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Security Glass for Storefronts Has Evolved

Glass doors are the most likely to get hit. It takes only one blow to completely clear the path to entry. Doors are made of tempered glass by code for safety but become destabilized instantly upon breaking. The manufacturing process used to make tempered glass creates enormous, trapped surface tension that when broken releases all at once to cause the glass to shatter into tiny pebble-like pieces. The design intent is to prevent large dangerous shards from becoming lethal in an accidental human impact scenario. From a security standpoint however, the broken glass loses all structure and falls easily from the frame. Even when an edge-attached security window film is installed prior to a smash-and-grab, it is easily thwarted with a sledgehammer or other heavy hand tool. So how can you achieve a high level of security while complying with safety building codes and maintaining a crystal-clear view?

In a perfect world, retail loss prevention teams would have a go-to source for storefront protection where products were readily available, in stock, with a thoroughly trained and vetted installation network capable of timely, quality, and thorough installations anywhere in the US and Canada. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? But let’s not stop there. The products should be available in retrofittable configurations, meaning they can be seamlessly installed onto or into existing storefront systems, or in new construction formats when you are doing a complete ground-up build or comprehensive tenant improvement where the storefront is to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch. What if this mythical source actually existed? Well…it does!

It’s Not a Myth

Earlier this year, Riot Glass, LLC introduced its newest retrofit storefront security system called ArmorPlast Gen II. The new product line offers a variety of storefront framing options aimed at higher-end retailers with large, oversized windows and all-glass doors. The suite of products eliminates the side effects normally associated with unbreakable glazing systems. This article will detail the features of the ArmorPlast product line and what it means to retailers in this new era of heavy tool assaults.

- Digital Partner -

According to a recent survey, retailers across the board are seeing significant increases in forced entry, smash-and-grab-style crimes. That, coupled with the widespread rioting from 2020, has security professionals seeking new and innovative ways to not only thwart break-ins, but to also reduce instances of glass breakage. Simply replacing glass with a standard laminated security glass or adding security window films does not solve the problem. Films and laminated glass were not designed to stop the kind of organized retail smash-and-grab hits being carried out today. They are considered the lowest level of storefront security by today’s standards and can be easily thwarted with a few blows from a sledgehammer, which let’s face it, is the tool being adopted by an increasing number of bad guys. They have learned that most retail establishments have some sort of glass protection, so they have ratcheted up their offensive posture. The good guys now must take glass security to the next level to be effective.

The Solution

That is where Riot Glass products come in. The company focuses on doing one thing very well—stopping forced entry crimes with minimal to no impact on the visual features and appeal of a building’s glass line. Riot Glass engineers work solely on systems designed to absorb the intense kinetic energy produced with hand tools that maximize the leverage a human being can impart on an object. Manufacturing high-level security glass and framing systems that look elegant yet can withstand attacks with these heavy tools is a tall order, and one that takes considerable time and effort to develop. Riot Glass has done this in a way not seen before in the glass industry and is garnering quite a bit of attention. These are the right products for the times we find ourselves in, and they work magnificently. On their YouTube page there are dozens of videos of actual surveillance footage showing serious forced entry attempts on storefronts with Riot Glass installed. The body language of a thug not able to get into a building tells the story better than words can describe. Frustrated would be an understatement.

Keeping bad guys out is only half the story. Preventing expensive glass breakage is another aspect. Not only does broken glass create a stressful event for store staff, but it also requires a board up, and in some cases, a security guard—which when added to the cost of the glass itself can get expensive real quick. Replacing the storefront glass with heavier security glass may help keep some criminals out of the building, but now you have the glass replacement costs and lead times going up dramatically. Riot Glass unbreakable storefront systems stop that cycle of glass breakage, board up, long lead time, only to have it happen again and again—rinse, lather, repeat. When bad guys strike Riot Glass, their tools just bounce off. Even when there are multiple attackers using heavy tools for a prolonged period, they are unable to break in.

Polycarbonate glazing has been around for a long time, and there are undesirable side effects such as yellowing, haze, lack of clarity, and a plastic-like look and feel. Riot Glass is not that. It is a completely redesigned material specifically geared for high-end storefronts where crystal clear clarity, color stability over time, and a glass-like hardness, rigidity, look, and feel are essential. The vision behind the company from inception has been to offer extremely high security with minimal to no reduction in visual acuity or sightline intrusion. The entire line of products is framed within this vision.

Common Questions

Here are a few of the most asked questions:

LP Solutions

Q: If the bad guys cannot get in, and the glass is not broken, are there any marks left from the tools striking the glass?

A: Yes, and to address this, Riot Glass offers a special coating that is like the glass protection you have on your cell phone. When damaged, this less expensive coating is simply removed and a new one installed.

Q: Does Riot Glass make it harder to see into the store?

A: No. We have crystal clear panels much like low iron or Safire glass. Our conversion framing eliminates the need to have an over glazing panel, so there is no “visual chatter” associated with a second layer over your existing glass. While that style, known as an “invisible board up,” is also available in the Riot Glass line, the ultra-clear Gen II is catching on fast with major retailers.

- Digital Partner -

Q: Is there any concern about condensation or dust forming with Riot Glass?

A: No. Our systems are all designed by our team of world class curtain wall developers and engineers, so the systems are designed using Riot Glass proprietary pressure, temperature, and moisture-balanced construction.

Q: What are the lead times?

A: Riot Glass framing and panels are always in stock. When you need it fast, you can get it fast.

Q: How is Riot Glass ordered?

A: Simply call or fill out a form at A security expert will do a thorough needs assessment and help you every step of the way to ensure you get the perfect system for each individual store. Riot Glass has a comprehensive installer network, and handles all the install details for you, anywhere in the US and Canada.


We no longer live in a society polite enough to leave our doors unlocked, nor to use regular glass. With Riot Glass technology you can rest easy knowing you have the look and feel you want for your brand and the security you need to sleep well at night. Riot Glass, LLC’s new ArmorPlast Gen II storefront glass systems are available now, and specialists are standing by to assist you in learning more. Simply call 800-580-2303 or visit for all the details.

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