Safety Measures & Best Practices When Handling Mirrors and Glass

Arch Leaner Dressing White Stainless Steel Framed Mirror - 60CM

Although there are different processes used to strengthen sheets of glass, it is (and always will be) a fragile material. Any time you read “handle with care” on a box or packaging, it is more than likely to contain some form of glass or mirrored products; however, ‘handling with care’ extends way beyond the stretchy plastic, cardboard, and bubble wrap. That is why here at Luxe Mirrors we feel it is vital we share with you our Important Measures & Best Practices when handling Mirrors and Glass Safely.

When it comes to mirror and glass, there are safe ways to handle each piece, right from unpackaging them, to their installation. These safety measures ensure that the person handling the material does not encounter any injury while the glass/mirror is protected from breakages or damage in the form of cracks and scratches. 

Today, Luxe Mirrors Australia is sharing the best practices for manually handling glass and mirrors, along with safety precautions to follow in the event of broken glass or shattered mirror fragments. That’s not all; if you’ve ever wondered what to do with all those packing materials and empty packaging after safely unboxing your new mirrors, we’ve got an environmentally-friendly solution to that, too! Read on.

Important Safety Measures – Do’s & Don’ts for Safe Handling of Mirrors & Glass

Two People Carrying Large Glass Pane Outside

To be as ‘crystal clear’ as a brand new sheet of untouched glass, we find easily explained do’s and don’ts to be very effective in guiding one through the proper handling of mirrors and glassware. After all, they tell you exactly what you should and shouldn’t do. Moreover, where handling glass or mirror (frameless and framed types) is concerned, the safety measures are rather simple, yet extremely important to follow. Let’s take a look at them now.

The Do’s – Best Practices

  • Unbox over a soft surface. Beds and carpets are ideal for unboxing fragile items like mirrors and glass. If the item is too large for either of these surfaces, carefully slide it out of the box or unwrap it while placed on the floor. You wouldn’t want to risk dropping a mirror or glassware from a height; therefore, keeping it close to the floor will reduce the chance of breakages. If you don’t have a carpet/rug, lay down a thick fabric like a blanket or double bed sheet instead.
  • Wear a pair of rubber gloves. While it’s easy to get a good grip of framed mirrors, it’s the frameless designs that are more likely to slip through your fingers. This is where a pair of rubber gloves come in handy. Along with the anti-slip benefit, wearing rubber gloves when handling mirrors and glass helps to prevent chipping the edges and corners of the material.
  • Carry large pieces to your side. Use both your hands to carry a large piece of glass or mirror to your side. With both your arms around the piece (and the support of the side of your body), you can keep the mirror/glass steady, and comfortably walk through doorways without worrying about hitting the sides of the piece on the doorframe.
  • Ask for help. This is especially necessary when handling heavy mirrors or glass. One can get seriously injured in the event of a mishap, and therefore, should seek help when handling such pieces.
  • Cushion hard surfaces for the installation. When hanging up mirrors in a bathroom which is essentially made up of hard surfaces, cover the area below with a blanket or thick bed sheets. 
  • Wear full-length clothing and enclosed shoes. If an accident occurs, your body should be protected from getting cut by shards of glass. Wearing long sleeves and long trousers like jeans will give your arms and legs coverage. Your feet also need protection in case the piece slips or crashes into them; hence, safety footwear or enclosed toe shoes are recommended when handling glass or mirrors.
  • Call in a professional installer. Ultimately, the safest way to handle glass or hang mirrors and wall art is to leave it to the professionals! At Luxe Mirrors Australia, our recommended installers are fully trained and qualified to get the job done with all safety protocols strictly followed.

The Don’ts – Best Practices

  • Don’t wear rings/bracelets/watches. These accessories can scratch the surface or chip the edges when handling glass and mirrors so it’s best not to wear any.
  • Don’t carry glass/mirrors over your head. This is a dangerous position to be in because if the glass or mirror breaks over your head, the injuries could be devastating. Moreover, balancing the weight of the piece over your head is actually much harder to evenly balance than holding it safely to your side.
  • Don’t hold frameless mirrors/glass by the corners. When handling mirrors and glass, the weight should be distributed evenly; therefore, you should never hold or carry the material by the corners.
  • Never attempt to catch falling glass. The safe and logical thing to do is to quickly move away from the area where the glass/mirror is about to crash. Don’t attempt to save/catch the piece even if you believe that you can; the risk of injury is far greater than the cost of the material. 
  • Don’t hang bathroom mirrors while the floor is wet. A wet floor increases the chances of slipping which is twice as dangerous when handling mirrors in the bathroom. In fact, along with a dry floor, it is advisable to wear footwear with rubber soles to avoid slips/falls when hanging bathroom mirrors.
  • Don’t open packaging if the glass is broken. Sometimes mirrors ordered online get damaged during transit which is why it is important to make sure that your purchase is covered by insurance. If you find that the package is rattling as if the glass is broken, call up the seller immediately and ask for a replacement or refund. It is far safer and easier to dispose of a broken mirror when it is sealed inside its packaging.
  • Don’t hold the piece while climbing a ladder. If you need to use a ladder when installing your Mirror or Wall Art, be sure it is a platform-type ladder. If you need to climb a ladder or higher surface to hang up a new mirror or wall art, don’t make the mistake of doing so while holding on to the piece. Instead, ask someone to hand it to you after you’ve climbed up to the platform, and have your feet firmly planted. Always have 3 points of contact when climbing a ladder.

Safety Precautions When Handling Broken Mirrors & Glass

Mirror with Broken Gold Frame

Along with the safe handling of mirrors and glass, it is equally important to know how to clean up broken glass, and the precautions to take when cleaning and disposing of the broken pieces/shards. These safe methods ensure that no shattered bits of glass are left behind while proper disposal of the same is also considered to protect those handling your garbage/recycling collection. Read on to know more.

Safety Tips When Cleaning Up Broken Mirrors & Glass

Before you attempt to clean up broken glass or shattered mirror fragments, it is highly recommended that you follow the precautions below:

  • Secure the area first, ensuring that young children and pets alike are out of harm’s way
  • Protect your feet by changing into a pair of closed shoes
  • Use thick, durable rubber gloves or leather gloves when cleaning
  • Do not attempt to break large pieces of broken glass into smaller bits
  • If needed, wrap large broken glass in a thick cloth, place it flat on the floor, and gently knock it with a hammer
  • Go about the cleaning process very carefully; avoid hasty movements

How to Safely Clean & Dispose of Broken Mirrors & Glass

Follow this step-by-step process to clean and dispose of broken mirrors or glass in a safe and efficient manner:

  1. Lay down an old bed sheet folded in half or quarters (so that it is thick enough to contain the broken glass).
  2. Carefully pick up shards and place them in the middle of the sheet.
  3. Use a broom to sweep up smaller bits/fragments into a dustpan; empty them onto the sheet as well.
  4. For the microscopic fragments, dampen a bunch of paper towels, and slowly wipe over the entire area; any remaining bits will stick to them. Wrap the paper towels in a sheet of newspaper, and throw them in the bin.
  5. To be on the safe side, vacuum the surface thoroughly as a final step to clean up broken glass or mirror.
  6. Carefully wrap the broken pieces in the sheet and secure them with rope. Place it in a box, tape it up, and be sure to write ‘BROKEN GLASS’ on it so that the box is not mishandled by the collector.

How to Recycle Your Mirror’s Packing Materials

Person Holding Bubble Wrap

In this day and age where online shopping is widely popular, the sheer amount of empty packaging and by-products that are sent to landfills is staggering! It’s unfortunate that so many people mindlessly trash packing materials like bubble wrap, foam, packing peanuts, and other plastic packaging without considering recycling any of these items. Now, more than ever, it is critically important to make eco-conscious decisions regarding the ways in which we dispose of these materials.

So, when you finally choose the perfect mirror for your home and it is delivered to your address, consider these key tips on how you can recycle the plastic packaging and packing materials used to protect it.

  • Segregate the materials because not all of them can be recycled in the same manner
  • Contact your local recycling facility for advice on how to prepare for a collection
  • If your neighbourhood or locality has a drop-off point or recycling bins for each of these materials (plastic, foam, cardboard, etc), make the effort to do the needful instead of discarding them with the rest of your garbage
  • To save yourself the inconvenience of arranging frequent collections or drop-offs, set up your own recycling bins to collect and segregate these materials which can then be recycled in bulk 
  • Apart from packing materials, make it a habit to recycle other types of plastics along with empty packaging and boxes

A little effort goes a long way when each one of us contributes to protecting the environment by following the practice of reducing, reusing, and recycling!

At Luxe Mirrors Australia, we are always working towards reducing our carbon footprint and hope to encourage our customers to do the same! We are also happy to educate buyers on the safest ways to manually handle glass and mirrors while offering professional assistance in hanging up new mirrors and wall art. 

Our company is made up of dedicated professionals including a team of skilled recommended installers with extensive knowledge on how to safely handle and dispose of broken glass or mirrors. So, if you are dealing with heavy and/or large mirrors, we urge you to call on one of our experts to complete the installation in the safest possible way.