Your house can be safe from fire if, upon construction, measures have been put in place. This may not totally free you from any incident of fire though but, with such measures, rapid spreading can be avoided, giving enough time for the firemen to get to your place. This is what a fire block does. It is an installation on the walls to prevent the flames from spreading to other areas, especially those not easily seen like wall interiors. In most states, this has been considered a standard procedure of any building construction.
You should not take any chances with your house or building's safety from fire. If the walls still do not have any precautionary installations such as fire blocks, then follow these steps about how to fire block walls and you'll feel safer afterwards.
- Get ahold of your house's blueprint and identify the wall areas that need to have the installation. Warm air rises and so does fire. Hence the most vulnerable parts are those concealed areas between the ceiling and the wall. Make fire drawings corresponding to your house's architecture so that you will get the total picture.
- The identified areas are usually made of fire material such as wood. Therefore, these should be your first concern. In partitions and stud wall's hidden spaces, have it done vertically in the levels of the ceiling and the floor. You can also install it horizontally but at intervals of not more than ten feet.
- Put it also on the unseen spaces between drop ceilings, cove ceilings, and soffits. This interior block can be installed at all horizontal and vertical interconnections. This is meant to prevent fire from climbing to the ceiling.
- In the wall openings dedicated for vents, ducts, wires, and pipes, you should install it also using non-combustible materials that would restrain fire from passing through these areas. Neglecting to do this will turn a wall opening into a virtual fire cad.
- For walls between two separate dwellings such as apartments, condominium units, and even hotel rooms, fire cement material would be the best option. This will provide a stronger protection from the spread of fire from one unit to another. However, if wood or other combustible materials that fall under the standards for construction are used, then the wall material dimensions shall have the specifications required by the International Residential Code or the IRC, which sets the standards for dwelling construction.
With all the additional materials required, you may think that to fire block walls is to drain more cash from your savings account. Indeed, there is some truth in that. Special non-combustible materials, the time and efforts demanded, and the service of handymen, if necessary, can cost you. However, the guarantee that you get from doing this definitely costs more. When this is done, you can have the better assurance that your house has enough precautions against fire. It comes with a price, yes, but the safety you get can actually be priceless.