BULLET PROOF TELLER WINDOWS
The teller window is the linchpin to any bank or credit union security system. It’s trivial to make a wall bullet proof, and not much more difficult to add a solid-core steel door with a ballistic acrylic peep-hole. But commerce isn’t about walls and locks; transactions hinge on openness: Tellers and clients need to be able to speak with each other and exchange papers unhindered. The teller window is the point in a security system where we balance our need to lockdown security, and the realities of being open for business.
TELLER WINDOW ANATOMY
A standard teller window consists of a bullet resistant window, a voice-transmission system, and a deal tray. The bullet resistant window can be crafted from a variety of thicknesses of monolithic acrylic, laminated polycarbonate, or glass-clad polycarbonate, depending on the bullet-stopping power the teller needs. These are framed and held in place by a bullet resistant steel or ballistic aluminum frame. Since an inch or more of plastic muffles voices, a “speak hole” is cut in the window, and backed with a second piece of ballistic glass. A welded stainless steel deal tray makes it possible for tellers and clients to safely exchange cash, documents, and paperwork.Simple teller windows are available as affordable drop-in prefabricated units. These ship as a single piece and can be installed by any competent carpenter. Custom teller windows can be designed and fabricated for any facility.
TELLER WINDOW UPGRADES
There are many ways to upgrade a basic system: Teller windows can be enlarged, and the deal tray can be replaced or augmented with a pass-thru drawer or package passer capable of handling large envelopes, currency bags, safety deposit boxes, or other parcels. While an acrylic-backed talk-thru system allows for easy, natural conversation, some environments are better served by perforated steel grates, or even an amplified bullet-resistant intercom system. Finally, some locations have high-traffic periods, during which maintaining a swift flow of clients trumps bullet proof security. These institutions might prefer to install a teller window with sliding glass: During peak hours clients can quickly and easily chat with tellers and pass documents through the open window. As the flow wanes after hours, tellers can lock down the system for added safety.
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