Twyford Windows supply & repair windows and doors to many customers throughout the Berkshire and Oxfordshire region. Recently, we received a call to visit a local home. This dramatic picture shows the horrific scene we found caused by a fall. The casualty, an elderly person in her 80’s, accidentally tripped and fell in to the internal glass door. The glass shattered from the heavy impact. Luckily, apart from a bump on her forehead, she was uninjured. Our article is to share information about safety glazing in windows and doors.
Introduced in 1994, the “BS 6262 Code of Practice for Glazing in Buildings Part 4”, covers building regulations in the UK. A harmonised European standard later replaced it, which means no matter where you are in the EU, the same process protects everyone. The sad fact is, as our photos demonstrates, dozens of people fall through their doors and windows resulting in injury.
To help prevent serious injury, the building regulations state “safety glass” is used in ‘Critical Locations’. This applies to all domestic glazing installations, including replacements or refurbishments.
Safety Glass In Windows And Doors
Therefore, it’s useful to know the ‘Critical Locations’ for glass in doors and windows.
- Doors: Glass fitted in to doors and windows that is between the floor and 1.5m
- Side Panels: Any glass within 30cm of either side of the door edge and between the floor and 1500mm
- Windows: Any glass that is between the floor and 80cm in height.
Now we know the critical locations, the next question to answer is, what is ‘Safety Glass”?
To be considered safety glass the glazing is subjected to various impacts to test it either doesn’t break or breaks safely. The different forms of safety glass are:
- Toughened Safety Glass: This looks like normal glass but a special heat treatment toughens it. The result is much stronger glass which, if it does break, disintegrates into small granular pieces without sharp edges.
- Laminated glass: This is made from two or more sheets of ordinary glass attached together with a bond or plastic. The bond provides a barrier that means on impact the shards remain attached to the plastic. The most familiar example is car windshields.
- Wired Glass: Similar to laminated but has a network or mesh of wires embedded in it. The advantage is this glass has a level of fire resistance.
- Plastics Glazing Sheet: Certain types of clear, plastic sheet can also achieve the impact requirements of safety glass.
How To Identify Safety Glass
You can see three different types of glass – normal, toughened (or ‘Tempered’) and laminated – tested in this video.
Every piece of safety glazing used within Critical Locations is marked with the following to help you identify Safety Glass in your windows and doors:
- The British Standard number
- Identification of the type of glass used, i.e. ‘L’ for laminated, ‘P’ for plastics, ‘T’ for tempered (toughened), ‘W’ for wired or ‘SFB’ for safety film backed.
- The category of safety glass used, e.g. ‘Class A’
- An identifiable name, trademark or other identification mark of the manufacturer.