Written By: Brad Campbell | December 1, 2023
Retrofit security window solutions can be used to protect what’s most important to you — people and property — from threats including forced entry, burglary, rioting and looting, and even active threats.
By using the right retrofit security window technology, you can reinforce existing windows and doors to create physical access denial barriers and keep would-be intruders on the other side.
If you’re the owner of a high-end retail business or any other type of commercial building, consider retrofitting your property with security glazing to protect your valuable property and building occupants from theft and physical harm.
“Security window” is a broad term that can be used to refer to a number of different security glazing (glass) products that are impact resistant and designed to withstand forced entry attempts and other threats.
This type of security window glazing can be retrofitted right on top of your existing storefront glass, office windows, or other commercial glass surfaces, creating a virtually unbreakable barrier on top of the glass that can resist prolonged, violent forced entry attempts.
Even during an active threat scenario, in which an attacker may attempt to shoot out a window to open a door from the inside, forced entry-resistant glazing can get riddled with bullets without breaking apart or noticeably diminishing in strength — the attacker won’t be able to pass any part of their body through.
These access denial barriers provide invaluable time for building occupants to react by running, hiding, and barricading themselves behind a secure door until the authorities arrive and neutralize the threat.
For an even higher level of active threat protection, there is ballistic-grade (bullet-resistant) security glazing available, which can stop several shots from specific types of firearms commonly used in attacks.
Unlike more traditional methods of securing glass doors and windows against forced entry and active threats, such as permanent window bars, retrofit security glazing doesn’t significantly alter the appearance or functionality of commercial windows.
This glazing looks and feels very much like traditional storefront glass, allowing high transmission of natural light, maintaining full visibility, and retaining curb appeal.
Since retrofit security windows don’t require expensive removal and replacement of the existing glass or framing systems, they are also a very cost-effective solution for businesses and commercial facilities looking to upgrade window security without breaking the bank.
Once you’ve decided to undertake a security window retrofit, there are three main phases that you must pass through to achieve maximum window security:
A threat assessment is a professional evaluation of your property’s security. Threat assessments are carried out to help you determine the right security solutions, including what types of security window systems to install.
Security professionals who conduct threat assessments not only look at the physical security of your building to identify vulnerabilities, they also talk to you to discuss your unique security concerns and determine all the perceived threats you need to protect against.
For example, retail threat assessments generally tend to focus more on protecting property against burglary, smash-and-grab-theft, and rioting and looting, whereas school threat assessments generally focus more on active threat protection.
Regardless of what type of building you conduct a threat assessment for, you will receive actionable recommendations about what security measures to put in place to protect against all perceived threats at the desired levels.
Key things threat assessments accomplish:
After you’ve conducted a threat assessment to evaluate any and all security risks, you must make a final decision about what materials and technology to use to upgrade your building’s security.
Recommendations from the threat assessment should be taken into careful consideration in order to do so, but there are other factors to consider as well. For example, budget plays a big role in most security-related decisions.
Ideally, you should install all the upgrades recommended by a security expert. But, if your budget doesn’t allow for it, you may need to compromise in some areas to find the most cost-effective solution for you and your property.
You can work closely with a security glass contractor, such as our experts at Riot Glass, LLC, to discuss this and make a final decision about your security window and door upgrades.
You might find, for example, that using a mix of different types of security glazing provides the most cost-effective solution balanced with a high level of physical security.
With a final decision made about what materials and access denial technology to use for your building’s windows and doors, it’s time to actually install the retrofit system.
A retrofit security window solution means that you do not need to remove any of the existing glass or framing to install the new glazing.
Instead, the security glazing is mounted into or onto the existing window and door frames using specialized retrofittable framing adapters that hold the new retrofit glazing securely in place, preventing the existing glass behind from breaking due to impacts.
Once the new glazing is in place, there is nothing further you need to do. Your doors and windows are now protected 24/7 against forced entry and other threats!
Benefits of security glass retrofits:
Any type of facility where you want to prevent break-ins and burglary or keep out active threats is an ideal candidate for a security glazing retrofit.
For example, if you own a luxury retail store, you probably want to retain the appearance of your storefront windows, but fortify them against various forms of retail theft as part of an innovative loss prevention strategy.
In this case, your property would benefit greatly from installing forced-entry resistant security glass or another glass-like security glazing material over the existing glass entryway doors and storefront windows to protect against forced entry.
Some types of facilities may not be as likely to be a target of burglary and smash-and-grab theft as luxury retail stores, but they have to worry more about other concerns, such as active threats looking to do harm to those inside.
These types of facilities include schools and universities, religious centers, and government buildings, to name a few. For these types of properties, a ballistic window retrofit would be ideal.
Ballistic-grade windows still protect against all types of forced entry, but also provide additional bullet-resistant window protection to mitigate the risks of injury to people inside during an active threat scenario.
In short, any building with security concerns — which includes almost all commercial properties — can benefit from some type of security window retrofit for its vulnerable windows and doors.
Security glazing retrofits are ideal for:
Many people don’t think about how vulnerable their property’s windows and doors are until it’s too late, and something happens to make them realize it.
The reality is that there are many security threats all around us, every day, and many of these threats can be mitigated by reinforcing your property’s windows and doors with the proper security glazing.
A containment-grade security glass retrofit can mean the difference between a little bit of superficial damage to your storefront and a financially devastating loss of merchandise.
Or, bullet-resistant security windows can prevent a tragic loss of life on a school campus during an active threat scenario.
Whatever your security concerns are, count on Riot Glass to help. Contact us today to schedule a threat assessment and discuss the retrofit security window solutions we have available for you.
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