A public elementary school located in Ballston Spa, N.Y. had windows with fire-rated wire mesh glass that did not meet impact standards in accordance with New York State and/or national building codes. The glass was installed prior to 1977, when impact glass standards were adopted into the National Building Code, and was “grandfathered” for continued use.
Wired glass was used to create a fire stop at each landing of the three stairwells that provide access to each floor in the elementary school. The wired glass doors and sidelites are located in what is considered a “high impact area,” meaning that there is a chance that a child or other person could impact the glass in these areas and potentially suffer a serious injury. Additionally, the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities and Planning had issued specific recommendations to New York public school officials regarding solutions to make wired glass safer that had to be followed.
The local school district consulted with various experts regarding the best method of making their wired glass safer for the school’s occupants and in adherence with the National Building Code. Wired glass is only half as strong as regular plate glass so a sophisticated solution was needed to transform the glass into impact resistant. Michael Kelly of New England Security Film evaluated the school’s wired glass doors and sidelites as well as overall safety and security needs and recommended SafetyShield® 800, a clear, 8 mil thick safety film.
The installation of the SafetyShield 800 film raised the safety level of the wired glass to that of the safety/impact resistant glass required and is essentially invisible. Moreover, the film does not adversely affect the performance of the wired glass as an effective fire stop, as the fire ratings of the wired glass remain unchanged by the addition of security window film. The school district was very pleased with this easy and affordable solution for the elementary school that will help to keep students safe and secure.