Rooflight Glazing: Check for the Safety Tick Campaign

A NEW CAMPAIGN for laminated inner panes to be used on glass rooflights for safety reasons has been launched by the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM).

It is hoped that the campaign will bring pressure to bear on the British Standards Institute to amend regulations to include the safety measure.

Current British Standards say that inner panes on rooflights must be laminated in applications more than 5 metres above floor level (increased to 13 metres in limited circumstances) or on rooflights located over water (e.g. in swimming pools).

However, the relevant standard permits use of toughened glass inner panes in other applications, if a risk assessment is carried out and confirmation provided that this does not present additional risk to those below the rooflight.

Toughened glass in rooflights

The term ‘toughened’ implies a degree of safety which in the case of rooflights, is misleading, says NARM. The trade body is concerned that oughened glass inner panes are at risk of shattering and falling into the room beneath.

NARM’s new campaign follows a number of worrying reports of potentially dangerous incidents involving poorly designed or installed rooflights.

NARM Safety Representative, Mark Wilcox said: “It is difficult to see how use of a toughened, rather than laminated, glass inner pane doesn’t present a risk to anyone beneath a rooflight, whatever the position or height of the installation. In our view, any risk assessment of a toughened inner pane is therefore largely irrelevant.”

This is a position strongly supported by ACR, the Advisory Committee for Roofsafety, a body founded by the Health & Safety Executive, dedicated to making working on roofs safer. ACR has published its own document covering this issue, called: Glass Specification in Flat Rooflights.

NARM safety campaign

The NARM campaign will focus on a new symbol, designed to draw attention to the need for a laminated inner pane. This will be promoted to professional and end user audiences via on-line, printed and social media, together with detailed information regarding the dangers of inappropriate glass specification in rooflights.

The symbol is also being made available to NARM member companies, for use on their own marketing materials.

Speaking about some manufacturers supplying rooflights with inferior toughened glass inner panes, yet claiming excellence in quality standards.

Ian Weakford, NARM’s Marketing Committee Chairman, adds: “It’s important to note that a great looking rooflight isn’t necessarily a great rooflight.

“Our aim is that this work will increase awareness of the importance of laminated glass inner panes and give reputable rooflight manufacturers the opportunity to differentiate the products from inferior offerings in the marketplace”.

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