Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world in which we can leave our doors unlocked and our houses protected. Whilst we don’t want to scaremonger, as the threat of a break in is relatively low, it is always a weight off of your shoulders knowing that your house is as secure as it can be.
One way of ensuring this is by using security glass in your window frames. Found throughout many service industries such as jewellers and banks, this glass is smash resistant and often bulletproof. Whilst this may not be particularly pertinent for your household security, it is worth understanding the properties of the glass and what it can offer.
Often applied in areas where the glass is required to undergo a fair bit of stress, and where shattered glass might cause injury, toughened glass is tempered in such a way that it causes the glass to crumble into chunks as opposed to sharp shards. Found in shower doors, architectural doors, and tables, this glass’ outer surface is compressed during its creation, whereas the inner surfaces are filled with tension. However, due to the tendency of this material to shatter upon impact, it’s not generally considered the securest of glasses. However, toughened glass is also used in the manufacturing of…
Practically impenetrable, this type of glass is manufactured by combining two or more types of glass, with at least one hard and one soft. Typically this involves using alternating layers of a polycarbonate thermoplastic and laminated glass, with the polycarbonate plastic retaining a refractive index similar to that of the glass. As per the example above, toughened glass is generally employed in the design, as its tempered qualities allow it to withstand greater forces of impact.
Where a single, unprotected pane of toughened glass is likely to shatter, those layered with plastic will retain their shape when confronted by small projectiles. The glass itself flattens the bullet upon impact, whilst the plastic absorbs the rest of the force, thereby preventing penetration. The thicker the glass, the more reliably it will stop a bullet from penetrating, and as such bulletproof glass can often by up to 3 inches thick.
Whilst most homes won’t require bulletproof glass, there are other levels of security offered by treated glasses which have a thicker than normal vinyl interlayer between the panes.
As standard, these types of glass typically provide a minimum of twice the amount of resistance of normal glass. So where a standard laminated glass may shatter after five blows with a hammer, security glass would take at least ten blows, by which point the intruder ought to be suitably intimidated. With developments in technology and the production of these units, this type of window security is becoming more and more available, affording the average citizen better protection.
Image by Wes Reimer