Consumer Watch: Danger Found With Glass Tables

Glass coffee tables add a stylish look to many living rooms. But for David Juskow, they pose a serious hazard."I never would have thought I could almost have died from sitting on a glass table," said Juskow.Juskow was watching television, when his table suddenly shattered beneath him.

"I get up and there's a huge piece of glass and I pull it out, which I guess I shouldn't have done, and I'm bleeding to death, bleeding to death, the ambulance brings me to the hospital and I go into cardiac arrest," said Juskow.

Emergency room doctor David Markenson said he has seen many severe cuts from glass tables. Often it is a child who has been injured.

"Being a child, they're doing what they shouldn't have been doing, jumping on the couch. Lost their balance fell onto a glass coffee table, breaking through it," said Markenson.

Consumer Reports' Director of Product Safety, Don Mays, said there are no safety standards for glass tables, but there should be. He set up a test area to demonstrate the danger.

The table used was made of regular glass, which is sometimes called annealed glass. It breaks into large jagged pieces.

Consumer Reports said far better are tables made of tempered glass or safety glass.

"When tempered glass breaks, it breaks into very small pieces. So there are no jagged edges," said Consumer Reports’ Don Mays.

Unfortunately it is not easy to tell what kind of glass a table is made of.

"You can't tell by just looking at it. You really have to rely on the manufacturer telling you whether that's safety glass in their tables," said Mays.

Consumer Reports said if a table is not labeled safety glass, assume it isn't. They also point out that if there is a glass table in the home, it is best to replace the glass with safety glass. Even better, substitute the glass with polished wood.

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600450 Consumer Watch: Danger Found With Glass Tables

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