Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Jan 16 2015

FF: Security Mesh

Category: Fixed-it Friday,School SecurityLori @ 12:56 am Comments (10)
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I’ve started 2015 with quite a few posts about school security.  This is probably because I’ve been working so closely with the BHMA Codes and Government Affairs Committee and other organizations to review state requirements and propose code changes that will increase security in schools while maintaining safety.  I tend to write about whatever I’m working on.  If you’re tired of school-related posts, feel free to suggest something else you’d like me to write about – I’m easily distracted (Hey look!  A squirrel!  🙂 )  For today’s Fixed-it Friday post I have yet another school security topic (although it could apply to other types of buildings), and I’d love your feedback.

I received the photos below from an urban school district.  They have limited the amount of glazing in entrance doors and replaced sidelite glazing with panels.  For existing glazing, their solution is to install Crime Shield screens from Kane Security against the glass.  They have had no issues with this application, although it obviously changes the aesthetics and light transmission at the entrance doors.

Crime Shield 2 - Copy  Crime Shield 1 - Copy

I don’t think there is one solution that will work for every school, but this might work for some.  Security mesh is also mentioned in this video about security measures at an elementary school in North Carolina.

Here’s another screen that is being marketed for school security:

WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather

If you have experience with a product like this, share your insight by leaving a comment!

10 Responses to “FF: Security Mesh”

  1. lach says:

    I think this is a good alternative, but I might be in the minority on this. I value function over form and what this product can do based on what I saw in the video definitely out weighs any aesthetic issues. Though if you as me it would probably be better in a white finish.

  2. Jack Ostergaard says:

    this looks interesting. We’ve been using security films which provide a surprising level of protection. The problem is that the 10 year seal warranty on the insulated glass units is voided by the application of the film.

  3. Jon says:

    Lori,

    Sometime later today I should be able to share some of what I know about this product’s capacity for delaying an intrusion. For now I can say it’s been presented, evaluated and tested by our local Police, AHJ, School District Administration, Staff and Teachers and we are recommending it to the district.

  4. Michael A. Silva says:

    Lori,

    Thanks for the informative post. One of my clients has the need to do exactly what is shown in your pictures. Do you know if this was an off-the-shelf product, or were the perforated metal panels custom fabricated for this application? I took a look at the Crime Shield website but couldn’t find this specific product.

    Also, do you think that adding this product to an existing door would void its fire rating?

    • Lori says:

      Hi Mike –

      I don’t have a lot of direct experience with security screens or film, and I have been trying to find one that is listed for use on a fire door but haven’t had much luck. Maybe one of my readers will be able to answer your questions.

      – Lori

  5. Jon says:

    Lori,

    About two years ago we started testing the “wire mesh” product demonstrated in the video you included above. The test format focused on two scenarios. First; preventing an intruder from simply entering an occupied space thru a large panel of tempered glass (as was the case in Newtown and Red Lake High School). Second; delaying an intruder’s ability to reach an interior lock mechanism (as was the case in Hastings Middle School).

    Our goal was to delay an intruder’s entry into a building as well as their progress once inside thereby giving the occupants more time to react. The other general considerations were esthetics and cost.

    We informed TAPCO of our intention and they provided the wire mesh to our specification without condition.

    Firearms (in many calibers) as well as a number of other tools, both large and small were used individually and in combination. Unlike the “test” demonstrations of other products I’ve seen we did not limit the intrusion method. The number of rounds used ranged from 20 to 120. The methods were guided by those in our police community with experience in real world forced entry. Suffice to say the applied force was violent and focused.

    Our testers ranged in experience from laymen to certified marksman. They were provided with their choice of weapons and warned about the risk of being badly injured when attempting to reach thru this wire mesh.

    Because this is a public forum I cannot say what the police response time is in our district. I’m also not inclined to publish both times and methods for potential bad guys to see.

    What I can say is nobody walked thru a window as was the case in Newtown. When trying to access a interior lock set the laymen either wore themselves out or were not able to complete the breech before the police arrived. The trained marksmen did better but only when they had access to the right weapons and some advice on how to employ those weapons.

    Esthetics is in the eye of the beholder. I can’t speak to the perforated metal product as we did not evaluate it on any level. I can say no one had any difficulty with esthetics of the wire mesh produuct.

    The installation of these screens doesn’t require any special tools, materials or skill. In fact the district I’m working with intends to use their maintenance people to do the installation. With that in mind the estimated material cost of the fixed screen installation on just one of our full glass paneled main entrance doors is $350.

  6. Rich says:

    We have similar perforated mesh installed on several of the schools in our district.
    It is effective in reducing glass breakage due to vandalism but does have it’s issues.
    The screen should be easily removable for cleaning the windows as it isn’t long till the kids find that spray paint will make a difficult to remove polka-dot mess when sprayed through the screen.
    One clever little vandal also did this with expanding foam!
    One other thing, Make sure that your installers know if you have internal rod devices with recessed push plates on the doors BEFORE they install the screens. Don’t ask me how I know this!

  7. Rich says:

    I found myself rereading this post and realize I have a comment on film protection.
    It can be very effective against a person wanting to assault through a window however applied films can be easily defeated by someone with knowledge attempting surreptitious entry.
    At one time I did a security upgrade for a jewelry store that had film on it’s entry door and display windows. A knowledgeable B&E man had used a hammer to pulverize the glass near the storefront door’s deadbolt then simply pushed the film back and unlocked the door using the inside turnpiece. The film prevented the glass from shattering when the hammer was used allowing the crook an almost silent entry.

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