Clean Break: The I-Team explores why your shower door might shatter
KALAMAZOO, Mich. —
Glass shower door manufacturers are federally mandated to use safety glass, but that glass can explode into shards causing injury.
More than 2,000 people across the country have been injured in recent years because of glass door explosions, but before getting rid of that glass door, there is something you can do to protect yourself.
Whether it's an ornament, glass, or frame breaking, you expect to see glass everywhere; but when it comes to the bathroom, like many, Jason Jones wasn't expecting glass everywhere.
Jones said he was replacing the rollers on his shower door when shattered.
“I was just holding it in my hands,” Jones said. “I looked down and I was bleeding because it cut my hand."
While Jones had minor injuries, more than 2,000 people have been rushed to the emergency room for the same reason.
Diana Parker had the same problem.
“I had shards of glass in my neck, all over my body,” Parker said. “It was pretty painful."
Chicago-based glass expert Mark Meshulam used a slingshot to reveal how easily a shower door can shatter.
Federal law mandates that glass shower doors are designed from tempered glass, so the glass is supposed to shatter, but it doesn't take a slingshot.
“Glass has within it a huge amount of energy,” Meshulam said.
So simple tasks such as replacing the rollers or a poorly installed towel rack can also make the glass shatter. It also can happen spontaneously.
"It could happen all by itself," Meshulam said.
But before you trade in that door for a shower curtain, here's how to protect yourself.
Ensure that the hardware on your shower door is tight. Inspect the door for chips and cracks and get them repaired. And add safety film.
Glass experts charge about $100 to install safety film and the difference is jarring. With safety glass, the shower door crumbles but stays in place.
“The film is holding it all together,” Meshulam said. “If this were a real situation and the person was in the shower, it would just hang there and it wouldn't injure anyone.”
Editor's note: Experienced a shattered shower door? Send your pictures to our Burst gallery and we might use your story and photos in our upcoming reports.