You’ll inevitably come across the International Building Code (IBC) for fire rated assembly and fire rated glazing projects. The IBC table is a valuable document for contractors and architects, as it identifies the requirements for staying compliant with building codes, such as fire safety standards.
IBC’s Chapter 7 is dedicated to fire and smoke protection, serving as your guide to the materials, systems, and assemblies recommended to protect structures from fire and smoke.
Every state must comply with the building codes, which the International Code Council updates every three years to reflect changes in building designs along with prescriptive and performance-related guidelines on public health and safety.
IBC 2021—the latest version in use in the U.S. and other countries that adopt the international building code—features, among others, updates in the marking and rating systems. These updates are for the following categories: fire rated glazing assemblies, opening fire protection assemblies, and fire window assembly fire protection.
Like the 2018 edition, the IBC 2021 edition uses letters to indicate the performance standard of a particular fire rated glazing product, such as the ones provided by SAFTI FIRST. Thus, instead of abbreviations of a specific fire test standard, what you will see on fire-rated product labels are the letters W, FC, OH, D, H, and T.
However, the table below shows the addition of the FC marking, which is a new entry under fire rated glazing assemblies.
Here’s what the letter markings mean to fire test standards.
The XXX markings in the table above represent the two- or three-digit numbers on labels for fire rated glazing assemblies, indicating their fire protection or fire resistance time duration capabilities in minutes.
Fire rated glazing products with a combination of various markings on their labels tell you they have passed not just one but multiple fire test standards. Here are a couple of examples:
The primary purpose of using markings in IBC is to ascertain if fire rated glazing applications are properly implemented. In the 2021 IBC, Table 716.1 is subdivided into three categories to cover both fire protection and fire resistance glazing.
This table indicates the fire test standard, marking, and definition of marking for the following assemblies: wall, floor, ceiling, fire window, and fire door.
This table specifies the vision panel size limits and sidelite and transom rating requirements. It also helps you distinguish between fire protective (or fire-protection-rated) and fire resistive (or fire-resistance-rated) products by identifying size limits for fire protective glazing, indicating when fire resistance rating products must be used in larger applications, and specifying applications where the code only allows glazing that meets the fire wall test standard.
Here, you can identify where fire-protective products are permitted or otherwise. The table also shows where you must use fire-resistive glazing, such as in 120-minute interior walls.
The D-20 marking on the SuperLite I means its glazing can be used in 20-minute doors. Note that in the IBC, glazing used in 20 minute door vision panels are exempt from the hose stream test. NFPA 252/257 and UL 9/10B/10C indicates the product has passed the fire door and fire window test standards, respectively. SuperLite I meets the CPSC Cat. II safety requirement.
SuperClear 45-HS-LI meets the 45-minute fire window assembly criteria, including the hose stream test (UL 9) and 45-minute fire door assembly criteria (UL 10B or UL 10C). It also meets the CPSC Cat. II safety requirement.
Designed to be used in areas where fire protective glazing is not permitted or increase the vision area in a 60-minute temperature rise door, SuperLite II-XL 60 meets the following criteria: wall assembly test standard (ASTM E119), and fire wall test standard (UL 263) and temperature rise limit (T) of 450°F for 30 minutes. It also meets the CPSC Cat. II safety requirement.
With the release of the IBC 2021 edition, there’s no more confusion as to whether you should use fire-protective or fire-resistive glazing—provided you familiarize yourself with the new markings for fire rated glazing assemblies.
Besides helping you understand what the codes mean, SAFTI FIRST can provide you with USA-made fire-rated solutions that protect your buildings against fires without compromising aesthetics.
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