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Fire separation


Tim H
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Is anyone aware of an exception for fire separation requirements between a garage and a living space above, if there is a sprinkler system installed in the garage? Todays inspection (new construction), had the usual lack of fire separation and exposed vinyl flex ducts in the basement garage, but in this case there is a sprinkler system. I anticipate that the builder will use the sprinkler as a reason for no separation.

Thanks,

Tim

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Tim,

Under section R309, there are no exceptions to the fire separation requirement. As you also pointed out, the flex ducts are also not allowed.

If any part of the supporting wall is wood, that also needs to be rated. It's ironic, I was taught that the supporting members had to have at least the same rating as what is required for what it's supporting; however in the 2003 IRC, 1/2 inch is clearly called for the walls when 5/8 inch is on the ceiling.

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From my common sense stand on this, to heck with the fire separation when you have a fire sprinkler system installed (when functional).

I am super picky on separation issues in garages (99 of 100 written up). Super heated gases can squeak through most any gap-- the sprinkler system should prevent the spread of the fire before that's an issue.

Sorry--no code help.

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Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

From my common sense stand on this, to heck with the fire separation when you have a fire sprinkler system installed (when functional).

I am super picky on separation issues in garages (99 of 100 written up). Super heated gases can squeak through most any gap-- the sprinkler system should prevent the spread of the fire before that's an issue.

Sorry--no code help.

Thanks to all.

I agree on the application of common sense regarding the fire separation. I still dont like the flex ducts because of the possibility of CO getting into the (easily damaged) ducts. Am I over thinking this, or do you think my concern is legitimate?

Tim

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