Warning Over Exploding Glass (As Seen on A Current Affair)
Recently A Current Affair ran a story about the glass paneling in homes and backyards unexpectedly exploding. It is believed that the use of “Chinese Glass” bought from hardware stores is to blame.
The reality is that Glass can be a dangerous product if its not selected and installed correctly. While an argument can be made blaming imported “Chinese Glass”, the reality is that this blanket statement may not necessarily be correct.
There are three key considerations to the use of glass in buildings; the correct manufacture, selection and installation of the glass. There are a number of Australian Standards that govern these areas and a comprehensive list can be found on the Australian Glass & Glazing Association website. http://www.agga.org.au/consumers/glass-standards
It is easy to point the finger at imported glass, and there is certainly glass coming into Australia that does not comply with Australian Standards. This does not mean that all imported glass does not comply. In real terms there are many glass manufacturers who produce high quality materials that meet Australian Standards, including ones located in China. Pragmatically there will always be a handful of manufacturers who cut corners, however the onus is on the Australian Glass Importer to ensure compliance. Whether the glass is manufactured locally or overseas it must meet the relevant Australian Standards, AS2208 and AS4666 in the first instance.
The correct selection of glass takes into account the span, size, location and application of the glass, with careful considerations around wind loadings, safety and human impact risks. The incorrect glass selection is dangerous and can lead to serious injury.
Finally the installation of the glass is critical. Even glass that is manufactured and selected correctly can pose a danger if is not installed properly. In the case of the A Current Affair story, there is an overwhelming bias that the problem is the use of imported “Chinese Glass” that does not meet Australian Standards. While this may be a contributing factor, further consideration must be given to the DIY installer with no training in the selection and installation of the glass in the first instance.
What we see in the A Current Affair footage is home handymen purchacing glass from a hardware stores and installing glass shower screens and pool fences (often with no safety or personal protection equipment as witnessed in the story). The resultant random glass explosion could be as a much a result of incorrect handling or installation as non-compliant glass manufacture.
In real terms, glass is a product that if not treated with respect can be dangerous. There are a number or important factors in the supply chain that must be maintained to ensure a safe home. Although the appeal of the cheap price at the local hardware store may seem appealing at first, is it really worth the risk?
Jim’s Glass is committed to keeping you safe, only using glass that is manufactured to Australian Standards and ensuring that the Glaziers representing Jim’s are qualified, accredited and undergo AS1288 (Glass in Buildings – Selection & Installation) competency training with the Australian Glass and Glazing Association. Jim’s Glass stands by its glass selection and installation by providing you a Lifetime Guarantee
If you are concerned about glass in your home, call Jim’s on 131 546 for a complimentary safety inspection.
Divisional General Manager – Jim’s Glass (Australia)
Board Member – Australian Glass & Glazing Association
President – Glass & Glazing Association of South Australia