Getting Started: Retrofitting a School with a Bulletproof Barrier

With summer break underway, now is the time that many schools make improvements to their building. Structural improvements can include anything from painting to upgrading the school’s pool. These days though, in the wake of recent school shootings, many school administrators and security liaisons are installing bullet resistant barriers as part of their summer upgrade plan.

Planning for a Bulletproof Glass Barrier in Schools

Typical production time for a proper bullet resistant barrier system is 4-8 weeks, depending on the type of glazing and bulletproof glass needed. Keep in mind that this lead time doesn’t account for planning or shipping. Once you start building the timeline, it becomes pretty clear that school officials planing to install a bullet proof barrier system during the summer months should have begun planning back in February.  For schools just getting started, however, it is possible to aim for an installation during a scheduled school holiday.  Alternately, the school can shut down a portion of the building and use an alternate entryway for a few weeks.  An installation during the school year can be logistically challenging, but it is feasible.

Components of a Bulletproof Glass Barrier in Schools

Bulletproof_School Entryway

Because schools already funnel students and visitors through a single entryway, it’s relatively easy to contain costs in a bullet proof school renovation by converting that single entryway into a controlled checkpoint. When considering a school with a single entry point, you’ll want to fortify the school entryway doors and side glass panels and interior vestibule. The barrier should also include:

  • Level 3 Glass Clad Polycarbonate for door entryway and side panels because of heavy flow of traffic and exposure to the elements
  • Level 3 Ballistic Doors (aluminum is the typical material used, but steel is also an option)
  • Automated Locking Mechanism with entrance buzzer in vestibule area
  • Level 3 Acrylic or Polycarbonate Transaction Window, as well as Bullet Resistant Paneling and Counter tops to box in the vestibule area

If you’re a school administrator just starting the planning process to retrofit your school building with a bulletproof barrier, it’s best to get a security expert involved early on. Total Security Solutions can help design a school bulletproof barrier that caters to what’s already there in terms of aesthetics, structure, and use patterns.

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