No fire blocking to attic

Hi Fellow inspectors,

I would like opinions on these photos. This is the top of a manufactured fire place and chimney where it transitions into the attic. The top of the fireplace was covered with hap hazard pieces of drywall, and blown insulation was in direct contact with the manufactured chimney. There is a direct and full air path from the fireplace to the attic. I called this out at being incorrectly constructed. IE, the whole top of the fireplace enclosure is missing, which is essentially a total lack of fire blocking, nor does this appear to be constructed in a manner shown in the installation construction manual for Heatilator. Also a doorbell wire is in direct contact the the flue as well… Now blown insulation has fallen down and is sitting on top of the top of the fire place fire box…

What is your opinions on this? BTW this is a home built in 2001.




photo from 10 28.JPG

Those require fire-stops and insulation sheilds. Totally NOT okay.

Jeff any codes for that one? Curious…


IRC Section R1002 Factory Built Chimneys:

R1002-1, Factory built chimneys shall be listed and labeled and shall be installed and terminated in accordance with manufacturers installations instructions.

Cort’s note: When dealing with factory built chimneys, be careful not to apply construction rules that govern masonry on-site constructed chimneys. They fall under a totally different paragraph… that being section R-1001 masonry chimneys.

So anyway, I am running into a contractor that says the fireplace in the photos “meets code.” But of course won’t cite the code that it meets. My client wants it to be safe, as do I. I have a copy of the installations instructions that show typical framing methods; however those methods vary, and the contractor is exploiting this variance. But the fact remains that it is missing a required fire block plate, and also missing an insulation thimble where the chimney passes through the ceiling plane into the attic… I was just wondering if anyone else has seen anything else like this before, and run into a contractor that was so grossly exploiting the spirit and intent of construction techniques that reduce fire and flame spread…


Cort, all that has been said about the fire stop at the ceiling plane seems to be accurate and true about this installation. Now, you did mention in the original post that you thought that this installation was “i**ncorrectly constructed. IE, the whole top of the fireplace enclosure is missing”. Now, I see manufactured systems daily that do not have the flue pipe, in the attic, completely enclosed by a framed-in chase. Is that what you are referring to? I’m not aware of that being a requirement, is anyone else? What do the installation instructions say? Is the builder balking at the firestopping or something else?

[/size][/FONT]Tim - this is the CA requirement

708.2.1 Where required. Fireblocking shall be provided in the following locations:

  1. In openings around vents, pipes, ducts, chimneys, fireplaces and similar openings that afford a passage for fire at ceiling and floor levels, with noncombustible materials.
    As for an insulation shield, the UMC refers to the use of a “ventilating thimble” extending not less than 9 inches below and 9 inches above the ceiling construction (UMC 814.1.7)[/size][/FONT]

Building codes comes down to just mainimum standards, and is suject to interpretation by the local authority … it may or may not be the case the local authority has accepeted that (but I doubt it).

I wouldn’t get into a pising match with the contractor over codes or installation instructions. You have recommended a safety improvement, and put it in writing. Let the contractor do the same and put it in writing to your client if he disagrees with your opinion.

Things change sometime when they have to be put in writting … :wink:


Those are true words!

Here is a link to a topic concerning my general thoughts and typical report wording that helps cover situations like yours …

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink: