Written By: Brad Campbell | January 26, 2024
When it comes to protecting building occupants from harm during active threat incidents, the importance of keeping an armed intruder out of a building cannot be overstated. Once an attacker gets inside, the situation can quickly go from bad to tragic.
Unfortunately, many commercial facilities are poorly equipped in terms of active threat mitigation.
Locked doors, access control systems, alarms, and security cameras are all important parts of a commercial security system, but there’s one key thing they don’t do: prevent bad guys from forcing entry through an unprotected window or glass door.
Most commercial facilities have two things in common that make it very easy for active threats to force entry: emergency egress systems and tempered safety glass.
An emergency egress system allows building occupants to open a door from the inside in an emergency situation, with no need for the door to be unlocked using a key or any other type of access control mechanism.
While this is essential for fire safety and overall emergency preparedness, it also means that an armed attacker can easily shoot out or otherwise break a pane of glass to open a door from the inside using the emergency egress mechanism and gain easy access to the facility.
Tempered safety glass is another safety measure that most commercial facilities have in place to mitigate the risks of broken glass-related injuries.
Tempering is a process where glass is heated and then rapidly cooled to create internal compression. By design, when the glass breaks, it crumbles into millions of tiny, harmless pieces, preventing any large, sharp shards of glass from flying dangerously inwards.
The result of tempering is a safer window, but a substantially higher security risk — an attacker need only strike or shoot the glass for it to burst and immediately fall into a pile of granular chunks which can be simply stepped over to gain entry.
Many commercial buildings overlook one simple solution that can be implemented to mitigate the problems outlined above: access denial barriers.
Access denial barriers are commercial doors and windows built with security glazing (security glass or glass-like glazing) that can be retrofitted on top of or used to replace existing glass surfaces, or used in new construction.
These active threat access denial barriers are virtually unbreakable using traditional methods, and will thwart even the most determined forced entry attempts using common burglary tools, readily available objects, and even firearms.
With the right access denial barriers in place over a facility’s windows and doors, active threats will not be able to force entry during the most crucial first few minutes of their attack. This gives building occupants valuable time to spring into action and switch on the “run, hide, fight” mindset.
While an attacker is busy trying to force entry through a fortified window or door, people inside can evacuate to a safer area or barricade themselves inside a room, contact 911, and wait for the authorities to arrive and neutralize the threat.
In short, deterring, slowing, and preventing forced entry through physical access denial barriers is the number one key to protecting facilities and their occupants from active threats.
The ideal solution for keeping active threats out of commercial facilities can vary from property to property, but for complete access denial, some combination of Riot Glass® and ArmorPlast® forced entry-resistant and/or ballistic-grade commercial windows and doors will do the trick.
For example, containment-grade (non-ballistic) ArmorPlast AP25 can be retrofitted into or onto most existing window and door framing systems using retrofittable framing adapters, creating a virtually unbreakable glazing shield that won’t break apart or allow an attacker to pass their hand through during an attack, even if riddled with bullets.
To fortify commercial glass entryway door systems, you can also install a Riot Glass unbreakable door conversion kit. These kits employ ArmorPlast Gen II Series security framing and ArmorPlast AP75 bullet-resistant security glazing infills (recommended) to provide one of the highest levels of access denial available for commercial facility entryways.
ArmorPlast AP75 has even passed the coveted ASTM F3808 forced entry resistance test, which simulates a prolonged forced entry attempt by multiple attackers, such as that which can occur during civil unrest and rioting. This allows it to be used effectively in even the most high-security facilities, such as government buildings.
Besides the virtually unbreakable strength of Riot Glass and ArmorPlast access denial barriers, the best thing about these solutions is that they do not noticeably alter the appearance of the facilities they’re implemented in.
All Riot Glass and ArmorPlast security glazing looks, feels, and functions very much like regular commercial window and door glass — it doesn’t block out natural light, reduce visibility, or hurt the curb appeal of businesses.
The sleek, low-profile retrofittable framing adapters and framing systems used to install Riot Glass and ArmorPlast are available in a variety of modern finishes, and can be fully customized to match or even elevate a commercial property’s architectural design.
Police response times to active threat scenarios vary greatly, and a lot of damage can be done within the time it takes for them to arrive, so slowing or preventing entry altogether is crucial.
When a would-be intruder is denied access, they are more likely to panic and abandon the attack altogether. The longer the delay, the more likely they will be deterred. Police can also locate and neutralize the threat far more easily if an attacker is still outside when they arrive.
Full access denial can be achieved using Riot Glass, LLC’s suite of Riot Glass and ArmorPlast access denial barriers for commercial doors and windows.
Riot Glass, LLC set out to create an active threat protection system for commercial facilities that is affordable, superior in strength, light weight, and easy to install, making it the most cost-effective solution on the market.
We offer a full range of forced entry- and bullet-resistant access denial solutions designed specifically to protect students and faculty, employees of businesses, persons of prominent notoriety, and all other building occupants that may fall victim to an active threat attack.
Contact us today for a free consultation on implementing Riot Glass LLC’s access denial barriers in your commercial facility.
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