Tempered Glass: A type of safety glass developed to help protect homeowners. Tempered glass is four to five times more resistant to breaking than a standard window pane due to its manufacturing process, in which it is subject to extreme heat and accelerated cooling. Its design and manufacturing process also help the glass break in rounded pieces rather than pointed shards-reducing the chance of injury should it break.
Tempered glass is a term often used by contractors when they are working on new homes and remodeling existing ones. As building codes require new windows and replacement windows to be tempered in certain situations it is imperative to stay up to date with building codes and in touch with building officials. At a minimum codes are updated and changed annually, part of the push by the building industry to make homes as safe as possible.
The following are some of the current codes for safety glass in the St. Cloud Minnesota area. This list is not all inclusive and does not cover every code.
-All doors-such as swinging, entry, storm, and patio-are required to have some type of glazing or safety glass. Exceptions are made for ones with certain types of decorative glass or glass that doesn’t allow a 3” sphere to fit through if broken.
-Any window (new or replacement) within five feet of a bathtub, hot tub, steam room, etc.
-Windows adjacent to operating doors-within a 2 foot arc from the door jamb edge.
-Windows with greater than nine square feet of glass space that are less than 18” from the floor on the bottom edge and over 36” from the floor on the top edge, with a walkway within 36”.
-Many windows located in or near stair wells, depending on their location.
If you’re putting in new or replacement windows it is always best to consult with a contractor or building official.