A particular point of vulnerability for any business is the glass storefront. While big, open windows brighten up your space and invite customers to enter it, those windows can be a problem if there are safety concerns in your location.
There are many glass products on the market. So, which one is the best choice for your location?
If your business is located in an area where gun violence is a problem, you may have considered bullet proof glass. Thieves and looters may shoot through glass doors and windows to gain access to property, and you may not feel your existing storefront glass can repel them.
Also, it seems everybody and their sister has a gun these days. Even if you aren't in an area where crime is an issue, gun owners who open carry can have accidents with their weapons. Their pistols can fall out of holsters, discharging bullets into your space.
Bulletproof glass can be a solution. It's made by laminating many layers of glass and polycarbonate so that it is able to deflect a bullet and not allow it to pierce the window, as shown here.
This is glass that has a layer of wire mesh embedded in it. It was designed as a fire protection barrier since the wire will hold on to any burst glass and keep fire and smoke from entering a room.
But there are new fire resistant glasses available that don't use wire, and they may be a better choice in a fire-prone location. That's because there are some restrictions on the use of wired glass. You may only be able to use a certain amount of the wired glass in your storefront for safety reasons. It can also keep a victim from escaping a fire or other situation, even if they manage to break through the glass.
Wired glass must be installed by a trained expert in wired glass, as there are many safeguards that must be taken when installing this type of material.
Tempered glass vs. laminated glass.
Tempered glass is glass which has been cooled very rapidly. This makes the glass shatter into tiny pieces if hit by an object and pierced. It's used in car windshields and in other applications where jagged glass shards might be harmful to people in close proximity to an accident.
Laminated glass is made of layers of glass sandwiched together. The bulletproof glass discussed above is one type of laminated glass. Laminated glass is far more difficult to to break and often deters criminals. Here is a comparison of the properties of "toughened" glass vs. laminated glass when being struck.
Tempered glass will shatter with enough impact, allowing entry into your business, while laminated glass can withstand far more force before breaking apart.
There are also security films and coatings for glass that can add strength and impact resistance to your existing storefront. Your commercial glass specialists like those from Central Falls Glass Co will show you all of the products available to make your glass storefront more secure. They will help you choose the type of protection that is best for your business location.