This bathroom window safety glass requirement has been with us since 1991 edition of the Uniform Building Code. However, almost every single home inspection I perform in a new construction or gut-rehabbed properties fails on the bathroom window… obviously; it’s not an important requirement.
Anyway, for your own safety (not the developers), if you have a window on one of the shower or bathtub surrounding walls and its bottom section of the glass starts less than 60” from the standing surface, look at the corners of the glass. There should be a permanent etched label confirming that your bathroom window safety glass / tempered glass is installed.
On occasions, in custom windows, there might be a removable label applied. If there’s no label or visible etching on your bathroom window glass surface, assume that it is not a safety / tempered type of glass and slipping or falling onto such window may result in serious injury.
Wire reinforced glass is no longer permitted for use as a bathroom window safety glass.
Custom, decorative pieces of glass manufactured for some of those applications might not have any markings / labels that would clearly state type of the installed glass. If you know the manufacturer – ask for the safety glass certificate.
Glass blocks (windows or walls) installed in the bathrooms are considered masonry not glass.
If you just purchased a brand new property, and there’s no etching on the glass surface, request a certificate from the developer / window company, check with your local building department. Don’t just assume that the bathroom window safety glass has been installed.
This article was written by Dariusz Rudnicki
I'm a retired Illinois home inspector, founder and editor of checkthishouse.com, a blog which attracts around 2 thousand readers daily and is dedicated to answering the many questions of home owners and home buyers. Connect with me on Google+ Find me on Google+ Local