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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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Can Security Glazing Mitigate Workplace Violence?

Written By: Brad CampbellMay 23, 2024

It’s an unfortunate reality that active threat scenarios can take place anywhere, from schools and supermarkets to offices and other places of employment.

Yet, according to some estimates, around 50% of US employers are not sufficiently prepared for an incident of workplace violence on their properties.

While the issue of workplace violence is complicated, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to prevent it, there are certain steps employers can take to improve the physical safety of their employees and protect them from harm during an active threat scenario.

One such step is installing forced entry- and/or bullet-resistant security glazing on a commercial building’s vulnerable doors and windows. 

How Security Glazing Can Protect Against Workplace Violence

Certain types of forced entry-resistant and ballistic-grade security glazing, such as Riot Glass and ArmorPlast, provide physical protection against a specific type of workplace violence: active threats.

Active threat scenarios in places of employment typically involve a disgruntled or disturbed employee, either past or present, entering the commercial facility with the specific intent of harming building occupants within.

In some cases, active threats may be prefaced with verbal threats, aggression, or erratic behavior, while other times they may be completely unforeseeable. That’s why having some sort of physical protection in place for employees is of the utmost importance, which is where security glazing comes in.

Security glazing designed for active threat protection can be retrofitted over a commercial building’s existing glass doors and windows, creating a robust barrier against forced entry attempts, ballistic attacks, or both.

Depending on the specific composition and thickness of the security glazing, it may be able to stop several bullets from certain types of firearms, but it’s important to note that even bullet-resistant glazing can eventually be penetrated.

The true strength of security glazing for active threat protection lies in its ability to provide access denial — it keeps the bad guys out.

security glazing 1

The Importance of Access Denial for Workplace Violence Prevention

Whether it’s in a school or a place of business, the typical procedure for reacting to an active threat is to lock the premises down. This involves closing and locking doors, lowering blinds or closing curtains, and taking other steps to make it harder for an armed attacker to gain entry and see inside.

However, many commercial facilities, especially offices and businesses, have lots of large glass windows and doors that are made from either tempered safety glass or traditional annealed glass. 

Windows and doors made from these materials are extremely vulnerable to forced entry.

In the unfortunate event of an active threat incident at a place of employment, their vulnerability means that locking doors and windows doesn’t do all that much to prevent an intruder from getting inside. 

All it usually takes to compromise an unprotected window or door is a few blows from a hammer or another heavy object, or a few shots from a firearm. 

The attacker can then reach through a broken pane of glass to open a door from the inside, or simply step right through the broken glass. Once they’re inside, all it takes is a few seconds for an active threat scenario to go from scary to tragic.

With virtually unbreakable security glazing for access denial, would-be intruders can repeatedly hammer or even riddle a commercial door or window with bullets, but they won’t be able to get through and gain access to areas where they can cause more harm. 

The added layer of protection and delay to forced entry that this type of security glazing provides is invaluable to mitigating the risks of workplace violence. It gives those inside a workplace time to react by running, hiding, barricading themselves inside somewhere safe, and waiting for the authorities to arrive and neutralize the threat.

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Where Can Riot Glass and ArmorPlast Be Installed To Protect Against Workplace Violence?

In order to protect against forced entry, Riot Glass and/or ArmorPlast should always be installed on a building’s most vulnerable exterior doors and windows. Depending on the type of facility, this might include its glass entryway doors, storefront windows, office windows, and other glass surfaces.

Retrofitting vulnerable exterior commercial doors and windows with Riot Glass and ArmorPlast will ensure a first line of defense against active threats, but it’s a good idea to take access denial a step further to mitigate risks of violence inside a workplace.

For example, you can use ballistic-grade or forced entry-resistant security glazing for glass walls and partitions in entryway rooms, like lobbies and reception areas, protecting the employees behind them and making it harder for intruders to gain access to other areas within the building.

Access denial glazing can also be retrofitted onto specific rooms, such as conference rooms, offices, and other areas, making them more secure in the event of a lockdown.

security glazing 3

Start with a Threat Assessment for Workplace Violence

Ultimately, every workplace is unique, so we recommend conducting a professional threat assessment to determine the best way to secure your place of employment against active threats.

During the threat assessment, a security expert will discuss your security concerns to determine the perceived and actual threat levels of workplace violence in your facility. They will then carry out a thorough walkthrough and inspection of your facility to evaluate its existing security measures and identify vulnerabilities.

Finally, the threat assessment will provide you with actionable recommendations for how to upgrade your commercial building’s security to protect employees and visitors against active threats and other threats, such as burglary.

These recommendations will cover where to install access denial barriers, as well as any other security measures that make sense, like access control systems or security cameras.

If you would like to get a threat assessment or discuss security glazing options for your business or commercial facility, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.

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