Replacement glass and glazing

General Product Safety Regulations 2005

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

The law

The law which regulates the supply of replacement glass and glazing services is briefly outlined in this fact sheet. Whilst it is primarily intended for those in the business of supplying and/or fitting replacement glass it may also be of interest to members of the public intending to replace glass on a do-it-yourself basis.

You may be aware that the safety of glass in new buildings has been controlled for several years by a requirement under The Building Regulations supported by the Approved Document N. This requirement has now been extended to replacement glass intended to be used in “critical areas”.

Approved Document N defines “critical areas” as any area between floor level and 800mm above floor level in internal, external and partition walls, and between floor level and 1500mm above floor level in a door or a side panel within 300mm of the edge of any door. These areas are illustrated in the diagram below.

Critical areas for glazing

Replacement glass for use in these areas must satisfy the requirements of BS 6206, which means in effect that it must be toughened, laminated, wired or have a plastic film coating.


The only exception to this is that annealed glass of a minimum thickness of 6mm may be used in small panes. Small panes must have a maximum width of 250mm and an area not exceeding 0.5 square metres measured between the glazing beads or other fixings. This requirement is illustrated below:

Glazing regulations exceptions

It is an offence under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 to sell glass for use in a critical location which does not satisfy the above requirements. Therefore, you and your sales staff need to ask customers purchasing replacement glass where the glass is to be used, and only sell them safety glass for use in critical locations.