See Thermal tempering.
Tempering, or toughening, of glass is a process in which glass is first heated above its annealing temperature (about 720°C), and then rapidly cooled by jets of cool air, thus hardening the surface of the glass and leaving the centre soft for a period of time. This creates internal stresses in the glass. If the glass is broken, it will break into many small pieces instead of simply cracking, making it far safer. Another advantage is that tempered glass can be up to four times stronger than regular glass. However, tempered glass cannot be cut to shape or drilled once it has been toughened.