Fireplace clearance

This fireplace has drywall above it without the recommended 6" clearance to combustible material. This 6’" clearance would include drywall?

Yes, drywall paper is considered a combustible material. Some orgs debate that, and different drywall types have different resistance ratings, but paper burns regardless.

For instance:

USG - non combustible
NFPA - limited-combustible
ASTM E136 - paper face is combustible(implied)


Here’s the info from the IRC 2012, not sure it specifically calls drywall combustible, but it lumps it together with other materials all requiring the same clearances.

So why do they use drywall as a fire barrier in the garage?

Anything painted will burn.

Are you going to have them tear out that fireplace?

What are your thoughts J.J. ?

The fact that the gypsum core of drywall can act as a fire barrier does not mean the paper face isn’t capable of starting or spreading a fire. The fireplace doesn’t need torn out, but a proper material should be used within clearance limits.

Yes I know. Same as a painted fireproof material.

I want J.J. to think and talk it out. Not just take someone’s word for it. As you said, it depends who you are talking to. We must also consider who we are talking about.

If it’s an older house and is still standing, without signs of heat issues, should it be torn down, or do we want to just stir things up?

It’s often how we talk about the issue vs. the issue.
If you don’t know all the information and really don’t have have a reason for putting it in the report, should we even be doing this job?

Or are we going to just call it a code issue from 1960?

That fireplace just looks pain stupid to me from this pic if you want my “opinion”.

A fire barrier is only supposed to prevent fires from burning through for a minimum amount of time, like 30 minutes,or one hour, enough to get occupants out of the building, before it becomes a hole in the ground filled with ashes.

I would prefer that if it was my fireplace, nothing would ever let the fire burn through it :slight_smile:

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]What if they used metal studs and cement board instead of sheetrock?[/FONT]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]With what I see in the picture, if I was unable to positively determine the material used, I would have no problem in calling this out as improper clearance and would defer to a licensed chimney specialist for reasons of safety.[/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I don’t care how long it’s been there, it only takes one time to burn the house down and possibly kill or injure the opponents.[/FONT]

I think we were all going off the OPs description which is firsthand.

i think that you have always make inspection of your conditioning room currently of 15 days.

Drywall is used in fire suppression.
Hope that answers your question.

An image from the front please.

A question begs to be asked. Is the fireplace and chimney compliant?
Many times fireplaces are abandoned. The expense to repair is costly.
They are decorated as the focal point or staged!

To make the projected wall assemble in front on the fireplace fire proof is a no brainer and done so cheaply!
So the OP’s question skirts the real issue, is the fireplace AND chimney compliant or is it being STAGED!
It is called walls or illusions.

Jesse Louise!