About Safeglass – who are we?

Safeglass (Europe) Limited was founded by Ralph McNeill and Avril Stringer.  Ralph was on a train and noticed the emergency window hammers which were enclosed behind some glass.  He wondered what would happen if he had to “break the glass”.  Would he cut himself?

He did some research and discovered that real glass is used, so he probably would cut himself.  He worked in the special effects industry where sugar glass is used as a prop because it can be broken safely.  He decided to make a commercial version of the material which could be mass produced and would be better than the sugar glass (which was hand made and very weak).  With his engineering background, he modified existing polymers to make a product which would be easier to break and would be much safer than glass.  Safeglass was born!  At which point, his sister, Avril, got on board and the pair formed the company.  That was over 21 years ago!

We opened our doors in 1997 to commercialise the idea. Since then, we have expanded our product range to include other break glass materials, emergency escape equipment, hammer boxes and other plastic products used mainly in rail and bus interiors.

Safeglass ® is the world’s first material specifically designed for break glass use. It replaces real glass because it overcomes the obvious dangers associated with breaking real glass.

We have an enormous amount of expertise regarding our own patented material as well as using other materials for break glass use, such as plastics and toughened glass.

Our journey over the many years has seen us move from a small office unit to larger accommodation which includes offices and workshop space. This has meant we have been able to expand our capabilities and allowed us to invest heavily in the machinery we need.

Our main customers come from the Rail and Bus Industries. Clients include Bombardier, Siemens and Stadler. In the UK we supply most of the Train Operating Companies such as Scotrail, South West Trains and Virgin.

Our product range falls into the category of “highly specialised” and we are able to manufacture small batch runs.

We also recently diversified into manufacturing 3D printer filament. It uses similar techniques to making the raw Safeglass ® material and we were able to use our expertise in polymers to develop the products.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about Safeglass or if you have a project we can help you with.