Fire rated glass, or fire resistant glass as it is commonly known, is used to afford a degree of protection to an area by containing flames, fumes and gas in the event of a fire. The official term for this form of protection is “compartmentation”, which means that glass can play a vital role in restricting fire damage to a limited area.
Most glass offers little if any form of fire protection, for instance:
- Standard/ annealed glass will break at around 2500F
- Tempered glass will break at around 5000F
- Fire rated glass can typically survive in excess of 16000F
Fire rated glass generally affords protection from fire for around 2 hours. In order to ascertain the protection time the glass undergoes a rigorous testing process, if the glass passes these test it is then assigned a rating which identifies a fire protection time from between 20 minutes to 3 hours.
Building Codes then dictate where the glass may be fitted, based upon it’s rating, in general the codes are designed to take into account how long it would take people to exit a building in the event of a fire.