There are numerous emergencies where breaking glass is the only option. For instance, you locked yourself outside your home, and you have no other means to enter. However, smashing your window open could cause disturbance to your neighbors, and they might think that theft is trying to break into your home.
To break glass quietly, use a rag, blanket, or pillow to cover it before hitting it with a heavy object like a hammer. If you have duct tape, you can also use that to cover the glass. Another method is to use a steel center punch, pocket knife, or spark plug.
There are times when breaking glass, such as your window, is your only option. However, it would be best always to take precautions to ensure that you will not harm yourself.
How To Break Glass Quietly
Imagine stepping out of your car or your house, and you closed the door only to realize that you left your keys inside. In such instances, some people do not choose but to break their glass window to get in.
But breaking a glass causes too much noise, which can be alarming to other people. Some might even call the authorities thinking that an emergency is happening.
To prevent that, here are four methods for breaking glass quietly:
1. Use A Thick Cloth Or Pillow To Cover The Glass
If you have access to a pillow or any thick cloth such as a rag, towel, or blanket, you can use that to cover your glass before breaking it. Covering the glass will minimize the impact noise you will make once you smash it with a hard object.
It is also ideal for placing a thick cloth like a blanket under the area where the glass is. This way, the shards will not make much noise when they fall to the ground.
But you need to fold the cloth into several layers to make it thicker. The thicker the cloth, the more control you will have over the noise.
Alternatively, you can cover the glass with a pillow. Instead of hitting the glass window directly, gently tap on the pillow covering it until the window breaks.
2. Cover The Glass With Duct Tape
Before breaking your car or home window, get duct tape and cover the entire glass. You should see none of the glass when you are done.
The duct tape will allow you to keep the broken pieces of glass in place, preventing them from making any noise.
In addition, the duct tape will give you a softer surface, thus minimizing the impact of the tool you will use for breaking the glass.
3. Use A Steel Center Punch
An automatic steel center punch is one of the available tools you can use to break a car window in an emergency. So, if you accidentally locked your car with the key inside, this tool is an efficient tool to have in your bag.
Using a steel center punch will only cause a minimal surface of impact. For this reason, the sound that you will make will be limited to the portion of the glass that you broke.
Hitting the glass with a hammer will cause a significant impact since the hammer will resonate against a large surface.
Unlike that, a steel center punch has a tiny tip that breaks the glass, which means it will only resonate against a minimal surface. Break the glass using a spark plug
Suppose you locked your key inside your car and do not have a steel center punch, duct tape, or thick cloth. In this case, you can use the car’s spark plug.
The ceramic part of a spark plug can quietly break the glass. Such is no rocket science because small ceramic balls are used to break defective glass before recycling it. Even better is that it only produces little noise compared to a hammer and other tools.
4. Use A Pocket Knife
If you cannot access any tool, but you have a pocket knife with you, that will come in handy when you need to break the glass. A pocket knife can open a window with only minimal to no damage at all.
For this process, you need to cut the rubber around your window until you see a gap between the frame and the glass itself.
Once the gap is vast enough for you to stick the knife in, try to open the window by levering the knife. Do this step until the space is wide enough for you to stick your hand in.
Precautionary Measures When Breaking A Glass
Although the tips above seem easy to do, there is a chance that you might do something wrong and end up hurting yourself.
To ensure that you are doing everything correctly, follow these precautions:
Check The Type Of Glass That You Need To Break
You will likely encounter two types of glass that you need to break:
- Regular Glass
- Safety Glass
Regular glass has a single layer that produces so much noise when broken. Meanwhile, safety glass consists of glass material and plastic. This type is quieter to break but is more robust than regular glass.
So, you may have to use more effort to break it.
Wear Protective Equipment
During emergencies, most people do not have any protective gear prepared. If such a thing happens to you, you can improvise and use your jacket to protect your skin from sharp glass shards.
If you are not wearing a jacket, you can cover the hand that you will use to break the glass with a towel or even a t-shirt. This way, you can ensure that the shards of glass will not penetrate your skin and cause a wound.
Keep Your Children Away From The Area
If you locked yourself outside with your child, make sure they are far enough from the window before breaking the glass. Children are cognitively curious, so chances are they will touch the shards that you broke.
Keeping them away from the area will ensure that they will not be able to do so.
- Yusuke Kohara, How To Break A Car Window Quietly, Car Proper, https://carproper.com/how-to-break-a-car-window-quietly/
- Glass and other Sharps Injury and Illness Prevention in Labs, IOWA Research, https://ehs.research.uiowa.edu/glass-and-other-sharps-injury-and-illness-prevention-labs/