BOSTON (CBS) – Injuries, a big clean up, and thousands of dollars of home repairs. That’s what a number of homeowners are facing after their shower doors spontaneously explode.
Dorothy Malinksi couldn’t even walk into her bathroom after her door shattered for no apparent reason. “There was glass all over the counter, in the sink, and on the floor,” she says.
Her mother was in the shower at the time and ended up with many cuts.
Shower doors are made of tempered glass, which is designed to break into small pieces. It is not supposed to leave long, sharp shards which are more likely to cause injuries. That is not always the case, however.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 60 complaints of shower doors that shatter inexplicably. Victims have suffered lacerations, cuts requiring stitches, and in some cases, even surgery.
Glass consultant Mark Meshulam said, “These are the types of injuries that I would expect to see when something goes wrong with shower doors.”
Although these doors can be durable, a microscopic imperfection during the manufacturing process can grow and migrate. This weakens the glass and can lead to shattering.
Meshalum advises homeowners to “treat the doors gingerly, do not bang them, and do not let children hang onto the towel bars.”
It is also a good idea to periodically inspect the doors, looking for any chips near the brackets or towel bars, or along the edges. Also, make sure the door slides the way it is supposed to and seems to fit comfortably along the tracks.