Category: Fire Windows

The importance of fire rated windows in residential buildings

As part of the external walls of commercial buildings, fire rated glass windows play an essential role in passive fire protection.


External walls prevent the spread of fire from building to building and are legally required to resist flames. 


Installing fire rated windows where required, providing essential compartmentation. A window in an external wall that does not have resisting properties would be considered unprotected.

What are fire rated windows?

A tested fire rated window offers a certified level of protection from fire when installed correctly.

A traditional glass window will shatter would fail in less than two minutes when exposed to the heat of a fire. In an emergency, this poses another danger. A fire rated window is designed to withstand high fire temperatures and compartmentalise smoke and flame threats.

Additionally,  fire rated windows will control the transfer of heat protecting the means of escape and giving the occupants time to evacuate. Areas such as exit corridors, hallways, staircases, and elevator shafts require increased protection levels. The use of fire rated exterior windows can also help contain a fire protecting both the building and its occupants.

Natural light with passive fire protection

Fire rated windows can be used internally to create elegant, open spaces and externally to allow natural light transfer and improve the overall aesthetic of a structure.

Not only are fire rated glass windows a vital fire safety measurement, but they also allow light and air to pass through them and can add to the overall wellbeing of the occupants.

In addition to improving the overall quality of residential buildings, fire rated glass windows provide passive fire protection with is build-in.

As the name suggests, passive fire protection is a fire safety feature that is dormant under normal conditions but provides performance in the events of a fire.

Fire rated glazing is being increasingly incorporated into building designs in line with greater levels of fire engineering.

Exterior fire rated window

Can aluminum windows be fire rated?

Aluminium’s thermal conductivity is around four times greater than steel's, and its specific heat is twice that of steel. As a result, aluminium conducts heat away faster, and more heat is needed to reach a given temperature than steel. An aluminium structure exposed to fire heat will quickly conduct the heat away from the exposed area due to its relatively high thermal conductivity. This helps to reduce hot spots where significant localised property loss could occur, extending the serviceability period.

Our Aluprof MB-78EI and MB-118EI, MB-86EI and Reynaers CS77 FP  systems are used to fabricate fixed fire rated aluminium windows with fire ratings of EI30, EI60, EI90 and EI120. All systems have good thermal, weather resistance and air leakage performance and sound reduction can be approved with specific glass inserts.

We also have systems for fire rated curtain walling and fire rated doors.

For more information on the product performance regulations follow the links below:

Fire safety: Approved Document B

Resistance to sound: Approved Document E

Ventilation: Approved Document F

Overheating: Approved Document O

Do all windows need to be fire rated?

Meeting the minimum standards of fire safety set out in building regulations is crucial to achieving designs that provide adequate protection for life and property in the event of a fire.

An external window is a "controlled fitting" under the Building Regulations. As a result of the classification, these Regulations set out specific standards to be met when such a window is fitted or replaced.

There are two aspects to be considered:

  • Fire spread between properties through "unprotected areas."
  • Means of escape in case of fire

Unprotected areas

Exterior windows may be required to have resistance to and be self-closing or be fixed closed to limit the risk of fire spreading between adjacent properties.

The area of walls, doors, and windows the resistance to fire is reduced, or undetermined will depend on the proximity of these elements to the boundary.

Means of escape

Means of escape must be considered for a new window installed on an extension or building

Egress from a habitable room is also a key consideration.  Whilst the majority of fire rated windows are fixed options exist to provide openable windows with self closing devices to assist the emergency services and occupancy evacuating the building.

If you need advice in this regard, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Typical applications

Our fire rated windows feature thermally broken aluminium profiles and are handmade in our Surrey factory.

They are extensively used internally or externally for new build and refurbishment projects.

Various glass inserts (or aluminium panels) are available, and our products can be configured to provide excellent energy conservation, acoustic performance, and impact resistance.

For our full range of fire rated aluminium windows, click here

Impact of the Fire Safety Act 2021

In April, the Fire Safety Act 2021 (FSA) was introduced, seeking to amend the regulatory Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO) by improving identification, assessment, and enforcement in high-rise residential buildings. The newly reformed act further clarifies responsible persons' duties to reduce fire risk within their multi-storey structures and the potential penalties should those responsibilities be neglected.

The external parts of the building, such as the walls, windows, balconies, and cladding, are now subject to the Fire Safety Act 2021 and must be risk assessed by the responsible person, who must also manage and, where reasonably practicable, reduce the risk of fire.

Although the 2021 Act is mercifully brief, those to that it applies must be aware that different sections will come into force at other times. Therefore, it is sensible for building owners to review and update their fire risk assessments to incorporate the required changes simultaneously.

Building on fire

The Building Safety Act 22 will also give powers to the secretary of state to through the building safety and building product regulator to enforce duty holders to meet their obligations in respect of improve fire safety.

Third-party certification and installation competence

As the products we offer are critical to the safety of life and property, we go to great lengths to ensure that we continually invest to ensure that the design, manufacture, and installation of our products carry industry leading levels of certification.

We are proud to be the only UK manufacturer to hold our third party certification for windows, doors and curtain walling for Aluprof and Reynaers fire rated products.

To find out more about our accreditation, click here

If you have a responsibility for a new or existing building and would like to understand more how we can you assist, please contact or advisory team today. Call us on +44 (0) 1342 836630 or email to discuss your fire rated requirements.












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