Codes and security glazing. This article looks at security glazing test standards that work to protect people and property from forced entry, bullets and blasts.
It’s an unfortunate sign of the times. Increasingly, architects need to incorporate measures to deter, delay and protect people and property from human aggressors. Their challenge is to find ways to balance security measures with other design constraints such as fire protection, energy efficiency, and aesthetics in order to build inviting, safe environments. New glazing and framing systems offer helpful, attractive tools that can meet security, fire protection and energy efficiency needs all at the same time.
Adding glass enhances a sense of openness and improves energy efficiency, but windows and entryways can be the most vulnerable portion of a building. Newly developed, fire-rated glazing assemblies can resolve the dilemma by providing clear, transparent openings and walls that resist forced entry, bullets and blasts while meeting fire and other safety codes.
Fortification of buildings once appealed largely to the State Department, the DoD and prisons, but that is no longer the case. Today, interest in built-in security has expanded to schools, local government facilities, courthouses, storefronts, airports, and homes.
Security glazing is not yet mandated by the model building codes. Instead, there is a tapestry of security glazing test standards that have evolved over time. The first test method for bomb blast was ASTM F 1642 published in 1966.
Ten years later, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association published the AAMA 510-06 Voluntary Guide Specification for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems, which has provided guidance for development of embassies and other State Department properties overseas.
State corrections agencies have developed their own security glazing test standards. For example, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation developed CDCR 860 in the 1980s to test glazing assemblies for their ability to resist forced entry.
The federal government began to take an active role in developing test methods and specifications following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building which killed 168 and injured many more. The Department of Justice assessed the vulnerability of federal facilities. Its study led to creation of an Interagency Security Committee, a permanent body that helps implement uniform construction standards. Early work by the GSA in creating a performance-based standard for security glazing led to the ISA Security Design Criteria adopted in 2001.
Glazing products fall into three basic categories of security test standards: forced entry, ballistic, and blast. Here is a list of security test standards that help determine which glazing assembly is appropriate for an application.
Resists Forced Entry
Innovations by glazing manufacturers have produced glazing assembly options that not only resist forced entry, bullets, or blasts, but also protect buildings and occupants from fire, radiant heat and impact while providing aesthetic and environmental benefits associated with the use of glass.
In response to growing demand, fire rated glazing manufacturers are providing products that can perform double-duty. The use of a fire-resistive, attack resistant glass and frame assemblies or curtain walls allow designers to add transparency to entryways, exit corridors, exteriors while keeping the building and its occupants safe and secure.
SAFTIFIRST is a pioneer in the field of security glazing, and has developed a a series of fire and security glazing products that provides maximum fire resistance and maximum security simultaneously. “Designers can also take comfort in knowing that they have a product designed and tested to do the job as required,” explained Tim Nass, VP of National Sales for SAFTIFIRST, “and not a system cobbled together with different components.”
Below is a description of SAFTIFIRST‘s security glazing products and the fire and security test standards they meet.
Resists Forced Entry –SuperSecure II-XLS 45-120
Resists Bullets – GPX Ballistic
45-120 minute clear, fire resistive, ballistic and attack rated, glass and framing system for walls, openings and doors.
Resists Bombs/Blasts – GPX Blast
45-120 minute clear, fire resistive, blast rated, glass and framing system for walls and openings.