Warning for parents after a glass shattering moment

The writer's glass table that "spontaneously shattered".

By Melissa Grant

It was literally a glass-shattering moment.

It was when I truly realised you can never be too safe when it comes to protecting your children at home.

My lunch was in the microwave and the kids were entertaining themselves when I heard an almighty bang.

I turned around and saw that the kids were OK (phew).

I then ran to my daughter’s bedroom thinking something she had put in there had fallen over. Nope. A big shampoo bottle dropping in the shower? Nope. Something had crashed onto the floor in the master bedroom? Nope. The picture frame in the baby’s room had fallen off the hook? Nope.

It was only when I returned to the kitchen and looked out the window that I realised what had happened. Our expensive six-seater glass table had shattered into hundreds of pieces.

Strangely, I couldn’t see that anything had caused it to shatter – there was nothing out there that could have fallen onto the tabletop.

When I went downstairs to check on the dog, our next door neighbour commented it was lucky we weren’t out on the deck when the glass table “spontaneously shattered”.

“Spontaneously shattered?” I probed.

“Yes, I saw it on a TV show once – they can randomly shatter.”

A quick Google search backed up that theory.

There have been many documented cases where glass tables have seemingly shattered spontaneously. The incidents are believed to be caused by factors such as nickel-sulfide inclusions (whatever they are), damage including chips, and thermal stress including when the glass expands in the heat and is then squeezed by the frame.

It’s impossible to know what exactly caused our table to shatter, but it had been a particularly cold morning and the day was beginning to heat up.

But what I do know is that we will never again purchase a glass table.

And I’m sharing this story to warn other parents about the potential hidden dangers of glass furniture because the ending could have been so very different.

On the day our table shattered I had been planning to take our three-year-old daughter outside but didn’t get to it as bub had an unusually long nap.

We spend so much time on the deck, so it really is fortunate nobody was harmed.

I also know that cleaning up hundreds of pieces of glass is no fun at all.

The rest of the weekend was spent carefully binning large bits of glass, using knives to remove pieces from the deck cracks, sweeping and vacuuming two outdoor areas, and combing the yard.

I’ve never felt so shattered.