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Glaziers are often a little reluctant to pick up that first bullet proof security job. The stakes are high, the materials are expensive, and the challenges are unknown. Total Security Solutions has helped many glaziers work with bulletproof glass. Let’s start with three basic concepts that are important to know:
- It’s Not Glass and It’s Not Bullet Proof: Given enough bullets and enough time, a determined attacker can chew through anything. “Bullet proof glass” is technically “bullet resistant” and either made from monolithic acrylic or laminated layers of polycarbonate and tempered glass.
- It’s Not a Window—It’s a System: A bullet resistant window that can stop an AR-15 is useless if it’s mounted in a wall that can’t stop a .22 pistol. Take five minutes to check out our crash course in bullet resistant barrier systems.
- Help is Out There: We are ready to support you through the installation—but these three tips will prevent common problems.
Total Security Solutions Helps Glaziers Work With Bulletproof Glass
Most glaziers are reasonably hesitant to bring in a big, full-service national bullet proofing company. “A client who needs a barrier is good business for a local glazier,” Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards explains. “Bullet resistant materials are a cut above the norm. Naturally, that glazier is worried that we want to take their customers. I totally understand where they’re coming from. But this is where we started: Supplying contractors and glaziers. We’re very comfortable pulling way back into the shadows so that glaziers can really shine.”
Once you gather all of the information from your client (primarily measurements, but also some insights into how the facility is used, peak business hours, known or suspected threats, etc.) Total Security Solutions will design and engineer a barrier system customized for your client. TSS can help you with approval drawings for permits, managing client expectations, and so on, so you can get this job moving.
Once approved, Total Security Solutions will supply you all the materials, fully fabricated, as assembled as possible. “We design it and fabricate it, you install it, you reinforce that good relationship with your client. We’ll supply you exactly what you need, and help you behind the scenes to get that install perfect. If anything comes up, any uncertainty, you give us a call.”
How to Score a Big Win with your First Bullet Resistant Barrier
The important thing to remember is that regardless of how much experience you have, it is almost always the first time the client has considered adding a bullet resistant barrier to their business. They’re on uncertain ground, and this is a big investment.
“This is a great time to prove to them how valuable your expertise is,” Jim adds. He has found that most clients come in asking for much more bullet proof security than they need. They also may make very specific requests for very specific components. Do they really need that style door or window, or is it just what they’ve seen elsewhere?
“Start the conversation with questions,” Jim suggests. “Why do they want a BP barrier now? Has there been a local incident? What type of incident are they concerned about? What types of firearms? Why?”
These questions will give you a sense of how extensive the barrier needs to be and what UL level they should consider.
“Then follow up with some questions about their business: What needs to pass through the barrier? Will it be paperwork or cash or packages? How often do staff need to come and go? Finally, ask ‘What do you want to accomplish?’ Because sometimes I find that folks are limited by what they already know,” Jim notes. “For example, they may have a 12-foot long hole in the wall, with the idea they’ll install three transaction windows in there and fill between. In that conversation, I’d say ‘Well, what about making it a single system?’And they ask ‘What’s a system?’ Because most end users aren’t familiar with custom systems, and the fact that a system can be more cost effective than cobbling together a bunch of generic drop-in pieces—not to mention more secure and look a lot nicer.”