Drunken pub fights in Britain are set to get safer with the invention of a strengthened beer glass that health authorities hope will cut the huge bill for treating inebriated brawlers.

The traditional pint glass - which holds just over half a litre of beer and is favoured by drinkers across Britain - has been redesigned so it is harder to smash, said Design Bridge, the company behind two prototypes.

And even if the new models are smashed, the dangerous shards of glass are held together by a layer of resin, said the company when at a launch event Thursday.

British interior minister Alan Johnson praised the new models and said the properties of the current pint glass are to blame for much of the country's alcohol-related violence.

Glass attacks in Britain cost health authorities an estimated 2.7 billion pounds (three billion euros, 4.3 billion dollars) annually, and official figures put the number of attacks each year at around 87,000.

Talks are under way with pub chains about trying out the glasses and it is hoped a pilot scheme will be launched within a year.