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TOPIC: Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated?

Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated? 3 years 9 months ago #62504

It seems many of the homes built in one neighborhood have pull down stairs in the garage.  These are the wooden type that fold up into the attic.  The IRC indicates 1/2 in. GB or equivalent on the garage side of walls & ceilings common to house or shared attic space.  I'm not sure what it means.."shared attic space" and "common to house" also wonder if other inspectors would comment on this as being a deficiency or what you would say in your report? Your comments/help is appreciated on this topic.  Thank you.

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Re: Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated? 3 years 9 months ago #62505

The IRC indicates 1/2 in. GB or equivalent on the garage side of walls & ceilings common to house or shared attic space.  I'm not sure what it means.."shared attic space" and "common to house"


Substitute "common to house" with "adjacent to living space" and it makes more sence.

"Shared attic space" is where the garage attic and living space attic has NO fire break (fire wall) which continues from the garage wall(s) up to the underside of the roof to separate garage attic from living space attic.

Wooden pull down stairs do not comply with todays fire rating standards if there is no fire break that separates the garage attic and the living space attic and so it would be a deficiency and you should comment on it.

This what I use in my report:

"There was a set of wooden pull down stairs in the garage ceiling. Pull down stairs or other hatches providing access to "shared attic space" should conform to modern firewall requirements and these stairs do not. Recommend replacing the existing stairs with fire rated stairs or consulting your local fire marshal for more options."

I also include a definition of "shared attic space" below the comment/narrative.

Hope that makes sence.

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Peak Inspection Services | Over 32 Years of Contractor Experience!
Residential Inspections | Commercial Inspections
Office: 908-750-6789 | www.peakinspectionservices.com
Last Edit: by Steve Payson.

Re: Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated? 3 years 9 months ago #62511

Steve,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer.  It makes allot of sense as you have described.

Regards,

James

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Re: Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated? 3 years 9 months ago #62538

I have seen 1/2 inch drywall added to the garage side of the pull down stair.  Does this qualify the pull down stair for the fire rating?

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Roger Owen
541-326-7911
Superior Inspections, Inc.
Serving Southern Oregon

Re: Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated? 3 years 9 months ago #62539


Where I live, it's 5/8, but yes, if it's done right.

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Peak Inspection Services | Over 32 Years of Contractor Experience!
Residential Inspections | Commercial Inspections
Office: 908-750-6789 | www.peakinspectionservices.com

Re: Pull down stairs located in the garage-fire rated? 3 years 9 months ago #62540

Thank you, Steve.  I just wanted to verify.

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Roger Owen
541-326-7911
Superior Inspections, Inc.
Serving Southern Oregon
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