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USGNN Original StoryEfforts to Remove Hose Stream Requirements Fail During Yesterday's Hearings

Numerous proposed changes to the International Fire Code (IFC) relating to whether glazing products used in fire-rated applications should be required to pass the hose stream test were heard and ultimately disapproved by the code committee during Tuesday's hearings. Presented on behalf of SAFTI FIRST, those disapproved included FS122, 123, 124, 126, 127, 128, 129.

FS122 proposed that in lieu of meeting hose stream requirements, glazing material used in door assembly parts, such as transoms and sidelites, be tested in accordance with a heat flux that would not exceed 12 Kw/m2 for 20 minutes.

Thomas Zaremba on behalf of Pilkington spoke in opposition. He said there were no substantial reasons to add a heat flux requirement, and that UL does not test to a heat flux because no jurisdiction requires it.

Also disapproved, FS123 proposed that 20-minute door assembly glazing material, other than that used in the door itself (i.e. transom lites and sidelites), be tested in accordance with NFPA 252 or UL10, and be exempt from the hose stream test. The code change committee voted to disapprove the proposal, saying there was no technical justification to do so.

Relating to the marking of safety glazing in hazardous locations, FS124 proposed that certain sections of the code be changed to include "fire-protection and fire-resistance-rated glazing complying with the safety glazing requirements of Chapter 24 shall bear a label or other identification issued by an approved agency showing the information required in Section 2406.2, and shall bear the marking 'S.'"

Bill Koffel on behalf of the Glazing Industry Code Committee spoke in opposition stating that the code already says glazing has to comply with chapter 24 and that labeling is also already required. Zaremba agreed and said the federal standard (CPSC 16 CFR) mandates that manufacturers test and label their glass. He said there was no justification as to why the code should change. The committee agreed saying there was nothing wrong with the current code.

FS 126, 127, 128 and 129, which sought to exempt various glazing materials from the hose stream test were also disapproved, as the code committee saw no reason to remove the requirement.

In addition, SAFTI FIRST proposed FS 130, 131, 133 and 134 to "clarify the code." The four proposals were disapproved by the committee. Both FS130 and FS131, for example, proposed changes to "clarify the reference to traditional wired glass as fire protection-rated glazing," explaining "traditional wired glass should be designated as fire protection-rated glazing to be consistent with how other types of glazing products are described."

In regards to table 715.5, FS133 and 134 proposed changes to clarify the code saying, "a fire window assembly with fire protection-rated glazing is rated hour. Glazing material rated 1 hour or more needs to be fire resistance-rated glazing to provide the required temperature rise protection."

The day, however, wasn't a complete loss for SAFTI FIRST, as some of its proposals, FS120, 135 and 136, were approved.

According to code documents, FS120 will make the code text consistent with NFPA 80 (2006) provisions and, which specify the limitations on doorframes with transom and sidelites. This code revision brings the NFPA 80 clarification of the limitations on sidelite and transom doorframes into the IBC, where code enforcers and other code users can identify the limits, rather than having to refer to NFPA 80.

Also approved, FS135 is a clarification and addition to the code that address the rating requirements for interior windows. The proposal to 715.5.7.2 addresses 20-minute windows tested to NFPA 257 that are specified in table 715.5 for -hour fire partitions. According to the proposal, "since a -hour fire resistance-rated fire partition assembly is tested to ASTM E119 without the hose stream test, and fire doors tested for 20-minutes as required in Table 715.4 are not subject to the hose stream test, for consistency in the code, the fire window component of a -hour fire partition should be likewise exempt from the hose stream test under NFPA 257."

FS136 also relates to interior fire window assemblies. To clarify the rating requirements of interior windows, the code change proposal states "where -hour fire protection window assemblies are permitted, fire-protection-rated glazing requiring 45-minute opening protection in accordance with Table 715.5 shall be limited to fire partitions designed in accordance with Section 708 and fire barriers utilized in the applications set forth in Sections 706.3.6 and 706.3.8 where the fire resistance rating does not exceed one hour."

Code change hearings continue through Friday this week.

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