Building Codes and Inspections/Tempered Glass


 We just enclosed our two story foyer and created a room upstairs for laundry.  The new upstairs room has a 69 x 56 inch picture window that does not have tempered glass.  The window is only a couple of inches off the floor.  Do we have to replace the glass with tempered glass or could a steel grate be installed over a portion of the window satisify the building codes?  We live in the Atlanta area.

This location and size is considered to be a hazardous location per Section R308.4 of the ICC International Residential Code and would be required to be tempered glazing, safety glazing (like Plexiglass), or have a guard to prevent impact.

You should check with you municipal Building Official to see what code is in force in your area, or whether there re any local amendments that might control this installation.

Most importantly, it's a safety issue that should be addressed so no one gets hurt if they should fall into the glass or strike it moving furniture around.

Be safe!

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Keith Fuller


I'm an ICC Certified Master Code Professional fielding general building code questions. My experience has been heavy in fire related issues.


I've been employed since 1985 as an inspector and plan reviewer, and am a municipal Assistant Building Official and Deputy fire Marshal. I've had fire service experience since 1972, having served as a three time Fire Chief and Fire Marshal in years past. The increasing workload, mandatory certifications, and continuing education requirements in recent years have caused me to concentrate my efforts on code related issues. I hold national fire service certifications as well.

ICC Master Code Professional

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