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Safe Glass For Schools
Designing with fire rated glass


What is fire rated glass?

Chapter 2 of the 2012 IBC defines fire rated glass as “Glazing with either a fire protection rating or a fire-resistance rating.” Fire protection rating is “the period of time that an opening protective will maintain the ability to confine a fire as determined by tests prescribed in Section 715. Ratings are stated in hours or minutes.” And, fire-resistance rating is “The period of time a building element, component or assembly maintains the ability to confine afire, continues to perform a given structural function, or both, as determined by the tests, or the methods based on tests, prescribed in Section 703.”  Read more….

What is fire rated framing?

Fire rated framing surrounds and contains fire rated glass. The entire assembly of fire rated glass and framing must meet the requirements of the code. Fire protective framing is allowed where codes allow fire protective glazing tested to NFPA 252/257. When codes require fire resistive glazing to meet ASTM E-119/UL 263 requirements, fire resistive framing must be used, and the entire assembly must meet the same rating requirement as the wall. Read more…

What is Radiant Heat?

Fire emits more than smoke, flames and heat. Fire emits electromagnetic radiation that travels in invisible waves through space. When these waves hit a combustible material or a person, the radiant energy is absorbed and converted into heat. When radiant heat is absorbed by a combustible material, the object catches fire when the material’s ignition temperature is reached. Protecting people from radiant heat is vital because exposed individuals quickly feel unbearable pain, followed by second-degree burns, making safe egress impossible. Read more…

Fire protective vs fire resistive?

There are two types of fire rated glass and framing: Fire Protective and Fire Resistive. Both block smoke and flames. But only Fire Resistive Glass and Framing can block the transmission of dangerous radiant heat. Both Fire Protective and Fire Resistive glazing have their own set of performance features, test standards and allowed applications under the building and fire codes. Simply relying on the fire endurance rating (20, 45, 60, 90, 120 and 180 minutes) or whether a product is thick or thin can lead to faulty specifications and misapplication of the fire rated glass and framing. Read more…

Is traditional wired glass impact safe?

No. The wire actually weakens the glass and increases the likelihood of breakage even under the relatively mild force exerted by a small child. Even worse, the wire embedded in the fragile glass can snare a hand or leg that passes through the broken glass making injuries more severe. Traditional wired glass fails to meet CPSC 16 CFR 1201 safety glazing standards. Then, why do you find it everywhere, especially in schools? For years, there was an exception in building codes allowing its use. But, that exception was eliminated starting in 2003. Today, there are numerous clear, wire free, fire- and impact-safe glass alternatives. Read more…

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