What Is Security Glass?

Security glass, also called “safety glass”, is glass that has been treated to be safer than standard glass.

So how is security glass “safer” than regular/standard glass?

Well, security glass is treated with heat to be:

  1. More resistant to breakage
  2. Safer when broken (doesn’t break with jagged edges)

While safety glass on windows and doors is sometimes required by law, you may want to double-check that all glass doors/windows in your home are made with security glass to help prevent break-ins. (More on that later.)

First, let’s go over the 2 types of security glass.

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Types of safety glass

You can choose between 2 different types of safety glass: tempered and laminated.

We’ll go over the difference between each.

Tempered glass

Also called “toughened glass”, tempered glass has been heat-treated (heated to about 1200°F and then cooled quickly) to become stronger and more resistant to breakage.

When tempered glass does break, it crumbles into small chunks instead of shattering into shards like plate glass does.

Tempered glass is often used on:

  • Computer monitors
  • Refrigerator shelves
  • Oven and microwave doors
  • Automobile passenger windows

Laminated glass

Laminated glass is essentially a glass sandwich with a resin glue film in the middle to prevent the glass from breaking into sharp pieces.

When laminated glass breaks, the glass adheres to the film, creating the distinct “spider web” pattern you’d recognize on a broken car windshield (most car windshields are made of laminated glass).

Laminated glass is also commonly used on:

  • Shower doors/enclosures
  • Storefront doors/windows
  • Greenhouse windows
  • Office walls/partitions

Now that you know how security glass is made, we’ll go over how it can deter intruders.

How security glass can prevent break-ins

Windows are one of the weakest points of entry in your home.

Even if you diligently lock your windows at night and when you’re away from home, an intruder can easily break a plate glass window.

With safety glass on your home’s windows, an intruder would have a much harder time breaking in.

See, the tempering process makes tempered glass 5–10 times stronger than regular plate glass. And laminated glass can withstand repeated blows. This means an intruder would have to spend a lot more time trying to break a window with safety glass than they would one with plate glass.

Better yet, installing glass break sensors on safety glass windows will trigger your security alarm as soon as the glass cracks—which could be before the intruder even makes it through the glass.

Tempered vs. laminated glass: What’s best for your home?

Unfortunately, we can’t give a good security glass recommendation without inspecting your home and talking with you about your security needs.

That being said, we’ll go over a few pros and cons of tempered and laminated glass.

Compared to laminated glass, tempered glass:

  • Is much stronger (i.e. more resistant to breaking)
  • Costs significantly less

However, laminated glass:

  • Offers better soundproofing
  • Blocks almost 97% of UV rays
  • Can be repaired if the damage is minor (tempered glass usually needs to be replaced completely)

Need help finding the right safety glass for your security system?

Contact us

We’ll send one of our specialists to talk with you about your security needs and help you find the right security glass products for your home.