Most homes built in Australia before the 1970s were built without safety glass. Today, there are minimum requirements for where safety glass must be used in a home. These requirements are specified by two Australian Standards: AS1288 – Glass in buildings: selection and installation; and AS2208 – Safety glazing: glass in buildings. These standards specify that all low level glazing (close to the floor), internal and external glass doors, showerscreens, balcony balustrades and overhead glazing must be Grade A Safety glass. However, safety is more than just meeting Australian Standards and we recommend using safety glass throughout your home.
Toughened glass is produced by passing cut-to-size annealed float glass through a heat furnace. This process introduces stress into the glass and produces a glass 4–5 times stronger than annealed float glass. Toughened glass can still be broken. However if this does happen it shatters into small fragments, minimising the risk of injury caused by glass splinters.
Laminated glass is safety glass that has been manufactured by adhering two or more sheets of glass with a flexible interlayer. The interlayer is made from polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and prevents the glass from disintegrating when broken. The interlayer does not impact the transparency of the glass.
All windows and doors in the Southern Star Windows range will suit safety glass options.
Operative windows that are installed at a distance greater than 1.5 metres above ground level can also create the real possibility of a child falling out of an open window. Further safety precautions to consider are:
- Fit a restrictor which limits the window opening to a 105mm gap;
- Fit a safety or security screen.
For more information about the use of safety glass, restrictors and screens, speak to your builder or Southern Star Windows representative.