Is Safety Glass a Legal Requirement?

Safety Glass

In NSW, it is a legal requirement that areas of a home which are prone to accidents are required to be fitted with what’s known as Grade A safety glass. The use of safety glass reduces the risk of injury as it is tougher to break and won’t fracture into dangerous shards if broken. In recent years the areas of your home where safety glass is required has increased, while the allowances for ordinary glass areas has decreased.

This means any glass installed for window or door glass replacement in areas must be done with this in mind.

What is safety glass?

Safety glass is usually made of the following elements: Aluminum Alloys Glass Carbon Silicon Polycarbonate Glasses that are lower grade contain too many elements to be considered safe for areas of the home that are likely to be affected by a large amount of falls, like staircases. Safety glass is designed to be tough and shatter-resistant. Glass breaks into a solid colourless diamond-like pattern that is much less dangerous than the large shards when regular glass breaks.

Which Type of Safety Glass Needs to be Used?

The NSW government has set out the following requirements for glass to be used: Safety glass is a glass with a polycarbonate material, also referred to as polycarbonate safety glass. Not all glass with a polycarbonate safety coating is deemed Grade A safety glass. Only glass certified as Grade A by the Australian Standard AS2008/AS1288 is qualified for safety-related applications. The lower ISO standard AS/NZS4580 includes lower strength grade, however this glass is not approved for safety-related applications.

How to Identify Safety Glass

All safety glass being used in areas where they are required must be labelled. The label is usually sandblasted into the corner of the glass and will identify the grade of safety glass (e.g. A or B), the type of glass (laminated or toughened) as well as the appropriate building Standards  which it meets (AS2008/AS1288).

What are the penalties for not meeting safety glass requirements?

As it’s a legal requirement, failure to comply with safety glass requirements can lead to fines of $6500 and can potentially mean that you can be liable for damage caused by the breaking of safety glass.

About the Author
Marc Gombi

Marc Gombi

Marc is an experienced glazier providing high quality glass replacement and repair in Sydney Lower North Shore.

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