Glass Fire Doors – What You Need To Know

What happens when glass doors need to be fire proof? Fire rated glazing is the way to go. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about glass fire doors.

Glass is ubiquitous in modern construction and architecture. It is bold and smooth and is becoming increasingly common in commerical, industrial and residential spaces. But what about when glass needs to be fire proof? The solution is fire rated glazing.

Glass Fire Doors

Fire rated glazing is a special glazing system that is used to make fire doors and walls made of glass. Glass is favoured for its illuminating qualities in open spaces, allowing architects and builders to incorporate a natural light and a sense of transparency in a room. By adding fire rated glazing to doors they retain their aesthetic qualities while adhering to the fire regulations set out by the Building Code of Australia.

Fire rated glazing is versatile. It can be applied to doors and walls during the manufacturing process or in some cases, it can also be added to existing buildings that already contain glass doors, walls and windows. This is particularly important when it comes to fire proofing heritage doors.

How Do You Measure Fire Rated Glazing?

Glass fire doors are measured based on their resistance to fire and their overall ability to contain it.

Their ratings will usually consist of a 3-number pattern, for example: 60/60/60 or 120/120/120

  • The first number in the set refers to the structural stability of the door and the capacity it has to resist fire while maintaining its structural integrity. This number is only used to rate walls (since fire doors and windows are not considered structural elements)
  • The second number in the set indicates how well the product and glazing will prohibit the spread of flames in the event of a fire; you must make sure that this rating meets the standards for your build as required by the BCA
  • The last number will tell you how long the fire rated glazed product will prevent heat transfer which can result in subsequent fires (also known as insulation)

glass fire door

It is crucial that fire resistant ratings for the glass fire doors (and other products) that you choose comply with the standards for your building as per the National Building Code and therefore are compliant and certifiable.

Glass Fire Doors with Fire Rated Glazing

Glass that isn’t fire rated can pose a risk in the event of a fire as it is susceptible to explosion in very high heat. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all fire protection products (not just doors but walls, panels and windows) are glazed.

  • Make sure that the glass component you choose has been fire approved as part of a complete testing system; this means that the glass panel, the frame and hardware need to have been tested and certified as a whole product and that they must also be installed exactly as per the tested installation
  • It is often recommended that fire rated glazed panels are framed by steel or timber. In some instances this is required in order to satisfy resistance rating
  • Glass fire doors (and other products) can be purchased as insulated and non-insulated glass panels; you will need to decide which is going to be best for your project, along with the type of glass you want and the desired thickness that will allow you to meet your fire safety needs
  • Fire rated glazed products can be pre-fitted during manufacture or they can be assembled on site; talk to your supplier or project manager about what you require for your construction project

FSE Special Purpose Doors are specialists in the design, manufacture and installation of fire doors and fire rated glazed components across Australia. For further information, contact our office in Sydney on [email protected] or 1300 4 DOORS.