Safety

Keyes Q&A: Fire-rated barriers, fire doors, business occupancies, smoke detectors

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, June 6, 2021

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

Editor’s note: Each month, Brad Keyes, CHSP, owner of Keyes Life Safety Compliance, answers your questions about life safety compliance. Follow Keyes’ blog on life safety at www.complianceonegroup.com/lifesafety for up to date information. 

Penetrations in fire-rated barriers

Q: Is there a written NFPA standard that specifically states penetrations in fire-rated walls must be sealed on both sides or one side?

A:
No, I don’t believe there is a specific standard that says that, but it must be done. The concept of a fire-rated wall is it has two faces, such as steel studs with a layer of gypsum board on each side of the studs, properly secured, with all seams taped and sealed with joint compound. The rating of the wall takes into account both sides of the wall, so if you have a penetration that leaves a hole on both sides but you only fire-stop one side, then you have a breach on one side of the fire-rated wall and it no longer meets the UL listing it was originally designed to.

Some standards imply both sides must be sealed, such as 8.3.1.2 of the 2012 Life Safety Code® (LSC), which says fire barriers are continuous from outside wall to outside wall or from one fire barrier to another. Continuous means continuous, and a breach left unsealed would not be continuous.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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