GM RAILING® prevents fire disaster

Constructive product features convince when it comes to fire protection

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The spread of fire on the exterior facade is a risk that should not be underestimated – this has been well known at the latest since the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London. It is not for nothing that fire protection in apartment blocks is firmly anchored in building law. The balcony is of central importance, which is why the characteristics of the balcony railing play a decisive role.

This is also the case in Berlin-Stralau: Some time ago there was an apartment fire on the 6th floor in the "Golden House". The balcony of the apartment was equipped with a GM RAILING® all-glass railing to protect against falling, which contributed significantly to the fire containment. The series from Glas Marte is the only glass railing that has proven itself so convincingly live in an emergency. The advantages are obvious: On the one hand, a fire is detected more quickly due to the transparency of the glass railing, while on the other it is closed, which makes it extremely difficult for air to flow on the balcony and for fire to spread to the balconies above it, which are also protected by glass railings.

The details matter: structural advantages of GM RAILING®

GM RAILING®, consisting of LSG with double TSG, is bonded with incombustible silicone to a solid aluminium profile on the entire lower clamped glass edge. Due to the uniform bonding, high temperature differences are avoided, which delays the breaking time. All loads, including those of the components claimed by the fire, are distributed over the entire lower edge of the glass. Stress peaks are thus avoided and the load-bearing capacity is significantly increased. However, it is also crucial that, in the event of a fire, the side that is turned away from the fire retains its function for a long time due to the silicone bonding. Even if the aluminium profile on the side of the fire is softened by the extreme temperatures, the bonding provides a residual load capacity. GM RAILING® was instrumental in preventing major damage.

Trial in an emergency

During the fire in Berlin, the balcony above was also equipped with a GM RAILING® glass railing and was also exposed to strong heat. When the fire brigade arrived a few minutes after the fire was reported, this glass railing was still completely in place. Although the aluminium construction had become soft, long-lasting stability was also exhibited here thanks to the bonded construction. On the burning balcony, the glass railing became so hot after 25 minutes that the glass melted and dripped down in smaller, contiguous pieces. If the glass had only been clamped in a U-channel, the aluminium would have yielded. Then there would have been a risk of the glass elements falling down as a whole component, i.e. weighing about 250 kilograms. However, GM RAILING® successfully prevented a fire flashover due to the component and the special bonding. "We are happy to have made a contribution to the safety of our beautiful city not only through good performance, but also through convincing products. It is precisely through the events in London that the true value of quality becomes obvious," says master glazer Daniel Kumm, whose company was responsible for the installation of the glass railing.


The enormous fire resistance of all-glass railings bonded to the entire surface was impressively demonstrated in the hardness test under real conditions. The actual limit loads are confirmed by appropriate tests in test laboratories. It is hard to imagine a test that could come anywhere near to topping the fire load in Berlin, which was due to arson. "It is important to us that we offer practical solutions with enormous protective properties without the architecture or the interest of the owner, such as the enjoyment of a good view or the desire for light and brightness, suffering as a result," says Glas Marte Managing Director Bernhard Feigl.