Houston, Texas - Self Closing Hinges

I have been told by a Houston City Inspector and by a Building Supervisor for a large building company that self closing hinges are required on the pedestrian door into the garage, either within city limits, or within the county. This must be a local code, but I can not find this code anywhere. Does anyone know if this exists and if so, where can I find it?

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The code was deleted from the IRC (not sure when). Still could be a local code. I believe it’s still in the IBC. I still write it up as a recommended improvement to maintain the fire separation and prevent fumes from entering the living area. Strictly a safety issue from my point of view regardless of the code. I just explain why and go on

Exactly… safety issue… screw the code.

Answer via a question… If you have one on your home, (now that the “code” has been removed), would you remove the self-closer?

I didn’t think so.

It will not hurt to tell them the man door may not be fire rated if no plate can be found on the frame and explain why this is good to have.

Kevin:

You seem to be stuck on having a fire rated person door from the garage to the house yet not required in single family dwellings by Canadian codes…yes, you can always do better than codes but I believe there are better things to do in houses like an interconnected system of smoke detectors with integral battery back-up. Sometimes I recommend up to 5-6 in a house depending on its layout, location of laundry, elect panel, heating equipment.

(NOTE: I used to teach part of the WETT course here with a Deputy Fire Marshall who now works privately as a consultant in the insurance industry and developed some of my ideas from discussons with him)

See where and why fires occur here:

http://nfpaweb2.gvpi.net:8089/assets/files//PDF/FireOverview.pdf

The source: Houston Amendments to the 2006 International Residential Code
http://documents.publicworks.houstontx.gov/documents/divisions/planning/enforcement/amendments_to_06irc.pdf

I’m not aware of any similar requirement in the counties.

I also taught the WETT wood portion of the course that was in the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection at “Sault College” I went to the “Site Basic” in Sudbury and was so upset at the waste of my time that I am no longer endorsing a WETT Inspection and will not list my name.
As for your comment about where fires come from. I would not care if only one fire started in the garage and the door gave the individual family time to escape through the corridor to the front door. This would be enough for me to make that recommendation.

WOOPS!
I forgot to add this Brian
www.nachi.org/attached-garage-fire-hazards.:smiley:

Thank you Chuck, That is exactly what I was looking for!

From that article…stating the obvious:
Fires that begin in attached garages are more likely to spread to living areas than fires that originate in detached garages.”

Our garages tend to be much different than mid to southern US garages with the DHW heater and heating equipment installed within.

In 99.5+% of garages I inspect, the door is 1+3/8" steel skinned which must be considered close to an equivalent of the 20 minute rated door…From the code quote in the article:
"Other openings between the garage and the residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1-3/8” (35 mm) in thickness, solid- or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1-3/8” (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors."
Just because a door does not have the “fire rating” metal decal on it does not mean it does not have the ability to stop fire.

This is the final line:
In summary, attached garages should be sealed off from the living space so that fire may be contained.”
This is what our codes achieve!!

“I am such a safety oriented individual that my wife says I am paranoid.”
IMHO, as HI’s, we should not be passing excesses on to the customer!!

HAPPY!

If you look into the back of the Carson Dunlop book on Heating two.
You will find what portion was on WETT.:roll:

Kevin:

You seem to be stuck on having a fire rated person door from the garage to the house yet not required in single family dwellings by Canadian codes…yes, you can always do better than codes but I believe there are better things to do in houses like an interconnected system of smoke detectors with integral battery back-up. Sometimes I recommend up to 5-6 in a house depending on its layout, location of laundry, elect panel, heating equipment.

(NOTE: I used to teach part of the WETT course here with a Deputy Fire Marshall who now works privately as a consultant in the insurance industry and developed some of my ideas from discussons with him)

I don’t like to correct everyone.
But if you are going to correct someone correct your own thinking.:smiley:

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So by taking the CD course, do persons become WETT certified?

NOOOOOO WAAAAAY!

Not even after taking 40 Hrs of Heating two are they WETT certified or Home Inspection certified to inspect wood stoves or fireplaces.
The WETT certification requires field experience not just the schooling.

Interesting info. Does this still exist in 2019?
Houston Garage Door Repair

You’re a tad late to the party, but… to answer your question the IRC requirement for a self-closing garage door between the dwelling was dropped at some point but is back in IRC now. It’s in Texas’ adopted IRC 2015 under R302.5.1 – so yes, required in 2019 in new construction. Regardless of the code, it is always recommended for safety, even in older houses.

@ Travis Sweitzer

Errrr… … I don’t think he will see your post & answer you… … … …
https://forum.nachi.org/t/ethics-complaint/90237/289