When you’re looking to secure your business against burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, and other threats, it can be hard to know what the best way to protect your windows is.
A common option that many business owners go for is installing window security bars, also known as burglar bars.
However, bars are not always practical (and definitely not attractive), especially for large glass storefronts or other commercial buildings with lots of glass. In such cases, it’s better to install some sort of security glass over the existing glass to protect it.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at window security bars, as well as discuss a type of security glass (spoiler: it’s not actually glass!) known as AP25.
By the time you finish reading, you should have a better idea of what the best option is for your business.
A Brief Breakdown of Window Security Bars
What Are Window Security Bars?
Window bars are a type of metal grid that get bolted to the side of a building over its windows. They primarily serve to keep out would-be intruders and prevent burglary.
Window bars are most common in areas with high rates of burglary and crime in general. They can be found on both homes and businesses, but are especially common on businesses like 24-hour mini marts, liquor stores, and other small businesses.
What Types of Window Security Bars Are There?
There are 3 main types of window guards:
- Permanent bars
- Swing-away bars
- Removable bars
They all serve the same purpose and look pretty similar, but some have different functionalities.
Permanent window bars, as the name implies, are permanently fixed over the glass and cannot be removed easily once they’re installed. They are designed for long-term use and 24/7 protection against forced entry.
Swing-away window bars have a lock and hinge mechanism, so they can be unlocked and swung away from the window by the property owner if needed. These can be installed over certain windows where you want an emergency exit. They also facilitate easy window cleaning.
Removable bars are the least permanent type of window bars. They can be put up and locked into place and taken down as desired. For example, you can install them at night for night time security, then take them down during the day for aesthetic purposes.
Do Window Security Bars Work?
The short answer is yes. Window bars create a physical barrier to forced entry, preventing someone from gaining access to a business even if the glass is broken. Even their mere presence can be a strong burglary deterrent. Window guards are a good option for a business with a few ground floor windows that you want to protect, as long as you keep in mind that they do detract from the curb appeal of the business.
However, bars are not really a practical option for businesses with large glass storefronts. For starters, it can be hard to fix them over so much glass, especially if there isn’t enough surrounding structural material to bolt them into. Secondly, large glass storefronts are usually there for aesthetic and functional reasons (i.e. letting people window shop), so installing bars over the existing glass kind of defeats its purpose.
Not only that, but bars partially block out natural light and inhibit your views of the outside.
For properties with more than a few small- to medium-sized windows, it’s better to choose something that will protect the glass without significantly altering its appearance or functionality.
ArmorPlast™ AP25: An Alternative to Window Security Bars
What Is ArmorPlast™ AP25?
AP25 is a containment-grade (non-ballistic) polycarbonate glazing shield. Glazing just means a part of a wall or window that is made of glass.
The purpose of a glazing shield is to create a formidable barrier in front of a glass door, window, or storefront to prevent it from breaking and keep bad guys on the other side.
Since AP25 is made from polycarbonate, it is virtually unbreakable (even laminated security glass can be broken under the right circumstances).
In fact, the only thing that can penetrate AP25 is a bullet, and even then the panel won’t diminish in strength or allow an intruder to pass through and gain access to the property.
ArmorPlast™ AP25 is ideal for:
- High-end retailers
- Glass office buildings
- Correctional/psychiatric facilities
- Government buildings
- Financial institutions
- Other high-security commercial facilities
AP25 also has an abrasion-resistant and UV-resistant coating, prolonging its lifespan in high-profile applications. The surface of these glazing shields has a glass-like hardness and appearance.
Is AP25 More Effective Than Window Security Bars?
100 percent! Though window bars do keep would-be intruders out in most cases, the glass behind them can still be broken. With AP25, the glass remains totally protected from impacts.
Window guards also have all the downsides we discussed that make them a less-than-ideal choice for many types of businesses and commercial facilities.
AP25 can be retrofitted into or onto just about any existing framing system. Its low profile and glass-like appearance make it barely noticeable, so it won’t hurt the aesthetics or functionality of large glass windows and storefronts.
Benefits of ArmorPlast™ AP25
- Resists all types of non-ballistic impacts
- Completely protects existing glass
- Doesn’t hurt curb appeal of business
- Transparent (allows natural light in/doesn’t block views)
- Can be retrofitted onto almost any building
- Abrasion resistant
- UV resistant
Any building is only as secure as its windows and doors, which is why it’s so important to make the right security upgrades to protect your business from burglary and other threats.
Every business has unique security needs and goals, and there are a variety of options available to you that can make your property more secure by creating physical barriers to forced entry.
Window security bars can definitely work in some cases, but polycarbonate glazing shields like AP25 provide a much more comprehensive security solution.
Contact us today for more information about how we can help you secure your commercial property against forced entry.