Garage fire protection question

I was hoping someone could tell me what year(s) the garage fire protection regulations were put in place (i.e. fire rated drywall, fire taping and fire rated doors). Thanks in advance…

In CA, it’s been in the “Codes” for 50+ years. . .

For as long as I can remember in New York, and I’ve been working in architecture since 1963.

Thank you Richard and Jeff for the replies! Many of the 60’s and 70’s homes around the Southwest Idaho area do not adhere to the fire protection standards for garages… it was a mistake on my part thinking this was national code adoption, but it appears to be city/county/state based on your responses… I will try to track down further with the local jurisdictions… thanks again!!

It all depends on each jurisdiction. New York state had their own uniform code for many years until they adopted the International codes, but New York City had, and I believe still has, its own code. New Jersey was a mish-mash until about 1970 or so, when they adopted the BOCA Code as a statewide code. Pennsylvania was also pot luck until 2004 when they adopted the International codes on a statewide basis.

States that had no code at all left it to each individual community to adopt a model code (there was BOCA, Southern Building Code, Uniform Building Code, or International Building Code available for that purpose), or even worse, try to write their own codes, which many did, especially larger cities. I would imagine some had no code at all, and everything was at the whim of the building officials. The widespread adoption of the International codes (after a merger of all the model code organizations) is a godsend for current projects, but trying to sort out what was legal when something was built can be a nightmare.

It really doesn’t matter when the requirements became effective for an HI, since determining the legal construction requirements and code compliance is well beyond a home inspection.

If there is no fire separation between the garage and the house it’s a fire safety concern in my book, no matter when it was constructed. If you know certain older homes typically did not require or have that separation in particular areas where you inspect you might mention that … but it’s still a concern.



For the most part, code plays no role in home inspection. I use the analogy that I can be inspecting Abe Lincoln’s log cabin…if it doesn’t have GFCI in the kitchen, then it’s a safety hazard and gets noted that way.

Are you sure he did not have any GFCI’s?
Looks good to me. Ah, but wait, no public utilities. ha. ha. :slight_smile: :wink:

Marcel :slight_smile:

Here is my boiler plate for older homes without it. Feel free to copy.

The common wall/ ceiling between the house and the garage does not appear to be provided with a sufficient fire retardant system (typically 5/8" drywall taped and skim coated). A fire retardant wall system on common wall/ceiling between the house and the attached garage is currently a building code requirement, retrofitting is not required but suggested for fire safety & noted for buyer information.

Many thanks folks! And thanks to you Peter for the narrative! I agree with all points. My intent of understanding when the requirement was put into place was more to identify if a home built after the requirement has a building defect - but the arguments presented make sense - it really doesn’t matter, it is still a safety concern… thanks again…

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Don’t forget about: Non fire rated entry doors
Doors without automatic closing devices
Non fire rated hatches & pull down stairs

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