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How to prevent fires
Black Purse Royal Wallet Coin Color Blue 05 Card Storing Credit Women Long 2087 Holes and gaps in wall and ceiling cavities allow a fire to spread rapidly. They also allow airflow, which feeds a fire. Sealing these gaps slows, or may even stop, the spread of flames, smoke and gases.
The purpose of fire blocking is to prevent or at least slow the vertical movement of flames, smoke and gases by sealing off concealed spaces like stud cavities and soffits. Smoke and gases travel horizontally as well, so preventing horizontal air movement, such as within a dropped ceiling, has its own name: “draft stopping.” We’ll cover draft stopping in a different story.
Code requirements for adding fire blocking and draft stopping don’t apply to existing houses that are not under construction. But if you’re finishing a basement, putting on an addition, remodeling a room, or just running pipes or wires through a plate, you’ll need to include fire blocking. And of course all new houses have to be built to code.
What are approved fire blocking materials?
Drywall, certain sealants and expanding foams, framing lumber, fiber cement board, and densely packed fiberglass or mineral wool insulation are among the acceptable materials to use for fire blocking. But to be on the safe side, ask your local building official which will work best for your project.
We’ll show you the most common fire blocking applications on the following pages so you can know and apply the principles in your work.
The gap behind a 2×4 wall has to be sealed off from the joist bays above the wall.
If the wall behind a drop-in bathtub is finished, no blocking is required. If the wall isn’t finished, install 2-by material between the studs, flush with the top of the tub. Insulation batting in the wall extending at least 16 in. above the tub is also sufficient.