Glass accidents are one of the top leading causes of unintentional cutting injuries in the home. The numbers however should not hinder us in using one of the strongest, safest and most elegant construction home materials – glass.
For areas where injuries are most likely to occur, it is advisable to use toughened or laminated glass. This will reduce the injury during accidents because these types of glass do not break at minimal impact. They do not break into sharp edged particles or dangerous glass pieces.
The general rule to be followed recommends the use of these glass types on the following:
- Glass doors – This includes any type of door: fixed, swing, sliding, bi-fold; regardless of size.
- Building and structures that cater to the elderly and children
- Bathroom Doors and panels and Shower Enclosures – This also includes other wet surfaces like spa and sauna commercial establishments and businesses.
- Staircases – This also includes baluster panels, ramps and landings.
- Side panels
- Low level glass walls, windows and other partitions
- Windows – Especially those that measure more than 9 ft square, bottom edge is less than 18 inches above the floor, top edge is more than 36 inches above the floor.
- House structures in high altitude areas and other locations prone to storms and high winds.
There are rules and regulations that guide professional home builders as to what is the best type of glass to be used on a certain door, window, panel dependent on function, structure and other factors. Here is a layman’s guide in differentiating safety glass types.
- Tempered Glass – Strengthened by heat to up to 1,200 degrees F and cooled down abruptly. Very flexible glass that does not break upon impact. Upon breakage, they crumble into granules that are rectangular in shape, thus lessen the injuries during accidents.
- Laminated Glass – Made from 2 sheets of glass pressed together with a polyvinyl layer. Strength is 5 times greater than that of regular glass. When it breaks, the particles stick to the polyvinyl layer instead of scattering into glass shards.
Safety glass can be easily identified because it comes with a label. The label will identify the Safety Glass type of the glass panel. These labels conform to appropriate Building Standards.
If you are in doubt of what is the best type of glass to use, or you want to have your home upgraded to Safety Glass, call the glass experts!
Jim’s Glass offers a complimentary inspection service to assess your home or business, and can provide you with a written report and arrange to upgrade any non-compliant glass panels. Once an inspection is completed and any upgrades completed, Jim’s Glass is authorised to issue a certificate of compliance that the glass in your home or business is compliant with Australian Standards. To book a complimentary inspection call 131 546.
Divisional General Manager – Jim’s Glass (Australia)
Board Member – Australian Glass & Glazing Association
President – Glass & Glazing Association of South Australia