Toughened Glass - Ambassador Windows

Safety glass is glass with additional safety features that make it less likely to break or to be less dangerous should it break.

When we look through glass we are usually unaware of what type of glass it is that we are looking through. Is it standard glass, plate glass, safety glass? It is not something that we give much consideration to, nor should we have to. However it is vital that the glass that we see all around us is the correct glass for that position or location.

  • All glass in doors must, by law, be safety glass.
  • All glass within 300mm of a door must be safety glass.
  • All glass that is less than 800mm from the ground must be safety glass.
  • Glass above specific sizes must be safety glass.

There are two main types of safety glass. They are:

Toughened Safety Glass and Laminated Safety Glass.

Toughened or Tempered glass is a heat-strengthened glass. It is very strong and is up to five times stronger than normal glass of the same thickness. However when it breaks it explodes into thousands of tiny pieces. The side windows of most cars are toughened glass as are many bus shelters. It is the most common safety glass used in the home because of its high strength and low weight.

Laminated glass, sometimes called "shatter proof", is actually made up of three layers. Two outer layers of high impact glass sandwich an incredibly strong vinyl interlayer between them. On impact, laminated glass may crack but, thanks to its triple layer construction, it will not shatter. Laminated safety glass is a little heavier than standard 4mm toughened safety glass but it has the advantage of staying in one piece when it is broken. This not only makes it safer but also means that it offers greater security.

Pyro Guard and Fire Safety Glass

Other types of safety glass protect us in the event of fire. Georgian polished plate glass and Georgian wire cast both have metal wire running through them. The intense heat of a fire can shatter glass. This can send dangerous shards of glass flying and also allow air into the building to fuel the fire. The wire inside Georgian polished plate glass and Georgian wire cast hold it together for up to 1 hour in the event of a fire.

If you want the strength of fire glass but without wire running through it, there are a number of laminated glass products that can withstand fires for varying lengths of time. Ambassador Window Repairs can advise you as to what type of glass is most suitable for your project.

Shop Fronts

If you have a shop, restaurant or other building that is used by the public then the glass that you have in your windows and doors should be a strong safety glass. While the basic building standards call for safety glass in doors as standard, buildings used by the public should have a higher grade of safety glass fitted that can withstand more frequent and harder impacts and that can offer a level of security along with safety.

The ideal safety glass for shop fronts is laminated safety glass. Laminated safety glass starts at a thickness similar to domestic glass, increasing gradually up to bullet proof glass and beyond. Because laminated glass stays together when it is broken it is the ideal glass to use in preventing "Smash & Grab" type robberies of items displayed in shop windows.