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When it comes to the design and installation of glass balustrades and structural glass, it is paramount that health, safety and compliance are never compromised to save money or time.

There have been reports in Australia of externally fitted glass balustrades on apartment blocks exploding spontaneously. Tests have shown they have contained nickel sulphide impurities, which can lead to integrity failure when there are extremes in temperature.

Inferior imports, false certification and a lack of safety checks at customs have all been blamed for the problem.

It’s a salient lesson for the construction industry in the UK: ensuring that glass balustrades are compliant and meet British Safety Standards has never been so important.

Poor quality products, from handrails and balustrades to architectural ironmongery that are not fit for purpose, not only put users at risk, they are also a false economy because replacements are inevitable.

Laidlaw has been called upon countless times to rectify some balustrade installations and bad decision-making by those who have cut corners or simply used the wrong product in the wrong scenario. These include: external handrails with little structural stability that are vulnerable to vandalism; internal stair rails fitted with no corner joints; nylon covered handrails that peel and leave users at risk; and swimming pool rails that corrode in the humidity.

When specifying architectural ironmongery and glass balustrades for a building project, it is essential to use a well-established company that has technical expertise and is committed to delivering compliant, quality-assured goods, such as Laidlaw. We use toughened safety glass, which is designed to meet the most demanding line loading requirements of BS 6180.2011 and complies with the guidance of Approved Doc. K.

For more information about glass balustrades, please visit our website. 

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