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Why is Fire Rated Glass Important?

December 14, 2022
Glass in Rows

Have you ever heard of fire rated glass? If not, that’s ok! Understanding what fire rated glass is, and why it’s important to consider when designing or renovating your home or office space, can be tricky. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of fire rated glass and its benefits. 

What is Fire Rated Glass? 

Fire-rated glass provides a barrier against the spread of flames, smoke and toxic gases in the event of a fire. It is designed to maintain its integrity and insulation for up to 90 minutes—the time it takes for firefighters to respond to a call and attempt to contain the flames. Fire-rated glazing systems are tested specifically in accordance with stringent safety standards before they can be used in buildings. 

Benefits of Using Fire Rated Glass 

When used correctly, fire-rated glazing systems offer numerous advantages over regular windows. Regular glass windows aren’t typically equipped to properly withstand the heat of a fire and can’t protect as well as fire resistant glass can. The temperature rise of the fire causes the structural integrity of the glass to weaken. In most cases, when exposed to high enough temperatures for long enough, regular windows will begin to crack or completely shatter. Both situations can present dangerous shards and fragments that can injure those nearby and potentially spark additional fires by allowing flames and smoke a means to spread quicker. 

Fire ratings exist for specific types of glass designed to have better thermal performance and increased safety in such situations. One major benefit of fire rated glass is that it helps to slow down the spread of heat throughout a building during a fire. This allows occupants more time to evacuate safely and also gives firefighters additional time to work on containing the blaze before it spreads too far. Additionally, fire resistant glass blocks smoke damage and prevents structural damage due to their ability to resist impact from debris such as furniture and other materials found inside a burning building. Finally, many fire-rated glazing systems are aesthetically pleasing—which means you don’t have to compromise on style when upgrading your windows to meet the safety requirements of your local authority. Its visually pleasing qualities include light transmittance, clear image definition, textured aesthetics and reflective hues. Fire resistant glazing for glass can be tailored to complement the style and décor of any interior or exterior setting while meeting the appropriate fire code requirements. The range of fire rated glazing available gives designers countless options that can evolve around their needs; from clear to smoke-tinted variants, single or double-glazed options.

How is Fire Protective Glazing Applied to Glass?

Fire protective glazing can be applied to glass in several ways. One way is using a fire resistive interlayer such as SentryGlas® Plus and Dow Corning Fire Protection Silicone which are both UL approved and have been tested for fire performance. This type of interlayer provides a strong bond between the layers of glass, enabling them to act as a single unit and resist flames, smoke, and toxic gases. Another option is using insulated glass units (IGUs) with fire rated sealants. IGUs are sealed enclosures containing two or more panes of glass that are held together by structural spacers filled with an insulating gas such as argon or krypton and a perimeter sealant. The sealants must be fire rated in order to be considered safe and are designed to help the entire IGU unit maintain its integrity during a fire. Finally, some glass manufacturers offer laminated glass with intumescent interlayers that expand when exposed to high temperatures and create an insulating barrier between the panes of glass. This helps hold the panes together and prevents the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic gases through the glass. 

Fire Rated Glass is essential in order for buildings to pass strict safety codes set forth by local authorities. It offers superior protection against flames, smoke and toxic gases while also providing occupants with extra time to evacuate safely during an emergency situation. Fire rated glass also helps reduce structural damage caused by burning debris while still keeping up with aesthetic considerations. For these reasons alone, investing in fire rated glass is an excellent way for homeowners and business owners alike to increase safety without sacrificing style or comfort!

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