Before buying a big-ticket item, most of us take a few minutes to do a little research to get a sense of the price landscape. This is easy to do with ovens and cars, but challenging for bullet-resistant glass security systems. Because these systems are customized for a wide variety of security needs, their costs can vary widely. That being said, here are some guidelines for what price ranges you can expect from different bulletproof solutions.
The Minimal Bulletproof Glass System
On one end of the spectrum is a minimal, straight-forward system—something suitable for a stand-alone ticket window, small retail setting, or after-hours transactions. This type of system would include a bullet-resistant glass transaction window with an integrated communication system and cash tray, ballistic fiberglass to reinforce the surrounding walls, and perhaps a simple, all-steel bullet-resistant door and frame. These ship as pre-fabricated, built-to-order components that will need to be installed on-site. Local contractors can often do installation work, although most bulletproof companies will send their own installation team for an additional fee.
Including shipping and handling, this sort of minimal system will cost at least $7,000 to $10,000 (not including installation).
A Mid-Range Bullet-Resistant Barrier System
More comprehensive barrier systems (like those used in retail or banking) demand a greater degree of customization. For example, consider a 24-hour gas station—the sort of “truck-stop oasis” that includes a well-stocked convenience store. These retailers usually have at least two registers and are looking for both exterior and interior bullet-resistant glass.
The cost of this type of system can vary depending on the store’s security needs and the degree of flexibility they’d like in their system. At a minimum, each register needs to be enclosed in a bulletproof glass booth. Additionally, ballistic fiberglass will be needed to reinforce the counters, and deep steel deal trays should be integrated into the countertops. Each hardened point-of-payment will be accessible through a bulletproof door, and the business owners may choose to use an electronic keypad/buzz-through access system, as this mitigates the risks that come with trying to keep track of physical keys.
Then there’s the aspect of safe communication with customers. Most gas stations and convenience stores favor natural voice communication rather than electronic intercoms (at least for interior applications). Many also elect to install “sliders.” These windows can be opened during low-crime, high-traffic periods and then locked down after the sun sets or in an emergency, allowing for extra flexibility for employees.
In summary, a mid-range system (such as this theoretical truck stop, a small bank branch, or a corner store) is going to run around $15,000 to $25,000 (not including installation).
A High-End Bullet-Resistant Glass System
Obviously, bullet-resistant glass systems and security can go well beyond what you see at the bank or ticket counter. For example, many government buildings have a high-level forced entry-rated blast and bullet-resistant glass reinforcing every exterior window, plus ballistic fiberglass in every interior and exterior wall. Some corporate entryways are constructed entirely from bulletproof glass and framing; their pleasant vestibules are actually man traps ready to lockdown at the push of a button. Systems like these—often invisible to the casual observer—start at $30,000 and can range into hundreds of thousand dollars.
But that isn’t to say that every bullet-resistant barrier for a corporate or municipal building is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Most of these settings also have more narrow applications (a single lobby that is open for late hours, a transaction window for paying utility bills, etc.) that fall into the Minimal and Mid-Range categories.