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    Bullet Resistant Doors          


    What are bulletproof doors?


    From a strictly technical evaluation, there is actually no such thing as a bulletproof door or a bulletproof security door. The term bulletproof means that 100% of the time, a round from a firearm will not penetrate the door or window. In reality, with the right caliber weapon and/or enough rounds, the protection will eventually fail allowing the bullet to penetrate the barrier. Because of this, the correct term we should discuss is ballistic resistant door also called a bullet resistant door.  


    What are bomb proof doors?


    For the same reasons, bomb proof doors should be described more correctly as blast resistant doors. The Protogetic Filter helps you search for both ballistic resistant and blast resistant doors easily and effortlessly.


    Why is ballistic resistance important?


    It may sound like semantics, but it is important for safety and design requirements to thoroughly understand that the product you are installing is not actually a bulletproof door but a ballistic resistant door.  In the protective design and security profession, architects and engineers equip entryways with the level of protection required by the likely threats encountered by the building and its occupants.


    How are bulletproof doors rated?


    Bullet resistant doors, also called ballistic doors for short, are tested similarly to what many people erronmeously call bulletproof windows. These rigorous tests employ a number of criteria, including different types of firearms, the ammunition’s caliber, firing distance and number of shots fired. UL 752 ratings are the gold standard in measuring a bullet resistant door. UL 752 ranges from 1 to 10 (from lowest to highest protection).


    For example: 


    • UL 752 Level 1 means a 9mm handgun was fired 3 times from 4.6 meters and no penetration occurred.
    • UL 752 Level 5 means an AK-47 was fired 1 time from 4.6 meters without penetration.
    • UL 752 Level 10 indicates that a 50 Caliber Rifle was fired 1 time from 4.6 meters resulting in no penetration.


    What materials are bullet resistant doors made of?


    Aluminum, steel, wood and composite materials like fiberglass. Not surprisingly, many bullet resistant doors are made from cold rolled steel. Despite this very robust material, this door type still cannot be called a bulletproof steel door. Given sufficient rounds, high caliber weapons can penetrate metal. For this reason, these doors are properly described as a ballistic resistant steel door or a ballistic steel door. Such doors are very popular because they are both effective and affordable.


    Are bullet resistant doors made of other materials?


    Bullet resistant doors can also be made from special glass, polycarbonate or acrylic materials. An advantage of acrylic ballistic resistant doors is they provide a similar aesthetic to glass but are stronger and lighter weight.


    Can bullet resistant doors have windows?


    Yes. A window in a door is called glazing and comes in various sizes depending on the manufacturer. For a door to be truly secure, this glass needs to have a UL 752 bullet resistant rating as well. Otherwise, the glass can be shot out and the door unlocked, allowing entry to the building. This is a vitally important consideration when dealing with active shooter incidents. Preventing access into the building is essential as part of crisis architecture.


    Are there bullet resistant doors that are all glass? 


    Yes. These aesthetically pleasing doors come in a variety of configurations and ratings. Protogetic offers some of the leading manufacturers of all glass ballistic resistant doors. You can even search by their UL 752 ratings.


    Are there bullet resistant wood doors?


    Yes. It might not be intuitive that a wood door can stop a bullet but there are many varieties of bullet resistant wood doors. These are typically made with a wood core laminated with a veneer covering of bullet-resistant fiberglass or other composites.


    Are door frames ballistic resistant?


    Regardless of material, it is important that the frame and the door leaf be made of bullet resistant material. Some doors have aluminum frames that hold ballistic glass windows. While the glass will stop penetration, the aluminum frame may not unless it, too, is UL 752 rated. This is yet another reason why occupants of a building should not be lulled into a false sense of security by believing they are shielded by a bulletproof door.


    Where are ballistic resistant doors used?


    Banks and government facilities have employed ballistic resistant doors for a long time. Unfortunately, the world has become more dangerous in what had been our traditionally safest spaces:


    • Churches
    • Schools
    • Hospitals
    • Shopping malls
    • Retail box stores
    • Offices and workplaces


    More and more, ballistic resistant doors are being utilized as they form a first line of defense against active shooters even entering the building. Because they are more durable and require less maintenance, large buildings and retail stores are installing ballistic doors more frequently as they also provide a cost savings.


    Do ballistic resistant doors protect against forced entry?


    The stopping power of a bullet resistant door often translates to forced entry protection as well by slowing or preventing the integrity of the door from being breached. Many models will also have an ASTM F3038 Forced Entry rating called the Standard Test Method for Timed Evaluation of Forced-Entry-Resistant Systems or a U.S. Department of State SD-STD-01.01 Rev G test rating.


    These ratings are a timed test of how long a door can withstand attack using a standardized set of heavy breaching tools like sledgehammers, wedges and crowbars. There are differences between the Rev G and F3038 tests. Rev G uses between 2-6 attackers whereas the F3038 always employs 6 attacking personnel. Rev G has three timed levels: 5 minute, 15 minute and 60 minute durations. F3038 adds an additional duration of 30 minutes. For F3038: the designation FE 5 means the door held for 5 minutes under attack. The highest rating is 60-minutes - ASTM F3038 FE 60.


    Does Protogetic have bullet resistant doors with ratings?


    Protogetic carries ballistic resistant doors, with or without windows, in a variety of materials that are searchable by ratings. You can also search by threat types such as hurricane and tornado doors as well as forced entry and blast resistant doors. Given modern day attack risks, it is important to consider installing other building protections like ballistic resistant interior wall systems that protect occupants from rounds fired through interior drywall. Protogetic carries a full line of ballistic resistant products from leading companies. Visit today and sign up for a FREE account!