Forced Entry Prevention 101: What Types of Reinforced Glass Are There for Businesses?

By March 24, 2022 February 17th, 2023 Blog

forced entry prevention

When it comes to protecting your business from forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, and more, the best thing you can do is reinforce your building’s glass doors and windows.

We know not everyone has the same security needs and goals, or the same budget, so we wanted to put together an intro to the different types of glass reinforcement you can use to harden your business’s security.

Why Do You Need Reinforced Glass?

On average, there are about 2.5 million burglaries in the US every year. About a third of these are non-residential, meaning they target businesses and other commercial buildings.


While not every business faces the same threat level of forced entry and burglary, any business is at risk of theft if its doors and windows are not properly reinforced. This is because the majority of would-be intruders attempt to force entry by breaking a window and climbing in or opening a locked door from the inside.

smash-and-grab theft

Even if you don’t think your business is particularly likely to be a target of burglary or smash-and-grab theft, it’s always best to apply at least some type of glass reinforcement product to your windows and glass storefront doors.

Even minimal protection can act as a strong deterrent if criminals target your business, and cause them to move on and look for an easier target.

What is reinforced glass?

From tempered safety glass to polycarbonate security glazing, the term “reinforced glass” can refer to a number of different products.

However, not all reinforced, or strengthened, glass is intended for security purposes. Many products are meant to increase human safety, rather than protect against forced entry and other security threats.

For example, tempered safety glass is stronger than normal glass, but it is still incredibly easy to break. The purpose of tempered glass is to break apart into relatively harmless pieces upon impact, rather than shatter into sharp, jagged shards that could cause injury.

In order to protect your doors and windows and keep bad guys out of your business, it’s important to choose a glass reinforcement solution that is intended for forced entry prevention.

reinforced glass for business owners

Different Reinforced Glass Options for Business Owners

  1. 3M security window film
  2. Riot Glass® laminated security glass
  3. ArmorPlast® polycarbonate security glazing

Reinforcing glass with 3M security window film

3M security window film is a special type of pliable Mylar coating that you can apply directly on top of your existing glass to protect it against impacts and prevent it from shattering inwards when broken.

While security window film does not prevent your windows from breaking, it holds broken shards in place and can delay forced entry by minutes. 

When a would-be intruder attempts to force entry by smashing your storefront doors or windows with a common burglary tool, such as a hammer or pry bar, they will be surprised to discover that they can’t immediately gain entry.

The delay caused by security window film can deter the criminals or provide the authorities time to arrive and catch them in the act.

effective forced entry mitigation

For the most effective forced entry mitigation using 3M security window film, it should always be combined with other components of a comprehensive security system, including surveillance cameras and a monitored alarm system. 

That way, if an intruder breaks your business’s windows, you and the authorities are alerted and there is a higher probability of catching the bad guys before they are able to actually get inside through the window film and steal your property.

Using Riot Glass® reinforced laminated security glass

For the next level up from 3M security window film, you can retrofit your business with Riot Glass® laminated security glass.

Security laminates consist of multiple layers of reinforced glass and a thermoplastic interlayer, which helps distribute the force of impacts to prevent forced entry.

Riot Glass® laminated security glass can be installed right on top of your existing glass using security framing that fits into or onto your existing framing systems. This makes it much more affordable than replacing your commercial glass doors and windows with security glass.

Riot Glass® is available in a variety of thicknesses and forced entry ratings, and is also available with UL 752 ballistic resistance ratings.

If your business is more prone to forced entry and burglary or rioting and looting, you should definitely consider retrofitting your doors and windows with Riot Glass®. Depending on the specific security laminate you choose and how determined a would-be intruder is, Riot Glass® can completely deny access to your business.


Shielding glass with ArmorPlast® polycarbonate security glazing

If you want the absolute top-of-the-line forced entry prevention available on the market, look no further than ArmorPlast® polycarbonate security glazing.

ArmorPlast® functions similarly to Riot Glass®, except that it provides the virtually unbreakable strength of polycarbonate — a type of thermoplastic.

Even the most determined attackers can hammer away at a polycarbonate glazing shield and they are not going to even make a hairline crack in it. 

While ballistic attacks can penetrate polycarbonate, the material won’t significantly diminish in strength or allow entry, even when riddled with bullets. If you want an even higher level of protection, ArmorPlast® is available in ballistic-grade options with up to a UL 752 Level 8 rating, meaning it can resist ballistic attacks from an AK-47 assault rifle using military-style rounds.

Like Riot Glass®, ArmorPlast® is a full retrofit solution. In other words, you don’t need to remove any of your existing glass or framing to install it and protect your business against forced entry and burglary.

The Takeaway

Any business, anywhere, can be the target of forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, or looting. The best way to mitigate these security threats is by reinforcing vulnerable glass doors and windows, to protect them against impacts and deny would-be intruders access.

Campbell Corporation is an authorized dealer and installer of 3M security window film, Riot Glass® laminated security glass, and ArmorPlast® polycarbonate security glazing. Contact us today to reinforce your business’s glass.