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Tempered Glass: Why do I need my windows tempered?

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that is 4-5 times stronger than regular glass.   Because of how its made (through a process of extreme heating and rapid cooling) it is a much harder and more brittle type of glass.    When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into little pebbles without any dangerous sharp edges.  Check it out, its quite cool.So what is the purpose of egress window requirements, anyway? Shattered-glass-300x240Your car windows are tempered, for example.

The State of MN building code actually requires tempered glass in several locations of your house and your window replacement will not pass inspection if certain windows do not have tempered glass in them.   It’s all in the name of protecting you and your family from potential hazards.

This is why it surprises me a little bit when homeowners and/or contractors are confused about why they need tempered glass.  Ask yourself these questions about a window you are putting in.   If the answer is YES, then tempered – or safety glass is required.

  1. Is the window less than 18 inches from the floor?
  2. Is it a patio door?   (UniShield Patio Doors come standard with tempered glass)
  3. Is it a large window more than 9 square feet?
  4. Is the window in a bathroom and close to the bathtub?
  5. Is the window within 3 feet of a door?
  6. Is the actual top of the window within 3 feet of the floor?

Tempered windows are your safety net.  They are like a little bit of insurance, or peace of mind that if someone falls,  if the furniture gets pushed hard into the glass,  if a lamp falls off the table,  if you slip getting out of the tub, that at least the glass won’t shatter and cause additional harm.

If you are thinking about replacing some windows and are looking for an in home free consultation on which windows may need to be tempered, contact us today.