Safety Glass: What Is It And When Do You Need It?

[07/03/2022]

Falling through glass doesn’t happen like it does in action films - you’re not going to spring up and dust yourself off.

If you fall through a plate glass window, you will injure yourself.

This is because annealed float glass (essentially standard glass) will fragment into large, sharp shards that, when broken, can cut, maim, injure, and even potentially kill. For this reason, all Australian homes must adhere to AS2208, which dictates the rules around safety glass in certain situations.



What is Safety Glass?

“Safety Glass” or “Grade A Safety Glass” is a glass that has been strengthened or tempered during the manufacturing process to make it safer.

These include:

Toughened Glass - Produced by passing cut-to-size pieces of annealed float glass through a heating furnace. The process induces a stress into the glass that makes it 4-5 times stronger than annealed float glass.

You can still break toughened glass, but when it does break it shatters into small fragments - minimising the risk of injury to you and your loved ones.

 

Laminated Glass - Laminated glass is produced by adhering two or more sheets of glass with a flexible interlayer made from polyvinyl butyral (PVB) which stops the glass from disintegrating or being broken. This layer doesn’t impact the transparency of the glass.

Some types of laminated glass can be struck with considerable force and remain intact, making it a good option to protect a home from intruders.




When Do I Need To Use Safety Glass

Generally speaking, you need to use safety glass in the following situations:

  • In all areas of bathrooms for areas up to 2 metres high.
  • Around stairs (if less than 1000mm from either side of the stairs or 2000mm from the bottom of the stairs.)
  • All glass doors.
  • Door side panels less than 300mm away from the door and 1200mm from the floor.
  • Areas that can be mistaken for openings.
  • Low lying glass (glass larger than 1.2m under a height of 1.2m.)

We recommend that you use safety glass wherever you can - not just where the law dictates, especially if you have young children. Your family’s safety is so much more than just meeting Australian standards.




How Do I Plan For Safety Glass in My Next Build or Renovation

Always consult an expert when planning the use of safety glass in your new build or renovation - meeting the AS2208 standard is mandatory for all homes.

Our team are always willing to guide you through this process, simply get in touch with us to ensure that you are getting the safest glass for your home.

Or for more information about glass types, check out our latest catalogue.

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