Installing a fire rated wall (insulated concrete formwork or icf) for your garage can bring so much benefits, more than you can imagine. In most cases, we think that garage is not as important as the other parts of the house. But since, it’s attached to the property it can be a point of access for any intruders or can be a source of accidents as well, thus it is highly important to secure it. Sometimes, we make use of the garage as a place to perform a lot of unsafe tasks or it is where we would often store our flammable liquid and other dangerous chemicals. With all these risks, it definitely be a wise decision to invest in making sure that your garage is safe and secure.
Ways to Make your Garage Safe
Garage Entry Door to the House
It should be a solid door that can be made of wood or metal with proper weather stripping to create an air-tight barrier between the living quarters and your garage. It would be better if it is 20-minute fire-resistant. Another factor to look into is a self-closing door. This one is basically an upgrade of your usual door but is a great investment as well. You basically have to replace some of your regular door hinges with a spring type and a well-adjusted door that will close automatically.
Entry Door from the Garage to the House is Slightly Elevated or Higher than the Garage Floor Surface
The majority of building codes would require a step between the garage floor and house door. Although 4” is recommended, you can still check your local code. This step can help prevent spilled gasoline vapors from entering your house, thus partially protecting the residents from carbon monoxide fume.
This one is only applicable to house-attached garages. The idea behind a ICF fire rated wall is to give homeowners an extra hour of protection from the fire that may start inside the garage. To achieve this, the walls should be sheathed with at least 5/8” drywall on every side. But you still have to check with your local code enforcement division as some jurisdictions may require for the thickness to be doubled. If the wall is made of cinder block, brick, solid concrete, stone, or other types of non-flammable materials, then you just have to worry about penetrations.
Now, you may have realized that your garage plays an important part in keeping your home and family safe. Thus, it is not something that you can just take for granted. The ones mentioned above are just a few steps to make sure that your walls can resist fire and prevent any accident from getting worse. Be sure to apply them and abide by the rules and regulations in your area for better safety.