Garage fire wall question

If a garage is fully covered in sheet rock and tapped (no leaks) and has a cover for the hatch into the above garage attic area does the wall separating the garage attic from the house attic area need to be sealed off too? The reason I’m asking is that I been in a couple of houses where the hatch to the garage attic was missing and the wall was not closed off. I wrote it up as a fire hazard stating the hatch must be covered or the wall separating the garage from the home must be closed off. Now I’m questioning myself because what if the hatch is removed and not put back. This leaves a direct fire path to the unsealed wall above the garage. My gut is telling me the wall separation is primary and the cover to the hatch is secondary. Is there a code I can reference.

Here’s a recent thread that should help ya.

Don’t forget about the wood trim pieces that usually hold the drywall hatch in place. The wood trim is not fire rated and that would be the first thing to burn and allow the drywall hatch to drop out of the ceiling.

You know something Andrew–I’d bet very few of us had given that a thought–but we will now.

Down the road a life or two may be saved because of your post.

Thank you.

The access cover should be a rated assembly. It should be self-closing (in CA) and provide and effective seal when shut, just like the entry door to the house.

A drywall cover with wood trim is not a proper access through a garage firewall system.

The builder is saying the gap at the drywall/sill plate meets separation requirements.

Andrew, missing fire proof hatch trim or wood trim is a fire hazard. I did not give that much thought. I will be from this point on. Now that I think about it all those pull down stairs that are not fire rated either. I wonder how many others have missed this too. Thanks guys for sharing your experience on this.

The builder is saying the gap at the drywall/sill plate meets separation requirements.

Thanks Nick, that was the information I was looking for. Good learning from all. I will be looking at the attic hatch more closely.

I appears to be a solid wood sill plate which would, IMO, be adequate…more so than a 1 3/8" solid wood door which is acceptable.

Here is part of what we have in Ontario, I was pretty sure that it had to have a gas seal.
3.1.8. Fire Separations and Closures General Requirements
**(1) **Any wall, partition or floor assembly required to be a fire separation shall,
(a) except as permitted by Sentence (2), be constructed as a continuous element, and
(b) as required in this Part, have a fire-resistance rating as specified.
**(2) **Openings in a fire separation shall be protected with closures, shafts or other means in conformance with Articles to and Subsections 3.1.9. and 3.2.8. Combustible Construction Support
**(1) **Combustible construction that abuts on or is supported by a noncombustible fire separation shall be constructed so that its collapse under fire conditions will not cause the collapse of the fire separation. Continuity of Fire Separations
**(1) **Except as permitted by Sentence, a horizontal service space or other concealed space located above a required vertical fire separation, including the walls of a vertical shaft, shall be divided at the fire separation by an equivalent fire separation within the service space.
**(2) **The fire separation required by Sentence (1) shall terminate so that smoke-tight joints are provided where it abuts on or intersects,
(a) a floor,
(b) a roof slab, or
© a roof deck.
**(3) Except as required by Subsection 3.6.3. for a shaft penetrating a roof assembly, a shaft, including an exit enclosure, that penetrates a fire separation, shall,
(a) extend through any horizontal service space or any other concealed space, and
(b) terminate so that smoke-tight joints are provided where the shaft abuts on or intersects,
(i) a floor,
(ii) a roof slab, or
(iii) a roof deck.
**(4) **The continuity of a *fire separation *shall be maintained where it abuts another fire separation, a floor, a ceiling, or an exterior wall assembly.