There have been many horror stories of late about glass exploding on its own. Singapore mum, Nadine Yap, recently shared how a kitchen sliding door shattered by itself on her 10-year-old daughter.
The child ended up with more than 100 stitches…
Glass exploding on its own injures child
Nadine tells theAsianparent that the incident happened at her parents’ home, and the family was setting the table for dinner at the time.
She also tells us that her parents had only recently moved into their new home.
Nadine’s daughter, Zoe, was opening the sliding glass door to the kitchen when it came crashing on her.
She was immediately rushed to Gleneagles Hospital.
“It took over 100 stitches”, says Nadine.
Thankfully, the plastic surgeon used a numbing gel and no injections at all, saving Zoe from more ordeal.
Image source: Nadine Yap
She is now recovering well.
Nadine fails to understand what actually went wrong with the tempered glass.
“There seems to be conflicting info out there on which is the best solution for which kind of installation”, she tells us.
The incident has made her paranoid about glass doors.
“Someone told me that China-sourced glass has more impurities which makes it more prone to cracking.”
“I for one didn’t ask my recent contractor who put in a shower cubicle where he sourced those glass panes from. Now I’m likely to be more paranoid about such details.”
“In fact, now people are asking me what brand the cracked door was so they can avoid it”, says Nadine.
This is hardly the first case of glass exploding on its own. In October 2018, Singapore mum Tan had a frightening experience when she saw her 2 daughters dripping in blood inside the bathroom. Apparently, the glass shower screen had shattered by itself, leaving the girls injured.
In May 2018, a toddler was hurt after a bathroom glass door exploded on its own. It was a maid’s quick thinking and presence of mind that saved the day.
Using glass doors inside homes: What you should know
Image source: iStock
There are regulations for types of glass that can be used for the exterior of a building (windows, balconies etc). The type of glass used within the home, however, is up to the homeowner.
According to experts, there’s a common misconception that any glass becomes ‘safety glass’ just because safety film has been applied to it.
(A safety film is a large piece of sticky tape pasted over the glass to hold the shards together in case it breaks).
However, if the glass has not been treated properly, it can still cut through the film and hurt someone badly.
You can check for the type of glass installed by checking the corner of the glass panel for the manufacturer’s mark.
There are 4 main types of glass commonly used in Singapore:
1. Annealed or untreated glass
Normal untreated glass or “regular” glass may be cheaper, but when it breaks, it breaks into shards with extremely sharp edges that can be dangerous.
2. Heat-strengthened glass
In a heat-strengthened glass, glass is heated to about 650°C before it is gradually cooled. This makes the glass about twice as strong as untreated glass, and be able to withstand high heat and strong winds.
Still, when it breaks, it breaks into large shards, much like untreated glass.
It is most commonly used in building facades and windows. Heat-strengthened glass is not as strong as tempered glass. But in windows, even if it breaks, the pieces would stay in the frame and not crumble into tiny pieces like tempered glass.
3. Tempered glass
Tempered glass is heated to 650°C and then blasted with cold air to cool it rapidly. The process makes it about 4-5 times stronger than untreated glass.
Also known as safety glass, when tempered glass breaks, it shatters into smaller pieces with ‘softer’ edges. So, even if you get cut, injuries will be less severe.
But it can shatter suddenly on its own from stress if not properly installed, or if there are impurities like nickel sulphide.
4. Laminated glass
Laminated glass is considered the strongest of the lot by experts. It is also the most expensive.
Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by a plastic interlayer between its two or more layers of glass.
The interlayer prevents the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces.
There is a characteristic “spider web” cracking pattern when the impact is not enough to completely pierce the glass. Automobile windshields typically use laminated glass.
*This article is from our archives.