Safety Glass in the Home

So, what is safety glass? Safety glass encompasses several types of glass (or glazing). To understand safety glass, it is important to understand what normal glass is or "plate glass". This type of glass is common in windows, doors, containers, etc. It is usually made in sheets from a rolling process. The biggest problem with it is when it breaks, it creates sharp pointed shards that are very dangerous. See image below.



Broken plate glass window

Safety glass was invented to address this problem. The types of safety glass are toughened glass, laminated glass, wire mesh glass, and engraved glass.


Years ago the International Residential Code for home building started requiring safety glass in homes. A few examples will be presented below. It is the responsibility of Professional Home Inspectors to identify where safety glass should be installed in a home.


Safety glass is required to be marked with information identifying that it is safety glass. It is known in the industry as "the bug" and is normally located in the corners of a piece of safety glass. It is in the corner because safety glass cannot be cut, so manufacturers can mark the glass and ensure it will always be visible.



Safety glass should be installed in bathrooms that have glass showers. Obviously, one can see that a person who slips on a wet shower floor would want to have safety glass in their shower to keep them from become cut when it breaks. In addition, windows that are around doors are required to be safety glass as well. Any window that is within 24 inches of the a door is required to be safety glass. This includes the small side-lights installed at front entry doors.


The are a number of other areas in a home that require safety glass. A licensed Professional Home Inspector from Boxer Inspections can help a home owner determine where the glass is needed.


Call Boxer inspections at 281-783-3030 to help with all your home inspection needs.


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