At our company, we not only aspire to be your trusted source for all your glass related needs, but we’d also like to keep you educated on the glass industry as a whole, especially as it might concern your health and safety. We came across an ABC news report the other day, that we thought we should summarize and share with our trusted customers.
The article describes the occurrence of “spontaneously shattering shower doors.” Essentially, this is a fairly common phenomenon whereby one’s shower doors spontaneously shatter without any indication of when or why this might occur. Recently, this phenomena has raised much more concerns due to the fact that the most recent reported occurrence involved a young boy who was showering when the glass doors spontaneously shattered around him, covering his body in minor lacerations. His mom then rushed him to the hospital.
Although the young victim was promptly released with just a few bandaged wounds, anyone with young children would be weary of this happening to their own children. And just to give you further insight as to the frequency of this occurrence, a spokesperson for the consumer products safety commission says in just five years there have been an estimated 1500 injuries associated with glass shower doors shattering. From 2009 to 2013, that’s an annual average of about 300 a year.
At this point in time, it’s very unclear as to why shower glass doors are spontaneously shattering. Some experts speculate fluctuating temperatures, or microscopic tears in glass that continue to grow with time, eventually sending a shock wave throughout the entire shower door. In our estimation, it makes more sense to assume that a combination of cheap glass product and high water temperatures would be the culprit. Put simply, some glasses are just unequipped to handle high temperatures. If you’ve ever poured hot coffee into a glass cup before, and that glass cup was not tempered to hold hot liquids, you probably know what we mean. The cup will shatter in seconds. Now, obviously shower glass doors are tempered, which means they are specifically manufactured to withstand hot temperatures; however, as in anything else in life, quality matters! It’s quite possible that in order to save a few bucks, some glass companies might do business with tempered glass manufactures that just don’t produce a high-quality product. And we think it’s worth taking this opportunity to let our customers know that we always intend to provide the highest quality products with the best prices in town. This formula has essentially kept us in businesses for nearly 15 years.
As a company that’s been working in residential glass for many years, very concerned for anyone who might be susceptible to this spontaneous shattering of shower glass doors, but being in business now for nearly 15 years, we have never heard of this occurring before with any of our past customers. We do our best to guarantee our work and thus if this ever occurred to one of our past customers, we’d of definitely heard about!
But just to clarify one other thing: tempered glass is incredibly common and a trusted product within the consumer glass industry. In fact, tempered glass is more common than you might expect, as it is commonly used in auto glass, consumer appliances, consumer electronics, and many consumer windows. Tempered glass is a specifically designed product that breaks in very small pieces to reduce lacerations and cuts. When glass shatters into very small pieces, it is less likely to inflict serious life-threatening wounds to consumers. Non-tempered glass on the other hand can break into huge pieces, which due to their weight and size, can then inflict serious damage to people. Just imagine a huge, heavy, sharp piece of glass falling right at you – it’s a serious concern! It might as well be raining kitchen knives! That’s why for the last few decades, the consumer glass market has nearly been monopolized by tempered glass.
We say this so you are aware that tempered glass is not the problem. And as mentioned, our best guess as to why these shower doors are spontaneously shattering is the quality of the materials, and perhaps poor installation equipment and products.
But if you’ve read this entire article and are still in search of some preventative measures against this occurring in your home, here’s our best piece of advice. You can install a plastic adhesive to the back of your glass shower doors so if it does shatter it stays in one piece. Instead of all the little glass pieces falling down on you or one of your family members, the whole glass panel just cracks but stays in place, and doesn’t fall to the floor. And of course, aside from this, please do your best to find a reputable glass company in your area, preferably one replete with positive reviews, and can guarantee their work to some extent. Make sure they do business with reputable glass suppliers, and keep in mind that glass quality is no different than any other area of life – you often get what you pay for!
In any case, we wanted to bring this issue to your attention, as it is our joy to keep you informed on an industry we’ve built our careers around. We like to keep ourselves informed on all things glass, so that we can be a source of any and all glass-related information for our community.