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When you think about glass you may also think about “danger.” Rightfully so since broken glass can hurt you. Safety glass is created in different ways to reduce or eliminate the harmful aspect of glass in the following ways:
To protect people from injury – glass is heat treated (tempered) which increases its strength and resistance to breaking. This method is widely used in residential and commercial "hazardous" locations like doors and ground level windows. When tempered glass does fail, it breaks into small, relatively harmless pieces rather than dangerous spear like glass shards. Polycarbonites and Acrylics are non glass (plastic) alternatives that are sometimes used.
To protect property from damage from the elements – With this being the main focus, glass is multi-layered and laminated together to increase the impact resistance against wind and debris from major weather events like hurricanes. "High Impact" glass is required by code in many applications for new construction (both residential and commercial) in this Northwest Florida area as well as other coastal areas in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
To protect people and property from intruders – Glass takes on different forms and combinations. The "Glass" that you are looking through at many cashier windows may be as much 2″ thick and comprised of up to 4 different types of glass or plastic products all bonded together. The purpose is to resist the assault from bullets (or other types of weapons) from penetrating the product. The same type of product is fitted into the vehicles used by military and dignitaries. "Wire Glass" is used at prisons and jails to cost effectively fortify areas, contain prisoners and protect guards.
Extreme temperatures – Wire glass and heat tempered glass are used for "fire doors", Fire place enclosures, Oven door windows as well as refrigerator shelves and full view coolers and freezers.
By nature of it’s transparency, glass is one of the most overlooked safety and comfort elements in our day to day lives. In some form, glass touches (and impacts) virtually every aspect of our lives yet is rarely thought of proactively for its benefits.