Safety Glazing

Safety glazing is required by the International Residential Code in a number of locations and is intended to reduce the potential for injury in the event of accidental contact with the glazing.

The two most common types of safety glazing are tempered and laminated. Each pane of safety glazing is required to be permanently labeled. The label typically consists of an etching in the corner of the window indicating if the glass is tempered or laminated.

State of Minnesota Building Code

The State of Minnesota has updated the building code effective January 24, 2015. We are in the process of reviewing our website to make sure everything is up to code, but you should always review the State of MN Building Code before beginning any project.

Required Locations for Safety Glazing

Doors and Windows Near Doors

  • In side-hinged doors (including storm doors)
  • In fixed and sliding panels of sliding door assemblies and panels in sliding and bifold closet door assemblies
  • In fixed or operable panels that are within 24 inches of either edge of a door in the closed position and the glazing is less than 60 inches above the adjacent floor
Illustration - 24 Inches or Less, Less Than 60 Inches
Illustration - Side It or Window, Door, Arcs

Bathrooms, Saunas, Swimming Pools, Etc

  • In doors and enclosures for hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs, and showers whenever any glazing is within 60 inches measured vertically from any standing surface (includes windows adjacent to bathtubs)
  • In walls and fences enclosing indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas where the edge of the pool or spa within 60 inches above a walking surface
Illustration - Standing Surface, Safety Glazing Required, Less Than 60 Inches to Drain
Illustration - Glazing in Shower and Bathtub Enclosures

Large Windows Near Walking Surfaces

In a fixed or operable panel that meets all of the following conditions:

  • The exposed area of an individual pane is more than 9 square feet
  • The bottom edge of the pane is less than 18 inches above the floor
  • The top edge of the pane is more than 36 inches above the floor
  • There is a walking surface within 36 inches horizontally of the glazing
Illustration - Area of Individual Pane Greater Than 9 Square Feet

Railings and Stairways

  • In railings
  • In walls enclosing stairway landings including areas within 60 inches of the top and bottom of the stairs whenever the glazing is less than 60 inches above the walking surface