Crawlspace and attic firewall

Four unit apartment building built in 2013. A & B on ground floor, C & D on second level. I called out lack of a firewall. Builder says a firewall is only required in condos and townhomes. My answer is ‘To hell with code. I don’t want tenant A going in his crawlspace and popping up like a gopher in tenant B’s apartment.’ Am I wrong?P2110104

Since when do apartment tenants have access to crawlspaces?

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I don’t know when it started, but both of these did.

Duane, I agree with your call-out. I have occasionally seen condos or apartments with connected crawlspaces or attics. So yes, someone could enter the next unit over just by passing through the crawlspace or attic. It needs to be described so that your client can decide how important it is to them


It is not a matter of being wrong or right, IMHO.

It is a matter of reporting what you see, especially the access one unit has to the other unit through the crawl space. I would right it up as a safety/security issue.

Then the client can decide what he wants to do e.g. screw the hatch closed, etc. :smile:


Next question… Why is your website a Chinese, Japanese, Other Asian website???


Thank you. I better update that!

Done deal :slight_smile:

may want to read this
Firewall Details.pdf (154.0 KB)
anytime attic or crawlspace access is available to multi-unit properties i advised enhanced security implementation at all openings unless i see precautions are in place
the only difference between an outlaw & a convict is 1 got caught


Not done, Still Asian

IMO, either his site got hacked, or he didn’t renew his domain and someone snatched it up when it lapsed to hold it for ransom!!


The contractor is correct, but I agree with you.
This explanation was taken from the ICC forum;

Condo’'s are apartments. The only diference is renting or buying. When you own a townhouse (single family attached), you own the real estate (from the ground to the sky) and there are property lines. When you own a condo, you own the space between the walls…the building is owned by an association.

A duplex, apartment, condo (common ownership of buildings and real estate), or lodging house only require “dwelling unit separation”. That means common walls, and common floor/ceiling assemblies (Sec 310.2.2). The only separation in the attic would be a draft stop, “above and in line with the walls separating units”. There is no requirement for separation of the crawl space. (Sec 708.

On the other hand, a townhouse (single family attached, separate ownership of real property) requires rated walls due to location on property lines. The result is, in a single family attached (townhouse, rowhouse, etc, whether there are two or six) project, there are two one-hour walls (one on each side of the property line), which go frm the ground to 30" above the roof (exception -less than 1000 sq ft per floor, Sec 709.4.1 Exc 3). Sharon mentioned “unless there is a property line between them (duplex)…” A duplex is by definition a “two family dwelling”, and cannot have a property line between them. A two “single family attached” project would not be a duplex.

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I failed to renew 2.5 years ago so got a new domain and rebuilt my website. The old one spent a year being a porn site! I have tried 3 times now to update my profile, but Nick or Ben must not approve the changes!

New website is

2 story 4 unit bldg built 1988. No firewall, called it out.
You can go in the south unit & come out in the north unit. :cowboy_hat_face:

front 12-10-19

atticc access in hall  12-10-19

attic  12-10-19

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Sorta normal with an attic space… but a crawlspace??? Never seen that one before!!

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If you were to crawl to the left (bottom pic) it would take you to the other unit.

But that is an attic, is it not?

Correct not underneath.

Duane, your new website is looking good. Good luck with your business

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