GANA Protective Glazing Committee Looks at Glass and School Safety

Thomas Zaremba

Thomas Zaremba, who serves as a Glazing Industry Code Committee consultant to GANA, spoke to attendees yesterday about glazing in schools and areas of awareness for the glass industry.

Guidelines for security glazing in schools is a topic on the minds of many these days, and members of the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) protective glazing committee are no exception. Thomas Zaremba, who serves as a Glazing Industry Code Committee consultant to GANA, spoke to attendees yesterday about glazing in schools and areas of awareness for the glass industry.

As a result of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., many school systems around the country are exploring new ways to increase security. Zaremba provided a collection of news articles that looked at some of these possibilities to show “what’s going on in the media related to this horrific tragedy.” Some schools are considering bullet-resistant glass; another is considering removing glass all together; others are considering arming teachers with firearms. As Zaremba explained, schools across the country are looking at various possibilities.

“The number of industries that are attempting to develop responses to this tragedy is growing every day,” he said. “The common thread is … the hardening the exterior envelope, particularly the glass.” He added, though, that even with a stronger envelope, it will also be important to factor in capabilities and mechanisms that can improve how quickly and efficiently law enforcement officers, for example, can respond and arrive to the scene.

Zaremba added a standard that would put all of this together as a requirement that relates to a sensible system for new schools and perhaps for retrofitting will likely be necessary.

“As far as I know, no standard-making groups have assembled to address this, but it does appear glass will have a predominate role in whatever new requirements emerge,” Zaremba said.

Valerie Block of Dupont, who chairs the protective glazing committee, noted that there is an opportunity for the group to address protective glazing and potential solutions, as there are several different protective glazing strategies. A task group was formed to further explore this area and put together a strategy for the committee to move forward on this.

Block noted that the industry can help lead the way on glass solutions to create safer schools.

“We’re committed to providing a clear direction that can help deter this type of violence,” said Block.

The GANA Annual Conference runs through Friday. Stay tuned to usglassmag.com for more news and reports from the meetings.

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