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Top 3 ranked Fire-Resistant walls.

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Top 3 ranked Fire-Resistant walls.

Although fire is a friend to humankind, it is a foe that needs to be confined and controlled. An escape is deleterious to lives, properties, and buildings. So, limit any outbreak by use of amicable fire barrier walls.

Fire barrier derives its meaning from the term fire-resistant that means being fire-impervious. So, fire-barrier refers to a separate subdivision of a building into sections. The branches aim at curbing the spreading of fire within the premises.

You may have heard the term used by your team-mates at construction, engineering site. Most apartment owners consider impervious fire materials to confine fire accidents. And you may too consider when installing one in your house. Fire resistants’ restricts fire spread. And you are so performing structural protection of your building.

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Find a detailed description of the varied fire-resistance designs as categorized by international building code IBC. They include; Fire partition, Fire barriers, and Firewalls.

IBC advocates that the different fire-resistance designs need to be constructed as per the separating space area. Each fire-resistant wall bears a unique fire-resistance rating rule. So, choose the one that suits your building occupancy.


A glance at each of the categories can help to make an informed decision.

  1. Fire partition

Being the least fire-restrictive wall fire partitions bears a fire-resistance rating of one hour. Barriers are used in shopping malls, hotels, dormitories, and in multi-dwelling areas like corridors, sleeping units. When using fire partitions, you should reduce the size of all openings. You can use a fire-rated fire door or glass to cover all ventilation. Typically, fire barriers are non-load bearing. IBC has ascertained its fire-resistance rating. Building regulation is the determinant to fire resistance. Partitions extend from roof to floor, from top floor to the underneath of roof sheathing.

Fire partitions are constructed in various designed specifications depending on a performance level, intended use, and required appearance. Its ratings can be minimized when used in sleeping units if an automatic sprinkler system is provided. Also, the reduction is applicable when code permits the corridor wall to have a 30-minute assembly.

  1. Fire barriers

NFPA denotes a fire barrier as a fire-resistance wall of assembled materials made to maintain the circulation of fire. Firewalls extend from floor to floor or from the roof/ceiling to floor inclusive of interstitial and concealed spaces. Fire barrier ratings differ at a fire-resistance rating of between 1 to 4 hours. Other than preventing fire spread, fire barriers restrict heat flow from the area of origin.

When choosing fire barriers for your construction support, ensure that the barrier rating is adequate for the building because it will help confine a fire outbreak to one location. Ensure that all openings are covered. Fire barriers have a lower fire-resistance rating than firewalls. So, maintain construction integrity as per IBC codes.

  1. Firewalls

Firewalls are thicker walls designed to extend through the floor vertically. Firewalls have a higher fire-resistance rating compared to that of fire partitions or barriers. They have 2-hour as the minimum fire-resistance rating and 4-hour as the maximum.

Typically, firewalls provide structural collapse by preventing wall damage on either side of the building. For a full function of firewalls, ensure your building walls are made from non-flammable materials except when using Type V design. You should always adhere to IBC’s proposed wall codes. Keep in mind to cover all openings.

Learn more about fire-resistant assemblies and how helpful each can be.

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