Steel Studio: Is Your Glass Balustrade Safe?
Is your glass balustrade safe? Here’s one way to tell quickly.
Most homeowners have no idea if their glass balustrades are safe. Thanks to the team from Steel Studio, they have put together a Feedback Friday video to show you one quick and simple way to tell if it is safe and what to do if it isn’t.
In today’s competitive marketplace, price drives purchasing decisions. To the naked eye, products may look similar when comparisons are made, but it’s been proven that not all products are equal, especially when it comes to glass balustrades and that’s what doesn’t get communicated to most homeowners.
SANS tells us how to design a glass balustrade, but homeowners don’t necessarily have access to the SANS codes and documents. So how do you know if your glass balustrade is safe? One simple way to tell very quickly if your balustrade is safe is by asking your balustrade contractor for your Form 3 on completion of your balustrade installation.
What is a Form 3?
A Form 3 is a declaration by a competent person, namely a professional structural engineer with a registration number from a registered body. The professional declares that he has designed and tested a specific structural element of the building and has approved the functionality and safety of this element.
What to do if you don’t receive a Form 3?
Request this engineer signed off form 3 immediately from your glass balustrade contractor. Submitting your Form 3 may just have been an oversight. If they are unable to provide this document, you can be sure that your glass balustrade has not been designed and tested in consultation with a professional structural engineer, and therefore you need to report this, either to the MBA (Master Builders Association Gauteng). A licensed contractor in the construction industry has to be a member of the MBA. Also, you can lodge a complaint at SAGGA (South African Glass and Glazing Association). They have a glass balustrade division and will take your claim further. Again, anyone supplying glass or glazing to the construction industry should be registered with SAGGA.
You do also have the right to report the contractor to the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud, www.cgso.org.za/complaints/, who should be able to get you your money back to buy a compliant and safe glass balustrade from a professional in the industry.
Of course, the best way to prevent paying good money for an unsafe balustrade is to do a thorough check before appointing your glass balustrade contractor. Ask the question at your first site meeting. Do you supply an Engineer signed Form 3 on completion of my installation? You’ll quickly know if you’re dealing with a professional or not.
PS: A Form 3 can only be signed off by a registered professional structural engineer and no other level of competency applies.
For more on glass balustrades, visit Steel Studio or call 011-608-1963 for a free site inspection and advice on your glass balustrades.
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