When a store is impacted by crime, it can do more than just financial damage. It can leave an impression on customers and employees, making them feel vulnerable in a space that should offer an enjoyable shopping experience. Unfortunately, violence and crime go hand-in-hand and are not going away. A 2023 survey, conducted by the National Retail Federation, revealed that retailers, around 88% of those who replied, believe that there has been an escalation in the hostility of shoplifters compared to the previous year.¹ Moreover, over half the replies to the survey claimed greater levels of violent incidents, some of which used weapons. Protective measures must be put in place in a store to ensure the safety of those who work and shop there. Bulletproof glass, better defined as bullet resistant glass, offers a defense when violent events occur in shops. Join us as we discuss the effectiveness of bulletproof glass for stores, considering which Underwriters Laboratories (UL) level is best for a retail business or shop.

How does Bulletproof Glass Work?

Bulletproof glass is used as a robust barrier to deliver protection against projectiles and bullets. To do this, it is made up of layers, each a distinct material, that take the projectile’s kinetic energy and disperse it. If the bulletproof glass has more layers within it, its strength can be increased. Every material in these layers plays a part in stopping the projectile from breaking through. Outer layers tend to be made of harder materials, such as laminated or tempered glass. Their purpose is to manage the impact of the projectile. That way, the bulletproof glass will not fully break in a dangerous manner. In contrast, the inner layer of the glass, which is segmented within the outer glass, is not as hard. Acrylic or polycarbonate can be used within the inner layer. While the outer layer will crack upon impact, the inner layer uses its flexibility to stop the bullet and get rid of its energy. This will halt the projectile. Therefore, it will be unable to reach those who are protected by the glass.

Should Stores Use Bulletproof Glass?

Stores use a variety of security tools for protection, from purchasing security cameras to employing security guards. Applying bulletproof glass to a store can increase its safety, acting as an extremely effective barrier against an attack. When an incident occurs, the bulletproof glass can shelter employees. This can provide them protection even if an aggressor attempts to break the glass down. Not only that, but utilizing this defense can offer an employee time to move away from the aggressor or reach out for assistance. Essentially, investing in bulletproof glass for stores is a way of supporting employees. It can help them feel safe because there are security precautions in place.

Ensuring Your Bulletproof Glass for Stores is Effective

A lot of stores will incorporate bulletproof glass in bullet resistant windows and transaction windows. But these are only as effective as the UL rating of the glass. Each rating demonstrates:

  • How much defense the glass has to offer
  • How many bullets it can protect against
  • The category of bullets it can resist.

Bulletproof glass has 10 UL levels to choose between. Levels 1-3 are the lowest levels of protection. However they would suit a retail environment, unlike 4-10 which are better for military bases or government facilities. For stores, the level of bulletproof glass depends on what type of products it is trying to keep secure. Levels 1-3, for instance, may be best for a pharmacy or convenience store as the glass can resist attacks from small firearms. However, for a jewelry store, additional defenses may be required, and so a higher level would be more suitable. Selecting a UL level should be based upon the needs of the store and the types of issues it encounters.

Other factors may have an impact on the effectiveness of your bulletproof glass. When deciding upon bulletproof glass for your store, consider the amount of layers it has, as additional layers can increase its abilities, and overall thickness. It is also important to understand the type of characteristics its materials may have. For instance, bulletproof glass that incorporates polycarbonate will have increased strength. Therefore, it will have the capability to take in additional energy from the projectile.

Shield Your Store With Bulletproof Glass

The inclusion of bulletproof glass in your store will not go unnoticed. Your staff and customers will appreciate it being there, knowing that they are shielded from any violent events. Whether you want bulletproof glass, or another product that can resist projectiles, we, Armortex can help you make a selection that will improve the safety of your store. Browse our bulletproof windows and doors or speak with our experts to receive advice about which would be best to protect your shop. You have worked too hard to let your store be affected by crime. Apply bulletproof glass and enhance its defenses.


  1. 2023 Retail Security Survey: The National Retail Federation and The Loss Prevention Research Council; 2023. Pages 1-21.