What I'm Seeing Now

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Breaches In The Garage Firewall

Now and then I see breaches in the garage firewall.

These are not permitted.  Holes, gaps, punctured drywall - any opening - is considered a fire potential and a danger!

This townhouse garage is beneath the living room.

This is only a small part of the section entitled "Separation Required," and is from the International Residency Code, 309.2:

Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board or equivalent.

 

Why? 

Cars don't explode or catch on fire that often, but it is possible that they can. 

But even more, garages are often used for storage of flammable liquids, paints, and propane tanks.  And there are other flammable things there - paper products, or even water heaters with pilot lights.

When fire happens it expands rapidly and will exit any place allowed.  Holes like those above can become chimneys that will direct the speeding fire to where ever it can get the quickest. 

And it WILL go there quickly!

The cable company made these holes to run a new connection.  CABLE COMPANIES KNOW THEY SHOULD NOT BREACH A FIRE WALL! 

This will have to be repaired correctly and with the proper material.  Type X drywall is not typical drywall, and must be used by fire code.

My recommendation:  look around in the garage.  Is there anywhere fire can expand through and escape?  If so, go about finding a way to have those locations sealed properly.  Every opening is a danger!  Your life and the lives of others may one day depend on it!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • May 11 2016 02:52AM
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