Safety

Tip of the week: Learn how to recognize a two-hour-rated wall

Hospital Safety Insider, February 6, 2008

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In some cases, your main hospital may be separated from other occupancies by a two-hour fire wall, as required by the Life Safety Code. Fire protection engineer Peter Leszczak explains how you can find out if a wall is truly two-hour-rated.

First off, if you can see metal studs supporting the wall, then it's not a fire-rated wall, says Leszczak, who owns PSL Engineering, LLC, in Shelton, CT.

Typically, a double layer of 5/8-inch sheetrock over metal studs on each side of a wall gives it a two-hour rating. Concrete will also provide a two-hour rating, he adds.

A good resource is the Gypsum Association's Fire Resistance Design Manual, which provides more details about how to build rated walls.



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