New rooflight safety campaign from NARM puts pressure on BSI

NARM's symbol for the campaign

The National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM) has launched a new campaign to support the requirement for laminated inner panes on glass rooflights for safety reasons, bringing pressure on the British Standards Institute for a regulatory amendment.

Current British Standards define that inner panes on rooflights must be laminated in applications more than 5m above floor level (increased to 13m in limited circumstances), or are located over water.

However, NARM said in a press release on 3 November, that the relevant standard permits the use of toughened glass inner panes in other applications, if a risk assessment is carried out and confirmation provided that this does not present additional risk to those below the rooflight.

The association argued that toughened glass inner panes bring a risk of shattering and falling into the room beneath.

Mark Wilcox, a safety representative at NARM, said: “It is difficult to see how use of a toughened rather than laminated glass inner pane doesn’t present a risk to anyone beneath a rooflight, whatever the position or height of the installation. In our view, any risk assessment of a toughened inner pane is therefore largely irrelevant.”

The NARM campaign will focus on a new symbol (pictured) to draw attention to the need for a laminated inner pane, which will be promoted to professional and end-user audiences online, in print and on social media.

The symbol will come with detailed information regarding the dangers of inappropriate glass specification in rooflights. It will also be made available to NARM member companies, for use on their own marketing materials.

Ian Weakford, NARM’s marketing committee chairman, said: “Our aim is that this work will increase awareness of the importance of laminated glass inner panes and give reputable rooflight manufacturers the opportunity to differentiate the products from inferior offerings in the marketplace.”