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Are Sliding Glass Doors Tempered? (Regulations & Standards)

“Are sliding glass doors tempered?” is a good question to address, especially when prioritizing safety and durability in homes. Tempered glass is a common choice for various projects, including making doors. However, the world of sliding glass doors encompasses more than just the type of glass; from understanding their construction to taking security measures against potential break-ins, there’s much to discuss. No worries; you will learn a lot and make informed decisions about your sliding glass door options by the end of this discussion.

Are Sliding Glass doors Tempered?

Yes, most modern sliding glass doors are tempered. This is primarily for safety reasons.

Let’s see why tempered glass is used to make sliding glass doors. 

  • For Safety: Tempered glass, often referred to as safety glass, is stronger than regular glass. So, when we consider the safety measures, it is great for these kinds of glass doors. When a tempered glass is broken, it will shatter into small pieces instead of jagged shards. So, the risk of injury is minimal. 
  • Regulations: Many building codes and standards mandate the use of tempered glass for doors, especially sliding ones, due to their high-traffic nature and vulnerability to impact.
  • Thermal Resistance: Beyond just safety, tempered glass handles temperature changes better. Thus, it has the ability to prevent potential breakage from rapid heating or cooling.
  • Identification: Most tempered glass pieces have a small stamp or mark at one corner, indicating they’ve undergone the tempering process.

Incorporating tempered glass in sliding doors has become a standard practice, ensuring that these elegant home features are as safe as they are aesthetic.

What Type of Glass are Sliding Doors Made Of?

Majorly, sliding doors are made of tempered glass, laminated glass, low-E glass and tinted glass due to their enhanced safety and durability features.

If you are not knowledgeable enough about these glass types, check the details below. 

  • Tempered Glass: As we already mentioned, tempered glass is the predominant choice. The reason why, it’s heat-treated for increased strength and shatters into granular pieces rather than sharp shards, mitigating the risk of injury.
  • Laminated Glass: There are two or more glass sheets with a plastic layer sandwiched between them. It offers both sound insulation and safety, as it holds together when shattered.
  • Low-E Glass: Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass has a thin metallic coating to reflect heat. So, it is also energy efficient and is often used in regions with extreme temperatures.
  • Tinted Glass: For homeowners prioritizing privacy, tinted sliding doors reduce visible light transmission into the home.

In essence, while the tempered glass remains the standard, the specific type of glass for sliding doors often hinges on homeowners’ unique needs and regional requirements.

How Can you Tell If a Sliding Glass Door is Tempered

How Can you Tell If a Sliding Glass Door is Tempered?

You can tell if a sliding glass door is tempered by looking for a small etched mark or sticker typically located in the corner of the glass, which serves as an indication of its tempered nature.

These are some more characteristics that tempered sliding glass door has. 

  1. Corner Markings: Manufacturers often leave an etching or stamp in one corner of the glass. This marking is a certification that the glass is designed through the tempering process. So, it is a wise idea to check whether the stamp is there before making your purchase. 
  2. Examine the Edges: Tempered glass edges appear smoother than those of standard glass. If you can check the edge of the door, feel for this distinct difference.
  3. Inspect for Imperfections: Since tempered glass undergoes intense heat treatments, it may contain slight distortions or waves when viewed under particular angles or lighting conditions. Anyways, these things can be less noticeable. 
  4. Safety Stickers: Some tempered glass doors come with stickers indicating safety standards. These stickers are usually adhered to a corner of the door and mention safety specifications.
  5. Use Polarized Sunglasses: When viewed through polarized lenses, tempered glass often displays a pattern of lines or spots due to the stress patterns formed during the tempering process.

Remember that the most effective way to identify whether the door is tempered or not is by checking the manufacturer’s markings when compared to the other visible signs. 

How to Protect Sliding Glass Doors from Burglars?

The best method to protect sliding glass doors from burglars involves a combination of physical barriers and security enhancements.

Here, we have listed the most effective measures to secure sliding glass doors.

  1. Install Security Bars: Placing a security bar or rod in the track of the door prevents it from being slid open, even if the lock is bypassed. Most importantly, check whether the bar is made of steel. 
  2. Upgrade to a Stronger Lock: If your sliding door does not have a strong lock, consider installing a double bolt lock or a foot-operated lock for added security.
  3. Use Window Film: A security window film makes the glass harder to shatter. While burglars may still break the glass, the film keeps it in place. So, the entry will be more challenging.
  4. Install Glass Break Sensors: These sensors alert you or a security company when the glass is broken, acting as a deterrent to would-be burglars.
  5. Plant Thorny Shrubs: Planting prickly plants or bushes near the sliding door can act as a natural deterrent, making it uncomfortable for burglars to get close. But this method is applicable if only the plants will not be a disturbance to the residents. 
  6. Install Motion-Activated Lights: Bright lights that activate upon detecting motion can surprise and deter intruders, illuminating them and possibly drawing attention from neighbors or passersby.
  7. Use Curtains or Blinds: Keeping the interior of your home hidden reduces the temptation for burglars. Ensure the curtains or blinds are thick enough to obstruct any view.
  8. Regular Maintenance: Ensure the door tracks are clean and the rollers are in good condition. If you maintain a strong glass door, the burglars will find it difficult to attack. 
  9. Invest in Security Cameras: Visible security cameras can discourage burglars. Even fake cameras with blinking lights can make burglars think twice.
  10. Reinforce the Door Frame: Strengthening the frame makes it more resistant to forceful entry attempts.

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