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.
The 2012 and 2015 IBC closed an important loophole that allowed uncontrolled radiant heat transmission through vision lites in doors in exit enclosures and exit passageways. Today, fire protective ceramics are limited to 100 sq. in. in the door vision panel regardless if the building is fully sprinklered. To exceed 100 sq. in., fire resistive glazing that meets ASTM E-119/UL 263 must be used.
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.