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Watch this video to learn about differences between fire protective and fire resistive glazing.

Fire protective resistive video

Welcome to "Code Considerations Quarterly," a publication by SAFTI FIRST designed to help architects and specifiers select the correct fire rated glazing product based on the most current code and testing requirements. Today's issue focuses on codes limiting the size and use of fire protective glazing in door assemblies.

If you have a code question that you would like us to discuss in future issues, please send your question via email to so we can add it to our growing list of topics.  We hope that you find the contents of this newsletter helpful!

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Vision panels
New model building code limits fire protective glazing in 60 and 90 minute temperature-rise doors to 100 square inches.

Fire resistive door asesmbly
For vision areas that exceed 100 square inches, fire resistive glazing tested to ASTM E119 must be used.  Sidelights and transoms used as part of a 60 or 90 minute door assembly must also use fire resistive glazing.

What are the size limits for fire-rated glass used in 60 and 90 minute door assemblies?

A recently finalized revision to the IBC model building code limits the size of fire protective glazing, such as safety wired glass and safety ceramic, used within vision panels for 60 or 90 minute temperature-rise doors 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.  Click here to download a pdf of the 2012 IBC 715 tables.

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 -hour fire protection rating or less is required...  Where a fire protection rating exceeding -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.

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What are my product choices?

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: