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When it comes to ballistic security, retail operations–from the smallest mom-and-pop gas station to the largest multi-national retail banks–need to design for “transaction management”: Making it possible for staff, valuables, and merchandise to be safely sequestered from the public without obstructing the high volume of quick transactions that make their business possible. This generally translates to conspicuous security systems composed of whole banks of ballistic transaction windows and pass-thru drawers.
Hospitals and government offices on the other hand, have a very different model: While they *are* open to the public, their security focus is not on managing transactions, but on controlling access. This means that their ballistic security is often almost invisible.
Bullet Proof Doors Instead of Ballistic Transaction Drawers
“I don’t know if I’ve ever sold a transaction drawer to a government project,” Total Security Solutions vice president Jim Richards notes. This is because a government office’s low transaction volume hardly justifies a streamlined transaction system. Instead they favor security checkpoints operated by trained security staff, and built around metal detectors, x-ray machines, and bullet proof doors and windows.
Just the bullet proof doors themselves can be pricey–easily ranging up to $5000 each for the rugged, attractive models favored by government projects. Nonetheless, these security checkpoints can translate into an overall savings, despite the seemingly hefty price tag for ballistic components like glass, framing elements, fiberglass, and bullet proof doors. This is because most government buildings funnel all visitors through a single ballistically hardened security bottleneck. By spending many tens of thousands of dollars properly securing the lobby, the other five floors of a municipal building or federal office need not entertain the cost of lining every wall with DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber panels and equipping each office with a bullet proof door.
Bullet Proof Doors for Hospital Security
Hospitals straddle the line between a customer-oriented business and a public office. While there are obviously strong transactional elements to what they do–taking payments, processing patient paperwork, dispensing narcotics–there are also vast numbers of offices and smaller units that don’t need to be open to the world 24/7 the way an ER must. Creating a single checkpoint every visitor must pass through is simply impractical, but the notion of a deranged gunman–or a well-organized team of thieves looking to steel valuable narcotics for re-sale–is a nightmarish scenario.
Fortunately, competent bullet proof companies can put together designs that will result on lock-down security for staff and patients at a price that, in the grand scheme of a hospital building project, could pass almost unnoticed. The judicious use of affordable mass-produced bullet-resistant fiberglass and utilitarian steel-cladded bullet proof doors and frames can offer imperceptible, fail-safe ballistic security to the largest medical complex without breaking the bank.
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