An important element of any workplace safety strategy in the U.K. is a solid fire protection strategy. It’s not only necessary to ensure that your fire protection strategy is in line with U.K. building regulations but that it maximises the safety of your employees and customers. Key to a successful fire protection strategy is to ensure that in the event of the fire, the correct fittings are in place to minimise the spread of smoke and flames.
Commercial businesses are looking to fire rated glass to maximise workplace safety, strengthen their protection against damage to the property and to the health of employees. Fire resistant glass plays a crucial role in workplace safety by offering 3 clear benefits in the event of a fire on the premises.
Fire rated glass can effectively contain fire, smoke and hot flames in a certain area, so as to minimise the spread. Fire rated glass undergoes rigorous health and safety tests and given a fire rating and a specific time period of protection. The length of time that this protection is offered will depend on the classification of the fire resistant glass panels.
Class E fire rated glass
Class E fire rated glass offers integrity only performance. It can contain effectively flames and smoke for a certain period of time but does not prevent the transmission of radiant heat.
Class EW fire rated glass
This classification of fire rated glass offers typical integrity performance but also some level of insulation protection (resistance to heat).
Class EI fire rated glass
This type of fire rated glass offers both integrity and insulation protection. This is the highest classification, not only containing fire and smoke, but protecting people from heat radiating from the fire making it much easier to evacuate the premises.
Fire rated glass, depending on its rating, can provide 30 to 60 minutes of integrity and insulation time, giving employees and other occupants of the premises a period in which to safely evacuate the building. Fire rated glass can be cleverly implemented in walls, doors and partitions to carve out clear fire escape routes, exits and emergency doors ensuring ease of evacuation.
Using transparent fire rated glass doors and screens over traditional fire doors and screens makes it easier to identify the location of the fire. The transparency of the fire rated glass panels can help those in the building to plan a successful escape route and avoid any areas that the fire has already hit. It’s crucial to ensure that fire rated glass has at least an E classification so that it has the ability to remain transparent even when subjected to heat and fire.
A Superior Aesthetic That Does Not Compromise on Safety
Fire rated glass not only helps commercial buildings to ensure their fire protection strategy is in line with U.K. building regulations, but that’s not the only benefit. It’s also a much more aesthetic pleasing alternative to solid fire screens and walls!
Considering using fire rated glass in a commercial design project? Diamond Glass are leading fire rated glass suppliers in the U.K.. Contact us today to request a quote for your project or for advice and assistance in choosing fire rated glass.