How to prevent glass from breaking during an earthquake


Learn more below about how to prevent glass from breaking during an earthquake. Glass damage caused by earthquakes is a major safety concern for buildings and homes. Therefore, it is important to consider some countermeasures.


1.Use of tempered glass

1-1 Manufacturing process

Tempered glass is stronger than regular glass due to its manufacturing process. The general manufacturing steps are:

① Cut regular glass to the desired size.

②Heat the glass to make it soft at high temperature.

③ By applying a process that rapidly cools the glass, the compressive stress on the surface and inside is increased.

④Tempered glass is less likely to break due to internal compressive stress and has improved strength.


1-2 Characteristics and advantages

Tempered glass has the following properties and advantages:


Tempered glass is more durable than regular glass and is resistant to external shocks and stress. This improves resistance to natural disasters such as earthquakes and wind and rain.


Even if tempered glass breaks, it breaks into small round pieces rather than large, sharp pieces. This is important in reducing injuries from glass.

③Thermal insulation

Tempered glass is usually a good insulator, helping to stabilize the temperature inside a building. This can improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs.


1-3 uses

Tempered glass is used in a variety of applications, including residential and commercial buildings, automobiles, glass doors, balcony railings, and shower enclosures. In areas prone to earthquakes, tempered glass may be chosen, especially for window glazing and exterior glass panels. 


2. Application of film

①Safety film

Even if the glass breaks during an earthquake, the safety film will hold the glass pieces in place and prevent them from scattering. This will reduce injuries from glass. Safety films are typically glued to glass and typically have a clear finish.

② Heat shield film

Thermal film is used to block the heat from the sun's rays and regulate the temperature inside a building. Some thermal films also have the ability to provide safety, but their primary purpose is heat control.


2-2 Application method

Applying film to glass may require specialized knowledge and skill. Typically, the steps are as follows:

①Cleaning the glass surface

Before applying the glass film, carefully clean the glass surface to remove dust and dirt. A clean surface improves film adhesion.

② Cutting and placing the film

Cut the film to the required size and place it on the glass. There is an adhesive on the back of the film that will hold it in place when you place it on the glass.

③Film crimping

Press the film onto the glass and remove any air bubbles or wrinkles. This is done using a special tool.

④ Cutting excess film

Trim excess film from around the glass and finish.


2-3 advantages

① Improved safety

Safety film prevents shattering if the glass breaks, reducing injuries from the glass.

②Privacy protection

Some films also have the ability to block visibility from outsiders, protecting your privacy.

③Heat shielding effect

Thermal barrier film can block the heat of the sun's rays and improve the comfort inside the building.


2-4 Notes

① Film quality

Choose a high-quality glass film and consider having it properly installed by a professional.

②Bubbles and wrinkles

Great care must be taken to avoid bubbles and wrinkles when applying the film. These can reduce clarity.

③Proper maintenance

After applying the film, proper maintenance is required. Avoid using hard brushes or acidic detergents, especially when cleaning.



3.Shutter installation

3-1 Types of shutters

①Rolling shutter

Rolling shutters are a type of shutter that is installed over windows and doors and can be rolled up and down for storage. Used to protect interiors from earthquakes and break-ins.

②Fixed shutter

Fixed shutters are attached to windows and doors and do not open or close. Mainly used to protect windows and doors from external factors.

③Hurricane shutter

Hurricane shutters are a special type of shutter designed to protect buildings from strong winds and flying objects. It is also useful as an earthquake countermeasure.


3-2 Advantages

① Protection from earthquakes

Shutters protect window glass and prevent it from shattering during an earthquake. This improves safety within the building.

② Crime prevention

Shutters also help protect against intruders. Closed shutters make it difficult for unauthorized people to enter the building and also provide privacy.

③Protection from weather

Shutters protect windows and doors and protect the interior of buildings from weather conditions such as typhoons, heavy rain, and strong winds.


3-3 Application method

The installation of shutters is generally outsourced to professionals or builders. They customize and precisely install shutters to suit your building design and needs.

① Installation location

Shutters are installed over windows and doors. They may also be installed in areas susceptible to wind and weather, such as balconies and patios.

② Proper operation

Shutters are designed to be easily opened and closed and are usually operated manually or electrically. It is important to learn how to handle it properly and perform regular maintenance.

③Regulations and permits

Installing shutters requires following local building codes and regulations. Check the necessary permits and procedures before installation.



4. Glass replacement

4-1 Replacement with tempered glass

Tempered glass is more durable and less likely to break than regular glass. To prevent glass from breaking during earthquakes or other disasters, you may consider replacing existing glass with tempered glass. They can usually be attached to the windows and doors of buildings. This replacement should be done by a professional contractor and must comply with building codes and regulations.


4-2 Replacement with laminated glass

Laminated glass is made up of two or more glass layers, with a transparent film such as polyvinyl butyral ( PVB ) sandwiched in between, which prevents fragments from scattering even if it breaks.

Laminated glass helps protect building interiors during disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. It is also used as a crime prevention measure.


4-3 Replacement with double glazed windows

Double glazed windows have two layers of glass compared to regular windows. Air or gas is filled in between these spaces to enhance insulation and soundproofing effects. It is also useful as a countermeasure against earthquakes, making the glass inside buildings less likely to break and improving insulation, which also improves energy efficiency.


4-4 Building standards and permits

It is important to follow local building codes and regulations when performing glass replacement. Glass replacement usually requires a permit and you will need to contact your local building authority to confirm the proper procedures.



5.Disaster prevention education

Disaster prevention education is an important initiative to prepare for disasters and teach safe behavior. This plays a role in protecting lives and minimizing damage during disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and fires. It promotes disaster preparedness throughout society, including educating schools and communities, developing evacuation plans, and preparing emergency kits. It is important to customize the educational content according to the dangers in the area and raise safety awareness.



6. Furniture arrangement

① Consider traffic flow

When placing furniture, avoid obstacles near walkways and doorways to ensure smooth and unobstructed movement within the room.

② Match the function

Choose the furniture that suits each room and consider the placement according to the function of that room. For example, the living room could be a relaxing area, and the kitchen could be a cooking area.

③ Balance

Make sure to balance the size and shape of your furniture to create a harmonious design throughout the room.

④Use the ceiling and walls

By attaching storage furniture to the wall or ceiling, you can make effective use of space and create a clutter-free room.

⑤Adjust to personal preference

Adjust the final arrangement to suit your personal tastes and lifestyle to create a cozy space.



7. Emergency evacuation plan

① Maintain communication with your family and share evacuation locations and contact methods.

② Check the evacuation route in advance and mark it inside and outside your house so it can be used in an emergency.

③ Prepare an emergency kit and include essentials such as food, water, medicine, and flashlights.

④Know the locations and routes of evacuation sites and shelters, and keep an evacuation map with you if necessary.

⑤When a disaster occurs, act calmly, follow evacuation orders and warnings, and evacuate with your family to a safe location.




In order to prevent glass damage in case of an earthquake, it is effective to implement a combination of these measures. Choose appropriate countermeasures depending on the structure of your building and the earthquake risk in your area to ensure safety during an earthquake.