Safety & Security
The common perception of glass as a dangerous material is not unfounded.
Standard annealed glass breaks relatively easily and fractures into potentially lethal shards or splinters. With safety being of paramount importance, it is perhaps not surprising that there are standards and regulations which govern the major areas of concern when glass is used in safety critical locations.
The architectural use of safety glazing is primarily governed by British Standard BS 6262: Part 4. BS 6262 is a national standard applying to all glazing work, including replacement glazing. BS 6262 identifies critical locations in general terms only and sets the minimum standards of glazing materials acceptable for use in these areas.
Additional guidance is also provided by Building Regulations appropriate to the country – i.e. Approved Document K for England, Approved Document N for Wales, Part V for Northern Ireland and Part P for of the Building Standards for Scotland. Compliance with BS 6262: Part 4 will also satisfy the requirements of Regulation 14 of the Health and Safety atWork Act.
In both old and new buildings, glass sometimes used as guarding to “protect a change in level” and to stop people from falling. Such guarding may be a balustrade but can also be a window or screen close to floor level.
These situations are controlled by BS 6180 and must resist the loading determined in EN 1991-1-1 and its National Annex and PD 6688, as well as the relevant Building Regulations for the country involved.
The safe use of glass in tables and other furniture is controlled by EN 12521 and EN 14749. These are complex documents that should be held by furniture manufacturers.
The use of glass in overhead situations is not directly governed by a British Standard but guidance is provided by BS 5516: Code of practice for design and installation of sloping and vertical patent glazing.
There is no statute or British Standard that requires the use of security glazing. Rather, the building user or designer will specify its use.
The specifier must, therefore, identify whether a risk exists and decide upon the appropriate level of protection. There are however standards for different types of security glass. Security glasses are defined as glasses that afford protection against a specified level of attack.
They can be divided into three main groups:
1) Glass resistant to manual attack
2) Bullet-resistant glass
3) Explosion-pressure-resistant glazing
For more detail on the use of security glass and for product information please contact Dual Seal Glass technical advice centre.