Hurricanes, windstorms, rioting and looting, burglary—these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to storefront security threats.
Glass doors and windows help retailers attract customers, but they are also a retail store’s most vulnerable points when it comes to forced entry and storm damage. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you adequately reinforce your storefront glass against impacts of all types.
Issues with Traditional Storefront Glass Protection
Traditional methods of protecting commercial glass against impacts include installing bars and grates, using roll-down shutters or storm panels, or boarding up windows with plywood. These solutions provide varying levels of protection against forced entry and storm damage, but they all have certain disadvantages.
Bars and grates may keep would-be intruders out of your store, but they are unsightly and hurt the curb appeal of your business. They also don’t fully cover the glass, so they don’t completely protect it from breaking because of high-force impacts.
Roll-down shutters and storm panels are a great alternative to board ups when it comes to protecting your business during a hurricane or moments of civil unrest. However, hurricane shutters must be permanently mounted above your window glass and manually lowered into place before a storm, making them an inconvenient and impractical option for some retailers.
Storm panels are basically the commercial version of plywood boards, so if you don’t get enough warning before a storm or a riot, you might not get them put up in time. Not only that, but they don’t provide any protection against unanticipated threats, such as burglary and smash-and-grab theft.
Plywood board ups are the most time-tested method of securing storefronts against vandalism, rioting, looting, and storm damage. But, boarding up a retail store is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process—not to mention you need a lot of space to store all that plywood when it’s not in use.
So, what can retailers use to protect their storefront glass instead of these traditional security solutions?
Unbreakable Storefront Glazing
Fortunately, there is a solution for retailers looking to reinforce their commercial glass against a full range of security threats—polycarbonate glazing shields. These glazing shields don’t actually contain any glass—and that’s precisely what makes them so strong.
Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is virtually unbreakable. Unlike other types of security glass on the market, impacts from bats, bricks, hammers, crowbars, rocks, and flying storm debris won’t even put a crack in a polycarbonate glazing shield.
These protective shields can be retrofitted into or onto almost any existing framing system, without the need to remove and replace the existing glass. The polycarbonate sits in front of your glass doors and windows, protecting the glass panes from breaking and shattering inwards if it receives any type of impact.
Polycarbonate glazing shields look, feel, and function just like traditional window glass, but create an invisible barrier that prevents would-be intruders from gaining entry to your business, protects your employees from flying shards of glass, and keeps your property secure during hurricanes and strong windstorms.
This protective barrier not only saves you from needing expensive glass repairs and replacement, but they protect your merchandise and equipment from burglary, looting, and smash-and-grab theft.
Invisible Board Up
Unlike hurricane shutters, storm panels, and plywood board ups, unbreakable polycarbonate storefront glazing only requires a one-time installation. After that, your storefront glass is protected for life. That means you don’t have to be ready to drop everything and rush over to your business to board it up and secure it if there’s a storm on the way or if there’s an instance of civil unrest.
If your business is located in a hurricane zone, consider the fact that you should board up your storefront at least two to three days before the storm is actually predicted to make landfall. In other words, you might be trying to do business for two or three days while your windows are completely covered, blocking out natural light, inhibiting views, and making your store look closed. That’s not good for sales.
When you install polycarbonate glazing shields, they don’t change the appearance of your storefront, stop natural light from coming in, or cut off your views of the outdoors. This means you can go about business as usual, and rest easy at night knowing that your glass doors and windows are fully protected against all impacts.
ArmorPlast AP25: An Ideal Solution for Retailers
ArmorPlast® is the proprietary line of polycarbonate glazing shields from Riot Glass® that is a patented framing system that blends seamlessly into your existing window and glass door framing for an undetectable appearance. The AP25 panels are far from run of the mill polycarbonate. AP25 panels are a military spec material made to withstand 3,500 pounds per square inch impacts from sledgehammers and passed many laboratory tests including HP White and Miami-Dade large missile impacts for hurricane-strength protection.
For retail storefront security, Riot Glass recommends ArmorPlast AP25, the entry-level product in the line. AP25 provides virtually unbreakable containment-grade impact protection, meaning the only things that can penetrate it are bullets, which won’t even cause it to shatter or appreciably diminish in strength.
AP25 is an incredibly cost-effective choice when you want an invisible board up solution that protects your storefront glass against all types of threats, including storm damage, rioting and looting, burglary, and smash-and-grab theft. In fact, it’s so strong that it’s even been given the nickname “transparent steel.”
If you want an even higher level of security, the Riot Glass RG Series line also offers ballistic-grade glazing shields. These are rated according to the UL 752 ballistic resistance rating scale all the way up to UL 752 Level 8, meaning they can resist as much as a high-speed, multi-shot attack from an active shooter using an AK-47 rifle and firing .308 150-grain military rounds.
Your storefront’s glass doors and windows don’t have to be its most vulnerable points any longer. Choose Riot Glass for top-of-the-line unbreakable storefront glazing and invisible board up solutions. With Riot Glass, you can rest assured that your business is protected 24/7 against a full range of threats, both man-made and from mother nature.
For more information, please visit www.riotglass.com.