Fire-rated steel-look windows and doors are often needed internally and sometimes externally. Usually, there are requirements under Building Regulations for fire safety, and you should always seek professional advice.
With steel-look glazing being sought-after inside and outside the home, we explain more about fire-resistant products in this popular style.
Understanding fire-rated steel-look windows and doors
It’s important to know that aluminium has no fire rating. Some also assume that simply glazing a product with fire-resistant glass is enough. This is both dangerous and not fit for purpose where a fire protection requirement exists.
Other pages In this sectionSteel look windows and doors
- Who makes the best steel look doors and windows
- Advice on buying steel-look windows
- What you need to know about Aluminium steel look doors
- Steel Look Internal Doors and Screens
- Buying Steel-look bifolding doors
- Buying Steel-look sliding doors
- Information about steel windows
- Fire-rated steel-look windows and doors
Even more important is the make-up, manufacture, materials and installation needed for a screen or doorway. Every component and fitting come together, providing the correct fire protection and a product that must do its job should a fire break out.
There are also several reasons why fire-rated steel-look windows and doors are specified. Reasons include providing escape routes from the home or preventing the spread of fire into neighbouring rooms and inside the home generally. It’s also important on three-storey properties. These are just some of the crucial reasons for Building Regulations and why they’re relevant in construction and renovation work.
Therefore, if there’s a requirement for fire protection in the home with glazing, seek the services of a professional supplier and installer. The products available are certified and have the correct components, seals and glass. These products must be either steel or steel-clad aluminium. There are also fire-rated aluminium doors, windows and screens using specific fire insulation components inserted or mounted in the internal chambers of the aluminium profiles. As well as this, intumescent seals, strips and tapes are used for smoke and fire protection.
In every case, they’re certified and compliant with suitable regulations and British standards, such as BS476 Part 22 or European Standards (EN 1634:1 –2000).
Design and construction of fire-rated steel-look windows and doors
When speaking to a good installer about buying steel-look windows, you rely on them for the right products and advice. With fire-rated products, it’s a little different.
The fire-rating requirement, its resistance to heat or preventing the fire’s progress, is down to Building Regulations. Building Control stipulates the requirement. Once you have this, a specialist fire-rated steel-look doors and windows supplier provides the solution. They are not there to determine the level of protection you need. Instead, these specialist installers and products provide a suitable fire-rated product once you know what’s required.
The difference between fire-rated and non-fire-rated
Crucially, don’t let basic products with fire-rated glass mislead you. These are standard door sets, aluminium or steel, merely fitted with fire-rated glass. They don’t come with certification, either.
A correctly designed fire-rated product is superbly engineered and comes with a lot of work behind it designed for protection and safety.
Aside from glass, profiles are strengthened and sometimes come with internal reinforcement profiles. As well as this, much of the product comes welded, not mechanically joined, like aluminium.
Then there is the work done on the hardware. In addition to specialist fire-resistant seals, tapes, brushes and handles, the locks may come with extra reinforcement and steel plates. Even the glazing beads holding the glass in place use fire-resistant studs or other fixings. Aluminium beads just clip on! Expanding seals and tapes do so when heated, further assisting in protecting the overall screen.
Even the fixings, sealants and accessories used differ from regular doors, usually carried out by expert installers.
You’ll also find stamps and identification throughout the product, especially on the glass panes. In many cases, this is also a Building Regulations requirement.
The difference between fire integrity and fire insulation
European and British Standards classify fire ratings. They usually fall under Fire Integrity and Fire Insulation.
Fire Integrity provides a physical barrier restricting the progress of a fire. This also includes smoke and gasses. Overall, fire integrity is there, preventing the building from even greater damage.
The requirement for Fire Insulation is there to limit heat transfer from one side of the glazed screen, door or partition to the other. The rationale is also the prevention of fire on the other side of the screen.
These ratings help people escape from a fire and protect the building. In commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, apartment blocks, corridors, or common areas will have fire-rated products. In many cases, doors often have smoke or fire control devices as well as door-closing devices.
The product you find comes classified with a rating for integrity and insulation, one or both. Numbers then denote how many minutes of protection the product comes certified with.
30/0 or E30 = 30 minutes of fire integrity only.
30/30 or EI30 = 30 mixtures of fire integrity and insulation
60/0 or E60 = 60 minutes of fire integrity only.
60/60 or EI60 = 60 mixtures of fire integrity and insulation
The glass used in fire-rated steel-look windows and doors
Pyroguard, Pyrobel, Pyrobelite, Pyrodur and Pyrostop are just some of the fire-resistant glass you’ll find in certified products. Some come mainly as single glass in various thicknesses up to sealed units.
The level of protection also varies by glass type, as does its suitability for the product. So it’s not unusual to find glass designed for steel, steel-based or timber products providing fire protection. A professional installer will advise on the right type for your project and to meet Building Control requirements.
Some Suggested Suppliers of fire-rated steel-look windows and doors
There are many suppliers of steel-look fire-rated doors and glazing, but we’ve compiled a list of some of the better-known.
It’s also a suggestion that you get in touch with the Steel Windows Association, providing excellent advice on buying steel glazing systems generally.
A well-known provider of steel systems, Clement Windows also provides fire-rated doors and screens. They’ve tested their products, and most feature slimline profiles and a modern or traditional look.
The best and most luxurious, Crittall® provides Innervision FR bespoke steel glazing systems providing 30 minutes of integrity. These steel systems don’t need the word ‘look’. They are the original and the best in this desirable style. Genuine steel with the most authentic details and flawless construction, not to mention the slimmest sightlines. As well as doors, there are fixed screens and made-to-order products. Crittall® products are available through an approved specialist network.
Deco Steel Glazing Systems
Based in Hertfordshire, Deco Steel Glazing Systems offer internal, external and fire-rated steel-look windows and doors using the Schüco steel system and other suitable brands.
Design Plus London
Offering a supply and installation service, Design Plus London provides fire-rated windows, doors and screens, and the company has an excellent overall range of steel products. Also available from Design Plus London is the Aluco collection of steel-look exterior and interior doors.
With a high-end product range and a stunning showroom, IQ Glass provides Mondrian Steel Fire-Rated Doors.
These are available as framed or slimline framed products of excellent quality, achieving good fire integrity and insulation levels. And even better is the option of a thermally insulated product helping to lower energy bills. As well as interior doors, IQ Glass provides a range of exterior fire doors for public buildings, apartment blocks and commercial developments. You’ll also find frameless fire-rated doors.
The Janisol range of fire-rated steel-look windows and doors from Schuco brings together two great brands and provides a range of steel-look systems. You’ll find windows, doors, facades and products suitable for interior or exterior use.
How much do fire-rated steel-look windows and doors cost?
You can expect to pay substantially more for steel fire-rated internal products than aluminium. Our advice is to get in touch for details of local companies that can provide you with a quotation.
As a general guide, prices supplied and fitted start from around £5500 for a standard-size single door and upwards of £7500 for a set of double doors. Doors with sidelights start at around £9000 but can increase to around £13000. Aluminium costs less, but you’re not comparing a like-for-like product.
More information about fire-rated steel-look windows and doors
Fire-rated steel-look windows and doors are, therefore, best done in steel. Steel provides the best solution where you require fire protection inside the home or in a commercial building. Choose well, seek advice, and you’ll get the protection required with the iconic look of steel, art-deco and heritage designs.
Therefore, the general advice for fire-rated steel-look windows and doors is that you’ll need steel and a fully certified product. Beware of aluminium products marketed as such unless you can verify their credentials. Do not accept an aluminium door with fire-rated glass.
Above all, always seek professional advice, use a suitable product and installer and work within the requirements of Building Control.
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