Safer Options

In the decades since Canada last updated the National Standard for wired glass (CAN/CGSB-12.11-M90)  numerous new products from multiple suppliers have been introduced that are certified safe under the newer US standards. Canadians for Safe Glass and others have advocated for a harmonization with the existing US standards as soon as possible. We recommend all unsafe wired glass be removed immediately to avoid any further injuries and lawsuits. Contact your local Canadian glass company to find what is certified and labeled for use in your location.

Be sure to install only a certified safe replacement glass. Do not make the mistake of replacing your existing unsafe wired glass with another unsafe glass.

What to look for in a replacement glass

Most locations that traditionally used unsafe wired glass need to be BOTH impact-safety rated AND fire-rated.

You need an impact-safety rating if the glass is in a door, or sidelite, or in a location where it could be impacted by a human. An impact-safety rating means the glass has passed a test standard such as CAN/CGSB 12.1-2017 or ANSI Z97.1. This kind of glass requires a permanent label so that building inspectors can verify that the glass is indeed impact-safe.

You will also need a fire-rating if the glass is in a location the requires it, such as a fire door or sidelite, stairwell door or sidelite, or any window or door opening in any fire separation in the building. Often, fire-rated locations use fire-rated hollow metal windows and doors. A fire-rating means the glass has passed at least one test standard such as UL9, UL 10C, UL 263 etc. Fire-rated glass generally has to be installed correctly under standards such as NFPA 80. This kind of  glass requires its own permanent marking verifying that the glass is certified by a third party testing laboratory such as UL.

Together, this means that any replacement glass going into locations that require both impact-safety and fire-safety must be permanently marked (labeled) for both impact-safety and fire-safety by the manufacturer that is certified by a third party testing laboratory, such as UL. The Canadian standards and building codes are being updated.

Warning

Do not simply replace wired glass with tempered or laminated glass. These glasses are NOT fire-rated. If you install these in a fire-rated location the Fire Marshal can close your building until you replace the glass again with proper fire-rated certified glass.

Do not apply a surface lamination to existing wired glass. Plastic films and polymers are flammable! This is very dangerous. If you attempt to apply a lamination to existing glass the building inspector and Fire Marshall cannot verify whether that combination of materials has passed a fire test and therefore must reject them. Filming or altering any fire-rated glass, including wired glass, invalidates its fire-rating immediately. Some manufacturers offer factory laminated wired glass which is fully tested and certified. Only materials certified by UL and permanently marked by the manufacturer are allowed. Make sure your replacement glass is fully certified and marked.

Summary

Stop installing unsafe wired glass immediately. Have a plan to replace existing unsafe wired glass.

Fire-rated replacement glass must be:

  • Permanently labeled as impact safe
  • Permanently labeled as fire-safe and certified by a third party testing laboratory, such as UL

If the above labeling is not there, or done incorrectly, the building inspector or Fire Marshal can prevent you from occupying the building until it is fixed. It is critical that the correct glass is used to ensure the safety of occupants.

Contact your local glass supplier for more info.