|Nationally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission sets impact standards and test criteria for glass. A temporary exemption for wired glass was granted in 1977, to allow time
for development of products which could meet both the impact and fire safety standards as prescribed by the building code.
Historically, the various national building codes have allowed the exemption to continue because there were no products available that could stand up to impact tests and also remain in place
during a fire. As with many codes and standards, industry practices change over time, and today there are glazing products that meet both requirements. These products include but are not limited
a variety of "high-tech" glazing products,
"impact films" which can be applied over wired glass,
and a newly marketed wired glass which is thicker than that previously available
In 2003, a State of Oregon advisory board charged with adoption of Oregon's building codes asked the Building Codes Division (BCD) to adopt a wired glass regulation that went beyond the
national requirements at that time. The advisory board, which consisted of fire officials, building inspectors, engineers and architects, recommended that the exemption for wired glass be
After public input, BCD decided to take a two-step approach: 1) Change Oregon codes to conform with current national requirements for glass in athletic facilities and buildings housing grades
K-12; and 2) In anticipation of further changes at the national level, require that in all occupancies, any glazing installed in areas subject to human impact must comply with the CPSC standards.
- The first step for "K through 12th grade" was adopted and became effective
October 1, 2003
- The second step for all occupancies took effect on October 1, 2004
It is important to understand that these code changes did not constitute a "ban on wired glass." As noted earlier, traditional wired glass can be treated with impact
films and a thicker wired glass meeting the impact standards is now available. It is also worth noting that Oregon's safety glazing standards are not retroactive. They only apply
to new construction, repair or replacement of glass.
Richard S. Rogers
Structural Program Chief