WESTON (CBS) – Abby Wilk was in the living room with her toddler when she heard her husband yell for help from the bathroom. She was stunned by what she saw. “It was horrific,” she said.
Half of the sliding shower door shattered into thousands of pieces all over her 3-year-old son who was in the tub.
“He had glass shards all in his hair, in his ears on his eyelids,” Abby said describing what she saw when she rushed in to help. “It kind of looked like a murder scene; there was glass everywhere, blood everywhere.”
The door, made of tempered glass, also called safety glass, broke without being bumped or banged. According to Abby, it simply shattered spontaneously.
This is not just a freak accident. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has logged hundreds of similar incidents, dozens in just the past six months.
One woman wrote: “The door exploded into a million pieces all over me.”
Another person said a guest was hurt while she was in the shower. “Bleeding profusely, she was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance.”
Mark Meshulam is a glass expert and has been studying this issue for years. “I hear about exploding showers every single week,” he said.
According to Meshulam, glass goes through a glazing process for safety. It makes the glass stronger and also makes it break into tiny pieces which is safer than large shards, but not completely without risk. “There are still certain types of accidents that are happening,” he said.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the glass industry recently changed testing standards for tempered glass. A spokesperson for the CPSC told us they hope that will prevent these types of accidents. But Meshulam doubts it will have much of an impact on safety.
Abby is grateful that Cole recovered quickly and wants to warn others about this potential danger. “I would tell them no glass, no tempered glass, no safety glass. It’s not as safe as you think,” she said.
Both Meshulam and the CPSC tell consumers to watch for scratches and chips in the glass which could increase the risk of a door shattering.