Toughened glass exploded 'like a grenade'

Balclutha resident Mary Laurenson received a fright on Monday morning when the toughened glass lid of her electric frying pan spontaneously exploded. Photo: Richard Davison
Balclutha resident Mary Laurenson received a fright on Monday morning when the toughened glass lid of her electric frying pan spontaneously exploded. Photo: Richard Davison
Rare but potentially dangerous phenomenon struck a Balclutha couple unexpectedly this week, and now they want others to be on the alert.

Retirees Ray and Mary Laurenson were just finishing breakfast at their Wilson St home on Monday when a sudden loud explosion blew open the doors to the kitchen pantry.

Uncertain what she would find inside, Mrs Laurenson approached the cupboard cautiously to discover shattered glass covering the bottom shelf.

After the initial shock had subsided, it became apparent the glass was what remained of an 11-year-old electric frying pan lid stored in the pantry.

''We had absolutely no idea what had happened,'' she said.

''Your mind flashes through all the possibilities but you just don't expect your pantry to burst open like a grenade has gone off. I joked to my husband: 'I didn't think my cooking was that bad'.''

On contacting manufacturer Breville, it transpired the incident was a rare occurrence in toughened glass products.

''I can't speak highly enough of them [Breville]. They were quick to respond and reassure me. But apparently any toughened glass can spontaneously shatter like this, which is something I think more people should be aware of.''

Many common household items were made from toughened glass, including other kitchen appliances, and fittings such as shower glass, she said.

''I'd just hate to think what might have happened if we were cooking with it, or if a child were standing next to this sort of glass when it exploded. It needs a prominent safety warning wherever it's being used, in my opinion.''

Breville said it was aware of the issue, which was ''not exclusive'' to its products.

A spokeswoman for the company said a warning about the explosive phenomenon was included with all its toughened glass products.

A possible cause was an earlier knock forming a tiny crack, which could later shatter ''without apparent immediate cause''.

While noting the old age of the item, she acknowledged the shock the incident had given the Laurensons.

''We're very concerned for Mrs Laurenson's wellbeing, and have taken steps to reassure her and provide a suitable product replacement.''

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

Comments

This same thing happened to us. Oven doors are also made of toughened glass and can spontaneously explode. Gave us a heck of a fright and the oven manufacturer was not at all interested in coming to the party over cost of a replacement.

 

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