For Fire Rated Windows
It is with reluctance that we at Fyre-Tec make any attempt to interpret the fire protection codes for a specific building or construction at any particular locality. The International Building Code is being adopted in many localities. Many states and cities have yet to adopt one of these newer codes, and have chosen to modify or amend an older or existing code. Yet other localities have in place codes that were written and adopted by local officials many years ago. To make this more difficult, all of the building codes are subject to interpretation by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
Fire Rated Windows - Where are they required…
Fire protections standards and building codes recognize the hazard associated with exterior wall openings that are created by inadequate separation between buildings. Where the separation is inadequate and the expected fire exposure is moderate or light, these regulations permit window openings protected with fire windows. This protection can be provided by properly designed windows.
To protect paths of egress from interior fires, fire window assemblies can be specified for openings abutting exterior stairs and fire escapes and in corridors where wall openings are used to provide natural lighting of the corridor from adjacent rooms.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association are widely accepted as the benchmark for a qualified product, in FyreTec's case the fire protection rating for steel windows.
NFPA 80 Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows establishes the criteria for qualifying an approved fire rated window.
Some of the qualifying requirements include:
- Fire windows shall be tested in accordance with NFPA 257 - Standard on Fire Test for Window and Glass Block Assemblies.
- The window frame shall be labeled for such use.
- Only labeled fire protection-rated glazing material shall be used in fire windows.
- Glazing material to be limited in size and area to maximum area tested in frame.
NFPA 80 continues to specify types of windows and applications:
- Fire windows shall be used to protect openings in interior and exterior partitions required to be protected by the AHJ.
- Maximum size protected openings will not exceed 84 square feet with neither dimension exceeding 12 feet.
- All fire windows shall be of a fixed type or shall be automatic closing.
NFPA 257 - Standard on Fire Test for Window and Glass Block Assemblies specifies the test procedure that must be conducted by an independent test agency for a manufacturer to qualify a product as a fire rated window assembly. The procedure is very specific in the mounting, test temperature and time, hose stream test, performance criteria and report results.
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
Fyre-Tec engaged the services of the internationally recognized testing agency, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to conduct the above required NFPA tests. UL examined and tested Fyre-Tec windows (UL File R13157) in accordance with these tests and their requirement UL-9. The windows were certified and listed at that time and Fyre-Tec was issued a UL file number reflecting this acceptance. We continue our relationship with UL through quarterly follow-up inspections by a UL representative at our manufacturing facility. These inspections assure compliance and integrity of the product as manufactured.