Bullet Guard Acquired by Industry Leader Total Security Solutions

After 40+ years in business, Bullet Guard announces that we were wholly acquired by Total Security Solutions (TSS), based out of Fowlerville, Michigan, in November of 2021.

While now part of the TSS family, Bullet Guard will continue operations in our current location and with the experienced staff that our customers have come to depend on over the years. This new relationship will allow Bullet Guard access to growth capital, extensive supply chains, advanced technology, and the expanded operational capacity that comes with being part of the TSS team.

Impressed by our commitment to quality and customer service, Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards shared, “As a company, they’re very similar to us, although at a smaller scale. But with more than 40 years of experience in bulletproof glass, they are really well-positioned to service the Western half of the country. That made them very attractive to us.”

Recent years have seen spikes in the murder rate in the U.S., with firearms involved in an increasing share of homicides.This has disproportionately impacted the Western half of the United States. Pew Research found that 2020’s year-over-year murder rate increase was the largest since at least 1905 (and possibly ever, according to the CDC). Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, and Arizona all saw increases of 16% to 45%. In Montana, murder rates nearly doubled, rising 84%.

Such increases bring an increased interest in securing facilities against armed attackers. TSS recognizes the substantial relationships we’ve built with municipal, financial, and government entities along the West Coast, and observed that Bullet Guard would be able to extend our reach by upgrading some of our current procedures.

Expanding Our Offerings by Optimizing Procedures

While acknowledging our pre-existing automation, TSS saw opportunities to upgrade the processes already in place. In late March of 2022, TSS began the process of modernizing operations here at Bullet Guard. Building on the exceptional service we already offer our customers, TSS seeks to enhance that service by bringing in everything they know about making bulletproof barrier systems to extremely tight tolerances.

This will also mean expanding our offerings to better suit other potential customers, like hospitals and schools. But these improvements aren’t limited to installing new CNC routers and water jet cutters. Jim Richards is working with our management team, integrating Bullet Guard into the Total Security Solutions EOS (or Entrepreneurial Operating System™). EOS is a comprehensive set of business concepts and tools that make it much easier for an organization—no matter how large or small—to move together toward their goals.

“About ten years ago, we shifted our mindset,” Jim explains. “As a company, we shifted our focus. We stopped thinking just about ‘stopping bullets’ or ‘stopping robberies,’ and expanded our view. We began to understand that this was bigger than robberies. It was about finding the best way to protect an organization’s most valuable asset: their people. You do that by making those people’s lives easier every day, not just on their worst day. Designing systems that look good and work well, installing them with as little disruption as possible, increasing their peace of mind on a daily basis—all of that is part of what it means to protect people.”

Exciting Changes, Consistent Service

One thing that won’t change is our devotion to quality work and excellent customer service, the same standards that you’ve come to know from us over the past 40+ years. Our dedicated employees will always be here, helping you make the right choices for your security needs.

Bandit Barriers: Giving You the Advantage

With a rising focus on building security and employee safety, it should come as no surprise that there’s an increase in demand for bullet-resistant barriers. Bandit barriers, in particular, are barriers that physically separate the area in front of a counter to provide a secure space for protecting employees and other valuables. When utilized at a bank or convenience store, for example, a bandit barrier prevents would-be criminals from reaching behind the counter and protects those behind the barrier from active shooters. The physical presence of these barriers is often enough to deter crime, making this a desirable security feature that all commercial contractors should be familiar with.

Applications

Rather than being limited to areas of high crime, these barriers are also sought out for university and government projects, thanks to Homeland Security grants which can help to offset the costs. Frequently used as a transaction window or teller window, bandit barriers are found in a variety of industries, including:

  • Financial institutions (banks, credit unions)
  • Government facilities (local, state, and federal)
  • Healthcare (pharmacies, emergency rooms)
  • Higher education
  • Correctional facilities
  • Police departments
  • Retail (jewelry stores, convenience stores, fuel centers, etc)

Advantages

The advantages for contractors offering bandit barriers are clear:

  • Demand is rising
  • Little competition among installers
  • Design can be challenging, but installation is easy
  • Adds a profit center without adding expenses

Taking time to connect with a bulletproof company and drawing on their expertise means adding an impressive profit center to your business without any risk: all the components and materials can be purchased prefabricated, with the design cost absorbed by the end-user.

Technical Specifications and Accessories

We offer custom systems in a variety of protection levels, ranging from UL levels 1-8. Depending on the system selected, you’ll find the following options:

Level 1: Uncoated Acrylic, Coated Acrylic, Laminated Polycarbonate, Glass Clad Polycarbonate

Level 2: Uncoated Acrylic, Coated Acrylic, Laminated Polycarbonate, Glass Clad Polycarbonate

Level 3: Laminated Polycarbonate, Glass Clad Polycarbonate

Levels 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8: Glass Clad Polycarbonate

Each system can be customized to fit the existing space, with baffle and arch window systems being especially popular with banks. Using acrylic, these systems allow for excellent light transmission and broad, clear sight lines, creating a physical barrier without sacrificing the customer experience. When combined with various accessories, these systems ensure that day-to-day tasks are uninterrupted.

Accessory options include:

  • Voice ports for clear communication
  • Deal trays for passing money or documents
  • Package passers for the hand-off of larger items

Bullet-Resistant Bandit Barriers From Bullet Guard

With over 40 years of industry experience, we know how to build a system that truly feels secure, and our experienced team is ready to custom build the best bandit barrier solution for your project. To learn more about how we can meet your specific needs, view our Bandit Barrier Catalog or contact us to get started with a quote.

History & Evolution of Bulletproof Glass

Countless militaries, government agencies, banks, and other businesses use bulletproof glass in their efforts to safeguard staff and property. This protective material isn’t the result of a single invention; with origins in the 17th century, it has evolved over time as the resulting integration of various glass manufacturing methods. Learn more about the history of bulletproof glass and how technology has advanced.

Prince Rupert’s Drops

The bulletproof glass timeline begins in the mid-1600s. Named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Prince Rupert’s Drops were the first iteration of fortified glass. People found that a rapid hardening effect occurred when dropping molten glass into cool water, resulting in teardrop-shaped bits of glass. They observed that the rounded end was significantly strong, with the capability of withstanding impact. However, the tail end was immensely fragile and any pressure on that end would cause the entire piece to shatter.

The drops, while lacking useful applications themselves, did inspire further investigation into how glass could become stronger, and in 1935, Rudolph A. Seiden received a tempered glass patent. As the first patent of its kind, this advancement in tempered glass served as an initial step in ultimately developing bulletproof glass for high-impact applications.

When Was Bulletproof Glass Invented?

French chemist Edouard Benedictus accidentally discovered the concept of bulletproof glass, also known as laminated or safety glass, in 1903. While performing experiments in England, Benedictus dropped a glass vessel containing a solution of liquid nitrate. Instead of shattering, the beaker merely cracked.

Benedictus noticed that the solution had created a layer of plastic within the flask that prevented the glass from shattering, and that discovery brought about further research into what would become bulletproof glass. In 1909, Edouard Benedictus filed a patent in France for laminated safety glass, and in 1914, he did the same in the U.S.

Bulletproof Glass in WWI & WWII

In the World Wars, the military used fortified glass for its transparency and protective properties. Though it wasn’t fully bulletproof, manufacturers utilized laminated safety glass in World War I for plane windshields, as well as eye coverings in the form of aviation glasses and gas mask eyehole covers. By the time WWII ended, thicker laminated safety glass was developed with higher durability for rugged applications in warzone transport vehicles.

Other Notable Events

  • Bulletproof glass in the White House. Franklin D. Roosevelt installed bulletproof glass in 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to provide added protection for himself and his aides in the Oval Office.
  • Bulletproof glass for the Mona Lisa. After criminals damaged the Mona Lisa in 1956, the Louvre decided to use bulletproof glass to protect the painting. It has safeguarded the Mona Lisa ever since, both inside the Louvre and when it is on loan to other galleries. This decision proved beneficial in 1974 and again in 2009 when other attackers tried to harm the painting.
  • Bulletproof glass and the Pope. In 1981 when Pope John Paul II headed the Catholic church, the Vatican outfitted the Popemobile with bulletproof glass following an assassination attempt.
  • Patenting bulletproof glass. Benedictus’ early 20th-century patents were for safety glass. The first U.S. patent exclusively for bulletproof glass was officially granted in 1982.

Bulletproof Glass & Products From Bullet Guard Corporation

Glass has evolved over the years from Prince Rupert’s Drops, tempered glass, and laminated safety glass to today’s highly advanced bulletproof varieties in eight different grades that can withstand gunfire and increasingly severe impacts. At Bullet Guard, we design, manufacture, and install standard and custom bullet-resistant and bulletproof products, including bulletproof windows, doors, enclosures, transaction systems, and fiberglass panels (FRPs).

For over 40 years, we have created our USA-made products from materials backed by UL-752 for reliable durability to best meet the safety needs of our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our fabrication capabilities or to request a quote.

Laminated Glass vs. Tempered Glass

Laminated and tempered glass provides excellent protection against intrusions, forced entry, and general breakage. They are types of safety glass, which manufacturers specially toughen or treat so the glass is less likely to break or to splinter into dangerous shards when cracking does occur. While the two types of glass have different attributes, such as bullet resistance in laminated glass, they both have applications in doors, windows, and other barrier formats to protect the interior of a car or a commercial or residential building. It is important to know the differences between laminated glass and tempered glass for choosing the right safety glass for your needs.

Laminated Glass

Manufacturers create laminated safety glass by bonding layers of glass on either side of a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or another strong resin. For example, laminated glass with a 0.250-inch thickness is actually two 0.125-inch layers of glass on either side of a thin plastic layer. The resin lamination binds with the glass through the application of pressure and heat, and this gives the glass extra reinforcement against physical force or even bullets.

Advantages of Laminated Glass
Some of the key benefits of choosing laminated glass include:

  • Bullet resistance. Manufacturers can engineer laminated glass to be bullet-resistant. Due to the composition of this glass and its layered construction, it won’t shatter when a bullet hits it, nor will the glass fall out of its frame.
  • Shatter resistance. Since the glass bonds to a layer of resin, it stays in place, even when broken. There’s minimal risk of shards or sharp edges.
  • Versatility. With modifications, the glass can have different characteristics based on the types of resin manufacturers use and the number of glass and resin layers.
  • Additional protective characteristics. Laminated glass also reduces sound and can prevent UV light from reaching the interior of a vehicle or building.

Disadvantages of Laminated Glass
While laminated glass offers excellent protection, it can take more time to produce and is generally more expensive than tempered glass.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass, on the other hand, is standard glass that manufacturers have toughened through heat, pressure, and chemical processes. This makes the glass stronger and better able to resist internal stress. Manufacturers will shape the glass and make any cuts or notches to it all prior to inserting it into a tempering oven as, once this step happens, the glass component will be unalterable.

Advantages of Tempered Glass
Some of the key benefits of tempered glass include:

  • Strength. The tempering process makes the glass stronger and less likely to break than laminated.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Tempered glass is more affordable to produce than laminated, making it an excellent fit for many general constructions

Disadvantages of Tempered Glass
There are some drawbacks of tempered glass compared to laminated glass. After the tempering process is complete, manufacturers cannot alter the glass or it would lead to product damage. Also, while tempered glass is quite strong, when breaking does occur, the glass will shatter and fall apart rather than stay in one general piece.

Should You Choose Laminated or Tempered Glass?

Both laminated glass and tempered glass create safer cars and buildings because of their added strength and resilience. However, when deciding on tempered versus laminated glass, the two offer different strengths and varying costs for different circumstances. For example, tempered glass provides interior safety so occupants or drivers don’t have to worry about glass-related damage or injuries. However, laminated glass offers the best protection against forced entry or bullets.

Some of the considerations to keep in mind as you’re choosing the right fit for your project include:

  • Breakage. Tempered glass will shatter and fall to the ground if hit with enough force. Laminated glass can break, but it will stay as a single sheet between the laminated layers.
  • Strength. Tempered glass is stronger than laminated glass.
  • Production. While manufacturers can shape and modify laminated glass after production, tempered glass is a final product once the tempering process is complete.
  • Additional benefits. Laminated glass has additional advantageous characteristics, like blocking UV light and muffling sound.

Bulletproof Glass & Products From Bullet Guard

At Bullet Guard Corporation, we specialize in creating innovative, reliable bulletproof and bullet-resistant windows, doors, panels, and barriers. Our customized safety glass construction will meet your security needs in applications from banks and courtrooms to pharmacies and ticket counters. We offer complete design, fabrication, and installation services, and our expert team is here to assist you throughout the process.

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services, or request a quote to start your order.

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