Building Codes and Inspections/tempered glass


do appartment buldings in Alamea CA. have to have tempered glass windows?         someone in my appartment pushed me into my front window. and the appartment manager wants me to pay 500.00 for it. he charged me. do i have to pay for that if it is not tempered glass? can i sue them?  im on sec.8 im low income dont have the mony to pay and im affraid they will take it away for not paying. and it wasnt my falt.

I have put this question out to some code experts, and here are the answers I got. Some of them started talking about the glass in doors, so maybe that doesn't apply to you. Also, please notice that it depends on when the building was built, and if the glass was ever replace, and if so, when:

Eirene Oliphant, MCP It depends on the location and size of the window. If the bottom of the window is within 18 inches of the floor AND the window is greater than 9 square feet AND the top of the window is greater than 36 inches above the floor AND there is a walking surface adjacent to the window, then the window must be safety glazed. If the answer to any of those is "no", then it is not required to be safety glazed.

Daniel Cordell In addition to Eirene's comment, any glazing within 24 inches adjacent to a door and under 60 inches of a walking surface is included.

Hoyt Jeter To help on this check out 2010 california building code sections 2406 which deal with requirments for safety glazed. Instead of just giving you part answer if you look here if give all the requirments. To be more speicific it is sections 2406.4 Hazardous locations. FYI this is also in the IBC same sections

David Swan, CBO Sharon, all of the previous locations are considered "hazardous locations" within the building codes.

All glazing in doors and sidelights are required to be safety glazing per ANSI Z97.1 (with an exception for jalousies). When the CPSC was formed in the 1970's, this was one of their first objectives. We look for the "16 CFR 1201" which identifies the glass as in compliance with the CPSC safety glazing regulations. You can find these regulations in Title 16, Part 1201 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Helpful I hope.

Brian Coombs Sharon,
Everyone above is correct and I would also like to add something that is extremely important. I was asked to review a similar occurrence in Washington. Person fell through a window and was severely injured. Here is the kicker; while the newer codes require safety glass at this particular location, there were no such codes when this building was constructed pre 1950's. If the window has been replaced at some time, under a new code, then safety glass would be required. When ever reviewing anything for code compliance, first check the code edition under which the item was permitted.

Julie Ruth Sharon,

Everyone above has given good information with regards to this. The only thing I would add is that the requirements of CPSC 16 Part 1201, which require safety glazing in doors, are Federal law. These requirements were adopted into the 3 legacy codes that were in existence at that time, and more hazardous locations added.

Since most of the country is using the IBC, I don't think there is a lot of variation on what constitutes a "hazardous location" across the country. But I think its good to be aware that safety glazing in doors is based upon Federal Law, while safety glazing in other hazardous locations is dictated by the locally adopted code.

Brian Coombs Julie, that's good info. You mentioned the IBC, but does CPSC 16 Part 1201 apply to all doors regardless of the occupancy?

Julie Ruth CPSC 16 Part 1201 applies regardless of the location of the door.

If that is glass in the door greater than 3" in diameter, it must be safety glazing.  

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Sharon Toji


I have special expertise in the subject of accessibility codes and guidelines (ADA), and most specifically in the field of signage. If you have a question that is not about the ADA or about signs, I suggest you try the following excellent site: Naffa International BCDG (Building Code Discussion Group). The website address is You do have to register, but it's free. You will find discussions here on all kinds of Building Code Q & A topics. You go to the forum that sounds as if it's close to your topic, check out some of the posts and see if it sounds like a fit. Then pose your question. With luck, you may get some really good answers. You can email some of the experts individually by clicking on the headings of their posts. When you ask a question, of me, or of someone on the above site, tell them your state, and maybe your city if it's a large city. That is crucial for answering code questions. Sharon Toji


I am a voting delegate to the American National Standards Institute that writes accessiblity standards used by the International Building Code and are the basis for the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). I am also a member of the Access Advisory Committee to the California State Building Standards Commission, among other positions.

Signs and the ADA (a manual I have written that is used across the country), and articles in many trade journals.

BA, Reed College Graduate work, University of Munich (Germany) and University of California, Irvine

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