Lockdown procedures, much like other emergency response measures, are critical to the safe and secure operation of schools, airports, government offices and other vulnerable spaces. The purpose of a lockdown is to minimize accessibility to rooms and build areas and reduce the risk of injury or danger to staff, students or visitors.
Designing safe spaces that make students, staff and visitors feel secure is important. However, many security measures are intrusive and can contribute to feelings of anxiety and mistrust. Architects and designers need to balance the need for security with elements of design that create a positive environment: openness, natural light and transparency.
Switchable glass is a great option for adding an invisible layer of security to any space. Smart glass and film go from transparent to opaque with the flick of a switch, providing privacy on demand. This is accomplished through the use of PDLC (Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal) technology. When the glass is powered on the crystals align, creating transparency. When the glass is powered off the liquid crystals randomly orient and scatter the light, resulting in opacity. This effect is accomplished in 0.01 seconds, providing instant privacy.
Here are five reasons to include smart glass when designing spaces that can easily be transformed in the event of a lockdown:
Smart glass goes from clear to opaque at a speed that simply cannot be reached with electronic blinds, curtains or other window treatments. In an emergency situation, every second counts and staff should not be wasting time covering glass surfaces.
If there is a security threat, getting close to glass surfaces to pull curtains closed can be risky or frightening for teachers or personnel. Smart glass can be controlled from a distance via a remote control, button, smartphone or voice command. This saves precious time and eliminates the need to come into contact with the glass.
In addition to providing privacy, smart glass dampens noise. This is because the PDLC layer is sandwiched between two pieces of glass, increasing the number of surfaces that sound must transmit through. In addition to making conversations confidential, this decreases noise pollution and makes classrooms quieter and large public spaces less echoey. The soundproofing capabilities of smart glass can be increased through the use of IGUs (insulated glass units).
Open, connected spaces with high visibility minimize the number of places an intruder or individual with ill intentions can hide. This makes surveillance easier for security personnel. Research has also shown that there are fewer crimes committed in areas with high visibility.
While many security measures can feel invasive or serve as a reminder of a potential threat, smart glass simply looks like glass. Increasing the use of glass in designs makes spaces feel bigger, brighter and more connected. This positive environment can translate into more positive interactions.
Any type of glass can be made switchable, whether it is fire rated glass, bulletproof glass, blast resistant or tinted. Each order is custom manufactured for the requirements of each project.
Has the glass already been installed? No worries. Our smart film product can easily be applied to existing glass to transform any glass surface into switchable glass, making it the perfect retrofit option.
Popular Applications for Smart Security Glass
• Schools and universities
• Office building lobbies
• Interrogation rooms
• Payment booths
• Home entrances
• Government offices
Looking to make your space more secure and dynamic? Contact us today for a free quote!