ICC Subscriptions
 
SECTION 717 CONCEALED SPACES

717.1 General.
Fireblocking and draftstopping shall be installed in combustible concealed locations in accordance with this section. Fireblocking shall comply with Section 717.2. Draftstopping in floor/ceiling spaces and attic spaces shall comply with Sections 717.3 and 717.4, respectively. The permitted use of combustible materials in concealed spaces of buildings of Type I or II construction shall be limited to the applications indicated in Section 717.5.

717.2 Fireblocking.
In combustible construction, fireblocking shall be installed to cut off concealed draft openings (both vertical and horizontal) and shall form an effective barrier between floors, between a top story and a roof or attic space. Fireblocking shall be installed in the locations specified in Sections 717.2.2 through 717.2.7.

717.2.1 Fireblocking materials. Fireblocking shall consist of the following materials:
1. Two-inch (51 mm) nominal lumber.
2. Two thicknesses of 1-inch (25 mm) nominal lumber with broken lap joints.
3. One thickness of 0.719-inch (18.3 mm) wood structural panels with joints backed by 0.719-inch (18.3 mm) wood structural panels.
4. One thickness of 0.75-inch (19.1 mm) particleboard with joints backed by 0.75-inch (19 mm) particleboard.
5. One-half-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board.
6. One-fourth-inch (6.4 mm) cement-based millboard.
7. Batts or blankets of mineral wool, mineral fiber or other approved materials installed in such a manner as to be securely retained in place.
717.2.1.1 Batts or blankets of mineral wool or mineral fiber. Batts or blankets of mineral wool or mineral fiber or other approved nonrigid materials shall be permitted for compliance with the 10-foot (3048 mm) horizontal fireblocking in walls constructed using parallel rows of studs or staggered studs.
717.2.1.2 Unfaced fiberglass. Unfaced fiberglass batt insulation used as fireblocking shall fill the entire cross section of the wall cavity to a minimum height of 16 inches (406 mm) measured vertically. When piping, conduit or similar obstructions are encountered, the insulation shall be packed tightly around the obstruction.
717.2.1.3 Loose-fill insulation material. Loose-fill insulation material, insulating foam sealants and caulk materials shall not be used as a fireblock unless specifically tested in the form and manner intended for use to demonstrate its ability to remain in place and to retard the spread of fire and hot gases.
717.2.1.4 Fireblocking integrity. The integrity of fireblocks shall be maintained.
717.2.1.5 Double stud walls. Batts or blankets of mineral or glass fiber or other approved nonrigid materials shall be allowed as fireblocking in walls constructed using parallel rows of studs or staggered studs.
717.2.2 Concealed wall spaces. Fireblocking shall be provided in concealed spaces of stud walls and partitions, including furred spaces, and parallel rows of studs or staggered studs, as follows:
1. Vertically at the ceiling and floor levels.
2. Horizontally at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3048 mm).
717.2.3 Connections between horizontal and vertical spaces. Fireblocking shall be provided at interconnections between concealed vertical stud wall or partition spaces and concealed horizontal spaces created by an assembly of floor joists or trusses, and between concealed vertical and horizontal spaces such as occur at soffits, drop ceilings, cove ceilings and similar locations.
717.2.4 Stairways. Fireblocking shall be provided in concealed spaces between stair stringers at the top and bottom of the run. Enclosed spaces under stairs shall also comply with Section 1009.6.3.
717.2.5 Ceiling and floor openings. Where required by Exception 6 of Section 708.2, Exception 1 of Section 713.4.1.2 or Section 713.4.2, fireblocking of the annular space around vents, pipes, ducts, chimneys and fireplaces at ceilings and floor levels shall be installed with a material specifically tested in the form and manner intended for use to demonstrate its ability to remain in place and resist the free passage of flame and the products of combustion.
717.2.5.1 Factory-built chimneys and fireplaces. Factory-built chimneys and fireplaces shall be fireblocked in accordance with UL 103 and UL 127.
717.2.6 Architectural trim. Fireblocking shall be installed within concealed spaces of exterior wall finish and other exterior architectural elements where permitted to be of combustible construction as specified in Section 1406 or where erected with combustible frames, at maximum intervals of 20 feet (6096 mm), so that there will be no open space exceeding 100 square feet (9.3 m3). Where wood furring strips are used, they shall be of approved wood of natural decay resistance or preservative-treated wood. If noncontinuous, such elements shall have closed ends, with at least 4 inches (102 mm) of separation between sections.

Exceptions:
1. Fireblocking of cornices is not required in single-family dwellings. Fireblocking of cornices of a two-family dwelling is required only at the line of dwelling unit separation.
2. Fireblocking shall not be required where installed on noncombustible framing and the face of the exterior wall finish exposed to the concealed space is covered by one of the following materials:
2.1. Aluminum having a minimum thickness of 0.019 inch (0.5 mm).
2.2. Corrosion-resistant steel having a base metal thickness not less than 0.016 inch (0.4 mm) at any point.
2.3. Other approved noncombustible materials.
717.2.7 Concealed sleeper spaces. Where wood sleepers are used for laying wood flooring on masonry or concrete fire-resistance-rated floors, the space between the floor slab and the underside of the wood flooring shall be filled with an approved material to resist the free passage of flame and products of combustion or fireblocked in such a manner that there will be no open spaces under the flooring that will exceed 100 square feet (9.3 m2) in area and such space shall be filled solidly under permanent partitions so that there is no communication under the flooring between adjoining rooms.

Exceptions:
1. Fireblocking is not required for slab-on-grade floors in gymnasiums.
2. Fireblocking is required only at the juncture of each alternate lane and at the ends of each lane in a bowling facility.
717.3 Draftstopping in floors. In combustible construction, draftstopping shall be installed to subdivide floor/ceiling assemblies in the locations prescribed in Sections 717.3.2 through 717.3.3.

717.3.1 Draftstopping materials. Draftstopping materials shall not be less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board, 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) wood structural panel, 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) particleboard, 1-inch (25-mm) nominal lumber, cement fiberboard, batts or blankets of mineral wool or glass fiber, or other approved materials adequately supported. The integrity of draftstops shall be maintained.
717.3.2 Groups R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4. Draftstopping shall be provided in floor/ceiling spaces in Group R-1 buildings, in Group R-2 buildings with three or more dwelling units, in Group R-3 buildings with two dwelling units and in Group R-4 buildings. Draftstopping shall be located above and in line with the dwelling unit and sleeping unit separations.

Exceptions:
1. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
2. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.2, provided that automatic sprinklers are also installed in the combustible concealed spaces.
717.3.3 Other groups. In other groups, draftstopping shall be installed so that horizontal floor areas do not exceed 1,000 square feet (93 m2).

Exception:
Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
717.4 Draftstopping in attics. In combustible construction, draftstopping shall be installed to subdivide attic spaces and concealed roof spaces in the locations prescribed in Sections 717.4.2 and 717.4.3. Ventilation of concealed roof spaces shall be maintained in accordance with Section 1203.2.

717.4.1 Draftstopping materials. Materials utilized for draftstopping of attic spaces shall comply with Section 717.3.1.
717.4.1.1 Openings. Openings in the partitions shall be protected by self-closing doors with automatic latches constructed as required for the partitions.
717.4.2 Groups R-1 and R-2. Draftstopping shall be provided in attics, mansards, overhangs or other concealed roof spaces of Group R-2 buildings with three or more dwelling units and in all Group R-1 buildings. Draftstopping shall be installed above, and in line with, sleeping unit and dwelling unit separation walls that do not extend to the underside of the roof sheathing above.

Exceptions:
1. Where corridor walls provide a sleeping unit or dwelling unit separation, draftstopping shall only be required above one of the corridor walls.
2. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
3. In occupancies in Group R-2 that do not exceed four stories above grade plane, the attic space shall be subdivided by draftstops into areas not exceeding 3,000 square feet (279 m2) or above every two dwelling units, whichever is smaller.
4. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.2, provided that automatic sprinklers are also installed in the combustible concealed spaces.
717.4.3 Other groups. Draftstopping shall be installed in attics and concealed roof spaces, such that any horizontal area does not exceed 3,000 square feet (279 m2).

Exception:
Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
717.5 Combustible materials in concealed spaces in Type I or II construction. Combustible materials shall not be permitted in concealed spaces of buildings of Type I or II construction.

Exceptions:


1. Combustible materials in accordance with Section 603.
2. Combustible materials exposed within plenums complying with Section 602 of the International Mechanical Code.
3. Class A interior finish materials classified in accordance with Section 803.
4. Combustible piping within partitions or shaft enclosures installed in accordance with the provisions of this code.
5. Combustible piping within concealed ceiling spaces installed in accordance with the International Mechanical Code and the International Plumbing Code.
6. Combustible insulation and covering on pipe and tubing, installed in concealed spaces other than plenums, complying with Section 719.7.