Business 1.0 May/June 2022

June 8th, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs

The Great Cheddar Curtain

By Lyle R. Hill

I am part of a team that responds to consumer questions on the Glass.com® website. The platform averages more than 100,000 consumer visits each month and attracts various guests. Most visiting shoppers aim to find a shop for glass-related work … a windshield, a glass top or table, some film installations, or maybe a new window.

Some know what they want and are looking for a place to buy it. Others seek technical information or advice on a project. Daniel Snow, vice president of operations for Glass.com, coordinates this effort. For some reason, Mr. Snow seems to delight in handing me the more interesting questions to answer.

The Consumer’s (From Central Wisconsin) Question: If someone was concerned about an individual getting thrown through a window during a bar fight, what glass type would you recommend? Specifically, what type of glass would cause the least cuts or injury to the person thrown through a bar window?

Response: Dear Wisconsin-based customer, we receive questions from throughout the country (and occasionally even outside the country) here at Glass.com. Your inquiry is unique and the first of its kind. I want to compliment you for having compassion and concern about a person who could get “thrown through a window during a bar fight.” However, the fact that this very unusual question comes from the great state of Wisconsin does not surprise me because I am familiar with Wisconsin and its bars.

I am typing this response while wearing my Chicago Bears sweatshirt. But don’t be offended or frightened because I have a Green Bay Packers sock hat and a foam cheesehead hat that I received as a birthday gift years ago. My son is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, where he played hockey for three years and met and married a Wisconsin girl.

I could not ask for a better daughter-in-law, and although she talks kind of funny and insists on wearing Packers stuff every time the team plays, she is a delight. Additionally, I have been interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio (103.5 FM) and have several Wisconsin friends. I tell you this to let you know that I am familiar with the people and the bars on what we Chicagoans
call the north side of the great cheddar curtain.

If you want to allow the person being thrown through the window to literally be thrown through it, a thin piece of tempered glass would probably be best. Say maybe 1/8 inch thick; it will break into small, harmless fragments. But there could still be some scratching, and small particles could get into the person’s eyes. You might consider installing a safety film on your bar’s windows. The current array of films is excellent, and a good filmer/tinter is probably worth a conversation.

If you prefer the person bounce off the glass and not go through it, you would want to use a solid piece of tempered glass that’s ¾ inch thick. This is the kind of glass used for racquetball courts. The size of the opening needs to be considered when choosing the right glass or film, as does the framing to hold it in place.

There are also building codes to consider. For instance, there is a strong possibility that safety glazing codes already require that an approved product be implemented. In addition, you want to take a quick look at the fire code requirements for your area.

Perhaps a quick chat with a representative from the local building department is in order. I’m sure if you promise to provide a free beer or two and assure the code official they would not have to worry about getting thrown through one of your windows, they would be happy to stop by and render an opinion.

Evidently, this “throwing people through your bar windows” is a somewhat typical event, or you wouldn’t be asking this question. I suggest collaborating with a local glazing contractor or architect to design a system that will best work for you.

For the record—our organization does not encourage, understand, or endorse throwing anyone through a window, whether the said window is in a bar or not. We are a reasonably peaceful bunch here, and while we have no practical experience with “bar tossing,” we are pretty good with glass and therefore have confidence in our suggestions.

Humor columnist Lyle R. Hill is the former owner of a window film company in the Midwest. He also serves as president of Glass.com®, an information portal and job generation company. Hill has more than 50 years of experience in film and glass-related industries and can be reached at lhill@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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