Fireblocking to Firestopping
Some home owners don’t even know the fire danger their home can pose. Some officials have reported entire homes go up in flames within 20 minutes once the fire enters the walls of a balloon-frame structure. If a fire has a lot of headway, it is a no-win situation for the fire suppression personnel.
When there are holes and gaps in the walls and ceiling it provides airflow that feeds a fire. When these gaps and holes are sealed it slows the fire and could potentially stop it from spreading. Fire departments in the United States respond to more than 350,000 home structure fires each year. Following guidelines set forth for fireblocks can keep a fire from spreading to concealed places in your home.
This method of fireblocking works by dividing framing cavities into separate compartments, slowing the passage of flames and combustion air. Materials approved for fire blocking are just common building materials.
- 2-by (1-1/2 in. thick) lumber.
- Two layers of 1-by lumber.
- One layer of 3/4-in. plywood with 3/4-in. plywood covering any seams.
- One layer of 3/4-in. particleboard with 3/4-in. particleboard covering any seams.
- 1/2-in. drywall.
- 1/4-in. cement board.
- Batts or blankets of mineral wool or fiberglass insulation secured in place.
- Cellulose insulation installed as tested for the specific application.
- Approved spray foams and caulks.
Code requirements for adding fire blocking and draft stopping apply to new construction. When upgrades are made to an existing structure; fire blocking will need to be added when adding additions, finishing a basement, or running pipes and wires.
Home owners should have multiple exit routes and plans to get out from levels of floors. Safety ladders are a good advice for any home. It is also recommended that residents change the batteries in smoke detectors when they change the clocks every spring and fall.
If you have experienced smoke or fire damage reach out to your local SERVPRO franchise. When you have a smoke or fire damage emergency, your local SERVPRO franchise is already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of our community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.