Indoor fire safety is one of the essential factors to consider in a structure, which is why fire-resistant materials and fire protection systems that can stop and even prevent the spread of indoor fires are worthy additions to the safety design of buildings. As such, fire-rated glass is one of the most widely known fire-safety materials used in commercial construction.
In fact, fire-rated glass applications can do more than prevent fire from spreading indoors. They can also be used in exterior applications for added benefits like maximizing natural light and increasing energy conservation. We’ll discuss the topics as you read on.
Fires Can Also Start from the Outside
Here are some examples of situations in which fires could start from the outside of buildings:
Proximity to lot lines or property lines
Property lines define the points where your property begins and ends. Usually, these boundaries are used when installing boundary-defining features such as fences and pools. Since the IBC does not permit exterior openings based on the premise that an owner does not control what occurs in nearby or adjacent properties, a property that is 10 feet 39or less from the property line must use materials for its building exterior with a fire-resistance rating, depending on the rate of potential fires in the surrounding area.
Areas prone to wildfire
There are a lot of neighborhoods that choose to build homes adjacent to dry forested or chaparral-covered areas. According to the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, living near a forest makes a positive impact even if you’re in the city. It’s been confirmed that humans can better cope with chronic stress and are happier when connected with nature.
However, this does not remove the fact that forests are major fire risks. There is a big chance that a wildfire could start any time, especially during the drier season. Using fire-resistant materials like fire-rated glass, designers can provide fire protection to buildings within or adjacent to wildfire-prone areas.
Areas leading to a parking garage
Parking spaces are hazards that are waiting to catch fire. These spaces are filled with gas, fumes, oil, and cars loaded with fuel. One wrong step could set the place ablaze. Fire stemming from this situation is hard to put out, which is why fire and building codes require that nearby buildings incorporate fire-rated materials that would protect occupants from this kind of catastrophe.
Can Fire-Rated Glass Be Used for Exterior Applications?
The burning question remains: Can fire-rated glass be used for exterior applications? The answer is yes! You can implement fire safety everywhere because fire can start from anywhere, including from the outside. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a level of fire safety in the materials you use in your projects to protect them from the dangers of interior and exterior fires.
Fire-Rated Glass Ideal for Exterior Applications
Here at SAFTI FIRST, we have a full range of products that can help build and strengthen your exterior.
Fire-Resistive Curtain Wall
- It has fire-resistive glass, frames, and parts.
- It defends against the transfer of flames, smoke, and radiant heat.
- SAFTI FIRST’S GPX Curtain Wall System supplies occupants with two hours of protection from blazing heat from exterior fires.
- Ideal for multi-story spans of glass.
- Aluminum-clad design with uniform, clean, sharp edges that mimic non-rated systems, allowing it to blend seamlessly.
- It can limit the temperature rise to 250°F above ambient on the non-fire side.
- It is ideal for property lines and wildfire and urban interface situations alike.
- Thermal analysis is met, ensuring compliance with energy requirements.
Some examples of structures built with our fire-resistive curtain walls include:
- Aspen Art Museum, Colorado
- The Kensington, Massachusetts
Fire Rated Glazing
- It blocks radiant heat and meets the same stringent code requirements that any opaque fire-rated wall must meet.
- It can effectively replace entire walls with glass to open up buildings.
- Examples include SuperLite II-XL 60, SuperLite II-XL 90, SuperLite II-XL 120, SuperLite II-XLB 60 and SuperLite II-XLB 120. All of these products meet the stringent fire-resistive standard ASTM E-119/UL 263, which means they can be used even in zero lot line applications.
- It is tint-free and optically transparent, making it perfect for property line requirements.
- Can be enhanced to include high-performance energy-efficient glazing to meet thermal requirements.
Some examples of structures built with our fire-rated glazing include:
- Milpitas BART Station, California
- 390 Madison Avenue, New York
Fire-Resistive Wall and Door Assemblies
- Aluminum-clad fire-rated framing systems for doors and walls. They’re fire-rated from 60 to 120 minutes.
- These can be used in interior and exterior applications.
- They are available in multiple profiles and standard and custom finishes.
- Fire-Resistive Walls
- These are 60- to 120-minute fire-resistive transparent walls.
- They limit the temperature rise to 250°F above ambient on the non-fire side.
- These products are capable of floor-to-floor and wall-to-wall glazing.
- Available in multiple finishes.
- Temperature Rise Doors
- Our 60- to 90-minute Builders Series Temperature Rise Doors are tested to NFPA 252/UL 10C and meet the 450°F temperature rise requirement,
- They are full vision doors that incorporate fire-resistive glazing tested to ASTM E-119/UL 263 like SuperLite II-XL 60 and 90. They are not subject to the 100 sq. in. vision panel limitation imposed on ceramics and wire glass per code.
- Available up to 10 ft. height.
- Multiple finishes available including aluminum clad, stainless steel clad, high performance paint and more.
- Standard and narrow profiles available with flexible hardware options.
Some examples of structures built with our fire-resistive walls include:
- The Warehouse on 520 W 20th Street, New York
Which Option is the Best for You?
Every building has a different need for fire-rated materials, tools, and systems. Here at SAFTI FIRST, we pride ourselves on our ability to develop large-scale fire-rated materials that are both compliant and multi-use for interior and exterior applications. We are a manufacturer of USA-made fire-rated solutions that can improve your building’s fire safety without compromising its look, feel, aesthetic, and sustainability.
If you want to know more about how we can help provide fire-rated solutions for your projects, please contact us today!