A Guide to Security Glazing

There are various types of glass and other glazing materials used to make doors and windows, with some of them offering a greater degree of security than others.

Here we look at important considerations to make when replacing window or door glazing to ensure you are able to benefit from the best possible levels of security.

Security glazing

Replacement glazing standards

It is recommended that 6.4mm laminated glass is used for all new and replacement doors and accessible windows, and that the doors and windows themselves a certified to PAS 24 2016. PAS 24 (Publicly Available Specification) is a standard which demonstrates that doors and windows are tested to a minimum set of standards.

It is very important to bear in mind, however, that upgrading glazing to security glass is never going to be of benefit if the door or window is not properly secured. In other words, if appropriate security locks are not fitted, or the locks that are fitted are not used.

Different types of glazing explained

There are various types of glazing available offering differing levels of safety and security.

Sheet glass has no real security value other than it makes a noise when broken which will attract attention during a possible break-in, and can cause injury to an intruder, which may make it an unattractive proposition for them. It’s usually used in sheds and greenhouses.

Float glass or plate glass is used to glaze windows and doors. There is no real security value however, other than the noise it makes when broken, and the potential to cause injury.

Cast glass, or patterned glass, is used for glazing windows where privacy is required but light is necessary, such as in bathrooms or front doors. It will break in the same way as float glass, but again offers no real security other than noise and injury.

Wired glass is usually made from float glass and most often seen in fire doors. The wires help to hold the glass in place during a fire. Whilst there is a safety value, again there is no security gain apart from the fact that it will make a noise when broken, or cause injury.

Toughened glass, or tempered glass, is used in domestic and commercial premises as safety glass. Made from specially treated float glass, toughened glass is required under the Building Regulations in situations where there is a high chance of collision, such as someone running into a glazed door or low level window. You will find each pane of glass marked in the corner, either with BS 6206 or BS EN 12600. Security wise, there is little value however, as the glass can be easily broken with a sharp instrument, makes minimal noise when broken, and causes very little, if any, injury.

Laminated glass is used in domestic glazing. It is usually 6.4mm thick and made up of two sheets of float glass, with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene and vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) in between. Laminated glass has both safety and security benefits and can also be used for noise control.

Security glazing film can be applied onto existing window and door glass to enhance its security, although it needs to be applied behind the glazing beads or bars in order to be effective. Professional installation is essential if you are to enjoy the full benefits. Glazing film can be used to prevent shards of glass flying about in the event of an explosion, to enhance privacy, to lower solar heat gain and cut air conditioning costs, to reduce glare and prevent fading of furniture. It can also be used to convert ordinary float glass into safety glass to meet Building Regulations.

Polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than a sheet of standard glass of the same thickness. Due to its durability, high impact resistance and excellent light transmission properties, it is widely used as a crime prevention measure in both domestic and commercial premises, particularly where there is an increased risk of burglary, vandalism or glass breakage.

How to reinforce glazing

If you are especially concerned as to the integrity of your glazing, or your property is at particular risk, you may wish to consider the addition of security grilles or shutters.

Security grilles are more often used to protect commercial property than residential, although in locations where crime rates are high, some homeowners choose to install them to protect windows and doors that are at particular risk, such as basement windows or those that open out onto quiet or poorly lit streets or flat roofs. Grilles are also helpful where a natural flow of air is needed within a building, but it is not necessarily safe to keep windows open.

Used primarily in to safeguard commercial property, Security shutters are effective in creating a physical barrier and delaying entry by intruders who favour the ‘grab and run’ type of raid. They will also prevent anyone on the outside seeing what is on the inside, whilst protecting windows and glazed doors from vandalism.

Expert assistance in safeguarding homes and commercial premises

If you are considering replacing or upgrading your glazing for security reasons, then it is important to take professional advice that is tailored to your specific requirements, your property and your security risk. Glazing and other protective measures, such as security grilles and shutters, can be designed specifically to take individual circumstances into consideration.

For the solutions you need to protect your home or business premises, talk to the experts at Barry Bros Security. We’ve been helping to safeguard properties of all types for over seven decades, and our friendly specialists are on hand and ready to assist you.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.