How to Install Bulletproof Glass: Tips for Contractors Working in Commercial Facilities

Installing ballistic glass is different from typical, non-rated glazing. If you’ve never installed bulletproof glass, incorrect handling could result in material failure. Having the right know-how can make the bulletproof glass installation project go more smoothly. Bullet Guard has been serving the Western United States since 1976 so we have decades of experience fabricating and installing ballistic barriers. This blog covers essential steps of how to install bulletproof glass in a commercial facility. Please note that we do not provide bulletproof glass for residences or vehicles.

Installing Bulletproof Glass Starts with Receiving Your Product Shipment

Installing ballistic glass the right way starts before the product even arrives on the jobsite. We always recommend conducting a site assessment before installation day. Go over the space’s conditions; do you have access to a loading dock or freight elevator? Will you need a hi-lo or pallet jack? Would it make more sense for materials to arrive on a flatbed truck or dry van? If you know what you need ahead of time, we can help you coordinate.

Once the bulletproof glass has been delivered, take the time to inspect everything for errors. If you receive a damaged product, send it back. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, tell the Bullet Guard team as soon as possible. You don’t want to get halfway through an install before you realize there’s an issue—especially if that issue wasn’t your fault. Plus, catching issues before bulletproof glass installation is complete prevents material failure later on and protects your good name and reputation of quality workmanship.

Now, it’s time to create a plan for transporting the bulletproof glass through the jobsite so you can install them. Remember, bullet-resistant materials are heavy! Each piece can weigh up to 800 pounds, often requiring specialized equipment to lift and carry. Expect some level of difficulty maneuvering large sheets of glazing through hallways, up stairs, or in elevators.

How to Install Bulletproof Glass: Tips for the Pros

Once you’re ready to get started installing bulletproof glass, double check all your materials. This includes the products, your tools, and the master plan. Verify the system’s color, height, and other details. Double check your surroundings, to ensure you’re not installing the system in the middle of a light fixture or an outlet.

Then, lay out your channels according to the top-down, overall view of the system. Doing this first will ensure everything matches. Your glazing should match the channel, but don’t assume everything will match! Once again, it’s better to double check everything before you begin. You should also make sure the threat and secure sides of the glass are oriented correctly. Mount all the framing and channels in the specified opening. Install the gasketing (also called sponge and wedge) between the bulletproof glass and the edge of the frame. Note that you may need to split the sponge and wedge.

Once you’ve set the bulletproof glass in the channel according to the engineering plan, peel the protective sheet off each panel. Clean the ballistic glazing with the cleaner included in your order. Do not use regular glass cleaner, which can damage the surface of bulletproof glass.

Pro Tip for Preventing Damage to Bulletproof Glass During Installation

Don’t leave lacquer cleaner or anything that has lacquer cleaner on it (like rags) anywhere near the bulletproof glass! Lacquer cleaner is a common product used in various types of installations, so it’s normal to have it on a job site. However, this product can damage ballistic glass! Avoid accidentally using lacquer cleaner on your glazing by keeping these items far away from the bulletproof glass you’re installing.

Successfully Install Bulletproof Glass with Bullet Guard

It typically takes a team of two to four people one to three days to install bulletproof glass systems. Less complex projects may take less time, more complex planning may take more time. Since our founding in 1976, we’ve worked closely with the AEC community and are happy to help you plan your bulletproof glass project installation. To learn more about how to install bulletproof glass or get a quote on bulletproof glass, send us a message or give our office a call at 866.950.4231.

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