Fire Separation in Garage

Noted this in today’s inspection. It looks like a portion of the garage to attic ceiling has been removed to make storage. From above it opens to the entire attic. Any suggestions on wording for fire separation? Thanks

Fire Wall.jpg

The fire separation wall between the garage and living area is missing and a safety hazard…recommend repair as needed for safety.

That’s pretty much what I have… short and sweet :slight_smile: Thanks

I know this is an old post, but i thought i would speak my .02 cents.
In my state, (MI) 1/2 hour “burn time” is mandatory. This means 5/8" drywall covers the garage side of any shared wall between house and garage. This also includes shared attic spaces as seen in your picture. (covering the ceiling with 5/8" drywall would work)

Short and sweet can be good but you would better serve your client if you would explain why this is important.

The walls / ceilings between the attached garage and interior living spaces had gaps / holes / missing or substandard surface materials. These surfaces are intended to prevent vehicle fumes from entering living spaces, and to slow the spread of fire from the garage to living spaces. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary so the attached garage wall and ceiling surfaces that adjoin living spaces are tightly sealed and fire rated as per standard building practices. Typically these surfaces require a one-hour fire rating.

2006 International Residential Code for One & Two family Dwellings
Chapter 3

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.

R309.1.2 Other penetrations.
Penetrations through the separation required in Section R309.2 shall be protected by filling the opening around the penetrating item with approved material to resist the free passage of flame and products of combustion.

R309.2 Separation required.
The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than ½-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 ½-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.

I hope that this has been of some help. :stuck_out_tongue:

Frank and Frank, Good stuff, Much appreciated!

This means that as long as the ceiling as drywall , 1/2 in., that should be ok?


Is this the latest IRC version (2006)? Good stuff. Just goes to show we all really do need to become ICC certified.


What are you talking about Willis???

Buy a code book. :wink:

Brian, you think we could convince Contractors to buy one too?
Sure would make our jobs easier wouldn’t it?:):smiley:

Good One Marcel.

You are assuming they can READ and COMPREHEND it.

If they could, then all houses would be “perfect”, and would not require an inspection!!! If it wern’t for bad builders, we would have nothing to report on.

Bless those marginal builders and remodelers AND the weekend fixer upper home owners. Makes the inspection treasure hunt more challenging and fun! It takes the “I can’r belive this” out of inspecting.