Safety & Security
Protection from accidents
Correctly specified and installed, glass is ideal for use inside the home in a wide range of areas including doors, partitions, balconies, and balustrades. Ensure that you have taken advice on the type of glass to use in each application.
Where glass is used overhead, at low level or in and around doors, windows and screens, the relevant standards must be met to protect against accidental human impact, such as children running into a patio door. There are three types of common safety glass:
• toughened glass that is up to five times stronger than ordinary glass and it breaks into small, safe granular pieces on when broken;
• laminated glass consists of two pieces of glass bonded together with a clear plastic interlayer so it cracks when broken but stays in position, reducing the risk of injury;
• wired safety glass has a wire mesh embedded within the glass and it behaves like laminated glass when broken.
The location of the glass and its size determines the classification of impact resistance that should be used. Your local glazier or glass merchant can advise you. If in doubt request EN 12600 Class 2 or 1 for most locations. There are additional considerations for glass that is to protect you from a change in floor level such as outside balconies or staircases.
Protection from crime
Where glass is installed to allow a view to another space (e.g. capping a well) or allow light to enter different levels in the home and it can also be a floor then it needs to be able to take the loads defined in Standards. The support system for the glass is critical to ensure the durability of a glass floor.
Glass can also become slippery when wet and it can scratch. This problem can be helped by changing the surface friction by printing or etching a design onto the surface. Particular care is needed for glass staircases. Seek professional advice for floors and be prepared to be told the glass needs to be quite thick to be durable and at some cost.
Protection from accidents - Barriers
There are a number of locations in the home where a barrier may be needed. Barriers are used to protect you from changes in levels within the home. The defined difference in height that needs a barrier in the home imay be taken from BS 6180 (600 mm). This may seem a large drop but it is recognised that householders are usually aware of the layout of their homes. You may choose to add a barrier for smaller height differences. A barrier must be able to withstand a load taken from another standard. The load varies with the perceived risk. Outside balconies have to withstand greater loads than say internal staircases and galleries. Glass can be used to allow vision and light through barriers. There are several basic designs and fixing methods. Professional advice should be sought when installing barriers.
• Pilkington Optilam™
• Pilkington Toughened Glass
• Pilkington Screen Printed Glass