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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Charlottesville, Va.

    Default Garage Fire Separation

    In general when did building practices start to include the requirement for fire separation materials between garages and living spaces? Are there any other commonly used materials in residential construction besides gypsum board to accomplish this?

    I assume drop/acoustical ceilings are not a flame spread that correct?

    Inspected a house with a HUGE garage that extended under half the living spaces...the ceiling was a mess.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Plano, Texas

    Default Re: Garage Fire Separation

    I can't give you a date for first requirement but the separation requirement has been around for quite a while.
    Current codes call for a minimum of 1/2" or 5/8" X gypsum depending on the application and I know of no other materials allowed. Maybe concrete would be allowed, but likely not blocks.
    The ceiling in your picture is certainly not up to snuff unless there is gypsum behind the lay in ceiling tile.

    Jim Luttrall
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI

    Default Re: Garage Fire Separation

    There ARE listed floor/ceiling tested design assemblies which meet or EXCEED the code proscribed minimum separation. There IS more than one way to "skin a cat". Obviously, and in the condition as pictured, this does not APPEAR to be one of them.

    As far as J.L.'s assertion that CMU or block wall construction cannot meet the minimum wall separation that is not true, in fact it often exceeds by half-hour to hour(S), and is oftentimes an upgrade, or required if the attached garage area is of a greater size than what is minimally addressed in the code (esp. if not protected - or pre-dates requirements to be so protected - with a fire suppression system). We cannot see the details of construction to know if this is the case.

    You can review details of same (approved/listed design specifications for fire rated/fire separation assemblies) at

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-30-2010 at 08:12 AM.


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