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If you are planning to install windows or doors on your property, you want to be sure that your home is a Safe Environment. The first point to deal with here is the ‘Critical Location’. This refers to an area where the risk of injury is at it’s greatest. This time our Ranebrook Windows team would like to explain what you need to know if you’re going to buy new windows and doors.

So, what do you need to know?



When dealing with windows and doors, the ‘critical’ area is recognised as glass panels and glass side panels in doors, as well as glass that features at lower levels within walls and partitions. In the unfortunate event of breakage, particularly glazing in doors and door side panels, and at low levels in walls and partitions, can result in cutting and piercing injuries. For doors and door side panels, the risk is greatest for glazing between floor and shoulder level when near door handles and push plates, especially when normal building movement causes doors to stick. Hands, wrists and arms are the most vulnerable followed closely by the body area. If a person puts their hand/arm through the glass area this may cause them to lose balance, resulting in their whole body falling through, with many more injuries involved. Where walls and partitions are involved the risks tend to be at a lower level. At these levels, children are at the most risk.

The shaded areas in Figure 1 (see below) show those areas of internal and external walls that are considered ‘critical locations’ in terms of safety:

  • Between the finished floor level and 1500mm above that level in doors and in side panels which are within 300mm of either edge of the door.
  • Between the finished floor level and 800mm above that level in the case of windows.
  • Glazing in Bathing Areas. Any glazing forming part of a bath or shower screen or located adjacent to, or surrounding a bath, swimming pool, or other associated wet areas, constitutes a potential danger because of the possibility of a person slipping on a wet surface. In these cases, all glazing should be Safety Glazing conforming to BS 6262-4:2005. A window within 800mm of the bottom of a bath or shower should be safety glass.



Glazing with which people are likely to come into (physical) contact whilst moving in or about the building shall:

  • If broken on impact, break in a way which is unlikely to cause injury (see paragraph below);
  • Be robust or in small panes (see Figure 2);
  • Be permanently protected (see Figure 3). If glazing in a critical location is protected by a permanent screen then the glazing itself does not need to comply with requirement K4.



When putting ‘best practice’ into place and ensuring that in the event of breakage injury risk is as small as possible, the best solutions are to ensure that the results of a breakage leave only glass particles that are harmless or sharp edges masked (conforming to BS 6206:1981), to make sure that any glass panels themselves are resistant to impact and will not break or to prevent contact altogether by cordoning off any exposed glass areas.

Safety Glazing is:

  • satisfies the requirements of Class 3 of BS EN 12600 or Class C of BS 6206. If it is installed in a door or in a door-side panel or has a pane width exceeding 900mm, it needs to satisfy the requirements of Class 2 of BS EN 12600 or Class B of BS 6206.
  • The glass has also been tested against the European standard for BS EN 12600 for safety impact. This means that on the impact the glass does not break or breaks in a way unlikely to cause serious injury.

Safety glass, which complies with BS 6206 may be fitted in ‘critical locations’ categorised as Class A, B, or C with A being the highest grade of safety glass. If you have been asked to use safety glass, this should have a kitemark stamp showing that it complies with BS6206.

If you are still unsure whether your windows/doors require safety glass, please speak to the authoritative figure responsible for planning your project before placing your order with us, or simply contact us and we will be happy to help.

The article is based on BUILDING REGULATIONS K4.

Source – Blog Post from


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