Preventing Spontaneous Glass Breakage

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Spontaneous glass breakage is on the rise, presenting safety concerns for business owners, building decision-makers, and the general public. 

Windows should never present a safety hazard. However, structures covered in modern energy-efficient windows made of tempered glass are experiencing a higher incidence of glass breakage. This not only creates safety concerns for those near and inside the building but also presents liability problems.

The idea that shattered glass from a building could cause a passerby injury is not new. Many stories have been recorded in which individuals have been injured due to a window breaking. One of the main concerns in this discussion is tempered glass.

Especially for business owners and property managers, ensuring your windows are in excellent shape is essential. Many don’t realize there are products that can be purchased to strengthen windows in the event that spontaneous glass breakage occurs.

Tempered Glass & The Potential of Spontaneous Glass Breakage

There are a few reasons why spontaneous glass breakage is on the rise. One of those reasons is due to the high rate at which tempered glass is being purchased. While tempered glass is often used for applications like banisters, guard rails, and other areas required by code, it can pose a safety hazard.

Tempered glass can often contain impurities. Fluctuations in temperature, whether seasonal or daily, can cause it to expand and contract. As a result, tempered glass is subject to stresses that can cause it to explode. While the fluctuations may not seem substantial, they can severely impact the integrity of the glass. As the tempered glass changes with the seasons, it becomes less and less predictable, presenting a variety of safety concerns.1 

Another factor is that many manufacturers of tempered glass sell windows that contain impurities. This can put the glass at a higher risk of breaking and needing to be replaced.

A recent article in the Stamford Advocate discussed the increase in spontaneous glass breakage, citing Downtown Stamford as a significant area of concern. Two high-rise towers, Atlantic Station and Atlantic Station West, have struggled for years with shattering windows. In fact, since 2018, 14 tempered glass windows have shattered across the two towers. While no injuries have been cited, residents remained concerned for their safety. As a result, building ownership has been mandated to put up sheds on sidewalks near the buildings to protect pedestrians from unreliable tempered glass windows. While this provides a temporary solution for passersby, it doesn’t offer relief to residents. But what can be done? 

Decision makers and building owners must take into consideration the type of glass they’re installing into their space. People often overlook possible safety hazards because window concerns aren’t widely talked about. However, purchasing a window that’s low quality or potentially susceptible to spontaneous glass breakage could end up putting occupants at risk and damaging property. Not to mention, should the glass break, you’ll be faced with the costs, hassle, and downtime associated with window replacement. 

If tempered glass is used, ensure you have the proper safety measures and solutions in place so that you don’t end up spending more money down the line.

A Simple Solution: Window Film

If you own a business and are concerned about the liability of spontaneous glass breakage, there’s a potential solution.

3M Safety and Security Window Film can be applied to existing glass surfaces. Specially designed to stretch rather than tear, this film helps to hold the glass in place should it shatter. For further safety measures, these films can be paired with 3M’s Impact Protection Adhesive attachment system. Should spontaneous glass breakage occur, these products help to  hold the glass in place to mitigate harm caused by flying shards. 

Not only can 3M Safety and Security Window Film and 3M Impact Protection Adhesive (IPA) attachment systems provide protection in the event of spontaneous glass breakage, but also:

  • Inclement weather & natural disasters
  • Bomb blasts
  • Breaking & Entering

Pairing 3M Safety and Security Window Film with IPA Attachment Systems provides virtually invisible protection to help ensure your space is prepared, no matter what may cause glass to break. If you’re interested in learning more about 3M Safety and Security Window Films and how they can increase the integrity of your windows, contact us today.

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Energy Products Distribution (EPD) offers a tremendous breadth of 3M window film solutions and architectural finishes to architects, property managers, schools, energy service companies, and more. From improved energy efficiency and enhanced aesthetics to increased safety and security, EPD provides a product to meet the needs of your space. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of window film.