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Fire Resistant Glazing

Fire Resistant Glazing

A Guide to Fire Stopping Products

Fire safety should be a primary concern in any construction project, especially in areas where fires often occur. When building a home, office or any commercial property, fire-resistant glazing will passively protect your property against fire. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about fire-resistant glazing and how it can help protect your property in the event of a fire.

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What is Fire Resistant Glazing?

Fire-resistant glazing is a process to make glass panels more resistant to flames, smoke, and heat. There are different types of fire-resistant glazing techniques that you can combine, each offering a different level of protection from fire and heat. We will explore these later in this article. 

You can apply some of these techniques to existing glass, such as glaze and laminates. Other techniques must be installed from the beginning when constructing a building. 

You can use fire-resistant glazing to make glass panels or other surfaces fire-resistant. This can offer protection to certain rooms or a whole building against the effects of fire and heat.

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How Fire-Resistant Glazing Works

Fire-resistant glass compartmentalises the smoke and flames by allowing for space between panes of glass to prevent it from shattering. The extra spaces contain fire-suppressing materials, which both contain the fire, and keep the radiant heat from going into the adjacent room.

This typically works one way, so there is a ‘correct’ and an ‘incorrect’ way to install fire-resistant glass. You also need to be sure you’re using a fire-resistant frame system as well, for it to be the most effective.

Fire Protection Vs Fire Resistance

The rating system for “fireproofing” materials divides into two categories, fire protection and fire-resistive. Fire protective glass is the less effective version since it does not protect against radiant heat from the fire. Because of this, there is a limit to the amount of “fire protective” material that you can use in a certain space for most building codes.

Fire-resistive glass has no such limitations. Besides having the structural support to resist flames and smoke, this glass will also protect against the radiative heat from the fire for the duration of its rating.

What is the Fire Rating System?

Fire ratings for glass and fire glazing break down into three numbers, separated by slashes. These numbers are the measure in minutes that the piece can withstand in that category before breaking down.

The first number is structural integrity, which is how long it can last before breaking. This is crucial for any load-bearing walls or other structures.

The second number is how long it can withstand and contain the spread of flames and smoke. This is what “fire protective” glass rating measures. The third number measures the heat resistance or insulation of the glass.

All these measurements range from 20 minutes to 3 hours, with most being an average of 45 minutes. This is enough time for most residential and low-risk areas since it is enough time to evacuate a smaller building. More time would be necessary for buildings with combustible materials or other hazards.

Check your building codes and standards to make sure you’re using the correct fireproofing systems for your area. Remember, you must also use fire-resistant frames for your glass to be considered fire-resistant, and not just fire protective.

Types of Fire Resistant Glazing

The different types of fire-resistant glazing include heat-resistant liquid coatings, laminate filters, and the use of wires or gels between panes of treated glass.

Fire protective glass can use any combination of these features to offer different protection times against standard fires. The fire-resistant glass must use the flame-retardant gels between the panes of the glass to lock out the heat from the fire. 

If you’re curious what this would look like, you might wish to check out our full range of fire stopping products. We can install a fire door using these methods up to the highest of safety requirements.

What Are the Uses for Fire Resistant Glazing?

You can use fire-resistant glazing to create safe evacuation routes in a commercial building. Do this by lining the stairwell with fire-resistant materials and having clearly marked exit doors. You can use the fire-resistant glass as a tunnel to the exit doors for a safe and efficient evacuation.

You could also use it to secure and contain areas where fires are more common, such as in a laboratory or other room where you must store flammable chemicals.

Using fire-resistant glazing in your home, along with other fire-resistant materials, can help your home maintain its structural integrity in the face of a fire.

What Are the Benefits of Fire Resistant Glazing?

Fire-resistant glazing can protect your home or business in the event of a fire. It can also add precious time to allow your family, employees, or clients to evacuate. The extra time allows them to safely evacuate the building before the fire has a chance to spread to the evacuation area.

You can save money and prevent property damage by making sure your business meets the criteria for fire resistance. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for premiums on fire-safe buildings.

You don’t have to sacrifice design to have a safe building. Many forms of fire-resistant glass look the same as regular glass, so you don’t have to compromise.

Build Safe and Smart with Fire Resistant Glazing

Fire-resistant glazing allows you a window of protection from flames, smoke, and heat in the event of a fire. Installing this kind of protection is required for some commercial buildings, and beneficial for keeping homes safer against fires.

To increase your protection against fire-based incidents, you may also install fire batts, fire dampers or fire collars and wraps.

We hope you use this information to help you make good choices about fire safety in your commercial building or home. If you would like help adding fire resistance to your commercial building or ensuring compliance with regulations, get in contact with us today or get a fire risk assessment by clicking the button below.

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