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What Are the Differences Between Fireblock and Firestop?

Fireblock and Firestop

What are the differences between fireblock and firestop?

Fire safety is an important part of construction zones. This method also ensures safety for businesses and homes. Keeping buildings safe begs the question, what are the differences between Fireblock and Firestop? In this week’s blog, we will examine the answers to those questions. Read on to learn more about Fireblock and Firestop. Why are they used interchangeably?

Fireblock and Firestop Used Interchangeably

Throughout the country, the term “firestopping” is used interchangeably with the other terms “fireblocking” and “draftstopping”. These terms, however, are meant to describe different and separate protection objectives. In the next two sections, we will explore what the actual difference between Fireblock and Firestop is.

What is Fireblock?

Fireblock is, of course similar, and virtually indistinguishable from Firestop. The main difference between the two methods is the material used. Fireblock or fireblocking uses basic building materials. These materials include:

  • Lumber
  • Structural wood panels
  • Gypsum board
  • Cement fiberboard/particleboard
  • Blankets of glass or mineral wool
  • Other approved materials

The fundamental principle behind Fireblock is to essentially stop fire or hot gasses that could cause a fire. Fire and hot gasses can easily spread in the hard to reach or concealed spaces, such as inside walls.

What is Firestop?

In the 1980s, Firestop became more well-defined. The basics of Firestop was defined as “protecting through-penetrations” as in stopping the spread of fire. Around this time, Firestop was officially designated as a so-called “performance-oriented discipline”. Building codes were updated, to account for test methods such as ASTM E814, known as the “Test Method for Fire Tests of Through-Penetration Fire Stops.”

What about “Noncombustible”?

“Noncombustible” has been used as a term, historically speaking, to indicate that certain materials cannot transfer heat or run the risk of catching fire and exploding (which is a difference in and of itself from the often-confused terms “flammable” and “inflammable!) But the term “noncombustible” has also fallen out of favor. Since approximately 2001, the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) have removed so-called “noncombustible” requirements from being necessary on fireblocking materials. Instead, “noncombustible” was redefined as “approved material to resist the free passage of flame and the products of combustion”. Essentially, it is still the same principle, but operating under a different and lengthier name.

Prioritizing Safety with G & M Services

G & M Services is proud of our employees and the dedication they have for safety in the workplace. Our employees are also rewarded for positive safety practices. We incorporate weekly and monthly discussions and meetings to ensure that all involved are aware of how to handle equipment and potential situations that could occur during a project.

G & M Services offers services in the way of concrete drilling and sawing, concrete scanning, and FireStop. To get started with G & M Services, call us today at 410-787-8828 or visit our contact page.

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