Written By: Brad Campbell | June 7, 2023
Retrofitting security glass over glass doors and windows is the best way to protect retail storefronts against a full range of security threats, including forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, vandalism, storm damage, and even active threats.
Retrofit security glazing solutions also offer a more affordable alternative to replacing doors and windows completely, since they can use the existing framing systems and sometimes allow the existing glass to remain in place, as well.
This allows businesses to more effectively protect themselves using their available security budgets.
In broad terms, retrofitting is when you install additional parts or equipment on something that’s already been manufactured.
In security glass terms, retrofitting security glass (or glass-like glazing) means to install it into an existing window or door framing system.
Depending on the type of security glazing and its intended use, it may be possible to fix it on top of (over-glaze), behind (back-glaze), or in place of the existing window or door glass.
When it comes to Riot Glass®, retrofitting security glass into retail storefront doors is possible using special framing adapters that are fixed securely to the doors’ existing framing systems.
If you select a type of security glazing that can be over-glazed, retrofitting it in front of the existing door glass creates a virtually unbreakable barrier over the glass, preventing forced entry and protecting it from all other types of impacts.
All-glass doors are traditionally harder to retrofit security glazing into because they have very minimal framing systems.
However, with Riot Glass® AG Series all-glass doors, it’s possible to cost-effectively retrofit forced entry-resistant and ballistic-grade security glazing into all-glass storefront doors.
AG Series doors come with the full glass door assembly, including top and bottom rails, framing, heavy-duty hinges, closers, and mounting hardware.
As for the all-glass doors’ security glazing itself, there are various options available, including bullet-resistant glass-clad polycarbonate (GCP) glazing and containment-grade (non-ballistic, forced entry-resistant) all-polycarbonate security glazing.
AG Series doors are also available with a full range of finish options for the rails, framing, hardware, and glazing, so they can be custom-made to match (or improve) the architectural style of almost any commercial glass storefront.
In general, you should begin any security glass retrofit project with a threat assessment — a professional assessment of your property’s vulnerabilities by a security expert.
A professional threat assessment will provide you with specific, actionable recommendations for how to harden your property’s security, including recommendations about what types of security glazing to use and where to use them.
Even if you have a good idea of where you want to retrofit security glass, such as into your retail storefront doors, it’s a good idea to get a threat assessment done to highlight any vulnerabilities or considerations you may not have thought of.
If you had a threat assessment done, you should have a concrete idea of what type of security glazing to use for your retail store’s glass doors.
For the majority of retailers, forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, and rioting and looting are the biggest concerns.
For retail forced entry prevention, containment-grade ArmorPlast® AP25 security glazing is often enough, as it’s virtually unbreakable, yet more affordable than ballistic-grade security glazing.
However, certain types of high-risk retail businesses, including cannabis dispensaries and 24-hour convenience stores, may benefit from retrofitting bullet-resistant glass into doors and windows for additional protection against armed robbery and violent attacks.
The next step towards successfully retrofitting security glass into your glass doors is to measure your existing doors, from side-to-side and top-to-bottom.
If your commercial doors are standard sizes, the security glazing you need should be readily available. But, if your doors are a unique size, you will need to get custom-sized security glazing to fit them properly.
If you have any doubts about measuring and sizing, it’s best to get a glass contractor to take door measurements for you.
After you know how big your doors are, it’s time to order the retrofit security glazing from the manufacturer.
If you choose to work with Riot Glass, LLC for your storefront security glazing retrofit project, we offer a soup-to-nuts service that includes everything from custom door glass manufacturing, to delivery, to installation (in certain areas).
If you’re located outside our direct service area, we have a network of dealer-partners located throughout the country, or we can work with your local glass contractor to get any Riot Glass® retrofit solution delivered.
It’s very important to hire a professional to retrofit security glass into your retail doors to ensure that the installation is done correctly and to ensure that the security glass meets safety and security standards.
Again, Riot Glass, LLC can provide security glazing retrofit installation service anywhere in the country, either directly or indirectly through our dealer-partner network or by working with a local glass contractor.
Contact us today for a free consultation.