Bill O'Keeffe

SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions

About the Author: Bill O’Keeffe is the President and CEO of SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions, a leading USA-manufacturer of advanced fire rated glass and framing systems.  An industry veteran and innovator with over 45 years of experience in architectural glazing, he was first to introduce and manufacture clear, fire resistive glazing products in the US.  He is also a safety advocate who exposed the dangers of traditional wired glass, which lead to code changes and fire rated glass products that are safe, affordable and clear alternatives to traditional wired glass.  Today, Bill continues to develop building products that enable architects to create beautiful, safe and energy-efficient spaces with advanced glazing systems.

Fire protective glazing used in a door vision panel in 60-90 minute exit stairway

The 2012 and 2015 IBC limits the size of ceramics and fire protective glazing used in the door vision panel in 60-90 minute exit stairway or passageways to 100 sq. in. regardless if the building is fully sprinklered. The only way to exceed the 100 sq. in. vision panel limitation is by using fire resistive glazing that meets ASTM E-119. 

Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | July 19, 2017
As shocking as the Grenfell Tower fire was, it is not an isolated incident.
Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | June 13, 2017
The ASTM E-119 test is the most stringent and most difficult test to pass for all fire...

GPX Hurricane with FL Product Approval was used in the new VA Medical Center in Orlando, FL.  Architect: RLF Architects.  Glazier: Harmon Inc. Photo Credit:  SAFTI FIRST

Glass and Glazing | Clear on Technical Glass | March 22, 2017
It may look like a regular window, but these advanced fire resistive glazing systems are...
Glass and Glazing | Clear on Technical Glass | January 03, 2017
Our mission is to produce appealing architectural products that protect people while...
Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | November 10, 2016
SuperLite II-XLM is a fire resistive multi-laminate glass product that meets ASTM E-119/...

Photo: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

Glass and Glazing | Clear on Technical Glass | October 14, 2016
With 9 exhibition halls showcasing over 1,235 exhibitors from 52 countries and with over...
Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | August 25, 2016
Choosing the correct and code approved fire rated glazing product can be confusing, this...
On New York City’s bulletin on lot line requirements – and how it applies everywhere else

1 hour curtain wall adjacent to a parking area in a private office in Valley Stream, NY. Products used: SuperLite II-XL 60 with PPG Starphire Low-Iron insulated with Low-E in GPX Curtain Wall Framing; Architect: RPF; Glazier: AMG Contracting

Clear on Technical Glass | May 06, 2016
Determining when fire rated requirements apply, the type of fire rated glazing allowed,...
Glass and Glazing | Clear on Technical Glass | March 31, 2016
Code limitations do not match manufacturer’s tested listings

Increased demand for fire resistive glazing in combination with ballistic or physical attack protection led to the development of USA-made SuperSecure II-XLS by SAFTI FIRST, now used in prisons and other secure facilities nationwide.

Clear on Technical Glass | February 08, 2016
After a strong 2015, demand for fire resistive glass continues to grow
Glass industry gives back during the holidays

10-year old Eliyana, a patient at the Burn Center, playing with one of the Starlight® Fun Center® mobile entertainment units donated by SAFTI FIRST to provide entertainment to children receiving treatment at the Community Medical Center in Fresno, CA

Glass and Glazing | Clear on Technical Glass | December 11, 2015
The holiday season is generally a time when individuals and companies ramp up their...
Fire rated doors: standards, testing and glazing requirements

Today’s fire rated doors frequently incorporate glazing to enable vision and transparency that maximize natural or shared lighting.

Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | November 24, 2015
There are several safe and economical alternatives to traditional wired glass for 20-45...
SaftiFirst, Merced, Manufacturing Plant, Manufacturing

The new equipment is housed near the existing manufacturing facility in a new 100,000 square foot plant in Merced, bringing the total manufacturing and research and development space to 300,000 square feet.

Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | October 22, 2015
We’ve found that sourcing products as local as possible maximizes the potential benefits...
Glass and Glazing | Clear on Technical Glass | August 17, 2015
Tempered glass is an excellent choice for large expanses of glass that maximize clear...
Fire-resistive tempered products such as SuperLite II-XL 45, shown in this 1-hour corridor, is more affordable than filmed and laminated ceramics used in the same application.  SuperLite II-XL 45 is proudly USA-made, has no amber tints, meets CPSC Cat. II safety and the hose stream test, provides radiant heat protection and has a high STC rating.

Fire-resistive tempered products such as SuperLite II-XL 45, shown in this 1-hour corridor, is more affordable than filmed and laminated ceramics used in the same application. SuperLite II-XL 45 is proudly USA-made, has no amber tints, meets CPSC Cat. II safety and the hose stream test, provides radiant heat protection and has a high STC rating. 

Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | June 02, 2015
Where product selection has the most impact on cost is also the area where the majority...
Project: Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA; Architect: Schrader Group Architecture

Project: Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA; Architect: Schrader Group Architecture

Building Materials | Clear on Technical Glass | April 24, 2015
There is no bigger annual gathering of architects and design professionals in North...
Radiant Heat: The Invisible Killer

Since the 45 minute openings in this 1-hour exit corridor extend to all the way to the floor, the architects specified SuperLite II-XL 45, a fire resistive tempered product with hose stream that meets ASTM E-119.  SuperLite II-XL 45 effectively blocks smoke, flames and dangerous radiant heat to enable safe egress through the corridor. Photo courtesy of SaftiFirst.

Building Team | Clear on Technical Glass | April 01, 2015
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s fire, there’s the deadly threat of...
State of the fire rated glazing industry

The value that today’s technologically advanced fire rated glazing is derived from the radiant heat protection it provides while adding aesthetic appeal and increased visibility within the surrounding building environment. Photo: SAFTI FIRST

Fire-Rated Products | Clear on Technical Glass | February 12, 2015
Many years have passed since my days as the “Wired Warrior,” writes SAFTI FIRST's Bill O'...

The designers were able to exceed 100 square inches in the door vision area in these 90-minute doors by using SuperLite II-XL 90, a fire resistive glass product that meets ASTM E-119/UL 263. The designers also specified SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Framing for the sidelites and transoms in this 2-hour stairwell application. The entire assembly meets ASTM E-119/UL 263. Project: CUNY School of Law in Long Island City, NY. Architect: KPF. Glazier: RG Creations. Photo: SAFTI FIRST

Clear on Technical Glass | January 16, 2015
Much attention has been given to active fire protection systems, such as fire sprinklers...
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