As school officials look for ways to improve safety and security in their facilities, glass fabricator Global Security Glazing is working to educate them on the capabilities of specialized glazing solutions, such as CHILDGARD® security glazing.
Since 2013, there have been more than 300 school shootings in the U.S., according to Everytown for Gun Safety. While long-term solutions to prevent attacks may require gun-control legislation, short-term measures are focusing on how to prohibit attackers from gaining entry into schools. As a result, entry points—such as windows and doors—are being examined.
“In the school market, glass safety and security are important topics for parents, school boards, law enforcement, and design/build professionals,” said Hernán Gil, representative of Global Security Glazing. “While the increased focus on glass is due to tragic circumstances, it’s sparking positive conversation and enabling us to educate decision makers and influencers about the different types of glass, as well as glass’ capabilities to resist forced-entry, bullets, and fire—in addition to natural disasters.”
Many older schools were constructed with tempered glass, which shatters into blunt pellets upon impact. Surface-applied films are available for glass that offer varied levels of resistance to forced-entry, but they must be anchored to the window framing and can be broken through with minimal effort. Bullet-resistant glass—while highly effective—is costly and requires window and door framing that can support its additional weight and thickness.
“When talking about glass during a school attack, delaying the perpetrator’s entry seems to be more important than stopping bullets,” explained Gil. “There are specialized glass constructions for these scenarios, such as CHILDGARD glazing. Most attacks end within a two-to-five-minute timeframe. CHILDGARD glazing was designed and tested to withstand extensive physical attack from various weapons for nearly seven minutes, which can buy valuable time while authorities arrive.”
Manufactured by Global Security Glazing, CHILDGARD glazing is a laminated security glass construction that’s specially designed for use in school and educational facilities to withstand forced-entry scenarios. Available for new and retrofit applications, CHILDGARD glazing can be used in insulating glass units and paired with high-performance and tinted glass options to meet safety, energy, and other design goals.
“Providing a safe learning environment for children in newer or older schools doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice aesthetics, natural daylight, or thermal performance,” added Gil.