Proactive Protection: Glazing Solutions Can Provide Safety and Beauty

With all we have to be grateful for, we can’t ignore the endless stories of innocent people becoming victims of armed robberies, retail stores targeted for smash-and-grab attacks or senseless school shootings that flood our news feeds. Feeling unsafe negatively impacts our quality of life and personal security. How can we be proactive and protect ourselves and our property from these unprovoked acts of aggression?

Protective glazing provides greater safety and security than conventional glass. These specialized glass products and materials can prevent break-ins and property damage due to natural disasters. When our clients voice concerns about this technology, they’re typically about cost, aesthetics and maintenance. Here’s what we tell them.

Cost

The biggest protective glazing hurdle is usually cost. Retrofitting existing windows with protective glazing isn’t cheap. However, a thorough risk assessment may determine that strengthening the glazing now can save them money later.

When a hospital client sustained extensive vandalism, we recommended a retrofit security glazing system. On their main business entrance and up through four stories of the building’s façade, large lites of glass were intentionally shattered when offenders repeatedly and maliciously shot projectiles at them. After incurring the expense of replacing the glass each time, our client sought a more permanent and economical solution. For this client, the cost was a worthwhile investment.

Aesthetics

While some may claim that protective glazing can feel emotionally cold, visually vibrant options are also available. These protective glazing solutions come in various colors and designs to create a workspace that is aesthetically pleasing and safe. Recently, we collaborated with an architect on the new construction of a large school. We developed an approach that provided an elevated level of security while also meeting his request to keep the look of the safety glazing measures invisible.

Maintenance

As with conventional glass, weather and debris can damage glazed surfaces. Regular inspections and proper maintenance can minimize these concerns and prevent future replacement costs. We advise our clients to use window cleaning solutions formulated for use with glazing materials. Some ingredients, including ammonia and rubbing alcohol, may contain chemicals that react negatively with the finish creating micro-scratches or leaving a permanent film or haze. Each glass and glazing application will need a cleaning material and solution based on the finish.

Although protective glazing may come with challenges, we try to convince our clients that the benefits outweigh any drawbacks.

Nataline Lomedico is the president and CEO of Giroux Glass, headquartered in Los Angeles. The company has been in business since 1946.

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