Foam sealants help thoroughly fill voids to prevent flame spread. Fireblocking sealants are tinted orange-red for easy identification during code inspections.
Foam sealants help thoroughly fill voids to prevent flame spread. Fireblocking sealants are tinted orange-red for easy identification during code inspections.

fire safety starts in the home, but in most houses it starts inside the walls. A requirement in many residential construction assemblies, fireblocking helps slow or block the passage of flames and smoke from room to room and floor to floor.

Three manufacturers have recently updated their fireblocking offerings with new or improved products.

New to the market is USG’s Firecode Smoke-Sound Sealant, boasting fire, smoke, and acoustical control all in one product. Especially useful in fire-rated partitions, through-penetration firestop systems, and sound-rated assemblies, Firecode eliminates some of the labor involved in spraying for fire and acoustical issues separately.

At Fomo, Handi-Foam Fireblock is now available in a cylinder dispensing unit, offering contractors a higher-volume option to eliminate the need to frequently reload their foam supplies. Users can now get nearly 14,000 linear feet of a 3/8-inch bead of sealant, compared with just under 2,000 linear feet from a gun foam can dispenser.

“Foam fireblock products have become more prevalent, especially because of the expansion characteristics that help guarantee a tight seal,” says Doug Caffoe, vice president of business and market development for Fomo.

Construction pros using Red Devil’s FireBlock Foam-N-Fill will be happy to hear that the product is now documented by the ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) as meeting code requirements. “With an ICC code report readily available for our professional construction customers, they can quickly and easily decide if Fireblock Foam is a good fit for their project,” says Jason Ringling, director of marketing for Red Devil.

ICC-ES examined Red Devil’s FireBlock Foam-N-Fill product information, test reports, calculations, quality-control methods, and other factors to ensure that the product is code-compliant.

When to Fireblock

According to the International Building Code, in single-family residential construction fireblocking is required in the following locations. Check section R302.11 and sections referenced in the outline for more details.

1. Concealed spaces of stud walls and partitions, including furred spaces and parallel rows of studs or staggered studs, as follows: 1.1. Vertically at the ceiling and floor levels; 1.2. orizontally at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3,048 mm).

2. All interconnections between concealed vertical and horizontal spaces, such as occur at soffits, drop ceilings, and cove ceilings.

3. Concealed spaces between stair stringers at the top and bottom of the run. Enclosed spaces under stairs shall comply with Section R302.7.

4. Openings around vents, pipes, ducts, cables and wires at ceiling and floor level, with an approved material to resist the free passage of flame and products of combustion. The material filling this annular space shall not be required to meet the ASTM E 136 requirements.

5. For the fireblocking of chimneys and fireplaces, see Section R1003.19.

6. Fireblocking of cornices of a two-family dwelling is required at the line of dwelling unit separation.