Wood sashes and frames are permitted in noncombustible buildings provided each window is separated from adjacent windows by noncombustible construction and meets a limit on the aggregate area of openings in the outside face of a fire compartment.
Glass typically fails early during a fire, allowing flames to project from the opening and thereby creating serious potential for the vertical spread of fire. The requirement for noncombustible construction between windows is intended to limit fire spread along combustible frames closely set into the outside face of the building.
Wood millwork such as interior trim, doors and door frames, show windows and frames, aprons and backing, handrails, shelves, cabinets and counters are also permitted in noncombustible construction. Because these elements contribute minimally to the overall fire hazard it is not necessary to restrict their use.