It’s everywhere you go, yet you have probably never noticed it. Glass with wire mesh inside, called wired glass, is a product that has been used for fire protection for decades in Canada. It looks strong but it is weaker than regular glass and when it breaks it can cause serious injuries, some that have brought people close to death.
The United States updated standards in the mid-2000s to prevent the use of traditional wired glass in areas where people could be hurt such as schools and hotels. But in Canada, wired glass continues to be installed widely.
Risks accompanying wired glass are well known to school boards, at least in Ontario. The provincial insurer for most school boards, the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE), told Global’s 16×9 in an email that between 2001 and 2015, it has incurred a cost of more than $5.8 million for 114 claims arising from wired-glass injuries. Global’s16×9 obtained a risk management advisory from OSBIE that shows that it has been warning school boards that that wired glass can cause “horrible injuries” since 2001.