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Riot Glass® retrofit systems consist of custom-made security glass and framing designs that provide maximum protection against forced entry and ballistic threats.

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Riot Glass® can be used to secure any building. Virtually invisible yet nearly indestructible, it blends seamlessly in almost any existing window, door, or

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Protecting Schools from Active Threats

Written By: Brad CampbellJanuary 26, 2024

The number of active threat incidents in schools has, sadly, been steadily rising over the last few years, with the number of incidents in 2022 representing a 163% increase since 2020, and a shocking 1,900% increase since 2010.

Many of these active threat scenarios result from disputes that escalate, while others are high-profile, seemingly random acts of violence, such as the tragic Uvalde incident.

Because of the unpredictable nature of active threats in schools, it’s vital for school and district administrations to take action to proactively mitigate such threats.

While it’s true that more schools are holding active threat drills and creating emergency plans that cover active threat scenarios, the one big question remains: how do you actually keep active threats out of schools? 

The answer is this: harden your school — more specifically implement physical access denial barriers — to keep those looking to do harm out and protect the lives of those inside. 

What Is Hardening To Keep Active Threats Out of Schools? 

Hardening is a term, often used by security professionals, military personnel, and police officers, that refers to the process of strengthening a facility’s physical security measures in order to protect occupants in the event of an attack. 

The reality is that virtually every type of commercial facility, from the smallest school to the largest office building, has unprotected entry points (i.e., doors and windows) that intruders can potentially use to their advantage. 

The process behind hardening a school to protect against active threats involves identifying and addressing these vulnerabilities and implementing physical access denial solutions, so that no potential entry point is left undefended. 

How Do Active Threats Get into Schools?

The most vulnerable points of entry on any building are windows and doors with unprotected glass that can be easily broken, allowing an intruder to reach through and open a door from the inside or simply step right in. 

Schools are typically full of windows and doors with large panes of glass, as these provide a lot of benefits when it comes to creating a conducive learning environment. These benefits include transmission of natural light, views of the outdoors, and the ability to observe classrooms and other spaces.


However, the prevalence of glass doors and windows in schools also means that they are disproportionately vulnerable to forced entry, making it relatively easy for active threats to gain access to most educational facilities and cause harm to those inside.

This is where access denial barriers, or forced entry-resistant commercial door and window solutions, specifically Riot Glass®, come in — they keep the bad guys out, without blocking out natural light, reducing visibility, or hurting the appearance of schools.

Using Riot Glass To Protect Schools from Active Threats

After years of frustration with the security glass and framing options on the market, especially when it came to protecting schools against active threats, the diverse suite of Riot Glass security glazing solutions for active threat protection was born. 

Riot Glass is security glazing that has been designed specifically to provide protection from active threats and forced entry. It uses 100% unique formulations of security glass, polycarbonates, acrylics, and other plastics that make it stronger and more durable than other comparable security glazing solutions on the market. 

Besides its virtually unbreakable strength, one of the biggest benefits of Riot Glass is that, once installed, it is nearly indistinguishable from standard, unreinforced glass. This is particularly beneficial for schools, where maintaining an open and inviting learning environment is of the utmost importance.

In short, Riot Glass hardens schools, without making them look fortified.


How Riot Glass Works To Keep Active Threats Out of Schools

Riot Glass security glazing solutions for commercial doors and windows can be implemented in schools in a variety of ways, including retrofitting glazing shields over existing glass, replacing door and window glass with security glass, and installing entire unbreakable door conversion kits.

Regardless of which access denial solutions are implemented, the end-goal/result is always the same — Riot Glass prevents determined would-be intruders from forcing entry through a window or door, keeping them out and providing precious time for those inside to react and for law enforcement to arrive. 

All Riot Glass solutions for commercial doors and windows are certified forced entry-resistant and are capable of resisting even the most prolonged attacks using common burglary tools and readily available objects. 

There are also ballistic-grade Riot Glass solutions, capable of stopping one or more rounds from specific types of firearms commonly used in active threat attacks.

Regardless of whether it’s ballistic-grade or only forced entry-resistant, Riot Glass will maintain its structural integrity even if riddled with bullets, continuing to keep intruders out during violent ballistic attacks.

Why Choose Riot Glass Access Denial Barriers for Active Threat Mitigation in Schools?

When doors and windows are locked, those inside may feel a false sense of security, as attackers can often still find a way in by breaking or shooting out a pane of glass to bypass locks.

Other components of a school security system, such as alarms and cameras, can help deter criminal acts, but they don’t provide physical access denial to actually keep intruders out. 

Implementing Riot Glass access denial barriers in schools provides that missing physical layer of security that’s truly needed to slow and prevent forced entry altogether, buying valuable time for those inside to get to safety and for the authorities to arrive and neutralize the threat.


Considering the fact that most active threat scenarios are typically over within a matter of minutes, keeping active threats out of schools is directly related to saving lives. 

By hardening a school’s windows and doors with access denial solutions, we can protect the physical security of school occupants during those most crucial first few minutes of an attack, preventing active threats from getting into schools in the first place and safeguarding the lives of students and faculty inside.

Riot Glass, LLC has created viable solutions for forced entry and ballistic resistance that won’t break a school’s budget. Since many of these solutions can be retrofitted over existing doors and windows, the installation process is cost-effective and minimally disruptive.


Our products work when it matters most, creating a physical barrier between those that mean to cause harm and those that need protection. Contact us today for a consultation.

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