This morning the Today show reported on the number of children who die from injuries related to glass tables. Sadly, many glass-topped tables are not made with tempered glass, which would prevent these life-threatening injuries. Here's what you can do to make your furniture safe...
According to Consumer Reports, an estimated 20,000 people, mostly children, are treated for injuries related to glass furniture every year. On average, three children die each year from these injuries. Until safety standards change there is an easy way to prevent injuries happening in your home.
Tempered glass is regular glass that has been treated with high temperatures to increase strength and change the break pattern. When ordinary glass breaks large shards can easily puncture skin and lacerate blood vessels. Tempered glass, on the other hand, breaks into small pieces, reducing the risk of bleeding and death from broken glass. Tempered glass is also stronger and can withstand greater pressure and heat.
If you have a glass topped table that is not tempered you do not have to get rid of it. There are many manufacturing companies that will temper the piece for you. If you aren't sure if your glass table is tempered, you can use a polarized lens to see the stress marks left behind from the tempering process. You can also check with the manufacturer about the type of glass used for your particular piece of furniture. Another quick test is to check your glass for scratches and marks. Un-tempered glass scratches easily.
For additional information please check the following websites:
(Image: akeg on Flickr