For every building owner, the safety of their tenants is fundamental; in fact, the International Building Code, or the IBC for short, makes it clear that specific requirements need to be met to protect occupants.

One potential hazard every building has are windows and other glass surfaces, such as glass doors and partitions. Therefore, it’s imperative that all glass surfaces in buildings need to meet safety glazing requirements.

Replacing a building’s glass surfaces with those that meet building code requirements can be both expensive and time-consuming. That’s why safety glazing window film could be a more cost-effective alternative.

Not only is safety glazing window film cheaper to install, but it can also add an extra level of protection to the building’s glass surfaces while meeting building codes.

The window film glazing will still need international building code requirements, however, so here is a guide on what you need to know about using glazing window film to meet the international building codes.

Where is safety glazing required?

Here are parts of a building that will require safety glazing:


Doors with glass installed on it will require safety glazing. This applies to both swinging and sliding doors. There are, however, a few exceptions, such as decorative glass and curved panels on revolving doors not requiring safety glazing.

Glass adjacent to doors

Glass surfaces located in close proximity to doors will be vulnerable to breaking and creating a hazard, and due to this, they will require safety glazing. Glass next to doors is considered hazardous if it is within 24 inches horizontally from the door and less than 60 inches from the floor.

The rule won’t apply if there is a wall in between the door and the glass surface and if the door leads into a storage room or a closet less than three feet in depth.

Glass in windows

Large, expansive windows will require safety glazing if their size exceeds nine feet per square foot in an area where the bottom and top of the glass are 18 inches and 36 inches of the floor, respectively.

For multi-pane glass, however, safety glazing won’t be needed on the outer pane if the bottom is at least 25 feet above any nearby surface.

Glass on railings and guards

Any glass surfaces installed into guards and railings will require safety glazing.

Glass in areas with water

Glass installed in any areas that are exposed to water, such as hot tubs, showers, swimming pools, steam rooms, bathtubs, and spas where the glass is less than 60 inches above a walking surface will need to have safety glazing installed.

If the glass is more than 60 inches away horizontally from the edge of the water, it won’t require safety glazing.

Glass adjacent to ramps and stairways

Glass surfaces next to stairways and ramps are potential hazards if the bottom of the glass is less than 60 inches above the walking surface. Glazing won’t be a requirement if the stairways and ramps have guards that are more than 18 inches from the glass and the glass is more than 36 inches above the walking surface.

Glass at the bottom of a stairway landing

Glass surfaces anywhere near the bottom of a stairway landing that is less than 60 inches above the landing and within 60 inches at an angle less than 180 degrees from the bottom; the glass will need safety glazing installed.

Work with a professional for safety glazing window film installation

This type of window film is a simple way to meet building codes without spending a large amount of money on installing entire glass panes. However, installing the window film yourself, precisely according to the code may be difficult to do—this is where the professionals come in.

Professional window film installers have extensive knowledge of building codes and will know exactly where the film will need to be installed to ensure your building complies with these codes.

Speak with a professional window film installer today!

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