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How ArmorPlast Effectively Secures High-End Retail Stores

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When it comes to securing high-end retail stores, one of the main concerns is protecting your merchandise from burglary and smash-and-grab theft. The best way to do this is to reinforce your window and door glass so that would-be burglars can’t take advantage of these vulnerable entry points to gain entry to your business and make off with a load of expensive merchandise. ArmorPlast shields are one of the most effective ways you can protect your existing glass to thwart forced entry as part of a complete retail store security system.

What Is ArmorPlast and What Are the Advantages?

ArmorPlast shields are polycarbonate laminated security glazing sheets that can be retrofitted over a retail store’s existing storefront glass or glass windows and doors. ArmorPlast offers a full line of products to fulfill a variety of security needs, from containment grade to ballistic grade sheets. All of ArmorPlast’s retail security systems can be over-glazed or back-glazed, meaning they can be mounted on the inside or the outside of framing, to protect existing glass from forced entry attempts.

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One of the biggest advantages of ArmorPlast is that it provides retail stores with a similar level of protection to that of full window replacement, but is much more affordable. It is also much quicker to install and less disruptive than replacing the existing glass and its framing. This makes ArmorPlast one of the best ways you can upgrade your store’s security without breaking the bank.

After your existing glass has been retrofitted with ArmorPlast shielding, it will be protected from attempted break and enters using heavy tools or objects like bricks and rocks. Additionally, a big advantage of ArmorPlast shields is that they offer varying levels of protection against other types of dangerous impacts like bullets, bomb blasts, and even natural disasters like storms and earthquakes. This means that you can secure your retail store’s glass against many possible threats, both man-made and natural.

Another advantage of ArmorPlast products is that they do not significantly alter the appearance of your glass. This can be a big concern, especially for high-end retail stores for which you want to uphold a certain image. Adding metal gates and bars to beef up your retail store security system can be unattractive and impractical, but ArmorPlast shields are practically invisible when they are retrofitted onto your existing glass. You won’t lose any visibility or detract from the appearance and curb appeal of your retail store.

Common Store Security Use Cases for ArmorPlast

 

Retail Theft Prevention

The number one way that burglars and opportunistic thieves gain entry to retail stores is by smashing their way through a glass window or door. An experienced burglar knows exactly which doors and windows are most vulnerable and can make quick work of a standard piece of glass using common burglary tools, such as crowbars or hammers. ArmorPlast will keep your retail store’s glass intact even in the face of determined forced entry attempts by would-be burglars, causing them to move on or delaying them long enough for authorities to arrive if they trigger an alarm system.

On the other hand, smash-and-grab theft also commonly occurs as a crime of opportunity. Maybe someone is walking by and sees an expensive item in the window of your store, so they pick up a rock or brick, smash the storefront glass, and make off with the item. Or, maybe there is civil unrest taking place and criminals are taking advantage of the chaos to break into high-end stores and steal expensive merchandise. Either way, ArmorPlast will keep your store safe from such types of retail theft.

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Defense Against Ballistic Attacks

If you’re concerned about a possible ballistic attack directly against or in the vicinity of your high-end retail store, ArmorPlast also offers a range of ballistic grade shields with different ballistic resistance ratings. These shields can resist impacts from a variety of different firearms including high-caliber handguns and multi-shot firearms. Even if a bullet does penetrate an ArmorPlast shield, it will prevent a store’s glass from shattering and flying inwards.

A luxury retail store might choose to install bullet-resistant ArmorPlast shields simply because they offer the highest level of protection against all kinds of impacts. Or, maybe the store is located in a high-traffic downtown core that could potentially be the target of an active shooter looking to cause random casualties. In this case, store employees could lock down the store and stay safe inside while authorities arrive to deal with the situation.

Storm Damage Protection

Not all threats to a store’s security are man-made. A high-end retail store should also boost its store security system to protect against natural disasters like storms and earthquakes. ArmorPlast products will keep your store’s glass from shattering and breaking inwards when impacted by storm debris or when a seismic event causes the glass to crack. This will keep employees safe from harm when an unexpected natural disaster occurs during store hours.

ArmorPlast will also protect your merchandise from looters if something like flooding caused by a storm shuts down the retail core where your store is located. You can stay safe and sound and out of harm’s way while you wait for a storm to blow over without worrying about the condition of your window and door glass and whether your store’s security has been compromised. Not only that, but ArmorPlast’s proprietary exterior coating facilitates easy cleaning, so you can get your storefront back to normal quickly after a natural disaster.

Conclusion

ArmorPlast shields should be included as part of a comprehensive retail store security system that includes other security measures like surveillance cameras and alarm systems. That being said, ArmorPlast is one of the most effective ways to secure a high-end retail store against a variety of threats including burglaries, looting, ballistic attacks, and natural disasters. The affordability and ease of installation should put ArmorPlast on any luxury retail store owner’s radar when looking for ways to improve store security without sacrificing visibility or curb appeal. Contact us today for more information about securing your retail store with ArmorPlast.

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business security plan

Create a Security Plan For Your Small Business or Retail Store

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One of the biggest concerns for retailers of all sizes is security. No matter what types of products a retail store sells, it’s vital to have a physical business security plan in place to prevent theft and keep employees safe. When a retail store becomes the target of a crime, whether it be shoplifting, armed robbery, or a violent attack, the physical security measures the store has in place make all the difference in how the scenario plays out. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can put a strong security plan for your business in place to protect your merchandise and employees.

1. Conduct a Threat Assessment

In order to effectively create a physical security plan for your small business, you have to consider the physical risks your business faces. For example, are you most worried about shoplifting? Burglary? Armed robbery? After you’ve decided what your main security concerns are, look at all the areas of your store and any security measures you already have in place to decide how vulnerable your store is to these threats. You can hire a security specialist to help you conduct a professional threat assessment and make suggestions about your physical security plan.

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2. Have a Working Security System For Your Business

All retail stores should have the security system basics, including surveillance cameras and an alarm system, up and running at all times. Make sure that cameras are visible to discourage shoplifting and burglary and place decals in shop windows to advertise the fact that the premises are video-monitored and has an active alarm system. Remember to always set the alarm system when the store is closed so that if someone does try to break in after hours the authorities will be notified.

3. Hire Security Guards

If you deal in expensive merchandise or handle large amounts of cash in-store, there should be at least one dedicated security staff member in your business security plan. Security guards are specifically trained on how to patrol retail stores, monitor customers for suspicious behavior, and react in the event of a retailer security breach. If you run a large retail space, it makes sense to employ multiple security personnel to monitor different areas of the store, such as every exit, as well as have a guard monitoring the surveillance footage.

4. Enact Loss Prevention Security Measures

Retail loss prevention refers to a variety of strategies and tactics designed to combat shoplifting. One such measure is to tag items with sensors that go off whenever someone tries to leave the store with an item before paying and getting the sensor tag removed by a cashier. Another loss prevention tactic is to place the most high-end, expensive items near the cash register or in plain sight of employees.

5. Install Riot Glass Laminated Security Glass

One of the absolute best ways to increase retailer security is to upgrade existing window and door glass with laminated security glass. Riot Glass is a type of laminated glass that is 5x stronger and 100x stiffer than standard security glass. Unlike shatter-resistant (but breakable) tempered safety glass, which is commonly used in retail stores, Riot Glass is specifically designed to withstand deliberate forced entry attempts and even ballistic impacts.

Riot Glass can be retrofitted onto almost any existing window, glass storefront, or door glass to fortify the glass against burglary, armed robbery, and active shooter scenarios. Depending on the perceived threats to your retail business, you can choose security glass with different grades of resistance to mitigate your security concerns. From containment-grade panels that will withstand repeated impacts from burglary tools like hammers and crowbars, to ballistic-grade shields that can resist bullets from high-caliber handguns, there’s a Riot Glass product for every retail security need.

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contact riot glass to get an effective security plan for business tailor made for you

6. Train Employees on Security Procedures

Employees are the ones on the floor responsible for retailer security, so it’s important to ensure that all of your staff members are trained on how to react in different retailer security breach scenarios. For example, create a plan for how employees should react if they catch someone shoplifting, if there is an armed robbery, or if an active shooter scenario is underway. Make sure that everyone knows important information like how to properly lock down or evacuate the building in an emergency.

7. Identify Sensitive Areas in Your Security Plan and Control Access To These Areas

Lock doors to sensitive back-of-building areas like offices and storerooms and control access to them with pass cards, pin codes, or keys. Give access only to the employees that need to be in these areas. These areas can also be used as hiding places for employees if there is a violent individual on the loose in the store, so they can lock themselves in and wait for help if they are unable to get out of the store.

8. Upgrade Window Locks

Though your windows probably already have some type of window locks, their security can be greatly enhanced by installing new aftermarket locks. For example, pin locks, keyed locks, hinged wedge locks, and sash locks can all make your windows more secure against forced entry. When used in tandem with security glass, aftermarket window locks will decrease the vulnerability of your windows and deter burglars or other intruders.

9. Light Things Up

In your business security plan, budget for using indoor lights to illuminate hard-to-see areas of your store and leaving some lights on inside at night; Also light up the outside of your store and parking areas or garages with light fixtures that turn on at night or install motion-sensing lights. Well-illuminated premises will discourage criminals and make it easier to spot suspicious activity.

Conclusion

Retail businesses have to confront a variety of security threats on a daily basis and are especially popular targets for theft. This is why it’s so important to improve retailer security by implementing a comprehensive physical security plan for your small or large business. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to physical retail security, but when you employ some of the methods listed above you can feel more confident about the safety of your merchandise and employees. Contact us today to find out more about how you can improve the physical security of your retail business with Riot Glass.

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7 Ways to Protect Your Religious Institution from Forced Entry

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Religious institutions of all types must face the ugly truth that they are potential targets of hate-motivated acts, from minor vandalism to violent attacks. Churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples are meant to be places of peace and tranquility, so what can you do to protect your religious facility against threats, especially an armed intruder attempting to force entry? We’re here to give you some ideas about how to protect your church or other religious facility against forced entry, as well as how to keep worshipers safe in the event of a violent attack.

1. Use One Entrance in and Out of the Facility

Ensure that all side and back doors remain locked and secure at all times. Use one main door as the primary way in and out for worshipers and staff. Depending on the perceived threat level, you can lock this door during a religious service once all the congregation members are inside or leave it open and monitored to allow latecomers or drop-ins to join the service.

2. Clearly Mark and Advertise the Exits

If you haven’t done this already, put up clear signs above emergency exits and indicating any evacuation routes. Make a point of letting your congregation members know where all the exits are, either by addressing it during a service or handing out leaflets that include a map of the facility with the exits marked. Remember to let any newcomers to your religious facility know about the exits as well. Ensure that these doors always remain unlocked on the inside so that people can get out quickly if it’s necessary.

3. Reinforce Glass Doors and Windows with Riot Glass

Riot Glass is an industry leader in mosque, synagogue, temple, and church protection. Riot Glass’s security window films, laminated security glass, and ArmorPlast shields can be retrofitted onto any religious facility’s glass doors and windows to protect against a range of threats including break-ins, active shooters, and vandalism.  These products are the best way to physically protect your church or other religious institution.

For example, if your primary concern is preventing break-ins and vandalism, you can install security window film or security glass. These types of Riot Glass products can withstand attacks from common tools like hammers and crowbars or impacts from rocks and bricks, to varying degrees. Security glass and window film will delay entry long enough to deter would-be intruders in many cases and keep your existing glass from shattering after repeated impacts. 

If a violent intruder is trying to gain entry during a service, Riot Glass can give your congregation time to react by calling the authorities and barricading themselves inside or evacuating the facility. For the highest level of protection against active shooters, Riot Glass offers a range of ballistic-grade ArmorPlast shields that can withstand multiple impacts from bullets of various calibers. Reinforcing your facility’s glass doors and windows with Riot Glass can truly be a life-saving decision.

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4. Monitor Doors and Parking Lots

Assign volunteers and team members to keep an eye on all entry points to your religious facility, as well as patrol parking lots. Have them be on the lookout for suspicious individuals who might pose a threat to your mosque, synagogue, temple, or church. If you have the budget for it, consider hiring professional security personnel, who may be armed, to perform these tasks for you. These individuals will be the first line of defense and can save lives by spotting a threat before it’s too late.

5. Use Walkie Talkies for Communication

Give volunteers and team members walkie talkies and designate a channel to communicate on. This is a much quicker way to relay information throughout your religious facility than relying on cell phones. In the event of an armed intruder on the premises, someone who is monitoring the outside can quickly inform the person in charge of the inside. That way, you can quickly react to go into lockdown or evacuate the building through a back exit to keep everyone safe.

6. Assign Roles to Volunteers and Team Members

Find out who, if anyone, in your congregation has experience in areas like medicine, law enforcement, the military, and security. Ask them if they are willing to take on volunteer roles to help protect your church or other religious institution. For example, you could have someone with law enforcement or military background be responsible for securing the facility before each service begins. Someone with a medical background could be in charge of first aid and medical assistance in the event of an emergency.

7. Create an Active Shooter Plan

How to protect your church from shootings is something that all churches and other religious institutions need to plan for. Religious leaders and their team members must create a physical security plan that outlines exactly what to do in the (hopefully unlikely) event of an active shooter on the premises. It’s important to remember that shootings at religious centers aren’t always random mass shootings. They can also be targeted shootings related to domestic violence or other issues.

Even if you don’t feel like it’s necessary because you can’t imagine such a thing happening in your small, close-knit community, include an active shooter scenario in your religious institution’s security plan anyway. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. If you have no idea where to start, schedule a threat assessment with a security consultant to evaluate your religious facility’s current security measures, identify weak points, and receive recommendations on your security plan.

Conclusion

The reality is that churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples are not exempt from the threats that other types of facilities face. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance for any religious institute to implement security measures that include forced entry protection and plans for how to react in emergency situations, including shootings. Contact us today for more information about how you can protect your church or other religious center or to schedule a threat assessment.

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10 Ways to Make Religious Institutions Safer

By | Blog

No matter what your religion is or what type of facility your congregation attends, all religious institutions have one need in common: security. From direct attacks to nearby incidents that pose a security threat, there are many risks to plan for and protect against. Follow these tips to make your religious center safer and more secure.

1. Create a Dedicated Security Team

Try to find people in your congregation with experience in law enforcement, the military, and security to form a team. Medical professionals, firefighters, and anyone else who has emergency training also make good additions to a church security team. This group will be in charge of following security protocols to keep the congregation safe and take charge if your church, mosque, synagogue or temple is faced with a security threat or any kind of emergency.

2. Do a Threat Assessment

A professional threat assessment, conducted by a security consultant, is the best way to evaluate your religious institution’s vulnerability. A security professional will analyze your existing security measures, consider potential risks, identify weak points, and provide you with recommendations for how to improve your facility’s safety. If you’re just getting started with addressing your religious center’s security concerns, a threat assessment is a good place to begin.

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3. Equip and Train Your Security Team

Make sure that everyone on your security team has the equipment they need to successfully carry out their duties. This should include a two-way walkie talkie system so that the team can communicate quickly and without issues in real time. Train everyone on the team regarding your religious institution’s security plan and assign each team member a specific role. Ensure that everyone has basic emergency training as well, such as first-aid and CPR.

4. Keep Medical Supplies on the Premises

Store a well-equipped first-aid kit as well as an automated external defibrillator (AED) where they can easily be accessed in the event of a medical emergency. Assign security team members to be in charge of retrieving these supplies and administering medical care if it is ever required.

5. Consider Hiring Armed Security Guards

It’s understandable for a peaceful place of worship to have mixed feelings about weapons on the premises. However, statistics show that having armed church security is one of the biggest deterrents to violent intruders. Consider hiring uniformed off-duty police officers or licensed armed security guards to protect your synagogue, temple, mosque, or church. If someone on your security team has a concealed carry permit, you could also consider asking them to come armed to services.

6. Develop a Relationship with Local Authorities

Try to schedule a meeting with the heads of the local police and fire departments to discuss your security concerns. Share any past incidents your religious institution has experienced or specific threats that you’re worried about. This is an opportunity to talk openly about safety and security solutions for your religious center and to feel more secure by putting faces to the names of people in your community who will be there to help you in an emergency.

7. Make Plans for Different Types of Security Threats

A security plan that outlines procedures in different scenarios is an essential part of synagogue, temple, mosque, and church security. One of the most obvious scenarios to plan for is a direct attack on your facility by an active shooter, but you must also plan for non-direct threats, including nearby active shooters or civil unrest in your community. Don’t overlook internal threats, such as disputes between congregation members, domestic issues, and mental health issues that could blow up during an assembly.

8. Communicate Emergency Plans to Your Congregation

Make sure that the members of your congregation know that you have plans to keep them safe in an emergency. They don’t need to know every detail of those plans, but they should know things like who to go to when they have a security concern and how to react if there is an incident while they are in attendance. Come up with a communications plan to discuss safety and security. This can include discussing it during assemblies, as well as providing reference material with essential info to congregation members.

 

9. Install a Security System

Put up security cameras, install an alarm system, and make sure all doors and windows have secure locks. You could also consider installing access control systems to restrict access to certain parts of the facility. These are all parts of a comprehensive physical security system to deter would-be intruders, monitor your grounds, and alert authorities to keep your religious center and worshipers safe.

10. Use Riot Glass to Enhance Physical Security

Last, but not least, on the list of ways to improve synagogue, temple, mosque, or church security is Riot Glass. From security window films and security glass to ballistic-grade ArmorPlast shields, Riot Glass offers a full range of options to secure your facility’s glass doors and windows. Riot Glass products can be retrofitted onto almost any existing glass to protect it from forced entry attempts, vandalism, active shooters, and even natural threats like storms and earthquakes.

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If you’re looking for the best way to reinforce vulnerable entry points, Riot Glass is the solution you need. Riot Glass is the first choice of churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques when it comes to physically protecting their members. No matter what level of threat your religious center faces, Riot Glass can secure your windows and doors to keep existing glass in place, delay would-be intruders, and even stop bullets. This provides valuable time for those inside to react, potentially saving lives and preventing injury.

Conclusion

Religious institutions and the people who gather in them face a variety of threats on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are many solutions out there that you can employ to make your church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or other place of worship safer and more secure. For more information about how you can physically secure your religious facility or to schedule a threat assessment, contact us today.

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If You Are Not Using Riot Glass to Secure Your Windows, You Are Vulnerable to Crime

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Windows are the most vulnerable points in any home or commercial facility. So, if your home or business is fitted only with standard glass, it is very susceptible to all types of crime, including break-ins by burglars or more serious attacks by active shooters. If you worry about the threats to your property and personal safety posed by crime, one of the best ways you can protect yourself is by fortifying your windows with Riot Glass.

What is Riot Glass?

Riot Glass is a type of laminated security glass that is 5x stronger and 100x stiffer than regular security glass. It acts as a shield against deliberate attacks and makes forced entry extremely difficult. Riot Glass panels fit right on top of existing glass and are virtually invisible once installed.

Riot Glass laminated glass and containment-grade clear panels can be retrofitted onto most existing window frames. There is no need to remove your existing glass or replace the frames, unless weight is a concern. Riot Glass products are designed to face three main threat categories, which are forced entry, active shooter, and bomb blast scenarios.

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Is Security Glass Different from Safety Glass?

Security glass refers to a range of laminated glass products designed to withstand intentional attacks. These types of glass products are highly shatter-resistant and meant to delay would-be intruders long enough for those on the inside of the glass to react and for first responders to arrive. Security glass is also highly effective at protecting against burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, and looting.

Safety glass, on the other hand, is not designed to protect against attacks and crime. One of the most common types of standard safety glass is architectural tempered or toughened safety glass. It is stronger and more resistant to shattering than regular architectural glass, but will not stop an intruder. Tempered safety glass is designed to break apart into small harmless fragments instead of sharp dangerous pieces, making it safer than normal glass for those on the inside.

Protect Yourself and Your Property Against Crime with Riot Glass

Unlike regular glass and safety glass, Riot Glass security panels won’t fall away when cracked or broken. Even the non-ballistic, containment grade panels are impenetrable to attacks from common hand tools like hammers, axes, and crowbars. They will even maintain their strength when riddled with bullet holes. Whether you’re concerned about simple break-ins and burglary or are worried about more serious ballistic attacks and bomb blasts, Riot Glass products will make you less vulnerable.

Forced Entry Protection

Riot Glass containment grade ArmorPlast shields are ideal for businesses that stock valuable merchandise or are at a high risk of smash-and-grab theft or burglary. These panels can also be applied to residential properties and are a popular burglary prevention method for high-end luxury homes. Riot Glass is virtually unbreakable using any common break-in methods, so would-be intruders are deterred and move on very quickly.

Protection Against Active Shooters

Riot Glass also offers a full range of ballistic grade ArmorPlast panels, for when potential threats are greater than just burglary. Ballistic resistant Riot Glass is available in various grades and designed to withstand multiple impacts from bullets of different calibers without shattering. Riot Glass keeps shooters from gaining access to a facility and provides precious additional time for individuals inside the facility to call the police and either escape or barricade themselves inside to wait for the authorities.

Bomb Blast Protection

Riot Glass ArmorPlast shields also provide effective bomb blast mitigation. If a bomb blast is a real threat to your property, you can have a blast-consultant assess the threat level and tell you what GSA performance level your property needs to meet. You can then retrofit all your existing glass with Riot Glass to keep it intact and keep those inside safe in the face of a bomb blast.

Who Can Benefit from Riot Glass?

Riot Glass is available for all types of residential and commercial applications. It can be either retrofitted on an existing property or installed as part of new construction or remodels. No matter how big or small the threat of crime is to your property, Riot Glass products will make you feel safer and allow you to sleep better knowing your windows are protected against criminals.

If you’re a business owner, Riot Glass is an essential part of a complete security strategy. Riot Glass laminated security glass provides an essential barrier to protect valuable merchandise and equipment from burglars who would typically gain easy entry to your business through a window. Riot Glass is also an excellent defense in the event of civil unrest, such as rioting, and the looting that can come along with it.

Typically, all it takes is a well-aimed brick or a blow from a metal pipe to take down a storefront window. However, with Riot Glass in place, this is no longer a concern. Even if a Riot Glass panel cracks, it will stay in place and shield any existing glass behind it, preventing shattering and keeping looters and vandals out of your business.

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For homeowners, Riot Glass can provide essential peace of mind when you’re away from home on business or vacation. If you happen to be inside during an attempted break-in or attack of some kind, Riot Glass is a shield between you and your family that keeps the bad guys out and keeps all of you safe inside. Riot Glass can be the difference between a violent encounter and having enough time for the authorities to arrive and deal with the situation.

Riot Glass is the Best Way to Reinforce Your Windows Against Criminals

Other solutions like bars, gates, and screens can be unsightly and reduce your visibility. Riot Glass provides you with the highest level of protection without sacrificing any of the visibility through your windows or changing the appearance of your property. Use Riot Glass to protect the vulnerable windows on your home or business as part of a complete crime deterrence and prevention strategy.

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laminated glass vs tempered glass

The Differences Between Laminated Glass & Tempered Glass

By | Blog

There has been an increase in the demand for “safety glass” and other glazing products to keep homes and commercial buildings safe. One of the major safety concerns for commercial building owners has been forced entry. While large doors and windows are essential and aesthetically valuable for such buildings, buglers often target these parts, which are the Achilles heel of homes and buildings. As such, glass companies continue to come up with better glass products to meet the needs of safer glazing products by homeowners and commercial building owners.

Laminated glass and tempered glass are the two common glazing products used in the prevention of forced entry. Homeowners and commercial building owners need to understand the differences between the two glass types before choosing the best one for their needs.

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Laminated Glass vs Tempered Glass

Laminated and tempered glass differ by a number of features. Such features influence the choice of glass type for homeowners and commercial building owners to install on their doors and window systems. Here are the main points of difference between laminated glass and tempered glass.

1. Manufacturing Process

When discussing laminated glass vs tempered glass, the manufacturing process pretty much separates the two. Laminated glass is made by bonding one or two layers of glass with a layer of resin, commonly polyvinyl butyral (PVB). The PVB is the interlayer that holds the glass layers together, even when the glass breaks or impacted by a great force. The process of producing laminated glass involves bonding these glass layers and the interlayer under heat and pressure. This produces compact glass that holds in place rather than shatter when hit by attackers and buglers.

On the other hand, the production of tempered glass differs. Tempered glass is produced in the process of toughening standard glass to give stronger glass. In fact, this toughening process makes it several times stronger than laminated glass. This process often involves heating, high-pressure, and chemical treatment procedures. These treatments give the glass a better balance of internal stress, which makes it better at resisting force up to certain levels. Despite its strength, tempered glass breaks and shatters when impacted by huge forces from bullets or other weapons.

2. Strength

Another way to look at tempered vs. laminated glass is by comparing their strength. The strength of these two safety glass types derives from their production process. While both of them fall into the category of “safety glass” for homes and commercial buildings, their strength differs, and each has a unique way of preventing forced entry or protecting building occupants.

Laminated glass is deemed strong since it can stand the force of a rock or bullet without shattering and falling off the window or door frame. Its strength can be attributed form the glass layers and the resin used as the interlayer. What’s more, the pressure and heating process adds to its strength and makes the glass up to 5 times stronger and 100 times stiffer than the standard glass.

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On the other hand, tempered glass is known for its strength and resistance towards force. Throughout the manufacturing process, the glass goes through stages of heat, pressure, and even chemical treatment to make it tougher than regular glass. While considering the strength to withstand breakage, tempered glass is considered to be stronger than laminated glass.

3. Applications

When looking at the laminated glass vs. tempered glass comparison, the application of the glass types may also be considered. Due to their strength difference, their application often differs. Depending on the user preference, it is possible to have laminated glass windows and tempered glass windows.

Homeowners and commercial building owners who seek security for their homes and valuables should consider laminated glass. Laminated glass windows and doors are especially essential for commercial buildings, where there is a need to prevent forced entry and safeguard valuables. The interlayer in laminated glass creates a significant barrier, which makes it difficult for buglers and attackers to breach.

Tempered glass, on the other hand, is best used for interior safety glass applications. Homeowners can, therefore, use it for the various window and door systems, such as shower and tub doors. It may also be used for hotel buildings consisting of conference rooms. Tempered glass also suits skyscrapers and commercial buildings with large windows. This way, the views outside are not distorted, and building occupants are protected from elements such as storms.

4. Custom Display is Only Possible With Laminated Glass

Besides security purposes, glass is also used for many other applications. Lately, laminated glass has become a favored material in indoor and outdoor graphic projects. Photography and digital images have become common choices for incorporating design elements into architectural glass, and laminated glass has become the best glass to incorporate such design elements.

Given the presence of the interlayer in laminated glass, designers can now use online design tools to include visual imagery on the glass. As such, laminated glass continues to be used by brands who wish to create a great impression on the public.

Other than architectural and safety purposes, tempered glass has seen limited applications as compared to laminated glass. Since tempered glass is purely made of glass, the incorporation of digital elements is not possible, as it is the case with laminated glass. While this discussion may not come up often, the tempered glass vs. laminated glass comparison may often highlight such tech-based applications of laminated glass.

5. Laminated Glass Is More Pricey

While making the laminated vs. tempered glass contrast, the cost of these types of glass also comes into play. Due to the complexity of the manufacturing process and the materials involved, laminated glass becomes more expensive than tempered glass. The process of manufacture involves the use of a resin material and glass panes. The heating and pressure treatment processes also add to it being more costly than tempered and standard glass.

Tempered glass is also costly to purchase, definitely more expensive than the standard glass, but less costly than laminated glass. Depending on the preferences of a building owner, the cost is another point of difference that dictates the choice between laminated and tempered glass.

Conclusion

The laminated glass vs. tempered glass comparison comes up often when building owners and homeowners are considering the best option for their window and door systems. Some of the main features to look at to differentiate the two include the make-up, strength, cost, and the intended purpose for the glass installation.

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How to Protect Schools From an Armed Intruder – the Glass Type Matters

By | Blog

A growing number of high-profile school shootings in the US over the past couple of decades have brought school safety and security into the spotlight. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be something that is going to change anytime soon. Whether it’s an elementary school, middle school, high school, or university campus, all school administrations should put plans and security measures in place to protect students and staff in the unfortunate event of an armed school intruder on the premises.

How Can Educational Facilities Prepare for School Intruders?

Even with the best preventative measures in place, it’s impossible to guarantee that any school won’t be the target of a violent individual. With that in mind, there are methods to make schools safer and better prepared to deal with such an incident. The more prepared staff and students are, and the more security measures in place, the smaller the threat posed by an attacker is. Let’s take a look at some ways schools can improve safety and security on their campuses.

Encourage Awareness and Communication

The worst way to prepare for school intruders is to ignore the issues that cause school shootings in the first place. Administrations should provide training to their staff on how to identify warning signs that a student may carry out a violent attack on school grounds. Information on the matter should also be provided to students and parents, along with a clear procedure for reporting concerns about a student to the administration. That way, administrators can conduct a threat assessment together with mental health professionals and law enforcement to evaluate the risk and probability of a violent incident.

Schedule A Professional Threat Assessment

 

Well-trained staff, along with informed students and parents, can be all it takes to prevent a tragic incident from occurring on campus. Though there is no single indicator that someone is a risk to school safety, an attack rarely occurs without some prior warning signs. If people know how to spot the signs of mental health issues and indicators of violent behavior, as well as to know how to communicate about these issues, tragedies can be prevented.

Practice a School Intruder Drill

A school intruder drill can save lives when a school is under attack by a gunman. Schools have been doing fire drills, earthquake drills, and other types of safety exercises for decades, and the same principles can be applied to an intruder drill. The idea is that if students and staff are drilled with safety information and practice what to actually do in case the unthinkable happens, the risk is greatly minimized.

Training for an armed intruder can consist of various components, such as lockdown drills, evacuation drills, and active shooter exercises. A lockdown drill, for example, teaches staff and students how to lock and barricade themselves inside a room, stay away from windows and doors, and hide from armed intruders until the authorities arrive. On the other hand, evacuation drills teach students and staff how to leave the building as quickly as possible and get to safety.  

An active shooter drill can include training on things like how to remain calm, how to deal with the injured, how to help others get to safety, and how to confront and disarm an attacker if it comes down to it. There is no one-size-fits-all model for an intruder drill, and it is up to every school and administration to evaluate their needs and come up with an appropriate model. However, a complete drill should include elements of all the different types of exercises mentioned above.

Upgrade Window and Door Glass with Security Glass

The most vulnerable points of entry in any facility are its windows and doors. They are also often the most overlooked areas when it comes to building security. Closing and locking windows and doors provides a false sense of security because the reality is that standard window glass breaks incredibly easily. All it takes is one blow from a hard object or a single bullet to shatter the glass, providing an armed attacker with easy access to the building or a room within.

Schools can beef up their security against school intruders by upgrading vulnerable glass with a variety of security glass products. Obviously, it isn’t always practical or affordable for an educational facility to completely replace their windows and doors. However, many security glass products can be retrofitted onto a building, right on top of its existing glass, to improve overall security and protect against intruders.

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The three main types of protective glass products that schools can use to upgrade their windows and doors are safety and security window film, laminated security glass, and polycarbonate panels. All of these products will prevent the windows from easily shattering apart and can even resist bullets to varying degrees. This delays attackers from gaining entry to buildings and rooms, which gives students and staff valuable time to react and time for the police to arrive on the scene.

To choose the best glass type for the facility, a school must weigh a threat assessment against the available budget. A security professional can conduct a threat assessment to evaluate the building’s existing defenses, point out vulnerable points in an active shooter scenario, and come up with recommendations to improve security to save the lives of students and staff. The administration can then decide on the appropriate type of security glass to keep intruders out.

Conclusion

There is no way to be 100% sure that your school is safe from violent intruders, but there are ways to prepare and protect lives. There are certainly more ways than this article has covered, but we’ve gone over some of the most effective methods, including promoting awareness and communication to prevent incidents, holding drills to prepare students and staff, and reinforcing windows and doors with security glass to keep attackers out. These methods should be included as part of any comprehensive school safety and security strategy to minimize the risk of injury and loss of life.

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how to prepare home for extended vacation or long absence

How To Prepare Your House For Extended Vacation or Long Absence

By | Blog

Summer is the time of year when most people tend to go on vacation. It also happens to be the time when most burglaries occur. In order to get the most out of your relaxing summer vacation without having to worry about your home and prized possessions, it’s important to take precautions and vacation proof your home before you pack your bags and head out of town. Here are ten of the best ways to prepare your home for an extended or summer vacation (or some other long absence)

1. Install a Home Security System

 

Get a professional home security system that includes an alarm system and video surveillance installed before you go on vacation. This will allow you to monitor your home security right from your smartphone and is a big deterrent to would-be burglars. Make sure that surveillance cameras are placed in easily visible locations. Also, put up stickers and decals to advertise your home security system outside near the most obvious entry points like doors and ground floor windows.

2. Install Laminated Security Glass To Vacation Proof Your Home

 

Reinforcing vulnerable entry points like windows and doors is the best way to physically keep intruders out of your home and prevent a home break-in while you’re on vacation. Standard window glass is incredibly easy to break, which means that burglars can gain entry to your home through an unsecured window or door in just a matter of seconds. Laminated security glass solves this problem by adding an invisible, virtually unbreakable layer of protection on top of your existing glass

Laminated security glass panels, such as Riot Glass shields, can be retrofitted onto your home window and door glass and are much more affordable than completely replacing your existing glass. It withstands deliberate attacks by determined individuals using common burglary tools like hammers and crowbars. This makes it one of the most effective ways to protect your home from burglary. Though a security system is recommended, installing laminated security glass is one of the best ways to secure your home without an alarm while on vacation. 

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3. Set up Light Timers

 

Purchase several light timers to install in different rooms to prepare your house for a long absence. Pick timers with the option of having lights turn on and off at random times so it’s more difficult for would-be burglars to tell if you’re home. If you’re leaving your house empty while on holiday vacation, this is an affordable and easy-to-install home security measure that makes it appear as if someone is present, especially at night, when burglars are prowling through neighborhoods.

4. Put up Motion Detector Lights

 

Add motion sensing security lights to the outside of your home to illuminate easy access points like your driveway, front door, walkways, backyard, and back or side doors. The lights will turn on if anyone tries to approach your home to break in while you’re gone and take away the cover of darkness to deter them. You could also install smart outdoor lighting that you can turn on and off remotely or schedule to come on at night.

preparing house for extended vacation or long absence requires careful planning and active monitoring even while on holiday

5. Maintain Your Landscaping During Your Absence

 

Trim back bushes and shrubs that could provide potential cover for burglars and cut your lawn before you leave. Keep any landscaping services you normally use scheduled during your absence so nothing appears out of the ordinary while you’re gone. A tidy yard and activity around the outside of your home will make it look more occupied and like less of a potential target for a break-in.

6. Have Someone Stop By Regularly

 

Give a key to a friend, relative, or trusted neighbor and ask them to swing by your place every day or two. Have them pick up any mail so it doesn’t accumulate and give away the fact that you aren’t home. They can also perform any minor tasks you need done while you’re gone like watering plants or putting out the trash and recycling. Also, if burglars are monitoring houses in your neighborhood, someone coming and going regularly and signs of activity are deterrents to burglary.

7. Don’t Leave Hide-a-Keys

 

Hide-a-keys might seem convenient to you, but burglars know where to look for them. Don’t make it easy for a would-be burglar to walk into your home by leaving them a key. Leave spare keys with family, friends, or neighbors instead, even when you aren’t on vacation. The convenience of a readily available hide-a-key is not worth the risk of losing your valuable possessions.

whether it's a one day trip of leaving house for 3 months, don't hide your keys on the property

8. Hide Valuables Out of Sight

 

Remove valuables from where they can be seen through windows or doors to protect your home from burglary. Put smaller items away in drawers or closets and move large items to different rooms where they aren’t easily visible. Don’t forget to conceal any high-value items in your garage as well. If a burglar can’t see anything of value, they are less likely to target your home for a break-in.

9. Don’t Advertise Your Vacation Or Long Absence on Social Media

 

Though it might be tempting to let everyone on your social networks know where you’re going on summer vacation, it’s better to keep a low profile and not advertise that your home will be empty. Wait until you get back from vacation to upload your beach photos and tell everyone about how much fun you had. Also, make sure your address is not posted on any of your social media.

when preparing home for long absence, don't advertise your vacation on social media

10. Ensure That All Your Doors and Windows Are Secure

 

Test out all your doors and windows a week or two before you go on vacation to ensure they are all in working order. This way, you can get anything that isn’t closing or locking properly repaired before you leave town. Double-check that everything is securely closed and locked on the day you leave for vacation.

Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation Should Not Be Overlooked

 

With all the excitement of a holiday, it’s easy to overlook home security while on vacation. However, imagine how devastating it would be to come home after a summer trip, still buzzing from the experiences you had, only to find that criminals have ransacked your home. That’s why it’s imperative to think about how to stop burglars from targeting your home while you’re out of town. You should implement as many of the home security ideas from this list as possible so that you can have total peace of mind on your vacation.

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protect your business from burglary with armorplast

How To Protect Your Business From Burglary – Commercial Burglary Prevention With ArmorPlast

By | Blog

Whether your business is big or small, an unexpected burglary can set you back and hurt your success. On top of the loss of merchandise or vital equipment, there’s also the added expenses of repairing and cleaning up damage caused by the burglars. Not only that, but you also have to factor in the time you waste dealing with the aftermath of the burglary, which is valuable time during which you aren’t doing business.

To prevent catastrophic losses, it’s important to employ a comprehensive strategy to secure and protect your business from burglary. Of course, having a good insurance policy will help you after the event, and things like cameras, security lights, and alarms can deter burglars. However, having all of these systems in place won’t keep a determined individual from breaking in to your business, especially through unsecured windows.

Windows are often the most overlooked areas when it comes to securing your business against break-ins. They are also the most obvious and easiest point of entry for would-be burglars. There are various ways you can secure your windows, such as by applying security films, security screens, or bars, but one of the absolute best and most effective ways to do so is with ArmorPlast products.

What Is ArmorPlast & How Does It Prevent Burglaries?

ArmorPlast is a clear, unbreakable shield that fits over existing glass and acts as a barrier, preventing burglary and active shooter forced entry. ArmorPlast shields are composed of layers of polycarbonate laminate and are available in thicknesses from 0.25 inches to 1.250 inches thick. Each shield in the ArmorPlast product line has a different strength rating that classifies the sheet as non-ballistic, containment grade, or with a specific ballistic rating.

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For example, ArmorPlast 25 is ArmorPlast’s entry-level containment grade glazing shield, meaning that it will not stop bullets, but it will resist cracking or shattering. On the other end of the line is ArmorPlast 125MS, which is rated to withstand high-speed, multi-shot ballistic attacks. ArmorPlast products are a top-of-the-line security solution for all types of commercial facilities, including banks, specialty retailers, 24-hour convenience stores, cash transaction windows, schools, government buildings, and religious facilities.

How to Prevent Break-Ins Through Windows with ArmorPlast

Professional burglars know the weak points of your business and can easily identify vulnerable glass that they can force entry through. The only way to fully protect your business against burglary is to secure every possible point of entry. You could do this by installing gates or bars, but those detract from the appearance of your business or are simply not viable in some scenarios.

That’s where ArmorPlast comes to the rescue. All you have to do to prevent break-ins through windows is retrofit your business with ArmorPlast protective sheets. ArmorPlast shields fit right on top of your existing glass and are virtually invisible once installed. The polycarbonate and acrylic laminate composition gives the surface a glass-like hardness, but with much higher impact resistance.

Even the most basic ArmorPlast shield will withstand attempts by burglars to smash your glass with hammers, crowbars, bricks, and other tools commonly used in break-ins and smash-and-grab burglaries. In fact, even if a would-be burglar tried to shoot out a window, the ArmorPlast protective glazing would not break apart or significantly diminish in strength. Burglars won’t even be able to make a hole big enough to pass their hand through to open a door or window on the other side.

Commercial Burglary Prevention – Store Front Security Door Glass Testimonial

riot glass can help to protect your commercial business from burglary

Invisible Window Protection from Burglars

Aside from its unbreakable strength, another huge benefit of using ArmorPlast to protect against business burglary is that it doesn’t change the appearance or structure of your existing glass. ArmorPlast sheets can be mounted right onto your existing window frames or storefront glass framing. The glazing is then locked in place with secure mechanical fasteners, which are covered by low-profile protective caps, so the overall look of your business remains the same.

In addition to being almost invisible, ArmorPlast sheets are highly resistant to yellowing, hazing, and abrasion, so they will last a long time in harsh environments. The proprietary exterior hard coat also resists marring, chemical attacks, and graffiti, and facilitates easy cleaning. You don’t have to worry about sacrificing visibility through your business’s windows.

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Protect Your Business from Burglary

Not only does ArmorPlast prevent break-ins through windows, but it also keeps your business safe in the event of civil unrest like rioting and looting. This is especially important if your business is located in an urban core that is more likely to experience protests. Unfortunately, protests can also bring along individuals who are looking to take advantage of the chaos to commit crimes like vandalism and theft.

If you have a street-facing storefront constructed with standard glass, it’s incredibly easy for these types of individuals to throw a rock through a window or smash it with a bat. They can easily gain access to your merchandise, belongings, and equipment before you even know anything happened. Imagine how devastating it would be to arrive early the next morning to open your business only to find that your windows are smashed and your store has been looted.

protect your business from burglary with armorplast

With ArmorPlast, you can rest easy at night, knowing that your business is secured against all forms of break-ins and theft. Even if you’re sitting at home watching the news and you see an angry mob passing down your business’s street, you don’t have to think about rushing down there to check on and protect your business. ArmorPlast products protect your business from burglary and keeps your mind at ease.

ArmorPlast Shields Are the Best Anti-Burglary Defense Mechanism

If you’re concerned about break-ins at your business, you should always employ a full range of security measures. A comprehensive burglary protection strategy includes security cameras, interior and exterior lighting, an alarm system, and safes for high-value items and merchandise. However, the best form of protection against commercial burglary is prevention, and ArmorPlast shields the weakest points of your business against forced entry, making it the best first line of defense against break-ins and burglary.

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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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