect against accidental impacts or lighter forms of forced entry.
In most cases, the process is fairly simple. As for placing, the security window film is usually applied to the interior of the window but it can also be installed on the outside. You’ll get the most protection by installing it on both sides of the window.
The installation process itself first involves checking if the glass surface that the film is going to be applied is clean. Dirt and debris can get caught under the film which will cause it to have bubbles or bumps.
After the glass surface is clean, the security film is cut into the exact size of the window. Then, we slide it into place and spray the back of the film with a specific solution. Finally, we use a stiff squeegee to smooth the film into place.
We highly recommend against installing security film yourself because you could end up with a faulty product that won’t look or perform as intended. You’ll also have to spend more money to get the problem fixed so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Laminated security glass is available in a wide range of strengths and thicknesses which makes it a great option if you’re interested in something a lot more durable than security window film.
Depending on the level of impact resistance, laminated security glass is capable of completely preventing forced entry. Security laminates such as this can be retrofitted over existing window glass, creating a nigh-indestructible barrier in front of it that is incredibly difficult to shatter or break.
It must be said, however, that highly determined burglars can still manage to break through certain types of security glass after repeated blows to the same area. This is primarily because most window framing systems can only support thinner security laminates instead of thicker ones. A thin layer of security laminate doesn’t make a window truly burglar proof but it does provide an impressive amount of defense.
Some laminated security glass is bullet resistant (we don’t say bullet proof because nothing can be considered 100% bullet proof). The materials we use and the construction of the glass itself determines the level of security and the forced entry or ballistic rating. Our Riot Glass® line of products has various ballistic rated and forced entry capabilities. Our consultants can assist you in determining the right product for your needs.
Yes! Security glass products aren’t exclusively used for window reinforcement but also glass doors. Most commercial properties and buildings feature glass storefronts. The process for retrofitting laminated security glass over doors is similar to how it’s done over windows so business owners often opt for both window and glass door protection.
The best way to burglar-proof your windows is to use a combination of glass security and strengthening products. However, even then it’s difficult to make the glass completely resistant to forced entry.
But - there is one final option that can provide virtually unbreakable glass protection - polycarbonate glazing shields.
Polycarbonate glazing shields are clear polycarbonate panels that feel and look very similar to classic window glass but have the unbreakable strength and rigidity of polycarbonate.
For example, a ¼-inch-thick panel of polycarbonate cannot be shattered, cracked, or dislodged - even after continuous high-force impacts. Bullets are the only thing that can penetrate the polycarbonate panel, and even then it remains a formidable barrier to entry.
Our ArmorPlast™ AP25 Burglar-proof Window Glazing Shields are incredibly strong and resilient, making them the perfect choice for all sorts of businesses. Here are some characteristics of AP25:
Now that we’ve covered all the primary forms of burglar-proof window solutions, it’s time to talk about burglar-proof doors. Here are a couple of examples of who needs them:
These examples can all benefit from burglar-proof doors but they may have different needs when it comes to levels of protection.
For example, offices and retailers will typically use glass that is burglar-proof but not bulletproof. On the other hand, government buildings and schools may need more advanced protection solutions because they are often at more risk of violent attacks.
To determine the best level of protection for your facility, you’ll need to hire a security expert that will conduct a professional threat assessment. During this assessment, the security expert will walk through your property, analyzing potential security vulnerabilities. In most cases, doors and windows are the biggest vulnerabilities of a facility.
Our ArmorPlast® line of products is perfect for protecting existing glass doors from violent crime. On top of that, ArmorPlast® doesn’t significantly alter the appearance of your glass storefront, reduce visibility, or block out natural light.
This is one of the primary reasons it’s such a popular choice for commercial buildings and various other facilities.
Contact us for more information about our line of security film and security glass products, and the process of burglar-proofing your existing windows and doors.