Retail Security: The Difference Between Shop Shutters and Security Grilles
There are more similarities than differences between the two. Both product types are made to measure, and are available with different security risks, including attack-proof designs with Loss Prevention Certification Board and ‘Secured by Design’ approval. Shutters and grilles also both offer control over their appearance. Shop owners may choose special RAL/BS powder coating, for example, to match the colours of existing signage. This is available with both types.
Below we have outlined some of the differences between the two to provide a better idea of what might be best for your business.
For street front openings, shop shutters are the most common solution. They are usually installed in front of the glass, protecting windows from vandalism in addition to unauthorised access. While grilles can be equally effective at protecting against burglary, their open design does not prevent windows from being smashed since they are nearly always fitted behind the glass for practicality reasons. If this is a concern, a shutter may be most suitable.
In some areas graffiti may be a higher concern. If vandals regularly target security shutters near your business, a grille may be more appropriate. Alternatively, anti-graffiti coatings are available for shutters to prevent aerosol paints from permanently sticking to the surface.
Grilles offer fewer options when it comes to operation. They will always manually retract horizontally, sliding within top and/or bottom running tracks. This is simple yet effective, providing faster pedestrian access through doorways. Fixed options are available for windows where access is not required.
If you would rather provide staff with the convenience of electric operation, whether remote control or push button hold-to-run, you may prefer we installed a motorised shutter. Manual operation is available for some shutters too.
Solid double skinned security shutters have a hollow cavity which can be filled with advanced polycarbonate foam. This provides additional insulation and can be key in reducing heating bills. Grilles and vision shutters without inserts may not make any notable difference to existing U-values.
The main reason retailers choose grilles is usually for their unrivalled levels of vision. The components which make up the lattice pattern are small to maximise the open spaces between them. It can be easy to assume this means they are the less secure option, but in fact they have received accreditation up to LPCB LPS1175 SR3, and some are bomb blast tested and bolt cutter resistant. The Eclipse X3 has even been approved by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) for UK Government use.
Security shutters are also available with vision. While the design isn’t as visually lightweight as a grille, they benefit from having two different options. To provide a subtle glimpse of indoors, look for products which begin with the letter P (for perforated). These have hundreds of small pinhole openings and retain a more solid appearance. Our shutters which begin with V have larger cut-out sections for higher vision levels. V shop shutters can incorporate polycarbonate inserts to increase security; the V77 can even be upgraded to Elite, which has received a LPS1175 SR2 rating while still offering exceptional visibility.
Security shutters also offer the option to control shading levels. Even V and P vision shutters offer an element of shading when closed or partially closed.
If your security barrier will be visible inside the shop, you may prefer a roller shutter. These usually come with enclosures as standard, which are neat boxes which hide the shutter away when it’s open. Grilles collapse to save space when open, but the retracted mechanism will remain visible either side of the opening.
ALTERNATIVES – EUROLOOK AND TUBE AND LINK
The Eurolook and Tube and Link are a compromise between shop shutters, as they roll vertically with motorised operation as standard, and grilles, with their open, maximum vision, designs. They are made from small components form a brick-style formation, with large openings in between for vision. They are ideal shop shutters for use where insulating properties are not required, such as behind glass or indoors, such as within shopping centres.
Of course, there is no need to choose between shop shutters or grilles. Different openings on a single property can have different requirements, so there’s no reason why you can’t mix the two (perhaps even with other security measures like burglar bars).