So, with all of the recent events surrounding the state of civil unrest, violence and lootings, I finally find myself writing back-to-back blogs that are unrelated to COVID-19.  What else is there to write about? How about laminated glass?

Windows are wonderful, as they let us look out into the world around us. The downside to that view includes the fact that windows can also represent a point of unwanted entryway into our homes and businesses. In the past few weeks, business establishments across the country have seen a wave of violent protests, resulting in thousands of smashed windows and hundreds of looting incidents.

Tensions get out of hand. Next thing you know, someone throws a brick, the window shatters, and a mob suddenly has a clear path to your entire inventory of merchandise. Businesses that took a lifetime of sweat and sacrifice to build are suddenly trashed overnight.

Well, for those who do have the resources to put everything back together, laminated glass should be at the top of their list when rebuilding begins.

Laminated glass offers three major advantages, including some that go beyond security. The first one is subtle, but important: sound control. Inside your place of business, outside sounds from street noise can be distracting and unpleasant to you and your customers. The sounds you are making should stay within your business, while sounds from the outside world should stay outside. Laminated glass can help.

Laminated glass allows for fabrication of units with varying thicknesses of glass, including designs featuring multiple lites. By varying thicknesses, acoustical engineering allows us to create designs that cancel harmonic waves as opposed to reinforcing peaks in sound waves. The result is sound deadening. The PVB or EVA interlayers within laminated glass also adsorb sound waves that would otherwise travel through single lites of glass. The overall effect is privacy. If you want to hear what is going on outside, you just open a window. If you do not want to hear what is going on outside and you don’t want whoever is outside to hear what is going on inside, then you simply shut the window. You are in control.

The second major advantage, and one that was more evident than ever in the past several weeks, includes impact resistance. Hurricane-resistant windows have been a huge market for laminated glass. However, mother nature is not the only one smashing windows these days. The PVB or EVA interlayers that bond multiple glass layers together make gaining entry through laminated glass extremely difficult to achieve. It takes a great deal of effort and a great deal of time. When looters find that entry is not easy and is taking too much time, they may tend to move on. It also buys time for law enforcement to arrive. An investment in laminated glass for storefront windows may make the difference when it comes to keeping your valuable inventory intact. Insurance providers may also recognize this and lower your rates.

The third major advantage of laminated glass is bullet and explosion resistance. Depending upon the neighborhood that your business is located within, this is something that you either totally expect to someday occur or never believe it will happen to you. Both scenarios can be equally dangerous—the latter perhaps even more so due to the tendency for a lack of preparedness. Laminated glass can be made into designs that can stop bullets from pistols, shotguns and even high-powered rifles. Explosion-resistant designs can protect you or your business from pressure and flying shards of glass or metal.

John Bocker, an NSSF Security Consultant, wrote an excellent article entitled Retail Security: How Tough is Your Store’s Glass and I found it to be an excellent overview of the role that glass design can play in storefront security. It was written with firearms businesses in mind, but the same principles apply to any business where valuable interests—not to mention lives—need to be protected.

One thing that really strikes me about 2020 is the type of farewells we have been giving to each other. Farewells such as “See you soon,” or “Have a Good One,” have been replaced with “Stay Safe.” Laminated glass is a good start.

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