Bear Glass Specialty Tempered Glass has become a popular alternative for low level fire safety. It is clear, wireless and has a fairly moderate initial investment. High impact ratings make it suitable for some door applications. However, it does have some serious drawbacks that are important to note.
Unlike other fire-rated glazing products, specialty tempered glass doesn’t pass the hose stream test. In an actual fire, if sprinklers activate nearby and even a small amount of water hits the hot glass, it will likely fall out of its frame – quite possibly within just a few minutes. That’s why it has only been able to comply with standards for a 20 minute rating. Many times this type of material has been inappropriately substituted for wired glass or other higher performance fire-rated glass, when in fact it does not carry the same fire rating. If sprinklers are anywhere near the opening, this product should not be considered.