If you’re reading this, you and I probably have a thing or two in common. Namely, we like glass. We like to talk about, look at it and point out cool installations. Before doing anything else, we look at the glass in our hotel rooms to see whose it is. We probably annoy our non-glass friends when we bring up yet another glass story. A lot of us didn’t necessarily grow up thinking we’d be in this industry, but here we are—for better or worse.

Last week I had the chance to catch up with many of my glass friends when I traveled to Tacoma, Wash., for this summer’s Glass Conference organized by the National Glass Association. It was great to talk with so many people, and many of the discussions and presentations focused on some of the most important industry topics, in particular, school safety.

No matter how many times this conversation starts, it doesn’t get easier to hear. I’m tired of it, and I know a lot of others are, too. I talked about this in a blog back in March, and we’ve had multiple USGNN and USGlass articles digging deeper since. I think we all agree that our glazing industry has the products, tools and resources to increase school security—but we need to get them into the schools. How can we make that happen? Getting them into the codes is one way we could work toward that.

Changing the building code was one of the discussion points last week in Tacoma. Industry code consultant Nick Resetar said the industry plans to submit a code change proposal for the next International Building Code cycle; proposals are due in January.

That is a huge step in the direction of school security.

Forced entry will be the main focus area of the proposal. That will include entry into classrooms as well as gaining access through areas of egress, such as entry doors. It’s a matter of buying time, he said, and not creating an impenetrable fortress.

No one has made a move like this into the codes before, so this will take time. It has to be addressed thoroughly, and there is still misinformation in the market about products and the question of increased cost. Because yes, these products do cost more than traditional glazing, and that could be a challenge for some school districts. But as Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association, said, “If the International Code Council or any other group is looking at whether a code change or other action will increase the cost of construction, and they compare that to the value of the life of a child, then it’s a moot issue.”

Read More:

Invisible Shield
Security Glazing in Schools Focus of New Tennessee Law
Missouri Proposes Mandates for Bullet-Resistant Glazing in Schools
Covenant School Shooting Renews Focus on Security Glazing


1 Comment

  1. I agree. Not only schools, but all public buildings should be encouraged (or required) to protect the public from harm. I have a significant amount of respect for the glass industry. When comes to safety, for employees, contractors, transportation providers, installers and final users, the glass industry is an industry leader. Thirty-two years ago, I became involved in the glass business as a transportation provider and immediately became hooked on all the processes involved from sand to the final user. My first thought was safety. Glass is a challenging product to handle. I was very impressed as all the people I worked with from the beginning were first and foremost concerned with safety, for all involved. We always worked together with continuous improvement as a process for the safety of everyone. The glass industry needs to do all they can to take this process to the final user.

    On a side note, I still have this in common with you; I do bore my family and friends talking about glass, all the processes their windows went through as well as their features, thickness and tints. And even today when delivering a package to a friend, they caught me reading the tiny information and logo on their tempered side lites of the front entry to their home. They most likey thought I was window peeping.

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