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How Glass Can Offer Fire Protection for Commercial Buildings

2024 Residential Glass Trends - Commercial Glazing

If you are replacing, updating, or installing new glass in your commercial building, you will need to consider how that glass performs during a fire. Certain glass products can offer fire protection for commercial buildings and the sensitive business information they contain. Here are the two most common types of glass that offer fire protection.  

Fire-Protective Glass

Fire-protective glass is the first level of defense against fire damage. It is not as robust as its tougher counterpart, fire-resistive glass. Fire-protective glass is designed to contain the spread of flames and smoke within a structure. It can prevent a fire from spreading for up to 180 minutes. However, it does not protect against radiant heat transfer, which can cause damage to areas where the fire has not spread. Building codes limit the use of fire-protective glass to certain square footages and applications.

Fire-Resistive Glass

Fire-resistive glass offers more robust fire protection for commercial buildings. This product is made to the same ASTM E119 standard as fire-rated walls, which is why the International Building Code recognizes fire-resistive glass as a transparent wall. In addition to protecting against smoke and flame damage, fire-resistive glass prevents the transfer of heat. Where building codes limit the use of fire-protective glass, builders can use fire-resistive glass to cover any square footage or application as long as it is installed with heat-resistant framing.

Choosing the Right Fire Protection for Commercial Buildings

So, how do you choose the right fire protection for your commercial building? It depends on your end application. If you are replacing or installing glass in a relatively small area that will not house essential equipment, fire-protective glass may be the right choice for you. But if you are constructing a building that features large glass walls and houses lots of sensitive items, fire-resistive glass is probably the way to go.

The experts at Glass Source can help you understand the glass options that will protect your building from fire damage. We have installed commercial glass in more than 800 businesses across the Twin Cities. Whether you’re replacing a broken storefront window or incorporating glass into a new build-out, our professional team is here to help. To request a quote on your project, call or email our team today.