Do mirrors have to be safety tempered glass next to doors?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Mirrors that are mounted on a continuous backing support do not have to be safety tempered glass, even if located in areas defined as hazardous for glazing by the building code, such as near a door. This is because glazing is defined as the “process of installing an infill material into a prepared opening in windows, door panels, partitions, etc.” Unless a mirror is installed in an opening, it is not glazing. Here’s how the exception is listed in the International Residential Code (IRC) and Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC):

        This only applies to residential construction because the code requires shatter-resistant mirrors in some commercial situations, such as an aquatic facility (pool) bathroom. But it is still a good idea to have mirrors that will not explode into hundreds of shards of sharp, falling glass if impacted. The tempering process for safety glass creates wavy imperfections that become more visible when a mirror coating is applied, so a more practical solution is to buy a mirror with “safety backing” for your bathroom. Safety backing is an adhesive film made from polypropylene that is applied to the back surface of the mirror. It keeps the glass pieces in place when shattered and also helps control moisture that can deteriorate the mirror paint.

    See our blog post When is safety tempered glass required by code for glass near a door? for code requirements for safety glass at windows near a door.  

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  To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:

What causes sweating (condensation) on the inside of windows in the winter? 

Is every exterior door of a house required to have a landing outside? 

 What are the small slots at the bottom of the outside of my window? 

Why does condensation form on the outside of some windows and not others in the morning? 

Why is the garage door track a white tube? 

What is the raised metal plate on the floor under the garage door?

 Why do I have to hold down the button to close the garage door? 

How can I tell if a window or glass door is safety glass? 

What are the code requirements for safety tempered glass for doors?• 

Should a front door swing in or out? 


How many exit doors are required for a house?

 How many exit doors are required for a mobile/manufactured home? 

Are openable windows required to have window screens? Will windows with no screens pass a home inspection? 

Can a bedroom door open into the garage?

What are the building code requirements for a door from the garage to the house?

What is "low-E" window glass? 

What does ANSI 297.1 on glass mean?

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard? 

How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?  

What is an egress window?

Does a home inspector test all the windows and doors in a home? 

How difficult is it to change a window to french doors or a sliding glass door?

How do you determine if a door is left-handed or right-handed?

Why are window security bars dangerous? 

What are the common problems you find inspecting windows?

What is causing a foggy haze on my windows? 

What do those numbers on the manufacturer's stickers in new windows mean?

What does a home inspector check on an electric garage door? 

• What is the tempered label on glass at windows and sliding glass doors called?

Why is pressure washing double pane windows an expensive mistake? 

How can I tell if a window or sliding glass door is double or triple pane (insulated) glass?

• Do I need to have two exterior exit doors in my house? 

• When is safety glass required for windows at stairs and stair landings?

   Visit our DOORS AND WINDOWS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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