Are you at risk from spontaneous glass breakage?

Posted on - July 26, 2022

Spontaneous glass breakage is when glass suddenly breaks, without warning – with the shattered material falling on to anyone present below.

Many modern buildings have glazed ceilings, atria, and glass balustrading. The glass is toughened – so the problem is not sharp shards, but the sheer weight of the falling glass that can cause injury.

Glass is a very flexible building material. Glass is strong, attractive and lets huge amounts of natural daylight in. So, it’s little wonder it’s favoured by architects and so widely used.

Public buildings, shopping malls, galleries, sports stadia, museums, schools and universities, leisure centres – as well as hotels and residential apartment blocks – often have large areas of glass installed – and much of it very high up.

This is where there can be a hidden danger: Spontaneous glass breakage

It’s a huge concern and happens more frequently than you might expect.


Nickel Sulphide inclusion

The issue can be down to something called ‘Nickel Sulphide inclusion’.

Tiny impurities within the glass, present during the manufacturing process, are affected by heat and other factors – ultimately causing the pane to fail catastrophically.


Thermal Stress Breakage

Another key reason for glass to fail can be ‘Thermal Stress Breakage’.

This is when glass heats unevenly, particularly if it is incorrectly installed, and extreme differences in temperature result in the glass breaking.

Whatever the cause – there is usually little or no warning prior to the breakage. It’s very hard to detect.

The safest and most economical way to protect against Spontaneous glass breakage is Window film.

Hi-tech window films can manage heat to reduce the chance of thermal stress, and safety window film will contain the glass should the worst happen, and the pane fail.

Anyone responsible for buildings in use by the public have a duty of care to ensure the environment is safe and any risks are minimised.

Make sure your glass is safe, protected and legally compliant.

Get a Glazing Audit survey from Durable – we inspect your glass and provide a full report outlining any areas for concern and what steps can be taken to address them.



Don’t delay!

Call us today on 0118 989 5201 or email


Good with glass.