As school officials across the country look for ways to improve safety and security in their facilities, glazing manufacturers are offering products that also meet energy efficiency targets.
Since 2013, there have been more than 300 school shootings in the U.S., according to data from Everytown for Gun Safety. In 2018 alone, there has been one school shooting per week on average, as recently reported by CNN. While long-term solutions to prevent attacks may require gun-control legislation, short-term measures are focusing on how to prohibit attackers from gaining entry into schools and other facilities. As a result, entry points—such as glass windows and doors—are being examined.
“In the school market, glass safety and security are important topics for parents, school boards, law enforcement, and all professionals involved in the design/build industry,” says Hernán Gil, vice president of sales for Global Security Glazing.
“While the increased focus on glass is due to tragic circumstances, it’s sparking positive conversation and enabling us to educate decision makers and influencers about the different types of glass, as well as glass’ growing capabilities to resist forced-entry, bullets, and fire, in addition to natural disasters.”
Many older schools across the country were constructed with tempered glass, which shatters into blunt pellets immediately upon impact. Surface-applied
safety films are available for glass that offers varied levels of resistance to forced-entry, but they must be anchored to the window framing and can be broken through with minimal effort. Bullet-resistant glass—while highly effective—is costly and requires window and door framing that can support the glass’ additional weight and thickness.
“When talking about glass during a school attack, delaying the perpetrator’s entry seems to be more important than stopping bullets. There are specialized glass constructions for these scenarios, such as our CHILDGARD security glazing. Most attacks end within a two-to-five-minute timeframe. CHILDGARD glazing was designed and tested to withstand extensive physical attack from various weapons for nearly seven minutes, which can buy valuable time while authorities arrive on the scene.”
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