Written By: Brad Campbell | September 15, 2023
From high-end retail stores and office buildings to government facilities and schools, commercial buildings of all types face a wide range of day-to-day security threats. These include forced entry and burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, and even active threat scenarios.
For decades, commercial architecture has focused around the use of windows and other architectural glass, not only because of the aesthetic appeal it provides, but also because of the natural light and views of the outdoors that benefit building occupants.
With so much vulnerable glass found in commercial architecture, it’s difficult for many types of commercial properties to mitigate all of the security threats that they may possibly encounter.
Fortunately, contemporary security glazing technology, specifically Riot Glass, has made it easier than ever to secure vulnerable windows and doors against impact-related threats.
Riot Glass is a line of security glazing (glass and hybrid glass-like materials) designed to be retrofitted into or onto a commercial building’s existing window and door framing systems, creating a formidable, impact-resistant barrier over the existing glass. Riot Glass can also be used to replace the existing glass when needed or desired.
Riot Glass is available in a variety of thicknesses and compositions, providing forced entry-grade and even ballistic-grade (bullet-resistant) access denial and impact barriers to secure commercial facilities against threats.
One of the primary benefits of Riot Glass security glazing is that it’s designed specifically to prevent forced entry and burglary.
No matter which specific Riot Glass solution we’re talking about, it will repel determined and prolonged forced entry attempts, keeping the bad guys out and forcing them to abandon their attempts or delaying them long enough to get caught in the act.
The same strength that makes Riot Glass such an effective forced entry and burglary prevention solution also makes it ideal for smash-and-grab theft protection in commercial architecture, particularly in luxury retail businesses.
Riot Glass security glazing can be used to reinforce glass storefronts and exterior display windows, as well as implemented in the construction of display cases and interior display windows.
As the name implies, Riot Glass is also engineered to withstand damage and forced entry during instances of civil unrest that turn into violent riots, which criminals often take advantage of to damage property and loot.
Windows and glass entry doors protected by Riot Glass can withstand hurled objects, such as rocks and bricks, as well as repel break-in attempts employing bats, hammers, pry bars, and other heavy hand tools.
Besides the protection against human-related threats, Riot Glass also protects commercial architecture against mother nature and accidental impacts of all types.
For example, Riot Glass is ideal for mitigating storm damage related to flying storm debris hurled by strong winds, even the hurricane-force winds common in Florida and other southeastern states.
Retrofitting Riot Glass over a commercial building’s existing window and door glass is essentially the same as adding a pane of glass, therefore improving the energy efficiency of the existing glass.
For architects working on sustainable commercial building projects, installing full insulated glass units (IGUs) that include security glazing infills is another way to improve building insulation and energy efficiency, while also protecting the property against a full range of threats.
Boarding up windows and doors with plywood is a traditional solution when it comes to protecting businesses and commercial facilities against certain types of security threats, particularly storm damage, vandalism, and rioting and looting.
However, this solution is not always viable, considering the amount of preparation and labor that go into implementing it effectively. Riot Glass is a cost-effective alternative to traditional board ups that provides 24/7 protection against all the threats that board ups mitigate.
Traditional glass protection methods, especially forced entry prevention solutions like bars, grilles, and grates, drastically reduce visibility and natural light transmission through a building’s windows — not to mention they are very unsightly and hurt curb appeal.
Riot Glass solves these problems because it looks and feels just like standard commercial window glass and does not significantly alter the appearance or functionality of windows and doors it’s applied to.
During an active threat scenario, the attacker often gains unauthorized access to a building by breaking an unprotected pane of glass to open a door from the inside or climb in through a window.
Once inside, an attacker can cause serious harm within a matter of seconds, which is why access denial is the best way to mitigate active threats.
All Riot Glass solutions are force entry-resistant, meaning they can keep armed intruders out of buildings long enough for people inside to react by running, hiding, barricading themselves inside somewhere safe, and waiting for the authorities to arrive and neutralize the threat.
Riot Glass is also available with various UL 752 bullet-resistance ratings, which indicate how many bullets it can stop from specific types of firearms commonly used in active threat attacks. While there’s no such thing as 100% bulletproof glass, Riot Glass can stop shots during the initial moments of an attack, potentially saving lives.
Commercial architects are increasingly designing buildings with security glazing in mind, but Riot Glass can also be retrofitted into existing commercial properties to increase their physical security without undergoing a huge renovation.
Whether you’re a business owner looking to harden your storefront security or a commercial building designer interested in ways to incorporate modern security glazing into your projects from the start, contact us today for a free consultation.