BULLET PROOF GLASS
In the past, bullet proof glass was a relative rarity, reserved for banks, government facilities, shooting ranges, and wary retail outposts in the most blighted sectors of major US cities. Today, bullet proof glass is a part of modern life.
SECURITY IN AN ARMED NATION
There are at least 300 million civilian-owned guns in the United States (according to gun manufactures’ production reports). One-third of these are handguns: easy to use, easily carried and concealed, and increasingly powerful. In the business world, a quarter of all robberies are committed by individuals carrying a gun. These sorts of armed robberies plague not only banks, but also liquor stores, quick-serve restaurants, gas stations, and even pharmacies. In a commercial setting, a gun-totting criminal is roughly three times more likely to kill someone than a thief armed with a knife, blunt instrument, or other weapon. The threat of armed robbery is no longer limited to those public places where lots of cash changes hands: Small-town pharmacies find themselves targeted by both lone prescription drug addicts, and organized gangs (who can rake in thousands selling stolen painkillers on the street). Universities and hospitals are increasingly aware of the possibility–remote, but ever-present–that a delusional individual might set his sites on such high-profile institutions.
Even those banks and public buildings that have sported bullet proof glass for half a century aren’t as secure as they once were. Older bullet proof installations were the product of a young industry. Over the course of years, even a good bullet proof security system can be compromised by subsequent building renovations or changes in business practices. In major US cities like Detroit, most buildings where armed robbery is a risk have had bullet resistant glass in place for decades. But older bullet proof glass was designed to stop the smaller calibers and powder-weights of sidearms common among street criminals in the 1960s and 1970s. A thirty-year-old bullet proof glass window is now, at best, an unreliable cosmetic deterrent.
21ST CENTURY BULLET PROOF GLASS
Total Security Solutions brings more than 30 years of direct experience to our custom bullet proof glass systems. Over the course of thousands of installations we have distinguished ourselves as industry leaders in designing, fabricating, and installing bullet resistant security systems. Total Security Solutions engineers designed the industry’s first and only true Level 3 bullet resistant framing system, abandoning the accepted industry practice of “packing” non-ballistic aluminum frames, because we were not convinced that this method offered real protection.
Today we offer a full range of prefabricated transaction windows, barriers, package-passers, deal trays, and other bullet proof accessories and materials (including an industry-leading selection of ballistic glass varieties) that can be installed by any competent contractor. These materials can be designed into new construction from the start, or used to harden existing buildings. Although cost-effective prefabricated items are popular, Total Security Solutions has risen to prominence on the basis of our custom designs. Both in retrofitting existing spaces and integrating bullet proof systems into new construction, work with contractors, architects, and businesses to design systems that complement the building’s aesthetics and the business’s operational needs, all while securing the safety of employees and deterring armed robberies.
BRINGING BULLET PROOF GLASS TO EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD
Many companies dealing in bullet proof glass are highly regional, serving only their immediate area–or charging exorbitant fees to fly their consultants to distant cities. Total Security Solutions partners with local glass-houses and glaziers throughout the country so that cost-conscious customers can have top-notch security. This is just one facet of the superior customer service that distinguishes Total Security Solutions from the rest of the field. We bend every effort to speak clearly and directly to our clients, without evading questions, slipping in fees, downplaying expenses or challenges, or ever accepting a job where we do not believe we will absolutely excel.
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Today, almost all “bullet proof glass” is made from solid or layered plastics (usually acrylic for lower-level installation, and layers of laminated polycarbonate and glass for situations requiring protection from blasts or higher calibers). Although some care has to be shown in cleaning these plastics, the advantages offered by modern thermoplastics—which transmit light better than comparable bullet-resistant glass products, are highly durable, and cost much less to fabricate and install—make it a clear winner for almost all government installation.
“People end up with this impression that every crime in this country is committed with an assault rifle. Throughout 2015 the big news items included several major public shootings, a lot of protests, and big terrorist attacks in France and elsewhere. In the last six months we’ve seen a significant increase in people looking to go past the standard Level 3 barrier systems, asking for Level 4, 5, 6, and 7 protection. That’s a significant expense—and in every case so far, totally uncalled for.”
Data breaches, information security, and “cybersecurity” grab the headlines, but bank security officers are still acutely aware of evolving physical security risks–even if the bank board of directors or property managers are not. And one of the most troubling areas for physical security is ATMs. Since regulatory requirements under the security-focused Bank Protection Act totally