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Glass Kiln Safety Tips

So lets talk about kiln safety. As you already know a glass kiln is an oven used for firing or refiring glass objects. But do you know where you should place your kiln?

First off make sure you place your kiln on cement or another nonflammable surface.


You'd be amazed to find that some people really have done this - but your not one of those people right?

You also need to make sure your fused glass kiln is placed at least 3 feet from anything that is flammable. Placing it on a stand is also wise because it keeps it off the floor and allows for air circulation. Also make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby.

After placing your kiln safely in the studio you need to consider safety precautions while working with it. First off you need to make sure to wear protective equipment when opening your kiln - gloves, eye protection, etc. Now don't think you can run to your closet and get out those winter gloves and summer sunglasses . You need special gloves and glasses when it comes to kiln safety.

Gloves - When it comes to gloves your going to need heat resistant Kevlar gloves. Make sure to purchase gloves that are heat rated for whatever task you are trying to accomplish.

Safety Glasses - When glass nears the temperature 600° C / 1100° F it begins to glow red. Great, so what does this have to do with safety? Well, hot glass emits infrared rays and prolonged exposure to this can give you cataracts. However, you can block these rays by wearing certain kinds of eyeglasses. Welders glasses can block infrared light. Just make sure to purchase ones that will sufficiently block the rays. Number 3 welder's glasses should do the trick.

Now if your going to open the kiln while it is hot make sure to cut off it's power before you open it. This will help minimize the risk of you getting an electrical burn. It is also very important that you protect your eyes because glass bubbles could pop and really hurt your peepers.

You might be asking yourself right now why would I want to open the kiln other than to retrieve my work? Well, certain techniques such as combing and topping off glass molds require that you open the kiln when it is hot.

In Summary:

When it comes to your glass kiln - Place your glass kiln on a nonflammable surface. Keep a fire extinguisher near by. Place the kiln on a stand (Allows for air circulation). Keep the kiln at least three feet away from anything flammable.

Wear proper safety equipment - Heat resistant kevlar gloves rated to the task you want to accomplish and special safety glasses that sufficiently block infrared rays.

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