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California homeowner warns of exploding shower glass doors

Posted at 3:08 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 15:08:00-04

A Hillcrest, California, man warns others about something he never thought could happen—an exploding shower glass door.

Rudy Servin said he was sitting down on his sofa working on his laptop when he suddenly heard a crash noise. He had no idea where it came from until he walked over to his bathroom and made a surprising discovery. His shower door shattered, leaving glass all over the floor. The door was less than a year old.

“I'm still traumatized,” Servin said. “I still think now and then, God…if I had been in there, even just standing there brushing my teeth.”

Servin is not the only one who has experienced this.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said from 2016 to 2020 that it estimates 4,900 emergency department visits associated with shattering glass shower doors. The agency also confirmed one reported death when the person fell into the door.

The CPSC said that tempered glass is designed to break “into nuggets and not shards.”

Mark Meshulam, a glass expert based out of Illinois, said there are multiple reasons tempered glass can break. He cites a design or installation error, the overhead rollers may go off track, or there could be a pre-existing chip. He also said impurity in tempered glass—called a nickel sulfide inclusion—could also cause.

Servin’s shower has since been fixed, but he is still nervous about using it. “It's just something to be aware of,” Servin said. “This can happen… not as often as you would think, but it exists.”

Consumers can report Safety-related incidents involving glass to SaferProducts.gov.

Melissa Mecija at KGTV first reported this story.