Fire protection needs a complete system approach

By Promat 14/02/2019

Educational Article
Promat fire rated glass with timber frame
Promat fire rated glass with timber frame

Considering how many stages are involved in the design, manufacture and installation of fire resistant glazing, how confident can we be that the end result lives up to the original design intent? 

Any building element that is designed to provide protection be it fire, thermal or acoustic – will only be as effective as its weakest point, so the scope for mistakes, misunderstandings and incompetence needs to be eliminated right along the supply chain. In terms of fire protection, this is more than just good practice, it is a matter of life or death.

The many fire safety standards out there give specifiers or contractors a useful starting point to indicate if a product or system will provide the fire protection they need. However, herein lies the first major problem – the variety of standards covering fire protection measures in buildings makes it difficult to know if the ultimate installed products will deliver as intended. 

At the top of the list is Approved Document B, which helps to determine where fire protection measures should be incorporated into a building, and the level of protection required. Unfortunately, it is not specific enough to be more than a guide, which leaves the fire safety requirements open to interpretation and puts the onus on the specifier to get it right.

But even if you do arrive at some clarity in terms of standards, how do you know that all the component parts and materials have been manufactured to a consistently high standard, tested together as a complete system, and installed by competent engineers who are all singing from the same hymn sheet?

Eliminating the margin for error
The solution is to have a ‘complete system’ approach when specifying and procuring fire resistant glazing, in which everything is under the control of one responsible supplier. Promat UK is the first fire glazing specialist in the UK to be able to offer exactly that service with the SYSTEMGLAS® fire rated glass system range.

SYSTEMGLAS® offers a 360-degree ‘wheel of assurance’ for butt-jointed fire resistant glazing with integrity and insulation protection of up to 120 minutes (EI120) – ensuring that customers have total confidence from the initial concept to the finished installation. It means that Promat UK’s safety experts will provide guidance on the right approach at the design and specification stage, and then manufacture the system in-house to ensure all cutting and processing is completed to the correct standard. Promat UK’s manufacturing operations are ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 14001: 2015 registered to offer an independent assurance that products are manufactured to a consistently high standard. 

Completing the wheel, Promat UK’s specialists inspect SYSTEMGLAS® on completion to ensure it has been installed in accordance with its recommendations and they provide a certificate of conformity for installation.

With this level of control, Promat UK can provide assurance that supply chain risks, such as product substitution, poor installation or the use of products which haven’t been tested as a complete system, are eliminated. The result is peace of mind for building owners and users that they are protected as intended should a fire incident occur.

Peace of mind with style and quality
Promat SYSTEMGLAS® provides integrity (E) and integrity and insulation (EI) fire resistant glazing solutions which are rated between 30 and 120 minutes and independently tested for compliance with all fire safety legislation and Building Regulations. These products are available with steel, timber or PROMATECT® H framing, which can be painted, over clad or fully concealed to meet aesthetic goals, all with the benefit of being butt-jointed for maximum light transmission.

Design, specification and installation advice on how to arrive at the best solution for the application and avoid future failures is available form Promat UK’s technical team.

Click here to download the SYSTEMGLAS® Specifiers Guide