Today’s homeowners are searching for viable building solutions that protect their family from nature’s fiercest storms. Plastics of all kinds can provide a method for improving security while still maintaining a cost-effective and aesthetically-pleasing home environment.

In areas that are prone to severe weather—particularly storms involving windblown debris, such as tornadoes and hurricanes—glass-clad polycarbonate glazing or acrylic glazing can provide protection and visual clarity at a lower cost and lighter unit weight than traditional laminated glass. Protection can be provided at the highest UL level available. In addition, recently developed technologies allow the on-site application of polymer sheets to double-glazed windows in residential applications, which provides bullet resistance for renovation projects, as well as new construction.

Safe-Room Construction

Depicted in the film The Wizard of Oz as Dorothy’s family runs into the cellar to escape the coming storm, the idea of a safe room has come a long way. Today, safe rooms provide a place where homeowners and their families can find sanctuary in the event of catastrophic weather, fire or criminal invasion.

Walls for safe rooms can be constructed of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), which are expanded polystyrene forms that remain in place on both interior and exterior wall surfaces to provide insulation after concrete is poured between them. To provide improved fire resistance, the thickness of the concrete can be increased.

Doors used in safe-room construction can be penetration-resistant shells with expanded polystyrene cores to provide an appropriate fire rating. The opening mechanism and locks/latches also can be chosen for tornado or blast resistance. So, occupants can exit the room once the threat is over, swing-hinge doors typically open inward, so that debris will not prevent the door from opening and hamper escape.

Security Monitoring & Security Lighting

Many people are choosing security video cameras to function as a crucial second set of eyes to monitor their homes and help maintain the safety of their families. Plastic is meeting the growing demand for these products with smaller and lighter security-camera housings and other security components.

When the threat of criminal invasion, vandalism or break-in is significant, exterior security lighting should have a combination of rugged lighting fixtures and impact-resistant fixture covers—all available as cost-effective and versatile plastic products. Plastic fixtures can provide substantial resistance to tossed rocks, slingshots, BB guns, and similar methods of vandalism and destruction. Interior fixtures constructed of plastic also can provide owners with options for impact-resistant covers or enclosures.

Polycarbonate plastic and acrylic plastics provide visual clarity and strength. Manufactured in large and small—even miniature—configurations to provide security lighting in a variety of spaces, both types of plastic offer resistance to hammer attack and other physical abuse, bullet penetration, blast damage, and penetration by wind-blown debris.

Safety & Security Resources

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