By Jeff Razwick · December 27, 2016
Fire rated glass systems are a great alternative to walls in many hospital, school and university settings.
To bolster campus safety, modern fire-rated glazing is available with high impact safety and bullet resistance ratings. These new options fill an important life-safety need, particularly in areas requiring fire protection and high-impact safety protection.
In 2006, the International Building Code lifted the exemption that allowed design professionals to use historic, wired fire-rated glass in hazardous locations in all types of buildings. Such glass can only withstand approximately 100 feet/pound of impact, which is comparable to a 5-year-old child running into the glass.
Now, building professionals can select from products with a superior level of fire and impact protection, including laminated fire-rated glass ceramic and fire-resistive glazing products that meet either CPSC 16CFR (Category I) or CPSC 16CFR 1201 (Category II) impact classifications. Such products satisfy the 2006 IBC impact-safety requirement for fire-rated glazing in hazardous locations.
They do not shatter, or shatter in a safe pattern when struck by an object comparable in impact to a full-grown, fast-moving adult, providing critical protection in high traffic areas.
Select fire-rated glazing products are also available with bullet resistance ratings. For example, fire-resistant transparent wall panels are available as a single glazing panel with up to a Level III bullet resistance rating and two-hour fire ratings. Such products can help delay intruders and alert occupants to danger, while also standing guard against the threat of fire. These multifunctional products are ideal for entryways and other areas where improved security is critical to the wellbeing of occupants.
Jeff Razwick is the president of Technical Glass Products (TGP), a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. For more information, visit fireglass.com or call (800) 426-0279.