Commercial glazing is vital in modern architecture, providing aesthetic appeal, energy efficiency, and natural light to building interiors. However, paying attention to the security aspects of commercial glazing is essential. Ensuring the safety and security of a building’s occupants and assets is paramount, and glazing systems can play a significant role in achieving this goal. This article will discuss the various glazing security options for protecting your building’s best friends forever (BFFs) – their occupants and assets.
Laminated Safety Glass
Laminated safety glass is a popular choice for enhancing the security of commercial glazing systems. This type of glass comprises two or more layers bonded with a tough, flexible interlayer, typically made from polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Laminated safety glass offers several security benefits:
- Impact Resistance: The interlayer in laminated glass absorbs impact energy, making it more difficult to break through than traditional monolithic glass. This increased resistance can deter intruders and minimise the risk of accidental injury.
- Glass Retention: If laminated glass breaks, the interlayer helps to hold the broken glass fragments in place, preventing them from falling and causing injury or damage.
- Enhanced Noise Reduction: The interlayer in laminated glass also helps to reduce noise transmission, contributing to a quieter and more comfortable indoor environment.
Tempered glass is another popular option for improving the security of commercial glazing systems. This type of glass is heat-treated to increase its strength and resistance to breakage. Some benefits of using tempered glass in commercial glazing include the following:
- Greater Impact Resistance: Tempered glass is typically four to five times stronger than standard annealed glass, making it more resistant to impacts and less likely to break.
- Safety Breakage Pattern: If tempered glass does break, it shatters into small, relatively harmless granules, reducing the risk of injury.
- Improved Thermal Resistance: The heat-treatment process used to create tempered glass also enhances its resistance to thermal stress, making it suitable for applications where temperature fluctuations are a concern.
Security Films and Coatings
Security films and coatings can be applied to existing glass surfaces to enhance their security performance. These films typically consist of multiple layers of tough, tear-resistant polyester bonded together with strong adhesives. Security films and coatings can offer several advantages:
- Enhanced Impact Resistance: Security films can make it more difficult for intruders to break through the glass, providing additional protection against break-ins and vandalism.
- Glass Fragment Retention: In the event of glass breakage, security films can help to hold the broken fragments in place, reducing the risk of injury or damage.
- Solar Control and Privacy: Some security films and coatings also offer solar control and privacy benefits, reducing glare, heat gain, and visibility into the building.
Intrusion Detection Systems
In addition to strengthening the glass, commercial glazing systems can be integrated with intrusion detection technologies to enhance security. Examples of intrusion detection systems that can be used in conjunction with commercial glazing include:
- Glass Break Sensors: These sensors detect the specific frequency of breaking glass, triggering an alarm if a break-in attempt occurs. It can provide an early warning of potential intrusion and help to deter would-be intruders.
- Vibration Sensors: Vibration sensors can be mounted on the glazing frame to detect attempts to force open or break the glass. These sensors can provide additional protection against intrusion, complementing physical security measures.
- Video Surveillance: Installing video surveillance cameras around your building’s glazed areas can help to monitor and record any suspicious activity. It can serve as a deterrent to potential intruders and provide valuable evidence in a security breach.
Security Glazing Design Considerations
When designing a commercial glazing system with security in mind, there are several factors to consider:
- Frame and Hardware: The strength and durability of the glazing frame and hardware play a significant role in overall security. Ensure that frames and hardware are designed and installed to withstand forced entry attempts and resist corrosion.
- Glazing Configuration: The configuration of the glazing system can also impact security. For example, using smaller panes of glass can make it more difficult for intruders to gain access, while incorporating laminated or tempered glass can provide added resistance to breakage.
- Access Control: Integrating access control measures, such as electronic locks and key card systems, can help to restrict unauthorised entry through glazed entrances and exits.
Fort Knox-ing your glass with robust glazing security measures can provide invaluable protection for your building’s BFFs – its occupants and assets. You can create a comprehensive security strategy that safeguards your building from potential threats by considering the various options, including laminated and tempered glass, security films and coatings, and intrusion detection systems. In doing so, you can ensure that your commercial glazing system enhances the aesthetic and energy efficiency and provides peace of mind by knowing your building is secure and protected.