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Specifying security secondary glazing...have you considered the bigger picture...

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Secondary Glazing in Practice

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Security secondary glazing

To create bespoke, high quality secondary glazing for characterful Listed properties is no easy task and there are a whole multitude of things to consider; however with security products, the list of items to check gets more complex. Scenario: The owners of a desirable property at high risk of physical attack decide to strengthen or replace the front door with a high performing security one and fit an alarm system but do nothing to enhance vulnerable windows. A determined intruder will easily overcome the traditional windows and gain entry before the alarm has had an effect. The bigger picture The windows can be discreetly strengthened using secondary glazing which is almost always acceptable to conservation officers. A reputable provider should be consulted at the earliest stage of design as possible. This will help minimise any potential issues or discrepancies with the specification of the specialist units. When providing products to reach standard test criteria for blast mitigation, physical attack, bullet resistance and fire ratings; every aspect of the item has to be enhanced to withstand the loads and forces it is put under during ‘attack’. This especially applies to secondary glazing as it acts as the main barrier to entry in a great deal of cases, with the old time-worn original windows and frames, providing little protection to the building. Not only is it just the windows which suffer from years of beatings from the elements, but the fabric of the building itself – plaster work can become fragile and brickwork lose and damaged, which can all effect the integrity of a good security specification which is fit for purpose. To meet project requirements, provide confidence in the products and to ensure products pass to relevant ISO or LPS standards, frames are enhanced and strengthened, as well as the use of specialist glass and if the windows are large the weight can be quite considerable. So what are some of the things to be considered?

The finer details

1. The right product to suit the level and type of risk a. Risk identified – what level and type of security needs to be implemented to mitigate the identified risk? b. Product certification – does the manufacturer have test evidence to substantiate claims of what their products can achieve. This will be required for insurance purposes and to provide  confidence and peace of mind in their performance c. Product range - Does the vendor have suitable frames that provide the level of security and also match the existing sightlines to complement the original glazing d. Glass and locking – Each level and type of security will have specialist requirements on each component of the frame – does the manufacturer you wish to specify have all the options to meet the required design 2. Weight of the products As already mentioned, enhanced security secondary glazing can be extremely weighty, so this can have an effect on some other aspects of the project: a. Load bearing walls – are the walls in a fit state and strong enough to take the weight of the units b. Installation – what is access like to install the units? Is specialist equipment required to help manoeuvre and lift the units into place to be fitted 3. Fixing/Installation a. Secure anchor points – does the wall need reinforcing to provide strong secure fixing points, ensuring the units are robust in the event of an ‘attack’ Selectaglaze has fifty years’ experience in designing, specifying and installing secondary glazing. In a continual process of research and development, Selectaglaze has developed the most comprehensive range of security secondary glazing products which are independently tested and certified. Selectaglaze bespoke security units are manufactured in-house and installed by our own, specialist installers. As a company we are proud of our proven track record in creating the level of security specified irrespective of the challenges posed by the original fabric of a building.