No matter your point of view, it can be easily and convincingly argued that our government institutions, both physical and ideological, are increasingly subject to attack in this polarized era. It is especially important to protect the physical spaces and personnel that allow our society’s fundamental business, at every level, to be conducted unimpeded.
When it comes to performing the work of government, being and feeling secure go hand in hand. It is important to understand that having bullet proof doors and windows can be as reassuring to government workers as a law enforcement officer’s sense of security from a bullet proof vest.
Protection is essential across the broad swath of governmental agencies, from the Central Intelligence Agency to the United States Postal Service, as well as police stations, courthouses, statehouses and the like. From clerks to congressmen, all government workers deserve robust protection from potential attacks.
To Protect and Deter
There is a wide range of government security products that can be used both inside and outside of government buildings to enhance the safety of workers during an attack. These same products often deter an attack from being launched.
When protecting a space from ballistic attack, explosives or forced entry attempts, some products to consider include:
Bullet proof glass. Potential uses include exterior windows that also limit the ability to see inside, interior transaction windows, door glazing and RF/IRglazing that will counter eavesdropping and maintain confidentiality of secure information.
Blast resistant doors. Whether the goal is forced entry or destruction, doors are frequently the first point of attack.
Forced Entry Security Doors. High security government agencies may require specialized doors that require the overall design, glazing and hardware that provide high level security against forced entry.
Storm Impact Doors and Windows. For those government facilities located in geographic areas threatened by violent storms, such as hurricanes and storms, there are solutions available to protect from the harshest of weather conditions.
Wall armor. Fiberglass or steel panels can be customized, for example, to surround transaction windows, construct safe rooms and provide subtle protection in judge’s benches and service counters.
Transaction drawers and communication devices. Point of vulnerability can be introduced where interaction with the public is required. Carefully considered pass-throughs and intercom systems mitigate that risk and can be built with bullet resistant design.
There Are Many Calibers of Bullet Proof Products
The qualities and characteristics of any given bullet proof product should be clearly understood before any installation decisions are made. Different expectations for attack and protection require different levels of materials.
Fortunately, reputable bullet proof products are rated according to ballistic standards, the most common being UL 752 and the National Institute of Justice’s 0108.01.
UL 752: This test determines whether “protection is provided against complete penetration, passage of fragments of projectiles, or spalling (glass fragmentation) to the degree that injury would be caused to a person standing directly behind the bullet-resisting barrier.” Essentially, it determines a level at which a given material ensures that no part of the bullet can pass through the glass and persons on the protected side won’t be subject to injury from glass shards. Levels are based on weapons, ammunition and the number of shots withstood.
Levels go from 1 through 8 and shotgun. The ratings aren’t necessarily linear, so it is best to consult with an expert regarding the sort of attack expected to determine the appropriate protection level for any given application.
NIJ 0108.01: Updated less frequently than UL 752 and tested by the manufacturer rather than an independent laboratory, NIJ 0108.01 is less frequently used in the industry. It remains a valid means, however, to classify the level of ballistic protection required for a variety of construction products.
To learn more about the difference between UL 752 and NIJ 0108.01, visit our blog, “UL752 vs. NIJ Standards: Comparing Different Bullet Resistant Standards”
It is the responsibility of government to protect its spaces and its employees. U.S. Bullet Proofing offers many of the products needed for that protection, along with a reputation for quality, innovation and attentive customer service that have made us a leader in the industry. Contact us today to discover the ways we can safeguard your people and property.