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Size Limits for Vision Panels

Size Limits for Vision Panels in a 60 or 90 minute door

Size Limits for Vision Panels. 2012 IBC clarifies that if a vision panel in a 60 or 90 minute door is over the size limit of 100 sq inches, the fire rated glass must be fire resistive.

Size Limits for Vision Panels in 60 or 90 minute doors

The 2012 IBC model building code contains size limits for vision panels in a 60 or 90 minute door. If the vision panel is  fire protective glass, such as safety wired glass and safety ceramic, its size is limited to no more than 100 square inches, whether or not sprinklers are present.  To increase the amount of fire-rated glass in 60 or 90 minute temperature-rise doors and still meet code, you must use fire resistive glazing that meets ASTM E119.  Furthermore, sidelights and transoms placed in a 1 or 2 hour wall and door assembly in a shaft, exit enclosure, or exit passageway must also be fire resistive glazing.

The new code clears up confusion that has existed since IBC 2000 when an exception for fire resistive glazing in temperature-rise doors was inadvertently duplicated for fire protective glazing.  This change is important because neither sprinklers nor fire protective glazing can protect life safety or stop the spread of fire caused by the unrestricted transmission of radiant heat.

Table 715.4 in the IBC 2012 model code addressing fire door assembly rating requirements has also been revised to spell out the test and rating requirements for fire protective and fire resistive glazing in doors, side lights and transoms.

The expanded tables in the 2012 IBC now include the requirements for sidelights and transoms previously specified in Section 715.4.5 of 2009 IBC, which states:


“Door frames with transom lights, sidelights or both, shall be permitted where a ¾-hour fire protection rating or less is required…  Where a fire protection rating exceeding ¾-hour is required in accordance with Table 715.4, fire door frames with transom lights, sidelights, or both, shall be permitted where installed with fire resistance rated glazing tested as an assembly in accordance with ASTM E119 or UL 263.”

These requirements are not new.  They conform to what NFPA 80 has long provided in the 1999 and 2007 NFPA 80 editions, which are incorporated by reference into the new IBC codes.

What Product Choices do I have for Code Compliant Vision Panels?

SAFTI FIRST offers various options that meet all the fire and safety requirements for 60 and 90 minute door assemblies:

Fire protective glass limited to 100 square inches:

  • SuperLite X-90 – a clear and affordable fire and safety glazing that replaces unsafe wired glass and expensive ceramics.
  • SuperLite I-W – patented safety wired glass.
  • SuperLite I-XL – patented specialty tempered fire and safety glazing tested without hose stream that provides partial radiant heat protection.  Requires AHJ approval for 45-60 minute applications.
  • PYRAN Platinum F by SAFTI FIRST  – an environmentally friendly filmed safety ceramics with no amber tints.
  • PYRAN Platinum L by SAFTI FIRST – an environmentally friendly laminated safety ceramics with no amber tints.

Fire resistive glass for vision panels exceeding 100 square inches and sidelites and transoms in 1 or 2 hour walls:

  • SuperLite II-XL 60 minute, SuperLite II-XL 90minute, and SuperLite II-XL 120 minute – clear ASTM E119 rated glazing that offers maximum fire and impact safety with full radiant heat protection. Can be used in wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling applications when combined with an equally rated framing system such as SAFTIfire GPX Framing.
Do you have a current or upcoming project that needs fire rated glass and framing? Contact us today!