Strong fire safety precautions are important in Singapore’s dynamic urban landscape, dominated by tall skyscrapers and busy city life. Fire rated glass installations play a crucial role in improving the safety of buildings and protecting occupants during unforeseen fire emergencies. The technicalities of its installation can be complicated, and that is what we are going to explore in this comprehensive guide.

fire rated glass in singapore

Fire code compliance in Singapore

Fire-rated glass installations in Singapore are subject to the Fire Code’s regulations in order to maintain strict fire safety standards. The Fire Code, which offers thorough guidelines for fire safety in buildings, is enforced by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). This includes guidelines for using fire-rated glass, highlighting how important it is to stop fires from spreading, restrict heat transfer, and protect people and property.

Understanding fire resistance ratings

Following certain fire resistance ratings is one of the most important factors in fire-rated glass installations. The duration for which the glass can retain its integrity and prevent heat transfer during fire exposure is determined by these ratings, which are represented as E (integrity) and I (insulation) followed by the time in minutes (e.g., E30/I30, E60/I60). These ratings vary according to the building’s occupancy type, location within the structure, and fire compartmentation requirements, among other factors.

Testing and certification

Ensuring the reliability of glass products with a fire rating is important. As a result, these products go through extensive testing before being certified by reputable organisations. Testing assesses a number of factors, such as the glass’s resistance to heat transfer limitation, smoke-prevention capabilities, and resistance to flame passage. Adherence to established guidelines ensures that the glass with a fire rating satisfies the highest standards of safety.

Engaging with approved suppliers and installers

Working with approved suppliers and installers can help you navigate the complicated fire rated glass installation process. These experts have the experience and knowledge required to offer services and products that comply with fire safety ratings for glass. Their knowledge of Singapore’s specific requirements and regulations ensures the selection, installation, and maintenance of fire-rated glass systems that meet the highest safety standards.

Building approval process

Getting permission from the appropriate authorities during the building plan approval process could be a step in the process of putting fire rated glass installations into place. It is usually the responsibility of building owners, architects or contractors to submit the necessary paperwork and plans to prove that the building complies with fire safety regulations. This emphasises the collaboration required to improve overall fire safety in buildings and includes the use of suitable fire rated glass systems.

Types of fire rated glass in Singapore

There are different types of fire rated glass available in Singapore, each with unique characteristics and uses. In Singapore, the following kinds of fire rated glass are frequently used:

Wired glass

Fire rated glass that has wire mesh embedded in it is known as wired glass. In the event that the glass breaks, the wire mesh helps keep it together and stops smoke and flames from getting through. In places where impact resistance is necessary like fire rated doors and windows, wired glass is frequently used.

Clear fire rated glass 

Clear fire-rated glass is a transparent glass that provides fire resistance while allowing visibility. It is commonly used in areas where both fire protection and visibility are important, such as stairwells, corridors, and partition walls.

Ceramic glass

A transparent ceramic layer is applied to the glass surface to create ceramic glass is also referred to as ceramic fire rated glass. High fire resistance, impact resistance and thermal insulation are provided by this kind of specialised glass. It is frequently used in applications like fire rated windows, doors and curtain walls where increased fire protection is necessary. 

Fire rated insulated glass

Multiple glass layers divided by an insulating gas or air space make up fire rated insulated glass. In addition to being fire resistant, this also has thermal insulation qualities. It is usually applied in external building facades, where energy efficiency and fire safety are crucial.

Fire rated laminated glass

Fire-rated laminated glass is made by sandwiching a layer of fire-resistant interlayer between two or more glass layers. This interlayer helps to hold the glass together in case of breakage and provides fire resistance. Fire rated laminated glass is commonly used in areas where impact resistance and fire protection are required, such as fire-rated doors, partitions and windows.

fire rated glass in singapore

Fire resistance ratings across occupancy types

The specific fire resistance ratings for fire-rated glass installations vary across different occupancy types in Singapore in accordance with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

1. Residential Buildings

  • Common Areas: E30/I30 or higher for corridors, stairwells, and lobbies.
  • Apartment Unit Entrance Doors: E30/I30 or higher to prevent fire spread within individual units.

2. Commercial Buildings

  • Office Areas: E30/I30 or higher, based on the size and layout of the space.
  • Escape Routes: E60/I60 or higher for stairwells, corridors, and exits.
  • Retail Areas: E30/I30 or higher, depending on specific building and occupancy requirements.

3. Industrial Buildings

  • Hazardous Material Storage Areas: E60/I60 or higher for enhanced protection.
  • Manufacturing or Processing Areas: E30/I30 or higher, based on facility-specific fire safety requirements.

4. Institutional Buildings

  • Educational Institutions: E30/I30 or higher, depending on the specific building and occupancy requirements.
  • Healthcare Facilities: E60/I60 or higher to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors.

5. Transportation Hubs

  • Airports, Train Stations, Bus Terminals: E30/I30 or higher for common areas, escape routes, and critical locations.

Creating a safer and more resilient build environment in Singapore

Fire rated glass installations in Singapore play a crucial role in enhancing fire safety in diverse structures. Compliance with the Fire Code, meticulous selection of fire rated glass types, understanding fire resistance ratings, engaging with approved suppliers and installers, and obtaining building approvals are essential steps in ensuring the efficacy of these installations. The diverse range of fire rated glass types and specific fire resistance ratings for different occupancy types underline the need for a tailored approach to enhancing safety across various applications. By staying informed and collaborating with industry professionals, stakeholders can contribute to creating a safer and more resilient built environment in Singapore.