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Product Safety - Safety of Glass Features in Furniture

Consumer Protection Act 1987
The General Product Safety Regulations 1994


Under the General Product Safety Regulations 1994, all furniture offered for supply in the UK must be safe.  Offered for supply has the same meaning as in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) and it includes furniture and furnishings in offices and in premises let as holiday accommodation or by landlords to tenants.  It is therefore the responsibility of all suppliers – including landlords – to ensure that all furniture is safe when installed and continues to be safe.

Glass in Furniture

Furniture incorporating glass will be considered safe if it complies with the relevant safety standards. BS: 7376 covers glass in trolleys and tables, whilst BS: 7449 covers all other glass included in the construction of furniture.  BS EN14749 covers kitchen or other storage cupboards.  Both these standards cover the types and thickness of glass which are acceptable for certain applications. It would not be practical to list all the requirements in this fact sheet.

Wherever possible the original instructions supplied with the furniture should be available with the furniture when it is sold or re-sold. If these instructions are not available, then the users of such furniture should be mindful of the following:

Do not place hot or very cold items against/on or in close proximity to glass surfaces unless adequately thick insulating material/table mats are used to prevent such items coming into contact with the glass surface.

Do not strike the glass with hard or pointed items. Do not use the glass as a chopping board.

When cleaning glass panels etc., use a damp cloth or leather with a suitable cleaning agent. Do not use washing powder or any other substances likely to cause scratching to the glass surface.

Do not sit or stand on horizontal glass surfaces.

Where applicable it is essential that the unit is properly fixed to the wall with the fittings provided.

When conducting risk assessments:

Ensure that all products which contain glass have been labelled permanently and correctly

Ensure that all products which contain glass have comprehensive instructions, including information from the British Standards

Ensure there are no imperfections in the glass that could cause stress concentrations, thus lowering the strength of the glass

Ensure that the glass is properly installed and stable.

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Additional Reading:

General Products
Translucent Surfaces, Windows & Door Panels
Glass in Furniture
Bunk Beds
Electric Blankets