Why You Should Consider Ballistic Protection for Your Commercial Space

Why You Should Consider Ballistic Protection for Your Commercial Space

It is always good to be prepared for a dangerous situation in the workplace. Here is why you should consider ballistic protection for your commercial space.

Workplace injuries have been on the decline for the past decade. But workplace violence has risen to become the second leading cause of death on the job.

So it’s no wonder that one in seven employees report feeling increasingly unsafe at work.

It’s not the answer to every security issue, but ballistic protection can ease those fears. Not every building needs embassy-level protection, and there are ways to integrate it that doesn’t interfere with a professional atmosphere.

Each business site is unique, but the desire to protect employees and customers from violent acts is consistent. Let’s consider what dangers you need to be protected from and how you might go about it.

WorkPlace Dangers

The big threats you can plan for include angry customers, robbers, and looters. Money crimes like robbery are actually on the decline and respond well to visible checks like good lighting and security cameras.

What’s on the rise is harder to deter, so you have to plan to protect instead. The more likely source of violence is someone looking to retaliate, teach a lesson or get attention. These people aren’t concerned about getting caught or shot, so normal visible deterrents have less effect.

Places Most Likely to Need Protection

Any high-traffic business will be harder to protect because you need quick and efficient traffic flow. At obvious higher risk are businesses with a lot of cash around like banks, convenience stores, and dispensaries.

But given the growth in violent acts that aren’t about money, a new group of businesses should give ballistic protection a second look. These include places where emotions and tensions run high. Those, in turn, can lead to a greater risk of retaliation or a desire to teach a lesson.

Included in this group might be utilities, government offices, hospitals, and newsrooms. Healthcare is particularly vulnerable these days. More than 70 percent of workplace violence incidents happen in the healthcare and social assistance industries.

Types of Ballistic Protection

A simple ballistic protection definition would be any product meant to handle the impact of ballistic rounds. These might be bullet-resistant glass barriers and doors, but there are new ways to integrate security into a commercial space that are less noticeable.

The reinforced glass might be used in a storefront to thwart rioters and looters or inside a bank as a barrier between customers and tellers. This material isn’t completely “bulletproof”. Different ballistic protection levels show how much damage the glass can handle before breaking, therefore it is important that you select the right grade.

It’s easy to put employees behind glass to protect them, but that isn’t always a viable option. Plus, you need to take customers and foot traffic into account in your safety plan. Ballistic protective furniture adds extra security built into reception desks or lobbies seating.  Additionally, our Life Barrier product can be easily stored and ready to protect staff at a moment’s notice.

Create a Safety Culture

A rise in workplace violence calls for you to take stock of what you can be doing to better protect your people and property. Your threat assessment will help you uncover weak spots. Consider how ballistic protection could strengthen those and your overall security.

Being able to quantify the effectiveness of a given security measure within a space allows everyone to mitigate ballistic violence. In this case study, the ‘Asset Based Risk Analysis’ methodology, or ‘ABRA’ is being used. Created by the US Navy, this methodology was developed to help determine survival outcomes following an Active Shooter or Blast event.

“By deploying hidden ballistic barriers in a school setting, survivability increases significantly – between 74 and 98 percent – over non-ballistic barrier protected environments.”

Note: this analysis has been applied to a variety of environment types and yielded similar outcomes.

If you are undertaking a commercial interior design project, contact us to talk about how we can help. Backed by our preferred vendor, Amulet BB, we can discuss how to increase security in your commercial space through better space planning, reinforced office furniture, and other integrated solutions.