Security glazing provides reassurance of greater safety and security to a building’s occupants. Different types of security glazing products provide protection against various security threats, such as forced entry/burglary, barrier/forced exit, bullet, blast, and fire.
These innovative glass products are used across a wide array of applications, including schools, prisons, detention and correctional facilities, government buildings, courthouses, and any other buildings that require enhanced security.
Why Design for Security Protection?
As burglary, forced entry, bomb blasts, and ballistic attacks are becoming increasingly frequent, it is more necessary than ever to design buildings that provide superior protection against these types of deliberate attacks.
With flying glass shards accounting for over half of all injuries from terrorist targeted public building bombings, and flying or falling glass being the number one cause of non-fatal injuries, security glazing is essential to reducing the risk of accident and injury.
Benefits of Using Security Glazing
In addition to offering substantial safety benefits, security glazing products provide numerous additional advantages.
- Safety – Resists penetration and will not shatter into dangerous fragments.
- Sound – Reduces unwanted sound and noise by dampening sound coming in from the outside. Perceived noise can be reduced by up to 50%.
- Solar – Screens out 99% of harmful and damaging UV rays and reduces the amount of solar heat gain in a building, making the environment more comfortable and healthy for occupants. Also serves to protect delicate plants, fabrics, carpets, and furniture from fading.
- Aesthetic – Thousands of design possibilities are available and products are suitable for both interiors and exteriors.
From a glazing standpoint, architects and building administrators may want to consider the following aspects when designing new or retrofit glazing systems:
- Glass should provide inherent health, safety, and security benefits that can help mitigate disasters and injury.
- Natural daylight is essential for psychological benefits of building occupants. Security glazing material should not negatively impact the amount of natural light that is able to come into a building.
- Glass should provide visibility for critical passageways and entry areas.
- Buildings need to be designed for sustained functionality so that basic operations can continue following a natural or manmade disaster.
The following threat levels also need to be taken into account:
- Entry doors have been the most vulnerable in many buildings, particularly where school shootings have occurred. The “break and reach” ability of the intruder (when the intruder penetrates the side of the door and then reaches through to open it) needs to be delayed or, ideally, stopped altogether. High performance glass will provide resistance, while still allowing much needed visibility.
- Access doors with a double entry lobby to the building should be equipped with security glazing that has forced entry/burglary resistance capability.
- At a minimum, a building’s first floor glass should be equipped with security glazing in order to deter access, slow any attempt at “break and reach”, and retain glass.