Some education institutions have replaced key-card entry systems for staff members with a biometric system that uses finger scanning.
The massacre last year of students and teachers inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has prompted school systems throughout the nation to re-assess how effectively the doors in their facilities are able to keep intruders out and protect those inside.
Although upgrading school doors won’t necessarily prevent a determined intruder from getting inside a facility, installing equipment that hinders or delays an intrusion may dissuade someone from carrying out an attack or give emergency responders enough time to disrupt it.
Since the Columbine High School shooting attack in 1999, schools have been more diligent about determining who may enter a facility. The National Center for Education Statistics’ Indicators of School Crime and Safety says that in 2009-10, 91.7 percent of public schools controlled access to their buildings through locked or monitored doors. In 1999-2000, 74.6 percent of schools did so.
In recent years, more focus is being put on providing classroom doors that can be locked from the inside to protect teachers and their students from intruders who may have entered the building and are looking for potential victims.
In California, a law that went into effect in 2011 requires that new K-12 school construction projects that receive state funding “shall include locks that allow doors to classrooms and any room with an occupancy of five or more persons to be locked from the inside.” The law exempts doors to student restrooms and doors that are locked from the outside at all times (examples include storage rooms, janitor’s closets and boiler rooms).
The new requirement for doors does not change the existing provision that classroom doors must be “readily openable from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.”
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook attack, a report from the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research found that many districts in the state have taken actions to improve door security on their campuses, including interior locks on classroom doors. Other measures:
•Installing new mechanisms, such as automatic locks, swipe-card access systems, buzz-in intercoms, panic buttons, surveillance cameras and sally ports (an entry way with multiple sets of doors that creates a locked vestibule).
•Putting alarms on school doors that are not used for entry.
•Installing annunciator panels that provide visual or audible warnings when a exterior door has been left open.
•Replacing a key-card entry system for staff member with a biometric system that uses finger scanning.
•Installing bullet-resistant film on exterior doors.
Less life-threatening than an armed intruder, but more likely to occur at an education facility is vandalism. To deter someone from breaking into a school, exterior doors should have as little exposed hardware as possible, and their hinges should have non-removable pins, according an assessment guide for schools compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.
Exterior doors used only for exiting a building do not need handles or locks protruding on the outside, the guide says, but there should be a way, such as a proximity card, to open the door from the outside in an emergency.
Panic bar latches on exterior doors should have pick plates that prevent intruders from using tools or plastic bars to release the bolt, the guide says.
Kennedy is staff writer for AS&U.
Bullet proof glass looks quite similar to any ordinary glass. What makes it different is its ability to stop one or more bullets, depending on the firearm used, from penetrating it. Manufacturers create the glasses in various strengths and thicknesses to protect against physical attacks. The strength of each glass depends on how much polycarbonate material is used. The glass is definitely designed with the protection and safety of customers in mind. When it comes to protection from dangerous weapons and unlawful intruders, having windows and doors with bullet proof capacity is the best solution.
Glasses that are fabricated to withstand bullet impact, forced entry, bomb blasts, attempted assault, and the like can protect anyone within its enclosure. Whatever wicked intentions are aimed at a person, a facility, or a building, the glass can stand as a barrier against the attack to ensure a high degree of security.
When it comes to the first line of defense against bullets, detonations, and other unwanted attacks, fabricated security glasses take on the job effectively. They can be used in residential buildings, airports, banks, and other areas where optimum security is required. The effects of outside threat can be prevented or completely stopped with the installation of secure glasses.
Bullet proof glass absorbs the impact of any high impact object, which makes it more secure than regular glass. Keep in mind that when regular glass shatters, it spreads tiny dangerous bits of shards all over the place. When the force of the impact is absorbed, it prevents the creation of small fragmentations that may injure people within a set radius.
Bullet proof glass is not only used to protect people from physical attacks, but also to prevent criminals from escaping detention.
Bullet proof glass can be used in many applications including government buildings, airports, commercial centers, industrial facilities, residences, and other areas that are prone target areas for attacks. There are various types of glasses to choose from offering different features. They can be customized and enhanced to provide better protection. Some glasses are further enhanced and fabricated to withstand blasts and forced entry attempts. The type of glass to use will depend on the level of security required in the area where it will be installed.
Bullet proof glass is not only used to protect people from physical attacks, but also to prevent criminals from escaping detention. When it comes to securing a perimeter and preventing attempts of escape, security glasses are the best option. With the ability to withstand strong and prolonged impact, the glass can repel any attempts for criminals to break out of their detention areas. Both glass and polycarbonate material work hand in hand to provide a strong and secure barrier against intrusion and extrusion.
As written in A-Read: http://www.a-read.com/
Bullet resistant glass is a glass typically made of a strong, transparent material that gives it the ability to withstand being struck by bullets. Naturally, it is not totally impenetrable. However, instead of shattering it can flex. Bullet resistant glass has many different names. One might call it bulletproof glass, transparent armor, or ballistic glass. What is bullet resistant glass used for? Well, it has more uses than one would imagine. These days, advanced means of protection as well as civil and military means of defense are becoming increasingly important for our safety. For example, several uses of bullet resistant glass include: glass panes for shopping centers, stores, banks, schools, residential buildings, embassies, etc.; as well as for armored vehicles, military and civilian alike.
Bullet Resistant Glass: How Is It Made?
Plastic itself is not bullet resistant, but when put in between layers of glass, it deforms and absorbs the bullet’s energy and thus helps in preventing it from penetrating the glass – stooping it before it goes out the other side.
In order to withstand the massive force bullets can confer on it, bullet resistant glass has gone through an evolution of different materials and methods for the purpose of perfecting it. It is most commonly made of laminated glass arranged in layers, thermoplastic and polycarbonate. The polycarbonate or plastic are layered between sheets of standard glass; this process is called lamination.
The challenge in constructing bullet resistant glass is to make it as transparent and clear as regular glass while stilllensuring that its protective qualities are effective. Bullet resistant glass made with polycarbonate usually incorporates types of polycarbonate sheets such as Lexon, Tuffak, Makroclear, etc. between layers of standard glass. However, the glass itself also undergoes processes to make it stronger, namely, tempering. In tempering, the glass undergoes chemical processes or is treated with cooling and heating that strengthen it.
Plastic also serves as a key material in bullet resistant glass. Plastic itself is not bullet resistant, but when put in between layers of glass, it deforms and absorbs the bullet’s energy and thus helps in preventing it from penetrating the glass – stooping it before it goes out the other side. Other materials used in the making of bullet resistant glass are ethylene vinyl acetate, polyvinyl butyral and polyurethane. Bullet resistant glass made with these materials is usually used in military vehicles and tends to be very thick and heavy.
The Properties of Bullet Resistant Glass
In terms of thickness, bullet proof glass is usually 70 to75 millimetersthick. The thicker it is, the more resistant it is considered to be. Glasses of different thicknesses are needed to withstand penetration from different types of bullets. For example, a handgun bullet wouldn’t strike with the same force as a rifle bullet; therefore, a glass that is meant to withstand rifle bullets should be thicker.
Bullet resistant glass can be affected by environmental factors such as UV radiation from the sun, temperature and exposure to certain solvents. For example, below zero temperatures can sometimes cause the creation of spall – small pieces that break off the polycarbonate. Polycarbonate can be affected by UV radiation as well – however, as long as it is under a layer of glass, it will be protected and not suffer consequences from exposure.
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Police laud bulletproof glass laminate for school safety