Window ‘may stop fire spreading’

A Pensher Skytech fire-resistant window is put together at its Cramlington base for testing.
A Pensher Skytech fire-resistant window is put together at its Cramlington base for testing.

A Cramlington-based company believes it may have found a solution to preventing fires spreading in high-rise buildings.

Pensher Skytech has designed and developed a fire-resistant window that automatically shuts when a fire alarm is triggered.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy last month, it is trying to raise awareness of the importance of fire-resistant windows.

Technical manager Derek Quinn said: “Autoexposure is the main cause of fires in buildings with multiple floors, which is the ability of heat and flame to spread from a lower window to the one above it.

“A fire usually begins in the content of a room and spreads from window to window.

“The heat of the fire causes the glass to shatter and window frames to melt, enabling the fire to work its way up the side of the building at increased speed.

“Cladding and insulation can only ignite if the fire manages to surge out of the window.

“Therefore, if we can stop the fire getting out of the window, then we may have a solution.”

Pensher Skytech recently had its automatic fire-resistant window tested in Germany. It has a sliding mechanism, which automatically closes when a signal is received from a fire detection system.

It offers full ventilation and has a push button operation to open and close the slider under normal conditions.

The window is thermally insulated and the glass can also include solar control coatings.