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Frequently Asked Questions in Fire Rated Glass & Framing

What is required in a 1-hour exit corridor?

The codes allow 20-minute fire doors with 20-minute vision panels without hose stream in 1-hour exit corridors. Sidelites and transoms around the door in a 1-hour exit corridor require a 45-minute fire rating with hose stream. Fire windows are required to be rated 45-minutes, and are limited to under 25% of the total wall area. If more window glazing is desired, fire-resistive glazing assemblies rated equal to the wall must be used. Read more…

What is required in a 1- or 2-hour exit / stairwell enclosure?

The codes specify extra fire protection levels for fire doors and glazing products in exit enclosures and passageways, in order to protect occupants exiting a burning building from smoke, flames and exposure to dangerous radiant heat. Fire protective glazing in temperature-rise 60- or 90-minute doors in an exit enclosure or passageway is limited to 100 sq inches. Larger door vision panels, sidelites, transoms and wall glazing surrounding the door must be fire resistive. The framing used must also be fire resistive, and the whole assembly must meet the same rating requirement as the wall. Read more…

If the building is sprinklered, can the door vision panel be bigger than 100 sq inches?

No. In the 2000 IBC, an exception was provided that allowed the use of non-temperature rise doors if a building was fully sprinklered in accordance with Chapter 9. The 2012 IBC was amended to clarify that the maximum allowable vision panel in a 60- or 90-minute, temperature-rise door in an exit enclosure or passageway is 100 sq inches, regardless of whether the building is fully sprinklered or not. The only way to increase the size of a vision panel in a 60- or 90-minute door in an exit/stairwell enclosure is to use fire resistive glazing. Read more…

Why do codes sometimes require sidelites to have higher ratings than door openings?

When the code requires fire doors rated 1-hour or more, then the sidelites and transoms around that door must be fire resistive and rated to the same standard as the wall. Sidelites and transoms around a 20-minute fire door in a 1-hour exit require a 45-minute fire rating with hose stream. Doors are actively opened and closed and have limited surface areas. Fixed panels, however, can possibly have combustibles stored against them, which could ignite from high levels of radiant heat. Read more…

What are the code requirements for fire rated framing?

Because fire rated glazing is used in door and wall assemblies, code requirements for framing must also be considered. Simply put, the fire rated framing requirements must match the glazing requirements in order for the assembly to fully meet code. Hollow metal framing is fire protective, not fire resistive, so where codes require fire resistive glazing, the framing must also be fire resistive, and the entire assembly must meet the same rating requirement as the wall. Read more…