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Providing protection from extreme fire conditions

15 March 2019

Crittall Fendor’s HydrocarbonFire window is designed to boost the safety of chemical process plants while improving working conditions for employees.

The window – from the company’s BlastLine range of blast-resistant doors, windows and facades – is designed to provide protection from the extreme fire conditions associated with ignited gas and petroleum-based products.

So-called hydrocarbon pool fires emit far higher temperatures, more quickly, than other cellulose product-derived fires where timber-based products are often the main fuel source. The approach on many chemical sites is to reduce hydrocarbon fuel fire risk by bricking up windows.

This is unpopular with employees and can lead to health and motivational issues by creating a less attractive working environment. It is also a potential safety issue by reducing the ability to check hazard areas visually.

These problems can be overcome by installing the Crittall-Fendor HydrocarbonFire window which has been tested* under BS476 part 20 time-temperature curve for hydrocarbon. The results indicate that the window’s insulation was maintained for 50 minutes so that the average temperature of the non-exposed side of the window remained less than 140°C above the ambient temperature while, on the face exposed to the fire, the glass was subjected to temperatures of up to 1100°C. The test window continued to prevent the spread of flame for more than 60 minutes. 

The HydrocarbonFire window now presents the chemical processing industry with an opportunity that can improve employee working conditions. Previously bricked up windows can be opened up again. Windows are no longer viewed as the weakest part of a building and, indeed, offer extra time for safe evacuation and shutdown.

The HydrocarbonFire window is manufactured using high grade fire rated steel glazed with Fendor FireLine Extreme Glass. It is available in a full RAL/BS powder colour range or with a bespoke finish, meets Building Regulations approved document L and can resist blast overpressure.


*test results achieved by Exova Warrington Fire.