Jane Embury warns against complacency in the new normal
According to a report, the global explosion-proof glass market is expected to grow steadily between 2021-2027.
Some of those applications will be in, for example, oil and gas facilities where there is a risk of accidental explosions.
Most, however, will be in high-value applications such as rail hubs, airports and buildings seen as potential targets.
As we’ve said, as the world gets back to some kind of normality, the threat of terrorism will also grow.
A recent Europol report makes clear how the pandemic has created isolation and radicalisation.
The EU’s law enforcement agency, says that mental health is an important issue in relation to terrorism and violent extremism.
Terrorist ideology might be international, fuelled online, but it it’s often lone wolf individuals who are the perpetrators.
In 2020, there were 57 completed, failed and foiled terrorist attacks in the European Union. Those were in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Most were carried out by individuals, many of whom had been on nobody’s radar.
In the UK, Sir David Amess was recently murdered, and in the last few days we’ve also seen a failed suicide attack in Liverpool. That’s prompted the government to raise the UK terror threat level to “severe.”
Only a few weeks ago, the director general of MI5 warned that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would provide a ‘morale boost to extremists already here or in other countries, so we need to be vigilant’.
In the advanced steel glazing sector, we have particular expertise in designing and supplying systems to mitigate against explosive or ballistic attack.
That international expertise was recognised in 2016 at the Global Business Excellence Awards.
We won a prestigious award “for making the world a safer place.”
In a building or transport hub, it’s not just the explosion itself that poses the most potent threat. Between 80-85% of all secondary blast injuries are caused by flying glass. Those secondary blast injuries are much more common than primary blast injuries.
We devoted considerable resource to developing and testing our high-specification system.
Importantly, it was live tested as one integrated assembly. Our system’s strength lies in a glazing technique that bonds the glass to its framing support.
In an explosion the components work together to safely absorb the shock and retain the glazing elements. That’s important because any bomb-proof glazing system must be compatible and integrated.
Since that test, our advanced bomb-resistant systems can be found in a variety of settings from the UK and USA to Hong Kong.
They protect high-value buildings, stadia, airports, railway stations – even a church.
We also provide a technical support service, to ensure the appropriate level of protection meets all strict criteria.
But global and local threats have changed and the worst thing that planners and architects can do now is allow complacency to creep in.
It might be cheaper to install non-blast resistant glazing systems, but the human cost could be a lot higher.