Home > Uncategorized > A Bit About Fire Barriers and Code Compliance

A Bit About Fire Barriers and Code Compliance

September 5, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

fire barrierFire barriers, fire curtains, fire walls, fire partitions.  They all sound similar but in fact they all perform unique roles in assisting occupants to escape a fire safely.  We thought we would take the next few blog posts to give you a little information about each and what some of the code regulations are.  Let us first discuss a fire barrier.

A Fire Barrier by definition, according to The McKeon Door Company publication Fire Door Systems; A Guide to Code Compliance, is a fire-resistance-rated wall assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which continuity is maintained.  There are four (4) different fire ratings that a fire barrier can have:

  • 1-hour
  • 2-hour
  • 3-hour
  • 4-hour

These ratings apply as listed below in this rating requirements chart listed on the International Code Council website.

fire rating chart

There are also a few opening requirements for fire barriers.

Depending on whether or not your building contains sprinklers, you are limited on the size of the opening.  If you do not have sprinklers then the opening shall not exceed a maximum aggregate width of 25 percent of the length of the wall, also restricting any single opening to 156 square feet.  If however, your building does contain sprinklers you gain a little leeway where the opening can exceed 156 square feet but is limited in aggregate width to 25 percent of the wall.  There are a few minor exceptions to this particular regulation which then defaults to ASTM testing and fire resistance ratings.

For additional information on fire barriers or to determine which solution is the right one for your building or project, contact the professionals at Specified Building Products.

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