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Home construction question for the Firefighters...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Would you say sheetrock slows down a fire, or makes no difference at all? How about fiberglass roll insulation?

    I have a fair amount of exposed wood contruction in my house (large crawl spaces and attics). I don't intend to finish these areas, but I'm wondering if it would be good fire protection to insualte nd sheetrock some of the larger more exposed areas.

    I'm also trying to figure out if a closed, uninsulated wall will harbor a fire any better than an insulated wall. Way I see it, there's a finite amount of air to be used between 2 studs that are 'rocked on both sides from floor to top plate. With insulation, there's less, but does the insulation really make a difference in retarding the fire.

    Just wondering... This house has had a fire in the past and didn't seem to be damaged too bad by it, barely structurally at least.
     
  2. i8yrsuv

    i8yrsuv 1/2 ton status

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    Well isulation will slow a fire down a little .. here we have to put blocks in the walls every 10' ..I think at point ... it doesnt matter ... it will all burn...JUST GET OUT !!!! Some of houses have fire sprinklers ...
     
  3. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Geez, everything about cali is weird!!

    We will get out, but I'm also doing a little construction and had the fiberglass out tonight, so I got to thinking about what I can do by way of more prevention right now.
     
  4. i8yrsuv

    i8yrsuv 1/2 ton status

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    ahha ... you guys buildings are lot older the what we we have here
    ...our enginners are telling us to build to the next quake ...
     
  5. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Yeah... My house is 1929.

    I wonder how this house would fare in a quake... My boss and I were talking about an earthquake in New York City the other day (supposedly, we're years overdue for a massive one). We have property/space in the empire state building, so we got an earthquake analysis for that building (not sure if we did it or the building did and gave us copies).
    Anyway, he said if NYC ever does have one, Empire will fall right over. Way too rigid to survive...
     
  6. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    If you have the walls down bare you should think of putting in sheet steel. In my experience .45 ACP will not penetrate .120 and .44 mag will not penetrate .250
     
  7. backcountry

    backcountry 1/2 ton status

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    Sheetrock will definitely slow and contain a fire for a given period of time. Depends on the type and thickness of the sheetrock and proper installation.

    If you were to build a 1 hour fire wall for instance, you would need to place 5/8” sheetrock on both sides of the studs.

    They have fire rated sheetrock as well. It is more expensive however, but depending on what you’re trying to protect, it may be worth it.

    Some types of insulation are more fire resistant that others. The good stuff will fill the voids and in some cases slow fire spread.

    /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  8. ratzila

    ratzila 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Sheetrock will definitely slow and contain a fire for a given period of time. Depends on the type and thickness of the sheetrock and proper installation.

    If you were to build a 1 hour fire wall for instance, you would need to place 5/8” sheetrock on both sides of the studs.

    They have fire rated sheetrock as well. It is more expensive however, but depending on what you’re trying to protect, it may be worth it.

    Some types of insulation are more fire resistant that others. The good stuff will fill the voids and in some cases slow fire spread.

    /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Like backcountry said. The duplexs we design here have to have a 1 hour firewall that consist of 5/8" sheetrock on both sides of studs.
     
  9. txfireman110

    txfireman110 1/2 ton status

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    As allready stated, yes sheetrock will SLOW a fire, likely long enough for FF's to extinguish it before it spreads. However, alot of fires start IN the wall, so fire-stops are a good thing (horizontal 2x4 or 6 or ......between studs) FF Joe /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif also says to never overload outlets or extension cords!

    On a side note.... I went to a fire a while back where the fire had gotten in the walls, and the lady was all upset and asking if there was a way to put out the fire without tearing up her walls. /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  10. BigOrange90Jimmy

    BigOrange90Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I'm with these guys on this one. Yes, you can slow a fire, but it will find a place to burn always.

    We had to COMPLETELY demolish a trailer the other day because the fire got in between the ceiling and the roof. It had burned long enough between the two that the roof collapsed onto the ceiling, leaving about a 1" gap to burn in. The only way to out it was to tear it all down.

    But, if you do anything special to the house, such as add a second story or a second roof, please notify your local fire department when you're building it. That way they can at least mentally document it or put it on their record as to what they could "possibly" fight one day. It makes for a world of difference as to what they don't have to destroy, how much of the house they can save, and less strife on the homeowner.
     
  11. backcountry

    backcountry 1/2 ton status

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    Popular before the 1930’s were homes built with “balloon” construction. This type of home has its studs running from the foundation to the top plate with nothing to stop the spread of fire. This leads to rapid extension of fire into the attic. Now days if the vertical span is more than 10’ it has to have what they call “fire blocking” in between the studs.

    Fires in these types of homes may start out as a typical “room and content” fires but will spread very quickly and can take down the whole house.
    This type of construction is where a lot of occupants and firefighters lose their lives.

    Sheetrock and fire blocking are always a good idea in any home. Also, if there are any holes in sheetrock, be sure to patch them up. This is how a lot of fires spread from where I am from.
    /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  12. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    Fiberglass burns really well. As far as fire goes putting it in would only help it burn faster. Sheetrock doesn't burn so well, it's made from crushed gypsum rock. If you're looking at better fire pretection I would look into how to prevent one in the first place. I would think that most fires start from electrical shorts. When you have a short when you use romex wire then there is nothing to contain the fire. I just rewired part of my house and instead of using romex I ran everything in rigid conduit. That way if there ever is a short or an overloaded circuit any sparks or excessive heat will be contained in a steel tube. The cost of rigid conduit is minimal but it does take more time and effort to install it.
     
  13. backcountry

    backcountry 1/2 ton status

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    Most fires that start in my area are from people leaving candles burning and unattended cooking. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  14. DBLAZER

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    When you guys go to a fire, besides the address, what kind of info do you get on the location? Do you get blueprints from a copunty source, or what? I have always wondered because back when I was in the car audio business, my biggest competitors place burned down. What heard through the local grapevine was that he was painting cars and had all sorts of chemicals back their that FD was un aware of and when they came in they approached a chemical fire as if was just a normal one and the FD actually made it worse and spread it. In the end I heard he , the owner , got in lots of trouble because of this.
     
  15. backcountry

    backcountry 1/2 ton status

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    In occupancies that have known hazards we have what you call "pre-plans". This is a binder that shows you the layout of the building, hazards, access, water supplies, fire department connections for sprinkler systems and standpipes etc.

    In your case below; entering a car audio business does not usually presents many complications in regards to extinguishment. If it is being used as a paint shop however, there are many hazards that will present some real challenges.

    We do annual business inspections of all bussiness in town and will do "walk troughs" to become familiar with buildings we feel that can become a fire or life hazard.

    I’m sure the guy in this case had some explaining to do. Hopefully, no one got hurt or killed. He would be in deep dodo if they did. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  16. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Fiberglass burns?? I'm using batts that are labelled as fire retardent...

    Conduits' a good idea, and I've used in in several places, but it's not completely possible to get it in certain places in my house. You could also use BX wiring, that's what I have in a lot of the house.

    Backcountry, my house is 1920's/30's balloon framing, but there's a top plate before it goes into the attic. I'd heard that also about balloon construction...
     
  17. SHAWNSTER

    SHAWNSTER 1/2 ton status

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    not any help on your question, but when our house caught on fire last year-the fireman were kind of idiots-the fire started in the walls of both bathrooms(they sit back to back) where a gas line for heater in the b room-they faught the fire for 20 or so minutes, then you hear them yell-TURN THE GAS OFF-EVERYBODY GET OUT NOW- they never turned it off and it had ruptured and started a 2nd fire like 6 " under neeth there feet-burnt up 2 pier and beems and the fireman almost fell through the floor-and i guess could have blown up
     
  18. backcountry

    backcountry 1/2 ton status

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    For the most part anything will burn in the right environment. Fire retardant materials will resist burning and will usually not sustain combustion once the direct flame impingement subsides or the heat has dropped below the items ignition temperature.

    Conduit is not very practical in most cases pertaining to residential construction. Romex is a better solution.

    Just make sure you have fire blocking/fire stops in place if at all possible. Long unprotected runs inside walls will act like a chimney. The longer the run the more velocity and intense the fire becomes. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  19. backcountry

    backcountry 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry to hear that!

    When we arrive on scene, we do what you call a "size up" to access the situation and come up with a plan to deal with all the inherent problems. Depending on the circumstances, we will usually turn off the main electrical breaker and shut the gas and water off. This is not always possible however due to the limited amount of personnel on scene and all of the other tasks that need to be accomplished. We have to consider, rescue, exposures, extinguishment, ventilation, salvage, utilities and any other hazards. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  20. SHAWNSTER

    SHAWNSTER 1/2 ton status

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    there were 5 firetrucks and 20 or so firemen-they acted like they had not had a fire in months-pulling out saws and such-the firemand with the big round saw reminded me of ace ventura-when he hangs his head out of the window-he was ready to cut the hell out my house- /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     

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