(2009 VRC)

Section R308.4 of the 2009 Virginia Residential Code requires that certain locations be specified as “Hazardous Locations” and that glazing in these locations is required to be safety glazing. Per Section R308.1, safety glazing must be provided with a “manufacturer’s designation specifying who applied the designation, designating the type of glass and the safety glazing standard with which it complies which is visible in the final installation.” This designation is usually acid-etched into the glass in a corner of the glass pane.

Section R308.4 is included below. Please note that glazing in existing windows and doors located in areas that become “Hazardous Locations” because of construction of an addition, porch or deck, or installing a spa or hot tub onto an existing house, will be required to be changed to safety glazing. A final building inspection cannot be completed unless these requirements are met.

Section R308.4 of the 2009 Virginia Residential Code

R308.4 Hazardous locations: The following shall be considered specific hazardous locations for the purposes of glazing:

  • Glazing in fixed and operable panels of sliding door assemblies and panels of swinging, sliding and bifold doors. Exceptions:
    1. Glazed openings of a size through which a 3-inch diameter (76 mm) sphere is unable to pass.
    2. Decorative glazing.
  • Glazing, in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge is within a 24″ (610mm) arc of the door in a closed position and whose bottom edge is less than 60″ (1524 mm) above the floor or walking surface. Exceptions:
    1. Decorative glazing.
    2. When there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and the glazing.
    3. Glazing in wall on the latch side of and perpendicular to the plane of the door in a closed position.
    4. Glazing adjacent to a door where access through the door is to a closet or storage area 3 feet (914 mm) or less in depth.
    5. Glazing that is adjacent to the fixed panel of patio doors.
  • Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel that meets all the following conditions:
    1. The exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m2); and
    2. The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor; and
    3. The top edge of the glazing is more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor; and
    4. One or more of walking surfaces are within 36 inches (914 mm) measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the glazing.

    Exceptions:

    1. Decorative glazing
    2. When a horizontal rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1 ½ inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
    3. Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above grade, a roof, walking surfaces or other horizontal [within 45 degrees (0.79 rad) of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.
  • All glazing in railings regardless of area or height above a walking surface. Included are structural baluster panels and nonstructural infill panels.
  • Glazing in enclosures for or walls facing hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and showers where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) measured vertically above any standing or walking surface. Exception:
    1. Glazing that is more than 60 inches (1524 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, from the waters edge of a hot tub, whirlpool or bathtub.
  • Glazing in walls and fences adjacent to indoor and outdoor swimming polls, hot tubs and spas where the bottom edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above a walking surface and within 60 inches (1524 mm), measured horizontally and in a straight line, of the water’s edge. This shall apply to single glazing and all panes in multiple glazing.
  • Glazing adjacent to stairways, landing and ramps within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface. Exceptions:
    1. When a rail is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 34 to 38 inches (864 to 965 mm) above the walking surface. The rail shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1 ½ inches (38 mm) in cross sectional height.
    2. The side of the stairway has a guardrail or handrail, including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with Sections R311.7.7 and R312 and the plane of the glazing is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the railing; or
    3. When a solid wall or panel extends from the plane of the adjacent walking surface to 34 inches (863 mm) to 36 inches (914 mm) above the walking surface and the construction at the top of that wall or panel is capable of withstanding the same horizontal load as a guard.
  • Glazing adjacent to stairways within 60″ of the bottom tread of the stairway in any direction when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60″ above the nose of the tread. Exceptions:
    1. The side of the stairway has a guardrail or handrail, including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with Sections R311.7.7 and R312 and the plane of the glazing is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the railing; or
    2. When a solid wall or panel extends from the plane of the adjacent walking surface to 34 inches (863 mm) to 36 inches (914 mm) above the walking surface and the construction at the top of that wall or panel is capable of withstanding the same horizontal load as a guard.