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Steel Building Fire Safety: Every Second Counts

Steel Building Fire Safety: Every Second Counts

Ticking Clock before a background of fire, with the caption "Every Second Counts in a Fire"

Every day, building fires destroy valuable property and even lead to casualties. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), every day in the U.S., there is an average of:

  • 1,353 structural fires
  • 43 people injured in building fires
  • 9 fatalities in structural fires
  • $26.8 million dollars in structural property losses caused by fires

That’s why at RHINO, we don’t take steel building fire safety lightly.

Why Steel Buildings are Safer Buildings

Once started, a building fire can spread with shocking speed, swiftly cutting off avenues of escape.

Statistically, the third most likely place for a house fire to start is in the framing of a building. Wood framing provides the perfect fuel for fire ignition. Wood burns easily, feeding and spreading the fire after it starts.

Steel, however, does not ignite. Fire-resistant steel does not contribute fuel to spread a fire. Consequently, steel building fires spread much slower, increasing the chances for escape.

All steel is both noncombustible and fire resistant, which makes steel building fire safety far superior to the minimal fire resistance in wood buildings. However, not all steel framing performs the same in a fire.


Infographic detailing how often fires impact Americans minute by minute

Light-Gauge Steel vs. Red-Iron Steel

No building material is completely fireproof. If a structural fire in a steel building generates sufficient heat, the strength of the steel can be compromised, resulting in failure of the building.

Light-gauge steel framing is especially susceptible to failure in the heat of a fire. In fact, firefighters are warned of the dangers of light gauge steel framing.

For proper steel building fire safety, rigid red-iron commercial grade steel is the better choice. Red-iron structures, like RHINO’s pre-engineered steel buildings, retain their strength in a fire far longer than light-gauge steel or wood structures. While every fire and every structure is different, heavy commercial grade steel generally does not structurally fail until the fire engulfs the majority of the structure. Heavy-duty structural steel does not lose its load-bearing capacity until about 2,000°F.

Stay Safe with Steel

The slower the spread of the fire and the longer the structure stands, the better the chance for escape.

RHINO’s rigid steel framing is the optimal choice for steel building fire safety. Our steel deters a building fire from spreading and holds its strength longer than wood or light-gauge steel framing.

The fire-resistant qualities of red-iron steel drastically reduce the likelihood of severe damage in a fire. That’s why most insurance carriers grant big discounts — 25% to 35% — on commercial-grade steel buildings like RHINO.

Call RHINO today at 940.383.9566 to learn more about steel building fire safety. Talk to our one of our experienced metal building specialists about fire-resistant steel buildings. Free quotes are available.