SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) – Barely four seconds, that was the difference between Mr. Sito Rong Feng walking unharmed in his kitchen and getting hit by a sliding glass door as it shattered into pieces.
When the wedding photographer got a clean shave last month, his first thought was the safety of his 15-month-old twin sons playing in a park in the living room of the family’s Punggol East apartment.
He found pieces of tempered glass in the park, but his boys were not injured.
Glass was strewn in the living room and Mr Sito, 38, and his wife, Ms Eldora Lie, 33, suffered minor cuts to their feet.
“If I had walked slower I would have hurt myself. Worse still, if my boys had sat in their high chairs at the dining table, they could have been seriously injured when the glass fell,” he said. he told the New Paper on Thursday. (March 4).
“My wife also works at the dining table all the time. So I guess you can tell it was a good time for it to happen when no one was around.
CCTV camera footage shows the door exploding with a loud sound and crashing to the floor about four seconds after Mr Sito entered the kitchen.
Mr Sito said that before moving into their new home in May 2018, they decided to put a sliding door to keep the kitchen smell in the kitchen and the air conditioning in the living room.
He was baffled as to why the tempered glass door would spontaneously shatter when no one touched it, and added that it took four people – the couple and two handymen – more than two hours to clean up the mess.
The impact was so huge that shards of glass were embedded in the vinyl floor.
Mr Sito, who has yet to decide whether to replace the door, said he is discussing it with In2Space Interior, the company that installed the original door.
“All I know is we’ll never get a tempered glass door again,” he added.
When TNP contacted In2Space Interior, its managing director, Mr. Henry Yeo, 54, said he was checking with the supplier of the door to determine the cause of the sudden explosion.
“Although such incidents are rare, it does happen. We inform customers that glass is a breakable material, so they should be careful,” added Mr. Yeo, who offered to replace the door from Mr. Sito, who no longer under warranty, at cost. the price.
Another homeowner, whose tempered glass partition in her study room suddenly shattered in May of last year, said she couldn’t get her contractor to assess the damage as it was. were produced during the breaker period.
The housewife who wanted to be known only as Ms. R. Lim, 40, and lives with her husband and three children in a terraced house in Serangoon, said she ultimately decided to do without a new score.
Industry expert Mr Victor Sia, 32, who works as a research and development engineer at SG Glass, told TNP that tempered glass often contains impurities such as nickel sulfite, which can cause microfractures in the glass during the heating process.
Tempered glass is known to be four times stronger than untreated glass because it is heat strengthened.
But after heating, the surface cools faster than the inner sections of tempered glass. This can create tension in the glass and lead to strong internal compressive stress, which could explain the sudden explosions, he added.
Mr Sia said such incidents did happen from time to time and homeowners might opt for laminated glass instead of tempered glass.
“Laminated glass is safer because even if it shatters, shards of glass will stay put instead of flying all over the place. It just doesn’t look as good as tempered glass and costs twice the price,” he said. he added.
Customers can also opt for sliding doors made of wood or aluminum, which are common alternatives to glass.
A check with the Consumers Association of Singapore (case) found that it had received 14 complaints about spontaneously breaking furniture and household products from 2016 to last year.
There were two cases each in 2016 and 2017 and one each in 2018 and 2019. The number jumped to eight last year.
Of the eight cases, four involved glass cooktops and two involved glass panels.
Safety tips for home owners include not overheating or placing heavy objects on glass surfaces, a spokesperson for Case said.
When installing a glass panel or door, homeowners should also inspect the glass for any scratches or cracks.