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Family-run pharmacies, 24-hour gas stations/convenience stores, check cashers, jewelers, gold buyers, pawn shops, cell phone stores: Different products, different business models, different customer bases and hours of operations, different regulations, different trade groups—seemingly nothing in common. But as Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards points out, “different businesses, same security.” Over the course of decades designing, engineering, and installing bullet resistant barrier systems, Jim has found core similarities in the operations and threat profiles faced by small businesses. This deep knowledge allows Total Security Solutions to craft custom systems that increase security without bogging down business.
Although there are no cheap cookie-cutter solutions for bullet proof security, highly experienced national bullet proof security companies can draw on their expertise and economies of scale to offer excellent value, even on small jobs.
Standard Small-Business Bandit Barriers
A standard small-business’s bullet resistant barrier consists of 4 parts:
- a large bullet resistant window outfitted with a communications system (usually a passive voice portal)
- a bullet resistant steel cash tray (possibly supplemented by a drawer or rotary susan, depending on what items need to be passed through the barrier)
- bullet resistant fiberglass paneling (this can be laid behind the existing counters or walls, reducing construction costs while increasing security)
- a bullet resistant door (occasionally unnecessary, if the building layout already provides for secure staff access)
“It’s a bullet resistant system,” Jim points out, “Not just a bunch of off-the-shelf bits and pieces bolted together. With the bullet resistant glass protecting the transaction area, the fiberglass-reinforced counters supporting it, and secured entry through a bullet proof door, that entire exposed area is securely enclosed.”
The only real difference arises in retail-oriented operations, such as small jewelers, pawn shops, cell phone retailers, and other speciality stores that may operate in higher-risk situations. In these cases, the display counters can pose a challenge—but even then, the challenge won’t trip up experienced designers. “If you have display cases,” Jim notes, “those may themselves be backed with DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber panels or redone with bullet-resistant glass—maybe even forced-entry rated glass—to protect very valuable items. But aside from that, it’s the same as any other small business: Bullet resistant windows with communication, a passer, a reinforced door, and so on.”
For Total Security Solutions these small differences highlight the major similarities: “If it’s a long counter along the wall or a reinforced safety enclosure in the front corner of a gas station, that’s all just configuration. These systems are still fundamentally the same: The merchandise is protected, the money is protected, and most importantly the people are protected.”
Custom Security Solutions Avoid Change Orders and Add-Ons
Most small businesses are looking to retrofit an existing location with enhanced security. Such renovations pose special challenges for many contractors, who seem to find new problems in need of repair as soon as work gets underway. This is not how Total Security Solutions operates. Jim’s team is accustomed to properly estimating a job from the start. “I know that some guys live on change orders,” Jim explains. “It’s rare for us to go back to change orders, especially on these sorts of jobs. The price is the price.”
The idea of a completely custom system may sound stressful and costly. But it’s a near certainty that somewhere in America Jim has already secured a shop, gas station, or building just like yours, with similar threat levels, clientele, business needs, and community standards for a competitive price. For example, some communities require 24-hour gas stations and convenience stores maintain clear sight lines, to aid law enforcement. Total Security Solutions excels at creating such bright, open systems—or in finding other solutions that work within local ordinances, while minimizing both construction and operation costs.
In addition to keeping down costs, Total Security Solutions works with small businesses to virtually eliminate down time. Most small-scale Total Security Solutions retrofits can be completed overnight.
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