The need to break a window may seem unusual but maybe inevitable given certain circumstances. However, the noise of breaking glass can attract attention, and you may be mistaken to have bad intentions. You don’t want those awkward moments where you have to explain to onlookers or the police the purpose of breaking your own window. No matter why, you may need some expertise to avoid using much effort, drawing attention, or incurring injuries. Let’s look at some instances that may require you to shatter that glass, the most effective techniques and tools to use.
- Why Would You Need to Break a Window?
- Check the Type of Glass
- Household Tools You Can Use to Break a Window Quietly
- Use Your Feet
- Safety First
- Final Thoughts
Why Would You Need to Break a Window?
Someone is Trapped in a Vehicle
Being trapped in a car can be a dangerous ordeal and may occur due to various rare situations. You may be standing outside your vehicle and accidentally lock the doors with your kids inside. Or someone may be trapped in a car after an accident, and you’re the only one in a position to help. What will you do? Imagine it’s summer, and the heat outside is overwhelming.
In fact, according to KidsAndCars.org, 39 children die each year in the United States due to heat relates issues after they are trapped in heated cars. If someone is trapped in a car, the window glass will be the weakest and easiest point to breach. But you may want to break it silently to avoid the associated trauma, especially if the victim is a child.
Locked Out of Your House
It’s not unusual to be locked out of your house. You may leave your key at work or a friend’s house or even lose them at an event never to be seen again. No matter the case, you don’t want your neighbors to panic because of the sound of shattering glass. The best decision is to find a way to break it quietly.
Replacing the Glass
Sometimes, you may need to replace the glass on your window. For instance, you may realize cracks on the glass are bringing in outside air and affecting your HVAC system’s effectiveness. Cracked windows may also bring in outside noises. Although hiring a soundproofing company to help with thickening up the glass, replacing it is also a worthy strategy, especially if it is unworkable. You ought to do this quietly to avoid disturbing the neighbors.
Check the Type of Glass
Car Windows vs. House Windows
There are many types of glass, all unique depending on the purpose. In this case, the type of glass used on car windows is different from that used on house windows. Although the same material may be used in their manufacture, the process may be modified to produce glasses of various strengths. Of course, car windows have tougher glass and are more challenging to break compared to house windows.
Car windows are made of tempered or laminated glass. Laminated auto glass is mainly used for front windshields and is designed to absorb high impact and does not shatter into thousands of pieces when broken. This reduces the potential of injuries caused by flying pieces of glass.
Tampered auto glass is tough and is used mostly on door windows and rare view windows. However, it’s breakable during emergencies. When this glass breaks, it does not shatter into dangerous shards but into thousands of harmless pieces with blunt edges. Contrary to laminated glass, which can be easily repaired if its structural integrity is altered through chipping or cracking, tampered glass must be replaced when damaged.
Insulated glass is commonly used on house windows, although tampered glass may be considered in some instances. The strength depends on the number of window panes used. In this case, a single pane is easy to break while multiple panes enhance the strength of the glass. Insulated glass is prone to shattering into dangerous shards if broken, and care should be taken when undertaking such an ordeal.
Household Tools You Can Use to Break a Window Quietly
Duct-Tape the Glass
This is the easiest way to break a window cleanly, quietly, and without hurting yourself. Simply cover the entire window glass surface, if possible both sides, then smash it. All the dangerous broken shards will be held together by the tape, and the noise of shattering glass when smashed will be minimized.
No Duct Tape? A Piece of Cloth Will Save The Day
Be it a shirt or sweater, a piece of clothing can come in handy when you want to break a window quietly. Cover the area you want to hit and smash it. The piece of clothing will reduce the damage to the window, allowing you to break off big parts of the glass once it has shuttered. However, when using this technique, you should take care not to injure your fingers when hitting the glass.
Put Blankets or a Thick Pillow Against the Glass
Placing a thick blanket below the glass will prevent broken pieces from making noise when they hit the ground and make it easy to collect them. If you’re able to carry the window glass, place it on the blanket and hit it with a hammer. Using a pile of soft blankets increases the efficiency of this technique.
A thick pillow may also come in handy when using a blanket to minimize noise. Place the glass on top of the blanket, place the thick pillow on top, and hit it gently while applying some pressure, and the glass will shutter silently.
Using the Ceramic Part of Spark Plug
A spark plug is very effective in breaking the glass in car or house windows discretely, quickly, and safely. Despite this tool’s small size, when hit against the window moderately, the sharp shard object of the incredibly hard aluminum oxide ceramic channels the impact energy through a small enough region on the glass surface, making it crack. This releases the internal energy and shatters the glass.
Although tampered glass is hard to break, ceramic spark plugs do the magic. Due to the tension created on the outer side of the glass during the rapid cooling and internal compression process of construction, the glass has the capability of shattering into small pieces when hit by the ceramic piece of a spark plug.
Wondering if a ceramic spark plug can break a bulletproof glass? Well, Yes and No! If the outer layer is made of glass, then the tool can shatter it. However, the integrity of the glass will not be entirely breached as the interior layer will hold the glass together. If the exterior layer is made of polycarbonate, then the spark plug will be ineffective.
Try an Automatic Steel Center Punch
This is a tool commonly used by carpenters and plumbers due to its effectiveness in drilling. It can be useful if you want to quietly break an auto window or house window. The force released from this tool equals that of a hammer and is released in repeated spring impulses that shatter the glass into pieces. With this tool, you don’t have to carry your hummer in the car anymore.
Using a Screwdriver
Sometimes, you don’t need to break your window if you have locked your keys inside. You can create a gap between the window and the frame with a screwdriver, wide enough to fit your hand and unlock the door.
You can even pop the whole window out of the frame using a screwdriver. However, take care not to drop the glass as it may make noise if it shatters on impact with the ground.
Fort windows with bolt hinges, this tool will help you unscrew the hinge bolts and remove the glass.
Try Porcelain Bits
Porcelain bits can come in handy during emergency situations and help you break a window without touching it. When using porcelain bits, stand at a distance and throw them towards the window you intend to break. When the bits come into contact with the glass, the resulting impact will shutter it without producing much noise to attract attention.
Make Proper Use of a Regular Hammer
If you have tried breaking glass with a regular harmer before, chances are you failed on the first attempt. The reason could be because you hit the window in the middle.
Remember, tempered glass is designed to resist the impact of blunt objects, and a regular harmer is one of them. However, all you need to know is where to strike. If you want to break the window quietly and efficiently, hit the corners, followed by the middle.
The impact caused by hitting the window corners will weaken the glass, making it easy to shatter when hit in the middle.
Use of Standard EMT Device
Using a standard EMT device or emergency hammer can be an effective way of quietly breaking a car or house window without raising heads as they are designed for this purpose. Hit the center of the glass using the device to shatter it. You may cover the glass with duct tape and place a blanket where the shattering pieces will drop to avoid noise and creating a mess.
An emergency hammer is a worthwhile investment to keep inside your car, as they often come with a photo-luminescent section and a protected blade that can be used as a seat belt cutter.
Use Your Feet
If you have no tool at your disposal, you may have to use your feet to break the window safely. Although this technique required more force than that used with the tools mentioned above, it can save your life during emergencies.
You can minimize the noise of falling broken glass if your car is parked in a grassy area. Similarly, if you want to break into the car, you don’t have to worry about noise from the falling glass as they may fall on the seats.
If you want to break your house window using this method without making noise, kick the glass near a piece of furniture, say couch, so the sound of falling glass is minimized. Although house windows may require less force to break, ensure your shoes have a thick sole to achieve greater impact and avoid injury.
Even in extreme situations where you may be forced to break the glass, you have to consider your safety first. Protect your hands using any loose clothing or even a long-sleeved jacket when handling dangerous glass. If you have time to prepare for the breaking, endeavor to find the protective gear you may need. Typically, you may wear:
- Safety glasses and face covering to protect your eyes from tiny pieces of shattered glass
- Thick-layered work gloves to protect your hands from cuts. Remember, even the glass wrapped in Cloth can slip and cause injury.
- Full-length pants to ensure your lower body is protected from dropping glass pieces
- Reinforced boots or thick-soled shoes to prevent injury from pieces of glass that may fall on the ground.
Although not all these protective equipment may be necessary when breaking a window, it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Safety measures extend even after you finish breaking the window. If you followed any of the techniques above, such as taping the glass, chances are you’ll have few pieces of glass to pick up from the ground.
However, if you don’t prepare where the glass pieces will fall, you may have to use a broom and dustpan to collect them. Either way, you must ensure you collect all pieces, as they may pose a hazard, especially in the house.
Keep Away Pets and Small Kids
When breaking a car or house windows, pets and kids should not access the area to prevent injury and harm. In case you’re forced to break the window of a car with a child or pet inside, break the window located far from where the child or pet is to prevent injury from shattered glass pieces.
At some point, you may find yourself forced to break a car or house window, and there are many methods to do so. Having a glass breaker in your car’s glove compartment for emergencies isn’t a bad idea. As you’ve seen, even a simple spark plug can save a life.In most cases, it’s advisable to do it quietly. If you have time, don’t rush it. Prepare yourself with the appropriate tools to achieve the best results.
However, some situations may require immediate action, and you may not have time to soundproof your glass. If it’s a matter of life and death, minimizing noise shouldn’t be a priority unless it aids in leveraging you out of the situation.
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