How Fire Rated Glass Improves Security and Safety in Commercial Buildings
Several things can stunt your business’s growth. From competitors offering competitive products and services to your present facilities limiting your potential, these hurdles can cause setbacks when it comes to achieving your business goals.
However, only a few can hold a candle to the amount of damage a fire can cause to a business. While only 31% of business-related fires happen during the night, the high amounts of property damage these fires can cause could easily cripple a small business that doesn’t put a premium on fire safety.
Another interesting statistic that comes with commercial fires is the correlation between the most common causes of fires and the amount of damage they create. Cooking equipment in a commercial building is the most common source of flames, but it’s one of the least destructive, accounting for only 6% of property damage between 2007 and 2011. Meanwhile, intentional fires take up a whopping 20% of damage.
To protect your business from fires—accidental and intentional—you need to invest in fire rated glass. Installing glass products that are specifically built to protect properties from fire damage will significantly improve the security of your building.
This article will discuss fire rated glass to give you a clear picture of what it offers and why you should have it installed on your property.
The Cost of Fire-Related Incidents to Businesses
Fires can cause plenty of havoc to businesses in terms of overall damage. Not only does it disrupt business functions but it can also create a financial hole that some businesses will find too hard to recover from.
The specific costs of fires can vary depending on the type of structure affected, but the average amount companies can lose due to a fire is no joke. A healthcare facility usually loses an average of $8,333 to fire damage. Warehouses can cause a huge dent in a company’s financial statements, as damage can reach an average of $128,099.
Yet these numbers are only a small part of the equation. In 2018 alone, 1,318,500 fires cost Americans an astounding $25.6 billion in property damage.
However, direct property damage isn’t the only dent uncontrolled fires can cause in your business. For example, work will be suspended as the company recovers from the fire. Critical equipment that was lost to the fire could take some time to replace. The lack of work could affect your employees’ economic well-being and morale.
There will also be an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, which will incur legal fees in the process. Important data and documents can also be lost, which would greatly affect your company if you didn’t have any backups ready.
8 Ways Fire Rated Glass Improves Safety and Security in Commercial Properties
While it’s hard to predict when a fire would break out, preparing your buildings ahead of time can minimize any damage it can create. Getting fire rated glass for your building’s most important rooms can minimize the harm to your company.
Here are 8 ways fire rated glass improves your building’s safety and security.
Provide fire compartmentalization
There are multiple ways buildings can prevent fire from spreading all over the structure, and one of the more passive ways of doing so is fire compartmentalization. This process makes structures more resistant to fire by installing walls and floors that prevent the flames from spreading to other rooms. The idea behind fire compartmentalization is to keep the blaze confined to one area.
Fire rated glass can be instrumental in ensuring the compartmentalization functions as intended. Since the glass won’t melt under fire, it can contain the fire within the area and help firefighters keep property damage to a minimum.
Control smoke and radiant heat
One of the biggest dangers that fires pose to people is radiant heat, where photons travel at the speed of light and interact with your body’s electrons. If left unchecked, radiant heat can cause severe burns to your body. Fires also generate smoke that can suffocate people who inhale enough amounts of it.
Fire rated glass, specifically fire resistive glass, is made to handle high temperatures and prevent radiant heat and smoke from seeping through the glass and into another room where there are people. However, it’s important to note that not all fire rated glass can stop radiant heat.
What you need to look for are fire resistive products like the SuperLite II-XL 60. Fire resistive glass keeps radiant heat from the non-fire side of the room. These fire resistive products can keep limit temperature-rise to less than 250°F above ambient, allowing for safe egress and property protection.
Increased visibility and daylighting
Vision is an important sense that we all use. Whether it’s for emergencies like fire or mundane tasks in the office, it’s critical to have a clear line of sight when it comes to navigating through a building. This fact becomes all the most important during a fire.
Fire rated glass can provide quality fire protection without having to compromise the quality of lighting that it will allow inside your office. If you’re worried about sacrificing visibility for the sake of safety, most fire rated glass can easily quell your concerns.
Lower insurance costs
Besides installing fire hydrants and water sprinklers all over your building, property insurance is a great way to protect your business from the damage caused by fire and other calamities. However, this sort of protection can cause more than a sizable dent in your business’s overall budget.
There are multiple factors that your insurer takes into consideration when calculating your premium. One of the parameters that insurers use to determine your premium is your building, i.e., they will determine the cost of your building as well as its materials.
Installing fire rated glass can help curb your insurance costs. Since these glass products can help slow down the propagation of fire in your property, your building’s overall risk factor goes down. This will convince your insurers to offer a more reasonable premium in the process.
Boost your “Always-on” protection
When it comes to fire safety, we often think of fire alarms and fire extinguishers. However, there’s more to protecting your business from blazing fires than making sure that your sprinklers are functional and your smoke detectors are installed in important places.
Read: Sprinkler Trade-Offs: Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Single System for Fire Protection
Passive fire protection may not be as impressive or obvious as their more active counterparts, but they are also vital in preventing a fire from spreading. Fire-rated doors, openings and walls are some of the most essential components of an “always-on” fire protection system. Unlike active fire protection like sprinklers, fire rated glass does not need any mechanical triggers to work. They provide reliable protection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Fire rated glass is another critical part of the picture, as it can prevent fires from spreading to other parts of your building. Adding these glass products to your building will give firemen more time to respond to the fire and save as much of your building as possible.
Better acoustic performance
If you own a business that works with sound and music, you understand the importance of noise reduction in certain aspects of your work. For example, a music studio needs total silence whenever sound engineers and artists are at work, so they can record the best audio tracks.
If you own a business that requires noise cancellation, getting a fire rated glass like the SuperLite II-XL 120 can do wonders for that specific need. Most fire rated products have multiple layers built into them, which in turn can reduce sounds of up to 47dB.
Establish a secure zone for your business
As much as you want to make your building fire-proof, it pays to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Should an employee or customer find themselves trapped in your building while a fire’s raging, having a safe zone where they can stay away from the blaze will become critical for their survival.
Fire rated glass will ensure that safe zones in your premises will remain as such. Typically used in 1-2 hour stairwells, fire resistive glass such as SuperLite II-XL and SuperLite II-XLB provides protection from smoke, flames and radiant heat for up to 2 hours. They are critical for safe egress or providing an area for safe refuge where occupants can wait for assistance from firefighters to exit the building.
Safeguard people’s safety inside your building
At the end of the day, we want everyone inside our business to be safe from any kind of harm when a fire breaks out. Be it employees or customers, you want to be able to provide as much time as possible to let them escape your property when a fire starts.
Fire rated glass ensures that people will be able to get out of your property safely. Glass products like SuperLite II‑XLB 60 can give people enough time to safely get out of your property. It also provides firefighters enough time to choose the best approach in combating the fire.
Look into a Safer Future with Fire Rated Glass
There are multiple ways to prepare your building against a potential fire. Getting fire rated glass will always be a good investment, as it provides an extra layer of protection for your employees, visitors, and most important assets.
If you’re looking for a quality supplier of fire-resistant glass, SAFTI FIRST should be at the top of your list. We offer quality fire rated glass and glazing solutions that will bolster your business’s capability to combat and control fires.
Interested to learn more about our products and services? Get in touch with us to see how our fire rated products can protect your business.