Garage Firewalls

Garage Firewalls Should be installed in Attached Garages

By Mark J. Donovan

Fire can occur in a garage quite easily, due to a variety of reasons including hot automobile engines and stored fuels, chemicals and rags. Consequently, when building an attached garage addition, it is important to install a garage firewall on any walls of the garage that are adjacent to finished living space walls in the main area of the home. This also includes any finished rooms above the garage addition.

Garage firewalls are not designed to specifically prevent a fire from spreading to the main living area of a home. Instead, a garage firewall is designed merely to slow the progression of the fire to the main part of the home.

By slowing the progression of the fire, a garage firewall can provide valuable time to allow the home occupants to exit the home safely.

A garage firewall needs to be rated to provide one hour of fire resistance. To install a garage firewall that meets this requirement it is important to use the right type of firewall building material. Typically a garage firewall is constructed using 5/8th inch thick Type X drywall on both the garage side and finished living room side. Local building codes vary so you should check with your local building inspector prior to installing a garage firewall.

It is important to make sure that there are no gaps in the garage firewall, where a fire could easily work its way through. If there are pipes that go through the firewall into the main living area of the home they should be caulked with a fire rated caulk.

Garage Addition Bid Sheet

In addition to garage firewalls, it is important that all garage doors that enter into the main living area of the home are fire retardant and ideally self closing. The door should be made out of either solid wood or metal and should include weather stripping to reduce the flow of smoke. In addition, if the door is made out of solid wood, sheet metal should be attached to the garage side of the door.

Installing a garage firewall is relatively inexpensive and easy to do, so if you have an older attached garage addition that is lacking a garage firewall consider putting one in. It could mean the difference between life and death.

For more information on building a garage addition see the Garage Addition Bid Sheet from The Garage Addition Bid Sheet includes an extensive questionnaire (Request for Quote) that a homeowner can provide to prospective general contractors and subcontractors for bidding the garage addition. In addition, the Garage Addition Bid Sheet also includes estimated costs and time intervals for constructing a garage addition as well as a list of key home material manufacturers. Finally, the Garage Addition Bid sheet includes an extensive set of helpful tips and advice on making sure the garage addition is built properly and on time and budget.

Related Information

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