July 15, 2024

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Mum’s warning after glass dining table ‘explodes’ causing glass ‘to embed in walls’

4 min read

A mum of a four-month-old baby says her family are fortunate they weren’t seriously injured when their dining table “exploded”.

Rebekah Martin and her partner were both at home when the incident happened, with the glass sent flying with such a force it became embedded in walls.

“I was just in the middle of getting ready when all of a sudden I heard this kind of crack and this shattering sound,” the 36-year-old told Yahoo News Australia. Martin walked into the dining room and she was horrified by what she found.

“We found glass everywhere,” she said. “We were in shock and disbelief. And the thing that completely blew our mind was just how shattered it was. It wasn’t like it had just cracked and fallen apart. It had literally exploded.”

“It was one of those moments where you’re like, ‘Oh, imagine if we’d been sitting in there, or if we’d been out in that space or if we had been just sitting at the table’,” she said.

It was then into clean-up mode for the couple from the NSW Hunter Valley, who say the Waverly four-seat dining table had been purchased off Facebook Marketplace but was originally from Fantastic Furniture.

“It made quite a big mess and we’re still finding little bits of shards of glass in odd places.”

Yahoo News reached out to Fantastic Furniture for comment but hadn’t received a response at the time of publication.

A spokesperson for the ACCC, which runs Product Safety Australia, where product recalls are announced said that it does not comment on “individual reports we may receive from consumers or suppliers, or on the steps we may take to assess or investigate such reports”.

“Consumers can report products they consider to be unsafe to the ACCC through the Product Safety Australia website,” the spokesperson said.

“The ACCC does not issue voluntary recalls. If a supplier finds that a product or product related service they supply is unsafe, we expect the supplier to follow our guidelines and initiate a recall voluntarily to remove it from the market. We encourage consumers to check published recalls.”

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Dr Jeffrey Sarmiento, a senior lecturer at the School of Art & Design at Australian National University, said tempered glass furniture or appliances breaking in homes is “fairly common”.

“What we’re looking at is a glass table where the sheet of glass has been tempered for safety,” he explained. “This type of glass can be found everywhere, such as bus stops, shop windows and windshields, although some of these are also laminated with a layer of rubber that keeps the glass together when it breaks.

Another dining table after it the glass had exploded (left) and a TV unit after the glass had exploded (right).Another dining table after it the glass had exploded (left) and a TV unit after the glass had exploded (right).

Others on Facebook said similar incidents had also happened in their homes. Source: Facebook

“The characteristic ‘explosion’ happens if the glass is exposed to collisions or rapid heating or cooling. But instead of creating razor sharp shards of glass that can be quite dangerous, the glass breaks into smaller bits of glass which are a form that is far less sharp and dangerous, even if a bit of a pain to clean up.”

Dr Sarmiento said there is always a risk of glass breaking, even in temperature resistant Pyrex glasses or oven glass if there is too much thermal shock going from high to low temperatures. But he argued that Aussies shouldn’t be too worried.

“I don’t think glass tables are any more hazardous than tables of any other materials,” he explained. “My advice would be to always use coasters or heat proof pads if you’re putting hot food or drinks on the table, and not to put it too close to a source of heat, like a fireplace or radiator.”

Martin says she wasn’t aware of any sudden drop or spike in the temperature of the dining room, which sits at about 16 degrees, but is now urging others to be careful.

“I always knew there was potentially a risk if you put something heavy onto something glass, obviously, it’s a fragile thing, but I was never expecting it to just randomly explode in the middle of the day with nothing on it,” she said. “So the message is to just be mindful if the temperature changes.”

But the family are not the only ones with this experience. After sharing her story on Facebook, many other Aussies reported similar incidents.

“Our TV unit exploded at 2am,” one person wrote. “The bang was so big we thought someone had driven through the front of the house. We had glass everywhere.”

“[The] exact thing happened to my glass table years ago — there were shards stuck in the walls,” said another. “Happened to my outdoor setting,” someone else added.

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