Definition of "Fire division"

James Spiech real estate agent
James Spiech, Real Estate Agent Investors Real Estate

A fire division defines the act of breaking up a building into well-defined separate parts. They can also use an artificial division line from incombustible building materials. Often, you’ll find the term as the occupancy separation wall. Typically, constructors introduce a firewall or open-air spaces between buildings. The purpose is to minimize the chances of fire spreading, be it horizontally or vertically.

A fire division wall is a blocking wall that expands from the lowest floor level to the building covering or roof construction. In addition, it extends the building’s entire width or length to impede a fire from spreading. It is the very step constructors have to carry into effect to make a property fireproof to assure fire prevention

Fire division wall in real estate

A house can have various outside fire features, such as pits, bowls, and tables. However, real estate proprietors should ensure that their home has a proper fire division wall if they install a fireplace inside. Using a sign, homeowners must name the fire division wall’s precise location at the building’s exterior side.

When you don’t require a fire division signs

There are various instances when they don’t require a sign toidentify a fire division:


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  1. If two or more downtown buildings have adjacent exterior walls.
  2. If a fire division or occupancy separation wall expands above the roofs and, at the same time, it is another building section’s outer wall.
  3. You don’t need a sign if the building has three upper stories.

How should they put fire divisions into practice?

Strict regulations apply when it comes to the construction of fire divisions. Builders should build fire divisions of non-combustible materials to ensure fire resistance. Additionally, builders must erect vertical fire divisions to extend and stabilize these walls between the roof, foundation, or horizontal fire divisions. 

Moreover, they must cover any hidden spaces in the roof construction or floor, where the occupancy separation wall should also be continuous. On the other hand, horizontal fire divisions must be uninterrupted between external walls and or vertical fire divisions.

Even if they tear down a particular part of the building, this should not endanger the other side of the support of the construction. The same scenario should apply in the event of building collapse. In addition, fire divisions should be impervious to smoke at their connection with external walls. In all cases, the fire division should be stable.

Constructors must apply four inches of fire-resistant material to hollow vertical fire divisions. Therefore, they can end the spreading of fire, gasses, and smoke via the empty spaces to other stories and the roof.

How are the number of units in a fire division defined?

Did you know that they develop base premiums based on the number of families in a fire division in the case of townhouses and row homes? Let’s look at how they establish the number of family units inside a fire division. They will deem a two-family residence co-dependant or attached with an extra family dwelling a three-family-unit inside a fire division if a firewall does not separate the original two units. 

Likewise, if firewalls do not disconnect units, they will regard four co-dependant two-family residences as an eight-family unit within a fire division. Note, however, that rules for fire division may vary in each US state. For further information, check applicable regulations with a professional!

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