It has been quite a while since I've written about traditional wired glass, but the hazard has not disappeared. With students back at school in person, the injuries related to this product will continue.
Last week, an AHJ asked me if I knew of a source for plates or other products that could be used to increase the height of the bottom rail of a door. WWYD?
Hardware sets in a specification look like a different language to most people, so sometimes there are surprises when the doors and hardware are installed.
More opportunities for online training - some offering continuing education credits. Check here for upcoming live webinars and access to on-demand recordings.
Here's another training opportunity - this time from TGP University. Learn about fire-rated glazing and how the model codes affect the design options. April 14th!
Matthew Stonebraker of Allegion just sent me this Fixed-it Friday photo of a glass door at the Mexico City National Museum of Art, and it's so cool! Have you seen a modification like this before?
This video does a great job of summarizing the code requirements that apply to glass and glazing used in fire door assemblies and egress doors. Thanks TGP!
The glazing goes hand-in-hand with the door hardware - even the most secure hardware can be overcome by breaking the glass.
Are you familiar with Technical Glass Products (TGP)? They're now part of our Allegion family! Here's the latest news...
Some new fire doors were ordered and manufactured with 5-inch x 20-inch vision lights located with the bottom of the light about about 46 inches from the bottom of the door...
(Note: If you're in the St. Louis area, there is a school security seminar coming up on July 22th, and there's still space if you want to attend.) Today's post: I haven't posted much about traditional wired glass lately, but the hazard continues to be present in existing schools and other facilities...
I've written several posts about glass used in schools, and many posts about traditional wired glass (refer to the Glass tab above). A reader recently shared the video below and although it was recorded several years ago it includes very valid information for schools to consider when addressing security. I can't embed the video, so click the graphic to visit the news site.
Windows and glass doors are among the most vulnerable access points in a school. Criminals can break glass to climb through or reach in and unlock the entry. The security industry has responded with two solutions to slow down a criminal looking to break into a school building...
School Guard Glass is a new product that can retrofit existing 1/4" glass at a cost of about $1,000-$1,200 per full glass door lite, and it kept the testing agent at bay for 6 minutes during independent testing. What do you think?
It has been a while since I've posted about the hazards of traditional wired glass, but the problem has not gone away. Although the US codes have changed, there are millions of existing pieces of this glass in schools and other buildings. Canada has seen several lawsuits lately - 1 worth more than 5 million dollars, and what's particularly interesting is that some of the glass in question met the code requirements in place in Canada at the time of installation, but facilities may still be held liable for wired glass injuries because they should have been aware of the hazard and addressed it. I am posting the article below with permission from the author, Rob Botman. The article first appeared in Glass Canada, and a reprint can be downloaded by clicking here. There is additional information about the requirements for glazing on the Glass tab above.^
This week's Wordless Wednesday post is surveillance video of a break-in at All Points Electric in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. For educational purposes, what type of glass breaks like this?
Open fire door killed 2 at Mont Blanc - The Free Press Journal
If you search Google News for the words "school" and "security", the search engine will return millions of results. There are stories about many cities, states, and school districts working on plans and funding to increase the safety and security of their schools. There are reports about incidents at schools, and products that may help improve security. It's tough to wade through it all. The following articles address the topic with a slightly different focus.
Most days, I feel like the information I send out into the cosmos helps to make the world a little bit safer. But every so often I want to cry from frustration, because misinformation can travel just as quickly and send unsuspecting readers down the wrong path.
I received today's photo from Brenda Dove of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. I wonder if that glass is impact-resistant...
Last Friday I posted an article about a school district settlement with a student, after a severe injury due to impact with traditional wired glass. The article mentioned that a "15-year-old high school student fell while climbing atop a stack of rolled up wrestling mats." What the article didn't say was that the mats had been rolled up between practices, and the student was helping to set up - the mats were stuck together and he climbed up to help free the mat and slipped, impacting the glass. His injury was horrific, and he's lucky to be alive.
I've gotten in the habit of looking at wired glass to see if it has a certification mark for impact-resistance. Almost none of the existing wired glass that I've seen has the mark, which means that unless it has field-applied film (I haven't spotted any film yet), it is extremely hazardous. When I see kids running down the school corridors or swarming the exit at the end of the school day, I worry about impact with the glass, and the resulting injuries. Our kids are supposed to be safe at school, but the majority of schools have traditional wired glass in place. And if administrators think they are protected from liability, a precedent is being set that indicates otherwise...
Last month I posted an article by Kenneth T. Lumb about the liability that schools carry with regard to non-impact-resistant wired glass. I received a comment from former Oregon State Senator Vicki Walker, who has been an instrumental and passionate force in removing traditional wired glass from Oregon schools. With her permission, I have posted her comment below (or click here to download a PDF version).
Published here with permission from Safe Glass Consulting (click here to download a PDF reprint).
This post was printed in the May 2013 issue of Doors & Hardware
Photo: Johnathan D Anderson
The jagged edges and shards formed by broken wired glass create hauntingly beautiful images, but may also leave life-long scars. All of these images are published with permission from the artists. Please do not duplicate them.
In a previous post, I talked about where safety glazing is required, but what IS safety glazing? More from the 2009 IBC:
A couple of weeks ago I started a series of blog posts about the hazards of traditional wired glass. I showed you some examples of traditional wired glass installed where it shouldn't be, and linked to some news reports which described incidents involving traditional wired glass. In case those didn't convince you that we have a problem, here are a couple more:
This is the second post in a series about the hazards of traditional wired glass (read the first post here).
I apologize for the delay in posting...there were some problems on the server side. Thanks for your patience!
My trip to CoNEXTions 2012 in Las Vegas last week was a whirlwind! There were so many people that I didn't have a chance to catch up with - I don't know if I can wait until CoNEXTions 2014 in Dallas!
Here are some recent news stories you might be interested in reading...
Question: Is there a requirement for the location of a glass lite in a door or sidelite?
I've been to Nashville a few times, but somehow I missed seeing the replica of the Parthenon while I was there. Luckily I received some reader photos of the gigantic doors there, and I also found some photos on Flickr and obtained permission to share them here.
I have received SO MANY reader photos lately - THANK YOU!
A couple of weeks ago I got a notification that someone wanted to connect with me on LinkedIn, and it turned out to be an architect that I worked with on several projects many moons ago, Reese Schroeder. When I checked out his profile I found that he is the co-founder and Director of Product Development for RM Global. The company creates and manufactures absolutely gorgeous art glass, including glass doors. Their secret process results in a resolution of 4,000 dpi at 36 billion color potential - far exceeding the range of the human eye.
I spend a lot of time with architects, and sometimes I'm put in the awkward position of having to talk them out of trying to do something with doors that hasn't been successfully done before. Many times this involves glass doors, which are becoming more common, yet still have very few options for hardware. It's tough to make a glass door do anything innovative, when all of the locking hardware is paired with a fixed pull handle.
Someone asked me a question recently that I had to stop and think about. In the old days, wire glass could only be used in fire doors. It could not be used in non-rated doors. The question was, "Can the wire glass that meets the impact resistance requirements be used in non-rated doors?"
I'm not a big fan of glass doors because the options for hardware are so limited, but they do supply some interesting fail moments. You'd think that after multiple people ran into the same sidelite, they'd stick on some fake snowflakes or something...
When I started working in the hardware industry, we regularly supplied doors with a 10" x 10" vision lite (type V in the Steelcraft graphic below), which was typically installed approximately 63" from the center of the lite to the floor. This configuration would no longer be acceptable according to some current accessibility standards. The 2003 edition of ICC/ANSI A117.1 states that if a door has a vision lite or an adjacent sidelite which permits viewing, at least one lite in the door or the sidelite has to be located with its bottom edge not more than 43" above the floor. There is an exception for lites with their bottom edge more than 66" above the floor, which would apply to transom lites or residential entry doors with lites at the top.
A couple of weeks ago, one of our specwriters called to ask me this question and I knew the answer immediately. Then...hmmm...I thought about it, and talked to myself for a while as he sat on the other end of the phone waiting for both of my selves to come to an agreement.
Years ago, glass doors were commonly locked with a deadlock in the bottom rail. Many of these doors are still in use, but in order to comply with current codes, I don't recommend the use of a bottom rail deadlock on most new projects.
I'm currently working on several projects that have glass doors in walls that are acting as 1-hour fire barriers with closely-spaced sprinkler heads above the glass. The problem with this application from a hardware standpoint is that the Blumcraft, CR Laurence, and Dorma Glas panic hardware that is typically used on glass doors does not have active trim (like a lever handle) to retract the latch from the secure side. To unlock these doors, you would typically use the dogging feature of the panic device to leave the doors in a push/pull condition, but because they require positive latching, dogging is not an option. I have searched the world over for a solution to this problem, but the only possibility I've found so far is using fail secure electric strikes to release the latches. Unfortunately, this application is extremely noisy, as illustrated by the video below. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear from you.
I am running into more and more all-glass doors on my projects, and in the words of one of the contractors I'm working with, "Doors are being asked to do things they've never done before." I've had large glass panels pivoting at the center, glass doors acting as opening protectives in fire-rated walls, and glass doors with all types of electrified hardware applications - all with invisible wires, of course. Given the limited options available for glass door hardware, it's often a real challenge to specify hardware that meets the functional and aesthetic requirements for the project. On one project I specified Schlage mortise locks installed in Blumcraft center housings and it was a great solution. The glass door manufacturer had no problem accommodating them, the architect was happy with the way they looked, and I had the full range of lock functions to choose from.