Are Glass Balustrades Safe?
Glass balustrades provide a sleek and beautiful aesthetic to any home or office space. Glass balustrades complement exterior design and can make a huge improvement to the look and appearance of existing features by letting light in and removing visual barriers.
Unfortunately, there is a misconception that glass balustrades can be unsafe and that the glass is fragile and easy to shatter. In reality, professionally-installed glass balustrades that are compliant with building regulations are incredibly safe.
Glass can seem fragile if you picture a thin cocktail or wine glass breaking, but with the right thickness, glass can be extremely durable and safe. In many cases, glass balustrades are in fact the safest option.
Here are some important safety benefits:
Glass is highly sturdy and resistant to wear and tear caused by rain, wind or light. It lasts longer and doesn’t degrade over time, especially compared to rusted metal or warped wood that you would have to replace.
Glass balustrades won’t crack under pressure and won’t suffer any structural damage – for example, if an object was accidently dropped down stairs. This ensures the required security for staircases or outdoor spaces.
Glass is transparent and although this might not seem like an important safety factor, you would be surprised how much security it can offer. Glass balustrades allow better visibility, for example, you will be able to clearly see your young children running up and down the staircases or playing around outside on the balcony or decking area.
Even in the rare occasion of breaking, safety glass is still safer.
The types of safety glasses used to create glass balustrades are extremely difficult to break and even if the glass breaks, it does not shatter as conventional glass does.
Lastly, the most vital safety benefit of glass balustrades is that they are very child friendly. Glass balustrades can be designed with very small gaps which make it impossible for little hands and legs to slip through or get stuck in.
Types of safety glass used for glass balustrades
The most significant factor in the safety of glass balustrades is the type of glass used to make them. Building regulations specify that toughened or tempered glass and laminated glass are the two types of glass that are suitable for constructing balustrades.
Toughened balustrade glass is thermally or chemically treated to make it tougher; by pressuring the material, the insides are under more tension, making the glass stronger.
Toughened laminated balustrade glass is when two toughened panels are stuck together with an EVA plastic interlayer. The interlayer makes sure that even if the panel breaks, it won’t shatter but will be held together in one piece.
Glass balustrades are a long-term investment for domestic and commercial projects. Explore our full range of SHS glass balustrades and contact us with any questions.