Glass not a clear menace

Glass matters: According to AFA, it's not just glass doors and windows that need to pass Australian standards, it's also the glass used in framed artworks and prints. Photo: pexels.
Glass matters: According to AFA, it's not just glass doors and windows that need to pass Australian standards, it's also the glass used in framed artworks and prints. Photo: pexels.

Glass is one of the more common materials used in everyday life.

Just think about the number of glass doors you walk through a day, the windows you look out of or that glossy coffee table you just adopted.

But is it safe to use in a family home?

Patrizia Torelli CEO of the Australian Furniture Association said it can be but there’s a catch.

The catch is actually quite simple – it needs to pass standards.

According to the AFA CEO, people assume most glass passes Australian standards, but there are some products, which are often overlooked in home products.

“Non-compliant glass exists across a range of products in your home. The areas you might find glass that potentially is a risk factor could be in furniture as well as windows and doors, however one of the primary areas is actually in framed prints and artwork.

“Basically, a lot of the important artworks that are coming into the country are manufactured offshore and sold on the basis of being an aesthetic piece. However, there are standards that apply for any product that contains glass that has potential human impact.

“However, from an artwork perspective, the standards aren’t necessarily being policed,” Ms Torelli said.

Residents are urged to check that the glass is sturdy and safe.

Unsafe glass used to frame artwork, particularly if it is hanging in places such as above the bed or near children, could pose a safety risk.

The edges of glass or glass that has been broken can easily cut skin and cause injuries.

“It’s about making sure if you are using glass for styling purposes, to make sure it’s not going to be in contact with young children and, if you do, it is certified to the Australian standard.

“They [consumers] need to make sure the product has the Australia and New Zealand standards tick. If there is no label or marking then they should be asking the supplier to verify whether it meets standards and if in doubt check to see if they are an AFA member.

“People are also welcome to contact our office. We would be able to assist,” she said.

It is also a reminder for strata-managed buildings to ensure they use compliant materials.