Written By: Brittney Phillips | June 5, 2020
If you’ve been researching ways to improve the security of your glass doors and windows, you’ve undoubtedly been looking into security glass—but exactly how tough is it? There are many different type of glass security products on the market that offer varying degrees of protection, so it can be hard to sift through all the info out there and choose the best option for you. Whether you’re interested in increasing your home security or protecting your business, this article will help you make the distinction between different security options and get a better understanding of how strong each one is.
Security glass is a type of fortified glass or glass alternative that is specially designed to protect your property’s most vulnerable entry points. When people talk about security glass, they can be referring to a range of different glass security products, including window security film, laminated security glass, and polycarbonate panels. At Riot Glass, we offer all three levels of glass protection, so let us explain to you exactly what each type is and just how tough they are.
Window security film is not actually glass, but rather a pliable Mylar coating that is typically applied to the inside surface of your glass. This film creates a protective barrier on top of your existing window glass to delay forced entry and prevent your glass from shattering inwards. Riot Glass provides and installs Riot Glass Window Security Laminates, which has been proven to delay forced entry by up to three minutes as well as hold glass together and reduce the chance of injury during an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or wind storm.
With window film, it’s still possible for a would-be intruder to smash your windows to gain access, but the time that it delays entry is often enough to deter the bad guys. If people are inside during a forced entry attempt, it can at least give people inside time to react by calling 911, barricading themselves inside, or evacuating the building through another exit. Window security film provides a basic level of protection for your existing glass doors and windows that can make a big difference without breaking the bank.
Laminated security glass is a type of fortified glass composed of laminated glass panels with a thermoplastic interlayer. Riot Glass laminated security glass is 100x stiffer and 5x stronger than traditional interlayer safety glass and is proven to delay forced entry by at least 4 minutes or completely deny entry. This type of glass won’t stop bullets, but it can withstand multiple ballistic impacts and help with bomb blast mitigation.
Laminated security glass is the middle-of-the-road window security option and is very popular among our residential and commercial clients. It gives you all the functionality of regular glass with a high level of protection against all types of man-made and natural threats. Whether you want to protect your retail store from theft or fortify your glass patio door against forced entry, this type of laminated glass is a very cost-effective security solution.
Polycarbonate panels are a glass alternative made from a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastics. This is the top-of-the-line when it comes to security glass. Riot Glass offers our proprietary line of polycarbonate panels called ArmorPlast shields, which are available in containment-grade and ballistic-grade options. This is what you want if you’re looking for a truly unbreakable glass for the highest level of protection against burglary or active threats.
ArmorPlast shields are the most expensive window security alternative that Riot Glass offers, but the good news is that they can typically be retrofitted onto your existing glass. This results in a much cheaper installation than a complete window replacement. We also install our proprietary ArmorPlast framing system that fortifies the frames around your windows, so they are no longer a weak point that can be compromised and displaced.
When people talk about safety glass, what they usually mean is tempered safety glass. This should not be confused with security glass because it is not actually designed to prevent things like forced entry or protect against active threats. What safety glass does is break apart into tons of tiny little cubes when it is shattered, so it falls to the floor close to the window or door instead of flying inwards or leaving jagged broken edges around the window or door frame. It is safer than standard window glass, which breaks into large, sharp shards, but it is not an effective security solution.
All our glass security products are tested in labs under a variety of real-life stress tests. We do everything from hitting them with bats and hammers, throwing multiple bricks at them, and shooting them with live rounds from firearms of varying calibers and velocities. We’ve seen over and over again that Riot Glass laminated security glass and ArmorPlast shields do not lose their integrity or shatter, even when they take prolonged abuse. In fact, it’s usually our testers who tire out first after trying so hard to break our products.
In addition to our own test facility, we have testing results for various forced entry tests conducted at HP White Laboratories which you find on our products resource page on our website. You can also take our AIA approved continued education (CEU) course here: https://aecdai.ly/riotglass
You can see tons of real-life footage of our glass security tests and actual surveillance video of attempted/failed break-ins on our YouTube channel.
At Riot Glass, we are always happy to talk to you about your security options and help you choose a solution that fits your goals and your budget. We can schedule a threat assessment with a security professional who will conduct a thorough evaluation of your property, discuss your security concerns, and make recommendations about the best types of security glass for you and your property.
Contact Riot Glass today for more information about our security windows and unbreakable glass alternatives or to schedule a consultation and get an estimate.
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