Glass is a beautiful enhancement to our homes. It is everywhere! We use it in our windows, sliding glass doors, front entrances, lamps, dishes, glasses, light bulbs, picture frames, and even in our furniture. For homes with small children, the threat for potential injury seems infinite. Your home may be filled with safety hazards, many of which you are not even aware.
What to Do when Glass is Broken
Every situation is unique and different, but here are the basic steps to consider whenever you drop a plate from the dishwasher or accidentally break a window pane.
Remove everyone from the area immediately, especially your children and pets.
If you are barefoot or in your stocking feet, immediately put on a pair of old shoes.
Get an old pair of leather or thick rubber gloves for the safety of your hands and fingers.
Wear a pair of eyeglasses to protect your eyes from flying glass particles. Safety glasses are even better, if you have them available.
Carefully remove the large chunks of broken glass from the floor or affected area. Cautiously place them into a secure container.
Next, vacuum the area of the medium-sized pieces of broken glass rather than trying to use your hands.
The less physical contact that you have with the shards of glass, the safer you will be from potential cuts.
Exterior Sliding Glass Doors
Exterior patio doors provide many other safety hazards than just simply broken glass. Thousands of accidents are reported every year in which people and small children have smashed into these doors, thinking that they were actually open.
The glass is clear and cannot be easily detected at times when we are in a rush. This can lead to broken noses, concussions, or even extremely severe cases of life threatening cuts throughout the entire body and face, perhaps even leaving permanent scars.
Newer sliding glass doors are often made with a type of tempered glass that does not shatter upon impact, but instead breaks into smaller cube-like chucks of glass that are less harmful. Other types of glass doors employ a type of glass that merely cracks while staying located within the frame.
If your exterior sliding glass door is over 20 years old, neither of these options are likely to be included in the safety enhancements. Therefore, many homeowners simply attach pretty decals on the panes of the doors, acting as a warning to visitors and residents of the home that the door is indeed closed.
Window Locks and Furniture Placement
Homes with small children should pay close attention to the location of furniture near upper story windows. If your windows do not currently provide a locking mechanism, these can easily be purchased and installed from local hardware stores. Be sure that your furniture is not within distance of these windows, as well. Cases of children climbing on furniture and falling through opened windows are a very common occurrence. Pets are also high susceptible to this dangerous mishap as well.