Some type of crazy, destructive weather occurs in every location. So do man-made disasters like landslides and fires. When ordering replacement windows, or designing windows for a new facility, make sure that the security of your employees and that of your business assets are your top priorities.
Keep the following 3 considerations in mind when shopping for commercial glass windows:
1) You need to assess possible local risks to windows.
If you're in a hurricane or tornado-prone location, you already know that high winds can burst windows. Fierce hail can wreak havoc on glass. Mudslides, nearby construction, pressure from deep snowbanks and even snowplows have destroyed business windows. If your business or shop is located near a park, a stray ball or even wildlife might shatter your storefront.
The human, animal and weather-related creativity involved in cracking glass is impressive. Do an assessment of the area where your building is located to stay one step ahead of broken windows. Study the 50-year and 100-year floodplains where your facility is located to determine the likelihood of catastrophic water damage.
Research or ask your window professionals about other dangers in your area. Are wildfires a possibility? Do you live near the coast, where storm surges happen? What about earthquakes? Cover all the possibilities, and order glass that will best protect your building in its specific location.
2) Don't wait to learn your windows aren't enough.
It's taken one hospital in Joplin, Missouri over four years, and a brand new name, to rise from the rubble of a severe tornado. Hospital officials realized after the tornado that, once windows were breached, the tornado's winds were free to send medical equipment and other debris flying inside the hospital. This put fragile patients at risk of great harm before they could be safely evacuated.
Officials also noted that strengthened windows they had previously installed on some buildings didn't burst like the older windows. The strengthened windows held fast during the storm.
The new hospital has windows designed with special glass and framing systems, designed to withstand 250 mph winds. Officials learned the hard way to take window safety very seriously.
3) Be aware that windows are also secondary escape routes.
Review and revise your firm's disaster preparedness. Do the same with evacuation routes throughout your building, keeping in mind the most realistic scenarios.
Incorporate windows that can be easily opened from the inside during emergencies. Make sure these windows can't be blocked by materials, flooding or heavy snow.
Assess the need for fire ladders, impact-resistant glass and other safety measures. Make sure to have windows inspected several times a year to be certain that seals, caulking and frames are strong and free from damage.
Chances are, your business will grow and thrive without facing any major catastrophes. But it's wise to be prepared for the worst that nature and man can throw at your windows. Choosing to err on the side of safety will save lives and property if you ever do face a deadly storm.