With the spread of violent crime, we are receiving more inquiries from glass companies all over the country requesting price quotes. I frequently encounter stumbling blocks when an architect or specifier has not defined the needed level of protection. The usual response is to "go with the cheapest."
More times than not, going with the cheapest material is not the best solution in the long run. Labor almost always costs more than the usual bullet-resistant materials used today. We have focused on this issue and created a window system that cuts fabrication and installation time in half. This affords us the opportunity to give the customer more product, which sometimes equates to a higher level of protection.
Again I want to emphasize that you can not just put bullet-resistant glass in a non-bullet-resistant frame. A non-bullet-resistant flush glaze system will not even meet the Level 1 standard. Stuffing material in frames and assuming that will make it bullet-resistant is a misconception that opens up a liability nightmare.
Glass shops are starting to see the liabilities involved. They are discovering that if the customer is going to pay for bullet-resistant glass, they will also pay for a bullet-resistant frame, which is not as cost prohibitive as they thought.
Remember the intent of bullet-resistant systems is to deter crime; we cant stop crime. The fail safe is that the systems work even if deterrence fails. Informing my customers of their choices helps me educate them on the different levels of protection. Questions also educate them on areas of concern that are known to be points of weakness in an enclosure. If these questions are not addressed the systems will fail if challenged.
Leonard J. Simonetti
Action Bullet Resistant
West Islip, NY
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