The FRGG has brought together the group’s expertise in a new standard covering the specification, supply and installation of fire-resistant barriers containing glass for protection against fire and the effects of combustion. The standard is ideal for the training of installers and glaziers in the specialities of fire-resistant glazing, to develop and maintain professional levels of competency within the glazing and construction industries.This GGF standard for fire-resistant glass and glazing is the first of its kind. Not only does it set core criteria for installers. Others will also find the standard of value in providing guidance. That includes, for example, those who engage installation contractors or who are responsible for fire safety in buildings (not only owners and facilities managers but also risk assessors, fire safety managers and competent persons under the Fire Safety Order). The standard is also a useful reference for those who are charged with overseeing the application and enforcement of regulations and fire safety legislation. Fire-resistant glazing is used to limit the risks of dangerous fire spread and to give occupiers vital time to get out of the building before conditions become untenable. Glass is a key element in today’s buildings. Much of modern architecture can be said to be transparent, due to such an extensive use of glass. That means an important role for fire-resistant glass and glazing – and a fundamentally important place for the new GGF standard in the overall provision of fire safety in the UK’s building stock.An associated GGF training module is also available founded on the criteria set down in the standard, leading to the development of a GGF accredited register of trained installers.Some training has already been carried out and the GGF intends to develop the training programme across the UK through the Federation’s Regional network.Giles Willson, Deputy Group Chief Executive and Director of Technical Affairs commented, “In the last few years, the Fire Resistant Glazing Group has taken significant strides in terms of training and in trying to educate the industry on the importance of the correct installation of Fire Resistant Glazing. This new Standard is a welcome addition to the GGF Technical library and will be used by the GGF as part of our training programme which will initially be free for all GGF Members. We will shortly be publishing dates and venues for training days across the UK and I urge all Member companies who install Fire Resistant Glazing to send their installers to attend.”
The importance of Training and this new Standard
One of the distinctive hallmarks of the GGF is a sharp focus on the correct specification, use and installation of glazed systems in the wide role played by glass in modern buildings. That applies critically to fire-resistant glass and glazing which is called upon to work effectively and reliably in the most challenging of circumstances should fire break out, whilst functioning in other respects as standard glass products.
Members of the Fire Resistant Glazing Group (FRGG) are well aware from their involvement with the fire safety community of the importance of fitness for purpose of fire-resistant installations in containing fire and providing fire separation. They also know from the supply of glass and glazing systems to construction that the understanding of fire-resistant glazing is not as high as it should be. Correct specification and installation of fire-resistant glazing systems are fundamentally important, but too open to short cuts that can be taken along the design, specification and build chain leading to higher risks from less than adequate provisions against fire. The FRGG sees that it has an obligation as the knowledgeable industry body to do what it can to raise levels of awareness together with standards of application.
Fire safety cannot be left to chance. Nor can provisions for protection against fire be treated on a “maybe or perhaps” basis. Installations of fire-resistant glazing must simply be fit for their intended use. No option. Fire is unpredictable and can so easily become intense due to the widespread use of synthetic combustible materials in fixtures and fittings, spreading so quickly that there can be so little time to think about what to do. Modern fire safety design calls for effective barriers to hold back flames and the products of combustion, so that any fire is kept in its place of origin and prevented from spreading to threaten both people and property.
Through its specialist members the GGF’s FRGG has unparalleled access to a depth of pooled practical knowhow, product and testing knowledge, and research and development (R&D) experience on the particular requirements that apply to fire-resistant glass and glazing systems. No other association has access to so many leading practitioners in such a specialised glass and glazing technology. Members include the leading companies in the sector, also dedicated individuals who have committed a considerable part of their working life to improving and developing fire-resistant glazed systems and associated products to the high levels of performance that are now possible.
The new Standard is available for free download on the GGF website http://www.ggf.org.uk/publication/fire_resistant_glazing_standard
To find out more about the GGF Fire Resistant Glazing Group please contact Russell Day, GGF Technical Officer by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on the Fire Resistant Glazing Group can also be viewed on the GGF Website in the group’s pages http://www.ggf.org.uk/group/fire-resistant-glazing-group