Nothing is horrifying than flames burning down a building, and quite often, such incidents result in casualties of the occupants of a building. To prevent such tribulations, most commercial buildings are required to install fire-rated windows, and the concept is catching up with residential property owners. Optimum fire-rated windows provide security and some peace of mind to property owners. Following is all you need to know about fire-rated windows and their benefits.
To put it simply, fire-rated windows protect the building and its occupants from fire. They are fire-resistant glass windows that act as a barrier and stop the spread of fire. These windows are prepared after the glass in them has undergone aggressive testing. First, they are checked for heat resistance and the time it takes for the glass to crack. They are then graded according to their resistance and other test results. Most fire-rated windows can withstand fire and heat for up to 30 minutes; however, some special ones can resist the effects for more than 3 hours.
Types of Fire-Rated Windows
Depending on the material and the way it’s made, fire-rated windows come in four different types;
- Wired Glass: A wire mesh grid holds the glass together. A protective layer covers the surface of the window to avoid breaking. This type is resistant to fire, but the glass might break, using a protective layer.
- Ceramic Glass: The glass is heated under extreme temperature, crystalizing the glass making it more resistant to fire and its effects. This type of fire-rated window is strong and can withstand very high temperatures.
- Tempered Glass: Like ceramic glass, the tempered one is made after aggressive testing. Tempered glass is heated to make it resistant to fire damage. This type can withstand burning for more than an hour.
- Intumescent Glass: Glass layers and lamination make an intumescent glass. This is one of the most robust fire-rated windows and can avoid the effects of fire for more than 3 hours.
All four types have their benefits depending on their usage.
Fire-rated windows give an extra sense of security against fire damage. They not only save lives but can save the property from extensive damages. However, if you are still not sold on the benefits of a fire-rated window, then the following might convince you.
- Fire Damage: The primary function of a fire-rated window is also one of its most significant advantages. It contains fire and doesn’t shatter, no matter the temperature of the fire.
- Heat Resistant: Due to unique materials and aggressive testing, a fire-rated window is more resistant to heat than any other glass type.
- Protecting Life and Property: Fire-rated glass can save lives and stop further damage to the property. Since it can contain fire and smoke, getting behind it will save your life.
- Sound Reduction: Since fire-rated windows are layered, they can cancel sound.
The importance of fire-rated windows can be judged because most commercial buildings are required to have them. In addition, they can give you enough time to escape a burning building and save yourself.