A guide to installing windows and glazing in high-risk areas

Extra care needs to be taken when installing glazing in higher-risk areas, such as lower to floor level and around doors. Identifying where those higher-risk areas are and taking measures to prevent injury is necessary to ensure your developments meet LABC Warranty requirements.

Briefly, measures to reduce the chance of injury or harm include the following:

  • Including permanent protection, such as railings or other barriers, subject to specific requirements
  • Using smaller panes no more than 0.5m2 in area or no wider than 250mm
  • Employing robust materials, such as glass blocks or polycarbonates, or annealed glass subject to conditions
  • Using glazing that “breaks safely”

Suitable glazing for high-risk areas

  • A glazing material would be suitable for a critical location if it meets the requirements of BS 6262 – 4 Table 1 when tested in accordance with BS EN 12600
  • Glass installed in a door or in a side panel to a door that exceeds 900mm wide must meet the relevant requirements of BS EN 12600 and BS 6262 – 4
  • Insulated glass units (IGU) should meet requirements of BS EN 1279 – Glass in building – insulating glass units, be CE marked and carry third-party accreditation. This includes windows in possession of a BBA certificate and timber windows

Be careful with putty

When used, putty should be neatly finished to receive a protective paint coat. Linseed oil glazing putty should not be used when the joinery is finished with vapour permeable paint or stain. Glazing putty should also not be used with organic solvent-based stains.

Putty is also not suitable for laminated glass and double-glazed units, where the workmanship should be in accordance with BS 8000: 7. To ensure the compatibility of the whole glazing system is to a high level of workmanship and control, it is recommended that factory pre-glazed systems be installed in all external openings.

A guide to visual assessments of glazing

When assessing the appearance of glass, the viewing distance should be the furthest stated in any of the BS EN Standards for the glass types used in the glazed unit. If in doubt, view the glazing from a distance of 3 metres.

Do not precede by viewing at closer distances and only view in normal daylight conditions without the use of magnification tools. In rooms without daylight, scratches should be viewed in artificial diffused light from fixed wall or ceiling outlets and not from portable equipment.

To help you check that you have installed glazing correctly in high-risk areas, download our handy checklist.

Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. For the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.