“FEMA’s guide shows an example of non-tempered glass that fell several stories from a multistory building in the form of large glass shards during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
Tempered glass will reduce the seismic hazard because it breaks into smaller fragments rather than large shards. According to the guide, tempered glass is required within 10 feet above a walking surface under some circumstances.
According to the guide, failures of this type can be very hazardous, especially if the glazing is located above exit ways. It also states that annealed, tempered, laminated and insulating glass units can pose a significant falling hazard if not designed to accommodate seismic forces and displacements. Glazing is especially vulnerable in flexible structures and in large storefronts because the windows occupy a large, structurally unsupported area at the ground floor. The guide recommends use of laminated glass for storefront windows to reduce seismic risk and to increase protection from burglary and vandalism in the aftermath of an earthquake.”
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While earthquakes in the Minnesota region are very rare, they aren’t impossible. The 1975 Morris Quake had a magnitude of 4.6 and caused moderate damage. Still, if you own a business or storefront and want the best protection glass can offer, you should choose tempered glass.
Advantage Auto Glass also offers glass services for residential and commercial customers. We install glass for doors and windows, including storefronts. We do also offer tempered glass solutions which are ideal for resisting damage and shattering. Call us at 612-343-8984 or visit our commercial and residential glass page for more information.