Do you have a glass table in your house? Well, there’s been talk about whether or not glass tables can be the cause of fires.
Here’s everything you need to know about glass dining table safety.
Can a glass table cause a fire?
You may be wondering if it is safe to have a glass table in your home. While there is a possibility of glass tables causing fires, it’s a highly unlikely occurrence.
However, you should be aware that, like mirrors and other objects that reflect and concentrate sunlight, glass tables have the potential to direct the focus of sunlight to a certain area in your home. If your glass table is close to the window where the sun shines, there is a potential cause for concern.
If your glass table has edges or corners that are shaped in a convex manner, it may end up working like a magnifying glass. The glass can potentially focus all the sunlight into a single point, which will start to build up heat in that area of the house and cause a fire.
Fortunately, there are ways to completely avoid this scenario, and you will never have to worry again about your glass table potentially causing a fire in your house.
What are some of the common causes of fires at glass dining tables?
There have been some rare cases where a household has had a glass table top outside in their backyard under a gazebo or covered under a patio. However, because of the way the sun was angled during a certain time of the day, the sun’s rays made contact with the glass table, and the raised focus began to heat up and burn the flooring underneath the table.
Another scenario involves a glass table inside the house. A much more common situation for the glass table is where it sits inside a house. Sometimes, a glass table can be placed right next to a window. This creates some risk because if the sun is angled just right during the time of the day, it could end up bringing sunlight straight to the glass table and causing a fire.
How can you prevent a fire from starting at your glass dining table?
Cover the surface of your table
Covering the surface of your table top is probably the easiest thing to do if you plan to place it somewhere where there is direct sunlight involved. Whether it’s in the house or outdoors, if you place several opaque table mats over your glass table, you will be significantly reducing the risk of potential fires.
The sun will not have the ability to travel through the glass, refracted self, and focus itself on the other side. You never really have to worry about moving the maps unless they get dirty during a meal. It also helps to keep the glass table clean and prevent accidental scratches.
Use the blinds to block the sunlight
If you must place your glass table near a large window, then I would recommend covering your window with blinds that will block the sun from shining through. This is a generally easy solution. However, it does mean that you won’t have as much light in that particular area because you’re blocking it.
I’m under the assumption that you’ll most likely only use that area when you are dining or sitting at the table itself.
There’s also the potential for someone to forget to close the blinds after they leave the table.
For outdoors, place your glass table under the shade
If you have a glass table that is left outside, I strongly recommend that you place it under some shade. This can be a gazebo or a large outdoor umbrella. Keep in mind that the sun does move from east to west throughout the day, and this could potentially create some vulnerabilities if your shade is not large enough.
The idea here is to cover as much of the glass table as possible. So you might want to look into buying a second umbrella so that you can cover both ends of the table. It’s also beneficial because you never really have to worry about moving your umbrella as long as you place it within the path of the sun. And if you do have shade that is large enough, it will only provide cooler air for you to sit underneath.
How can you protect your home from a glass dining table fire?
It’s always recommended that you, if you can, keep your glass table away from direct sunlight. This doesn’t mean that you have to move your glass table to a dark and empty room. You can always cover up your glass table with table mats or a table sheet, and that will do just fine.
You can also cover your windows with blinds so that the sun won’t be able to concentrate its rays directly on the table.
It’s also important to keep your house nice and cool by using the AC. If your home is extremely hot, this will only add to the sun’s ability to heat up more of your house.
What should you do if a fire starts at your glass dining table?
If a fire ever starts in your home, you may have very little time to think. You’re going to have to make some very quick decisions because a house fire can move very quickly and become extremely dangerous as time goes on.
You and your family need to plan how to get out of your house quickly and safely and practice this at least twice a year. Make sure everybody knows what to do when they hear the smoke alarm.
Practice always makes perfect, and this can’t be stressed enough. Make sure you practice getting out of here immediately, wherever you may be in your home.
Everyone needs to know where to meet after escaping the fire as well. Designate a single area where you all will be safe and at a distance from your house.
- Start by assessing the situation and deciding whether the fire is small or too large to put out.
- Make sure you alert everyone and have them prepared to exit the house.
- In the meantime, if you’ve determined that the fire is due to your glass dining table, then this most likely will be a Class A (ordinary) or potentially a Class C fire (electrical). It’s very important that if you are unsure whether or not you can put out the fire, then it’s best to just leave it and exit the house immediately. Don’t take any chances!
- If you don’t see any sparks or electronic wires close to the fire, then it may be just an ordinary flame.
- If you have a fire extinguisher, then use it. If you don’t have one, the best approach is to run water through a towel to make it slightly damp and throw it over the fire.
- If the fire is too large to control, then exit the home immediately.
What are the consequences of a glass dining table fire?
Any type of house fire can be devastating. In the US, it’s been estimated that over 350,000 homes catch fire every year. Fortunately, a very small, if not minuscule, portion of that has ever been due to glass.
You’re not only battling the fire if you choose to stay in the house; you are also going up against high levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide that are considered chemical and thermal irritants. This irritation can actually damage your lungs if you inhale too much of it.
Even though a fire caused by a glass dining table can be considerably rare, it’s still a possibility that you don’t want to risk. It’s important to take extra precautions when deciding where your glass dining table should sit and how you can protect it from the sunlight.
What are some of the myths about glass dining table fires?
Don’t place a glass table next to a window
It’s OK to place your glass table top right next to the window. As long as you take the extra precautions not to allow it to heat up from direct sunlight.
Make sure you are always there to monitor the room when your windows are open and shining through the table.
Cover up your table with table mats so that the sunlight won’t be able to take advantage of the full surface area of your glass table. The more surface area that it has available to shine through, the greater the possibility that it could heat up the surface behind the glass.
Don’t place a glass table outside
You can place your glass table outside the home. You just have to make sure that it’s covered up, similar to leaving it in front of a window. Table mats are great for this because they will block the sunlight from shining through the glass, focusing the rays to a certain point.
You can also buy yourself some large outdoor umbrellas to cover your glass table.
Glass tables are like magnifying glasses
Glass tables are not exactly like magnifying glasses. A magnifying glass usually has convex lenses on both sides of the glass that bulge outward. This bulging actually causes the sunlight to refract and bend into a central point. This central point builds up a lot of heat from the rays and eventually burns the surfaces that it touches.
Glass tables are usually made flat and oftentimes have little potential to refract light to a focal point. However, there’s still the potential that when enough light shines through a glass table, a fire can occur.
Buy a glass table that’s not transparent
One thing to be aware of is that if the sun’s rays have the ability to travel through the glass, then there is some potential for fire. However, if you have a glass table that is opaque or has some type of reflective properties, then the light won’t be able to travel through and the bus won’t be able to concentrate on a single point.
This will reduce your chances of a fire being caused by a glass table significantly.
Is glass flammable or inflammable?
When it comes to the flammability of glass, the answer is a little bit complicated. In general, glass is not flammable. However, if there is a flame present and the right conditions are met, then glass can catch fire. This would most likely happen if there was something on the glass table that would catch fire itself. The more likely occurrence, under extreme temperatures, would be that the glass would melt, but there’s no way that could ordinarily happen because glass melts at 2552 degrees Fahrenheit.
While it’s not as likely for glass to catch on fire as some other materials like wood or fabric, it’s still important to take precautions when storing any flammable materials. Make sure that all old flammables are removed from the glass tabletop and stored away in cool, dry areas.
Does glass explode in fire?
When glass is in a fire, it can sometimes explode under the right conditions. Glass can shatter if the heat from the fire causes the glass to expand, or if you happen to attempt to cool it down too quickly. When this happens, the glass will shatter into pieces instead of small chunks.
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