Tempered Glass

Hello! I am completely out of my element here, since I regularly hang out at disabled access and signs are my specialty. I belong to an "Experts" group, and even though I beg people not to ask my questions on other topics, they regularly do! I have been sending everyone on glass to Donn Harter, but thought I would ask this one myself: Do codes now require that ALL windows and doors use tempered glass? (The particular question is about California, but it would be good to know if it is universal across the US).

Thanks everyone!

Sharon Toji
Original Post
Hi Sharon,

As you know, currently California uses the 2007 California Building Code (CBC) with the 2006 IBC as the base model code.

For Safety/Tempered Glazing requirements, Chapter 24 applies. Specifically, Section 2406 "Safety Glazing". That is where the CBC lists the locations where safety/tempered glazing is required. It follows the concept of "Hazardous Locations". If the glazing is located at hazardous locations, then safety glazing is required.

Hazardous locations are listed in Section 2406.3. So if the glazing is in any of the 11 locations listed in Section 2406.3 (there are exceptions of course) then safety/tempered glazing applies.

Not all windows are required to have safety glazing. Only the ones that are located in "hazardous locations". Mainly due to closeness to edge of doors or to the walking surface, etc.

Sections 2407, 2408 and 2409 have information about Glass in Handrails and Guards, Glazing in Athletic Facilities and Glass in Elevator Hoistway.

This previous discussion on the BCDG has additional and more descriptive information:
Mr. AIA is also correct. Check Chapter 7A of the CBC for application. If the project is located in a Wildland-Urban Interface Area as defined in Section 702A (See Section 701A.3 for Application), the windows (exterior glazing) are required to have at least one tempered pane per Section 704A.3.2.2.
As an aside to Sharon's original posting ...

I've been told by CDF (CalFire) that the tempered pane may be either the exterior OR the interior pane. I can see pro's and con's to each, but IMO would be that it's the exterior pane that should be tempered. After all, for some of us the bigger danger is the flung rock/pebble when we're weed-eating!
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