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The Important Role Security Window Glazing Plays in Commercial Building Security

Written By: Brad CampbellJuly 10, 2024

When it comes to improving commercial building security, windows are often overlooked as potential vulnerabilities. However, this is a huge mistake, since windows are a prime target for intruders looking to gain unauthorized access to a building. 

Access control, surveillance cameras, and alarm systems are all important components of any comprehensive commercial security system, but they’re only as effective as the building’s weakest potential entry points (which are almost always its windows). 

Thus, the importance of window glazing in commercial building security cannot be overstated. 

Reinforced window glazing, particularly retrofit security glazing such as Riot Glass or ArmorPlast, plays a crucial role in fortifying a building's defenses without negating the many benefits of its windows, such as providing natural light and views of the outdoors. 

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What Exactly Is Window Glazing?

Window glazing refers to any transparent material that is installed into window framing systems, creating a see-through barrier to the elements. 

Commercial window glazing is most commonly glass, such as traditional annealed glass or tempered safety glass, but commercial glazing can also be composed of non-glass materials, like polycarbonate, acrylics, and other plastics.

In fact, non-glass glazing, or hybrid glazing made from both glass and non-glass materials, tends to provide the highest levels of protection against forced entry and other security threats.

What About Security Window Glazing?

While standard annealed glass, and even strengthened tempered glass, is fragile and easily broken, security glazing is designed to withstand impacts and mitigate a wide range of threats, including:

  • Forced entry
  • Burglary
  • Smash-and-grab theft
  • Rioting and looting
  • Vandalism
  • Active threats
  • Storm damage
  • Blast damage
  • Accidental breakage

By installing security glazing, businesses and facilities can significantly reduce the risk of break-ins, property damage, and theft. 

This added layer of security can provide business and property owners with much-needed peace of mind, knowing that their property and assets are well-protected around the clock.

Meet Riot Glass and ArmorPlast Window Glazing

Riot Glass and ArmorPlast are two lines of commercial security glazing solutions that offer extremely high levels of protection against forced entry, ballistic threats, severe weather conditions, and more.

These security window glazing solutions are engineered to resist all forms of impact, making it difficult for intruders to gain entry through windows and protecting against other threats.

The specific formulations of security laminates, polycarbonates, and acrylics used to make different Riot Glass and ArmorPlast products ensure that they outperform and outlast comparable security glazing solutions on the market.

Benefits of Glazing Windows with Riot Glass or ArmorPlast

Protecting Businesses Against Forced Entry

As we touched on already, windows are often the weakest point in a commercial building's security system, making them a common target for would-be intruders. However, security glazing can effectively deter and deny forced entry attempts. 

Riot Glass and ArmorPlast are specifically designed to withstand repeated blows from blunt objects, such as hammers or crowbars, making it extremely difficult for intruders to break through. 

This added protection can go a long way towards preventing unauthorized access to a building and safeguarding valuable assets, both from after-hours burglary and brazen daytime smash-and-grabs.

Mitigating Active Threats

Riot Glass and ArmorPlast don’t just protect businesses against forced entry and theft — they also protect building occupants from harm in the unfortunate event of an active threat scenario.

Certain Riot Glass and ArmorPlast glazing solutions are ballistic grade, meaning they are capable of stopping a certain number of bullets from specific types of firearms. 

However, even non-ballistic, or ballistic-grade solutions that have been penetrated by bullets, remain a barrier to forced entry during active threat attacks, meaning they continue to provide access denial and keep the bad guys outside where they can do less harm.

This access denial creates an invaluable delay, giving building occupants time to react by running, hiding, and barricading themselves inside somewhere safe while waiting for the authorities to arrive and neutralize the threat.

Improving Safety

In addition to enhancing security, security glazing also improves human safety in commercial buildings. It provides many of the benefits of tempered glass, with none of the drawbacks.

Riot Glass and ArmorPlast don’t shatter upon impact, so in the event of an accident or natural disaster, these security glazing solutions can help prevent injuries by containing broken glass shards and stopping them from flying dangerously inwards. 

This added safety feature is especially beneficial in high-traffic areas or buildings frequented by the public, as well as in buildings located in storm-prone areas where flying storm debris can become a concern.

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Maintaining Aesthetics

While security is a top concern for many commercial facilities, aesthetics are still an important consideration for businesses and public buildings, which is why so many commercial properties leave their windows unprotected.

Riot Glass and ArmorPlast are designed to be retrofit solutions, meaning they can be installed into or onto most existing window framing systems using unique retrofittable framing adapters that only minimally change the outward appearance of the building’s windows. 

These adapters are sleek, modern, and low profile, and are available in a variety of styles and finishes to complement the overall aesthetics of any commercial building.

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Wrapping Up

The role of window glazing, particularly security glazing like Riot Glass or ArmorPlast, in commercial building security is indispensable. 

Such glazing fortifies a building's defenses against forced entry, active threats, and other impact-related risks, improving the safety of building occupants and protecting valuable assets. 

By investing in security glazing, property owners and managers can ensure the maximum security of their building envelope, while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of their property. 

Riot Glass and ArmorPlast provide a cost-effective and reliable retrofit solution for improving commercial building security. 

Consider upgrading your windows with retrofit security glazing to enhance the safety and security of your commercial property — contact Riot Glass, LLC today for a free consultation!

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Looking for residential protection? At Riot Glass, we specialize in protecting your property with our patented bullet-resistant system, designed specifically for aluminium framed windows. Not sure if Riot Glass is right for your home? Explore our FAQs.
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