Head’s up! There could be a huge hazard waiting for you right now in your bathroom: Your glass shower door! Glass experts and building inspectors say it can shatter into a thousand pieces without warning – and injure anyone who gets caught in the hail of falling glass.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission report found that over 4,000 injuries a year are caused by glass shower or bathtub doors.
And even though they’re made of tempered safety glass that breaks into small squares – like a shattered car window – you’ll end up with a big pile of sharp-edged glass chips that can slice into your bare feet and legs. And the falling metal hardware can slice through arteries your foot.
So, how can a shower door all-of-a-sudden shatter? It’s called a “spontaneous blow,” and it can happen because the glass is tempered. During the heating process, the glass becomes more resistant to a direct impact – but much more susceptible to a side impact. And a small side-edge fracture, say from slamming the door, can make the whole door crack to pieces hours or days later. That’s why those chic frameless glass shower doors are even more dangerous.
So, what can you do to keep your family safe? Inspect the glass for any chips or cracks, and pay special attention to the edges, and around the holes that accommodate screws or other hardware.
Also, never use the shower door as a safety grip to get in or out of a shower or bathtub! You don’t want to put any pressure on a glass door.