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  1. #1
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    Feb 2008
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    Sioux City, Iowa
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    Default Pull down attic access ladders in a garage.

    Can anyone tell me what year the codes began to require a fire separation between an attached garage the living spaces and the attic?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Pull down attic access ladders in a garage.

    Probably shortly after they started converting attached carports into enclosed of semi-enclosed garages and then decided to build attache garages from scratch - the open carports where already separated from the living space by the exterior wall, the contractor building the new attached garage may have said 'hey, I can save money by not finishing off that wall all the way up' ... there the fire marshall gets wind of it and says 'time out here - we need that wall to go all the way up' ... then someone installed a ceiling to 'make the garage prettier ... and thought 'hey, why do I need to finish that wall if I put a ceiling in the garage?' ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
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    48

    Default Re: Pull down attic access ladders in a garage.

    I have a City Building Inspector who says wood pull down ladders are not acceptable in new housing but okay in old. He said he would not recommend correcting it since it was likely completed before the codes changed. I have been noting this in reports since I started thirteen years ago and recently a Real Estate Agent call him to question one that I noted. This home was built around 1980.

    Last edited by Mike Tracy; 10-28-2015 at 05:54 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Pull down attic access ladders in a garage.

    It was likely in the code before 1980 but no one realized what it was saying ... and back then (even today) some places did not have codes.

    The definitive answer will be found in the code which was in effect at that AHJ at that time ... ask the inspector what code had the AHJ (the building department/city/county) adopted in 1980.

    That (which code they adopted) should be in their records, they likely should have a copy of that code in their archives (depending on their policy for retaining public records).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pull down attic access ladders in a garage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Tracy View Post
    Can anyone tell me what year the codes began to require a fire separation between an attached garage the living spaces and the attic?
    Hi Mike,
    Getting an exact year depends on what area code adoption was instated. At the time I was wiring homes during the day and designing homes at night, the 1972 UNIFORM BUILDING CODE was the dominant West Coast rule. I can not answer to the BOCA and SBC that were the codes in the East Coast and Mid Western States at that time. The UBC was later combined for the ICC International Building Code in 1997 IBC that included the UBC garage requirements of X1 (I.e. sheetrock) rated from floor to roof rafter coverage for a one hour rated firewall barrier.

    About the garage ladder usage, where the attic did not include the barrier up to the roof rafters when the ceiling was rocked, the UBC code required the X1 on the garage ceiling ladder panel to maintain the one hour protection. At that time qualified plans required that the underside of the ladder panels to have the same X1 rating when the ladder folded up into the ceiling. It does not matter whether the ladder was wood or metal, the same fold up panel had to have the
    X1 rated covering. I hope this helps. rbj

    FYI: The UBC started in 1927 and discontinued upon the release of the 1997 IBC issue.


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