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Concealed Space

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[#1] Posted: 07/22/2012 - 09:26:30 AM
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I know an attic is considered a concealed space but I'm trying to find the a coded definition of "concealed space."

Mike Lamb
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Concealed Space
[#2] Posted: 07/22/2012 - 09:35:12 AM
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I don't know if this helps any. It's from the 06' IRC.
Quote: ATTIC. The unfinished space between the ceiling joists of the top story and the roof rafters.


Marc

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Concealed Space
[#3] Posted: 07/22/2012 - 09:54:06 AM
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Thanks. I got this from the California State Fire Marshal
CODE INTERPRETATION. Of course, I'm in Illinois.

Certain concealed spaces are required by the California Building Code to
be provided with access openings. Such concealed spaces include attics, mansard spaces, under-floor spaces, under stages, under platforms or decks, and similar accessible spaces.


I'm wondering what the definition of, "concealed space," is.

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Concealed Space
[#4] Posted: 07/22/2012 - 12:06:30 PM
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From the NFPA: "That portion(s) of a building behind walls, over suspended ceilings, in pipe chases, attics, and in whose size might normally range from 44.45 mm (1 3/4 in.) stud spaces to 2.44 m (8 ft) interstitial truss spaces and that might contain combustible materials such as building structural members, thermal and/or electrical insulation, and ducting.

Or " : a space with limited extent in one, two, or three dimensions : distance, area,
volume"

Charles Wilson
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Concealed Space
[#5] Posted: 07/22/2012 - 12:41:03 PM
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Thanks, Charles.
Mike Lamb
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Concealed Space
[#6] Posted: 07/22/2012 - 1:37:41 PM
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I don't think NFPA is consistent in their definition. The one Charles is quoting is from NFPA 96, which applies to commercial cooking. That definition is then borrowed by some other NFPA-dependent codes, such as the UMC.

The electrical code (another NFPA document) defines concealed as "rendered inaccessible by the structure or finish of the building." By that definition, an attic or crawlspace with an entrance is not a concealed space. Being concealed from or exposed to view is not the determining factor. What matters is whether you have to dismantle some permanent part of the building to get to it.

The NFPA Manual of Style does not mandate that the definitions be the same. The definition is not consistent with other (non-NFPA) codes either. For instance, in the IRC, the use of the word "concealed" in the requirements for draftstopping is not consistent with the NEC definition above. In the IRC, they would have us believe the space above a suspended ceiling is a concealed space, something definitely not true in the NEC. Of course the IRC and IBC provides no definition of "concealed" or "concealed space."

To the original question, I think the answer depends upon the context.



Douglas Hansen
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