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  1. #1
    Mike Huppi's Avatar
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    Question Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    I call these out all the time and recommend that they be covered with a fire rated material. Does anyone else see these and what do you call or recommend.

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  2. #2
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Yes, they should be called out.


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Mike,

    I assume you are talking about the type of attic door as in the picture below.
    You are probably correct that the wood panel would not be "fire rated" material.

    As far as recommending that the the panel be covered, I don't think I would recommend that myself. Additional weight added to the door panel may cause the panel to sag or be partially opened which would be more of a problem in its self.

    Personally, I don't call them out myself as to have a covering over the door panel.

    How about others, what do you say?

    Rick

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    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 04-17-2007 at 09:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Mike Huppi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    I am surprised that they are sold that way. I don't think I have yet to see a stair that is fire rated from the factory.


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    How many comment on the attic access door not being fire rated but assume that the scuttle hole to the attic that has the gypsum cut-out in place is acceptable?

    Imagine a fire breaks out in the garage. It won't take a few minutes before that wooden facing trim nailed around the shuttle hole to hold up the gypsum piece burns up and the gypsum panel falls to the floor. Flames are then oxygen fed from the attic space and the attic is consumed.

    I've been told by a city inspector that they were considering recommending that a panel of "cement backer board" be installed over the panel and have to cover the cracks around the panel door. He was claiming the cement backer board had a longer burn rate than gypsum board. Not sure of that information myself.

    Just a thought.

    Rick


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Huppi View Post
    I call these out all the time and recommend that they be covered with a fire rated material. Does anyone else see these and what do you call or recommend.
    There is no need to have them fire rated, the ceiling is not even "fire rated". Why bother with that little pull down stair cover is the rest of the ceiling is not?

    "Separated" is the term.

    The garage is supposed to be "separated" from the house and attic by 1/2" gypsum board, so, yes, the pull down stair cover should match that.

    Either cover the pull down stair with 1/2" gypsum board (which, as has been pointed out, could cause the stair cover to drop from the extra weight), or, build a frame up in the attic and cover the opening with a piece of 1/2" gypsum board placed up there. Now, all you have to do is pull the stair down, push that cover up and back off the opening, then you are into the attic. When leaving the attic, remember to pull that cover back over the opening.

    Yeah, I know, we all know that cover will never be put back, but that would be an option.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    I think alot of folks get confused with the requirements of having a fire-rated ceiling.

    Basically it is this;
    1. If there are living quarters above the garage-- the ceiling must be of 5/8 x-type (fire-rated) material.

    2. No living space above the garage-- no fire rating required.

    Rich


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    I think alot of folks get confused with the requirements of having a fire-rated ceiling.

    Basically it is this;
    1. If there are living quarters above the garage-- the ceiling must be of 5/8 x-type (fire-rated) material.

    2. No living space above the garage-- no fire rating required.

    Rich
    Rich,

    Even what you posted is a bit confused.

    Installing 5/8" Type X on the garage ceiling *DOES NOT MAKE IT* "fire rated", it simply 'raises the level of separation'.

    The garage ceiling *system* would need to be constructed as one of the approved "fire rated systems", of which Type X is just one part.

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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    I don't report them.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  11. #11
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    Wink Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    I do because there should be a fire stop between the garage and the living quarters. Do you call out the door to the garage if it is not hollow core or metal, I do. If the area around the furnace ducts, flue pipes, or furnace cabinet have gaps, I do.

    So why not call out a 1/4" piece of plywood with trim and a gap around the edges. Its a safety item.

    Mike


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Huppi View Post
    I do because there should be a fire stop between the garage and the living quarters.
    Says who?

    We've been through this quite often, and I believe CA may still require a 'fire rated wall' between the garage and the living space, but the other codes do not, at least not the International Codes.

    "Do you call out the door to the garage if it is not hollow core or metal, I do."

    What's wrong with foam core metal?

    "If the area around the furnace ducts, flue pipes, or furnace cabinet have gaps, I do."

    The reason to call out those things has nothing to do with "FIRE!", but with "energy".

    The living space is "conditioned" (heated and cooled) and the garage is not, thus, the garage door needs to be treated just like the front door. Solid core (wood or foam, foam is better insulating-wise), weatherstripped, threshold, etc. The gaps around the ducts, pipes, etc., are just like gaps around pipes, hose bibbs, etc., through the exterior walls - you do call those out too, right?

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  13. #13
    Mike Huppi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Here is the info that is on the oregon fire wall information

    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Yep.

    "Separation" NOT "fire-rated assembly".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    "Isn't the garage to house door suppose to be rated for approximately 1 hr 20 min before it disintingrates from a fire, thus making it a fireblock requirement?"

    Nope.

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    "2) Jerry, than what you are saying is the proper verbiage is:

    " Pull down ladder cover does not provide proper separation between attic and garage".

    versus saying,

    "Pull down ladder cover does not provide proper fireblocking between attic an garage".
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Correct, that would be a better way to say it.

    "3) Jerry, define "fireblock" and "separtion"

    "Separation" is simply a specified, but non-rated, 'membrane' used to separate to occupancies (residential dwelling unit from private garage).

    "Fireblock" is incorrectly used there anyway. A "fireblock" is material used to block the passage of fire for a given rated time (for a rated fireblocking system) or simply as an empirical design proven over time to stop fire for an amount of time needed/desired (but is unrated). An example of an unrated "fireblocking material" would be a 2x4 "fireblock" in a wall.

    A rated "fireblocking system" has a UL design number and must be installed precisely as shown in the UL design book, any deviation from that design installation and the fire rating is gone.

    From the IRC: FIREBLOCKING. Building materials installed to resist the free passage of flame to other areas of the building through concealed spaces.

    When you said "3) Jerry, define "fireblock" and "separation", I think you really meant to say 'define 'fire rated assembly' and 'separation'.

    A 'fire rated assembly' is similar to a "fireblocking system" in that it is an assembly of materials, assembled specifically as per the UL design, and, when assembled that way, will provide a fire rating of the specified time (typically 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours or 4 hours, with doors typically being 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1-1/2 hour, 2 hour, 3 hour, or 4 hour). Most often you will find 20 minute doors in a 1 hour rated wall assembly.


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    2003 IRC Sections R309.1 and R309.2 I think covers all the areas we've talked about.

    What I find folks most often ignore when building is those few words "and its attic area." It's one of the sections included in our local code, but not enforced by the AHJ's, so I just get the glassy stare when I write it up. But, I do write it up.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    2003 IRC Sections R.1 and R309.2 I think covers all the areas we've talked about.

    What I find folks most often ignore when building is those few words "and its attic area." It's one of the sections included in our local code, but not enforced by the AHJ's, so I just get the glassy stare when I write it up. But, I do write it up.

    Thom,

    Please explain "What I find folks most often ignore when building is those few words "and its attic area." ".

    Here is the IRC.
    - GARAGES AND CARPORTS
    - - R309.1 Opening protection.
    Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.

    - - - R309.1.1 Duct penetration.
    Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gage (0.48 mm) sheet steel or other approved material and shall have no openings into the garage.

    - - R309.2 Separation required.
    The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side. 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. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent.

    What is it that you find being ignored?



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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    "What is it that you find being ignored?"

    The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area

    I have always taken this literally.I am not an English major, nor do I play one on TV, but I was married to one for 25 years. The way it is worded it means "the residence and the residences' attic area." In short, there should be a separation in the attic between the garage and the house. Yes, my interprtation means that there would have to be an attic access inside the house the other side of the separation.

    If it means otherwise, it should read "The garage shall be separated from the residence and the attic space over the garage."


    I'm willing to accept that I'm wro..... wron........ wrong, but I don't have to do it willingly.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    "What is it that you find being ignored?"

    The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area

    I have always taken this literally.I am not an English major, nor do I play one on TV, but I was married to one for 25 years. The way it is worded it means "the residence and the residences' attic area." In short, there should be a separation in the attic between the garage and the house. Yes, my interprtation means that there would have to be an attic access inside the house the other side of the separation.

    If it means otherwise, it should read "The garage shall be separated from the residence and the attic space over the garage."


    I'm willing to accept that I'm wro..... wron........ wrong, but I don't have to do it willingly.
    Okay, let's take it literally, what it "says" and what it "means". Let's do it "literally" first.

    "The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area"

    There is an attic over the living area, right?
    - Answer, 'Of course.'

    There is an attic over the garage, right?
    - Answer, 'Of course.'

    There is 1/2" gypsum board on the walls and ceiling of the garage, which meets the requirement for "separation", right?
    - Answer, 'Of course, that's what "separation" is.'

    The garage IS "separated" from the garage attic, right?
    - Answer, 'Of course. The garage ceiling IS creating a "separation" of the garage from its attic.'

    The garage IS "separated" from the living space attic, right?
    - Answer, 'Of course. The garage ceiling IS creating a "separation" of the garage from the entire attic.'

    That IS what it says, literally.

    Now, let's do it based on what it "means".

    Go back and re-read the "literal" explanation above.

    No where in there does it say anything about "separation" between the "garage attic" and the "living space attic", does it? But that IS how you were reading it, right?
    - (your answer here)

    Here is another example:

    Take a rabbit and put it in a solid cage separating it from the room you are in.

    Now, you move to another room, but leave the rabbit where it was ... the rabbit is now separated from the room you are in too, right?

    In fact, the rabbit is separated from the rest of the world by that solid cage.

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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    .................................................. ...............................................
    No where in there does it say anything about "separation" between the "garage attic" and the "living space attic", does it? But that IS how you were reading it, right?
    - (your answer here)

    .................................................. ...............................................

    Yes that is how I have read it; intentionally. I didn't need the rabbit analogy to understand what was meant. (Besides, you left out the pull down ladder in the top of the rabbit's box.) And based on one of your prior posts, I believe that you know what I meant from my first post.
    .................................................. .............................................
    "Pull down ladder cover does not provide proper fireblocking between attic an garage".
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Correct, that would be a better way to say it.

    .................................................. ..............................................
    Builders and code officiials have, IN MY OPINION, been remiss in not recognizing that fire and smoke do not recognize the difference between an attic space in a row of town homes and an attic between a garage and the attic over where people live and sleep. They will go where the opportunity is provided.

    Until it is code that all garage ceilings have 5/8ths sheetrock on them and as long as ladders, receptacles, holes from brackets where garage door tracks are mounted, etc., penetrate the separation leading to attic areas common with the residential attic, I will continue to recommend that clients install separations between the garage attic space and the residential attic space; with another access installed in the living space.

    Anyway, any more responses to this thread on my part would be drift. I stick by my opinion that the wording of 309.2 is poor grammar and does not say what it intends, even though I know full well what it intends. Garage ceilings are not solid tops on rabbit boxes.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Thom,

    "Pull down ladder cover does not provide proper fireblocking between attic an garage".
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Correct, that would be a better way to say it.
    .................................................. ..............................................

    You are STILL (apparently) missing the point.

    "Pull down ladder cover does not provide proper fireblocking between the attic an[d] garage".

    The word "proper" is an "improper" word to use there as *no* fireblocking is required between a house and its garage, or between a garage and its attic, OR between the attic over a garage and the attic over the house.

    "Builders and code officiials have, IN MY OPINION, been remiss in not recognizing that fire and smoke do not recognize the difference between an attic space in a row of town homes and an attic between a garage and the attic over where people live and sleep. They will go where the opportunity is provided."

    There is a misconception on your part that those are similar situations.

    For a row of town homes, each is its own defined structure, and "within" that defined structure is where the smoke and fire are being kept. Which means fire walls and / or fire partitions and smoke barriers are needed between the defined structures.

    For a dwelling unit and its garage, it is one defined structure, and "within" that defined structure is where the smoke and fire are being kept. Which means that no fire walls and / or fire partitions or smoke barriers are needed.

    "Until it is code that all garage ceilings have 5/8ths sheetrock on them and as long as ladders, receptacles, holes from brackets where garage door tracks are mounted, etc., penetrate the separation leading to attic areas common with the residential attic, I will continue to recommend that clients install separations between the garage attic space and the residential attic space; with another access installed in the living space."

    Which IS you choice ... however, ... to appear more professional and knowledgeable, you should do so carefully and with words which do not imply that such is needed ... and that you are not being remiss by further protecting their lives because you did not recommend ... fire sprinklers where not required, smoke detectors where they are not required, EERO where they are not required, fire partitions between each and every room with opening protectives (fire rated doors), and the list goes on and on and on ...

    By choosing to ONLY "recommend" the one you have keyed in on as fitting 'your' fancy and 'your' determination of what is 'safe', YOU are seriously placing yourself at risk. By the way, do you recommend that their house should be Type I-A construction? If not, you have really screwed up. You should be, for their protection, recommending fire resistant materials be used for their structure.

    Oh, wait ... that's right ... it's based on 'what YOU think' is the level of protection they need and where they need it. Man, that's one BIG hole you've just dug for yourself.

    "Anyway, any more responses to this thread on my part would be drift. I stick by my opinion that the wording of 309.2 is poor grammar and does not say what it intends, even though I know full well what it intends. Garage ceilings are not solid tops on rabbit boxes."

    You are incorrect again.

    R309.2 says what it means and says what its intent is, just does not say what YOU want it to mean or what YOU think its intent is.

    - R309.2 Separation required. The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side. 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. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent. Garages located less than 3 feet (914 mm) from a dwelling unit
    on the same lot shall be protected with not less than
    1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the interior side of exterior walls that are within this area. Openings in these walls shall be regulated by Section R309.1. This provision does not apply to garage walls that are perpendicular to the adjacent dwelling unit wall.



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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan orourke View Post
    Thanks Jerry, I almost understaind.

    Now, what is the purpose of "separation"?
    To give a tad bit more time from a fire than a wood wall would provide. Instead of having a wall which bursts into flame and burn through, the 1/2" non-fire rated standard gypsum wall board does provide a slight retardation effect.

    At least, that's what I can get out of what I've read, because there is *no* "fire rated assembly" *rating* given to placing 1/2" gypsum board on wood or metal studs. That said, it is also acknowledged that the properties of the gypsum core DO provide a minimal time of fire retardation. 'Fire retardation' is not the best term to use, but 'fire protection' is not appropriate either - because it is a non-rated wall with 1/2" gypsum board on it - that's all it is, there is no time rating of protection.

    Besides, 'most fires start IN the home' so the separation is to protect your storage in the garage. (just kidding)

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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Benjamin Moore manufactures a product that when mixed with paint will give a sheet rock wall a "fire rating".
    The label does not state how long a span of time it is rated at, but, I suspect that it depends on the thickness of the application.
    I got one past an AHJ using that stuff.
    Funny thing, I submitted plans and material specs, the construct was approved, when he came out for final I was told that an interior separation wall had to be "fire rated" even though it was 12' from a 24' ceiling.
    go figure........
    rather than tearing it down, I slathered the stuff over it and showed him the label at the final final...... he signed off.


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    Benjamin Moore manufactures a product that when mixed with paint will give a sheet rock wall a "fire rating".
    The label does not state how long a span of time it is rated at, but, I suspect that it depends on the thickness of the application.
    That is incorrect, at best, and, at worst, false advertising.

    Applying something to gypsum board *DOES NOT* give it a "fire rating".

    That's like saying that you have a 1/2 ton pickup truck which is rated to hold 1,000 pounds in the bed, and, that by adding 1/2 ton helper springs, the truck is now rated to hold 2,000 pounds in the bed.

    Adding helper springs *DOES NOT ALTER OR CHANGE* the truck so it is rated to carry more.

    Sure, the truck may not sag as far when you load that 1,000 pounds in it, but the truck is still not rated for more than that 1,000 pounds.

    I'm guessing that AHJ W-A-Y overstepped their bounds and legality to approve that, but, it was to your favor, and, now you have it in writing (I hope).

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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Wow,

    I wonder how far this will go?

    If I paint both sides of my honey comb door (with two coats) to my garage will this allow me to circumvent the code requirement of having a wood solid core or metal door???

    Very interesting.


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    It might depend on the verbiage.

    1. The door separating... shall be metal clad with a 1 hr. fire rating...... etc.

    or...2. The door separating........ shall be fire rated for a period of.......

    Jerry . your analogy is a little off....

    helper springs affect only one component of that truck... leaving others to bear the brunt of the load.

    the application of a coating(s) of a fire retardant affects the whole component.
    ie: the door, the frame etc. while also minimizing the affects of the causal agent (fire, heat)

    sort of like applying an anti gravity device to that truck in order to lighten the load from 1000 lbs. to 500lbs.

    Bear in mind, I am NOT advocating for the efficacy of the product. Underwriters laboratory did that.


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    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    Jerry . your analogy is a little off....

    helper springs affect only one component of that truck... leaving others to bear the brunt of the load.

    the application of a coating(s) of a fire retardant affects the whole component.
    ie: the door, the frame etc. while also minimizing the affects of the causal agent (fire, heat)
    I w-a-s w-a-i-t-i-n-g for a reply like that.

    You are incorrect. The application of a coating *ONLY* affects "the surface" of the door, frame, jambs, etc., not the others, leaving the other items to bear the brunt of the load, i.e., the heat and fire and not come apart.

    Why do you think that fire retardant chemicals are applied like pressure treating, under -pressure? To penetrate into the wood fibers.

    But, for a door, there is more to it than even just penetrating in to the wood fibers, there are all the glues and adhesives used to hold the door together.

    The only thing a coating is going to do is, until the coating burns, chars, or peels off, to reduce the flame spread rating and smoke developed rating, but even that is making a complex project simpler that it really is.

    Think of it this way: You have a hollow core door and apply a fire to one side. Does only that one side burn, or, does (as the flame is applied and the door heats up) the entire door heat up and begin smoking.

    Let's say you covered the door with a metal skin (which is not allowed and does not make a fire rated door out of a non-fire rated door, and that metal is a lot better than a coating of pain): you set the blow torch onto the metal skin, what happens?

    The door BEHIND the metal gets hot, REAL HOT, and starts charring, and starts spewing smoke out of all seams and joints, and the door falls apart, and ... well, the metal skin falls to the ground as it *is not* mounted to anything other than the now-no-longer-there-door.

    Now, if you covered the door with the heat tiles from the space shuttle and sent it into the fire test, the door would likely pass it, of course, it would fail when the hose stream test was applied immediately after the fire torches were shut off - but still, something like those tiles, which you can hold in you hand while a 3,500 degree torch heat up the other side and you feel no heat on the side which is resting in your hand, yeah, they might be able to be affixed to the door such that they will resist the hose stream test ... of course, we are talking theoretical here, because the cost of one door like that would be major$$$$ ...

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

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,633

    Smile Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    When discussing fire resistant construction, it might help to refer to the ASTM and UL standards that apply:


    Flame spread. Simply how fast a flame front will propagate based on the surface burning characteristics of a material. ASTM-E 84/ NFPA 255/ UL 723 are the same Steiner Tunnel test. Take a tunnel 25 ft. x 1.5 ft. widex 1 ft high. Line it with T&G red oak flooring and light one end. Time it to reach the other end= flame spread 100. Now, cement board=0. Type X drywall =15. That means it burns 15% as fast as red oak......BUT IT STILL BURNS!

    Fire Walls- a rated ASSEMBLY or combination of various materials that have been tested together in a precisely prescribed manner that, when tested to ASTM E-119, it gains a rating of a 1,2, or 3 hour "fire wall". No single material can meet this. Even concrete needs reinforcing steel and the mixture, water%, all figure into it.

    Firestops- an assembly for through penetrations of E-119 fire walls tested to E-814. Part of this test includes hose streams to see if it gets blasted away by the fire dept. In this context, these are site built firestops and Not listed assemblies themselves. For instance, the firestop supplied with B-vent does not have to meet a 3 hr fire wall/ E-814. As an option, a mfr. might choose to test it to E-814 esp. if he intends on installing his appliance in commerical applications but he doesn't have to.

    Discussion: Fire retardant coatings are just that--adhered to a substrate. That means they can peel off. That's if properly applied. If you don't do your due diligence in surface preparation, there's a good chance you just wasted a lot of money. Due to this lack of supervisory control over the application, it cannot be expected to perform predictably enough for a rating (hour) because again fire walls are systems of multiple materials. This paint for instance may resist flaming well but what about the substrate?

    I want to look into this matter some more. This reminds me of the laundry chute dilemma. If you are to penetrate an ordinary non-rated ceiling, are there ANY requirements that apply? First, I'm thinking those cheap=o dissappearing stairs don't meet the energy code or fenestration requirements . I would note that whether installed in a garage or upstairs hallway. It still represents a huge energy hole in the home. Then, there is the issue of compartmentalizing heat, smoke, and gases. Hmm. My initial impresson is it should meet the same requirements as the ceiling or the fenestration for that occupancy. I know when Hearth & Home Technologies developed a fireplace that mounted in an exterior wall (Twilight) it had to pass the fenestration requirements even though it, too was an energy hole in the envelope of the house just as windows and doors are.

    Now you have me bugged. I'll do some more research and get back to ya'll on this one.

    Take care,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Jerry
    I knew....that you knew.... that I knew.... that you were w-a-i-t-i-n-g for that answer.


    The only thing a coating is going to do is, until the coating burns, chars, or peels off, to reduce the flame spread rating and smoke developed rating, but even that is making a complex project simpler that it really is.
    You made the point for the "fire retardant" properties of this product.

    You just gave the application a "time frame" in which it works. Granted, not a specific time frame but, a period of time nonetheless in which the product "retards" the burn,and charring until it has exhausted its capabilities by either peeling or burning off.

    It is that small "time frame" that might mean the difference of becoming a "crispy critter" or getting out with singed eyebrows.

    Even "Red Adaire" backed out after a time because his shield only protected him so much.

    Even "X" rock burns after a while.

    The question remains... is there a product that will give you an extra 5 seconds jump on the flames?

    From the manufacturer:

    When attacked by flame, 220
    (M59) expands and forms a
    thick cellular char blanket
    (intumescence) which, by
    reducing excessive heat
    penetration, retards flame
    spread and minimizes smoke
    development
    from the Underwriters Laboratory:

    UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES, INC.


    CLASSIFIED

    FIRE RETARDANT COATING

    SURFACE BURNING CHARACTERISTICS OF APPLIED COATING I9P0

    Surface Douglas Fir Cellulose Tile Cellulose Board

    Flame spread 20 20 20 20
    Smoke developed 5 5 15 25
    Number of fire-retardant coats 1 2 2 2
    Rate per coat (sq. ft. per gal.) 150 300 200 200
    Sometimes something is better than nothing

    BTW... so's you don't think I'm yanking your chain. I think that you are a one man continuing education resource equal to ... very few.



  31. #31
    Don McKinney's Avatar
    Don McKinney Guest

    Default Re: Pull down stairs in the garage- fire rated?

    Precision Ladders, LLC in Morristown, TN Precision Ladders, LLC manufactures a 2-hour fire rated attic access folding stairway. This unit, named the Super Simplex Disappearing Stairway, was tested by Intertek and granted a Warnock Hersey label. Tested to ASTM E119 and UBC 43-7 up to a 2 Hour Rating. It is available in rated or non-rated models and for ceiling opening widths from 22 1/2" up to 39". It is available for ceiling heights of up to & including 13' 6". This product has been available for several years now. Check it out at: Fire-Rated Simplex


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