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Fire-Rated Glass and Framing Blog from TGP

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What Radio Frequency Technology can Teach us About Fire and Life Safety

I recently read an article about how a group of researchers at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering are developing a new tool that uses radio frequency technology to monitor the real-time movements of people and equipment on construction sites.  If a worker or piece of equipment gets too close to an edge or predetermined hot spot, the tool triggers an alarm to alert the worksite.  

Over the course of a decade, it’s not hard to imagine how this system could save time and money, not to mention lives.  The tool increases worker awareness to improve decision-making.  This in turn helps prevents accidents and costly mistakes.

Although no such tool exists in the fire-rated glazing industry, it’s good to be reminded of the benefits of increased awareness in our field.  Code councils and testing laboratories lay down the parameters of fire-rated construction, but at the end of the day, there is room for quite a bit of variation in code-compliant designs.  Since it’s up to you to judge which materials best meet the performance criteria, actively staying up-to-date and educated about the latest fire-rated codes and products is central to providing a higher level of fire and life safety protection. 

What can you do to stay on top of the best fire and life safety design practices?  Here are some ideas. 

·         Purchase the most recent IBCYou don’t have to use an outdated version of the code just because your state or local jurisdiction does. 

·         Follow the latest code developments related to fire-rated glazing and safety. USGlass and Glass magazine both cover industry developments online. 

·         When was the last time you read, or even skimmed, chapters five, six and seven of the IBC? Set aside some time and read up on alarms, sprinklers, ingress and egress. 

·         Visit Underwriter Laboratories’ Online Certifications Directory and Ultimate Fire Wizard Database. 

·         Look through the latest research on the National Fire Protection Association website. 

·         Ask architects, glaziers, specifiers, suppliers and code consultants questions.  You can learn a lot from your peers.   

Have another suggestion? Add it in the comments section below.