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    Default Attached garage fires

    Can anyone refer me to a formal article(s) written about the dangers of vertically ventilating directly over an attached garage fire, especially when well-involved? There are numerous articles written on engine operations with respect to these types of fires, but I've been unable to find any referring to truck company roof operations at them.
    Thanks.

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    I cant think of a situation where vertically venting a garage is even necessary.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    I agree unlesss life safety is involved, such as a converted garage with residents in it. We've had a couple of fires recently where guys went over the garage to vent and luckily did not go through the roof, which has happened to other FFs recently in CA. I want a "formal" article to bring to my FD for these reasons, such as a basic SOG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilcummin View Post
    I agree unlesss life safety is involved, such as a converted garage with residents in it.
    If it's been converted to living space, then it's no longer an attached garage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    I cant think of a situation where vertically venting a garage is even necessary.
    I agree. In fact, a lot of fires don't need the roof opened up. Horizontal ventilation is more than adequate in many instances, particularly in SFDs, and can be accomplished a lot faster than cutting a hole in the roof.

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    Firemedic: did you read the question? I'm looking for any articles (Firehouse, Fireengineering, etc.) that discuss vertical roof operations on attached garages and its inherent dangers. Your brilliant comment that if a resident lives in it makes it no longer an attached garage shows ignorance. Save your opinions...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilcummin View Post
    Firemedic: did you read the question? I'm looking for any articles (Firehouse, Fireengineering, etc.) that discuss vertical roof operations on attached garages and its inherent dangers. Your brilliant comment that if a resident lives in it makes it no longer an attached garage shows ignorance. Save your opinions...
    A bit more tact might be beneficial to your efforts.

    Nothing wrong with bringing up tactical discussions....this is a place to learn.

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    Kilcummin....

    Relax a bit man, he was just making an honest statement, like you are asking an honest question.

    Now, to answer your question, I remember an article in Fire Engineering probably 6 or more years ago (been a while) about venting row garages. You know, a garage complex for an apartment building or something with multiple garages in the same structure. The article talked about the truss roof construction but that a special danger is that the trusses have less support compared to living areas because there are no walls to help support them. there is a bigger area for heat and smoke to build up and less areas for it to break out and vent itself (such as windows, doors, etc.) I would imagine the same would pertain to attached garages.

    My own opinion would say stay off the roof over the garage. If it needs to be vented, I would open the garage door. If there is no door because fire is venting already then that opening is more than enough to vent it. Since around the 1980's building codes require a wall between the garage and living areas, all the way through the attic. As an example, my house was built in 1960 with a single attached garage. I have a wide open attic all the way across, however I don't have as single truss in the place. They are all 2x6's nailed together.

    So...If there is no fire wall then it's older than 1980's. If there is a wall it will better contain the fire to the garage but then you are dealing with lighter weight construction materials. Best bet is to stay off the roof all together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilcummin View Post
    I agree unlesss life safety is involved, such as a converted garage with residents in it. We've had a couple of fires recently where guys went over the garage to vent and luckily did not go through the roof, which has happened to other FFs recently in CA. I want a "formal" article to bring to my FD for these reasons, such as a basic SOG.
    Here's the green sheet from the Ca roof collapse. It's not exactly what you asked for so please don't get mad at me.

    http://lafdtraining.org/btrm/wp-cont...ngs-112101.pdf
    IAFF

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilcummin View Post
    I agree unlesss life safety is involved, such as a converted garage with residents in it. We've had a couple of fires recently where guys went over the garage to vent and luckily did not go through the roof, which has happened to other FFs recently in CA. I want a "formal" article to bring to my FD for these reasons, such as a basic SOG.
    Why does everyone "need a formal article" to present their disliking of a tactic or procedure to their bosses? If you can't find anything, why not sit down and pen a "white paper" yourself. Do the research carefully, and write it yourself. Leave out emotion, and pen factual information only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilcummin View Post
    I agree unlesss life safety is involved, such as a converted garage with residents in it. We've had a couple of fires recently where guys went over the garage to vent and luckily did not go through the roof, which has happened to other FFs recently in CA. I want a "formal" article to bring to my FD for these reasons, such as a basic SOG.
    If they vented over the garage, it should have gone through the roof, or they werent doing it right.

    The dangers of vertical ventilation over an attached garage of a private dwelling are the same as any other. Particularly in lightweight construction, early roof failure is a concern. With dimensional lumber and quality sheathing, buys you a little more time. Its your duty to learn your zone and determine which applies. Early attic extension is common in attached garage fires through wooden scuttle accesses and HVAC chases. If you feel vertical vent is necessary to prevent horizontal extension across the attic space then do so, and use the same caution as venting any other peaked roof, and operate within you policies.

    That sounds pretty official

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Kilcummin....

    . Since around the 1980's building codes require a wall between the garage and living areas, all the way through the attic. As an example, my house was built in 1960 with a single attached garage. I have a wide open attic all the way across, however I don't have as single truss in the place. They are all 2x6's nailed together.

    So...If there is no fire wall then it's older than 1980's. If there is a wall it will better contain the fire to the garage but then you are dealing with lighter weight construction materials. Best bet is to stay off the roof all together.
    we dont have that code here. It probably would have saved alot of roofs if we did.

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    What Dickey meant to say was:

    "Since around the 1980's certain building codes (that to this day not every jurisdiction has adopted) require a fire separation between the garage and living space."
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeatherHed4Life View Post
    we dont have that code here. It probably would have saved alot of roofs if we did.
    You don't have it in FL? Incredible considering that FL is one of the most regulated states when it comes to the building industry. My father became a licensed FL contractor after years of doing the same, without any license requirements in the Northeast. The number of required inspections and documentation for a simple residential home is ridiculous compared to most states. I'd be very surprised that FL didn't require separation of a garage from the living space.

    To the OP: I'm wondering who would have felt it necessary to write an article explaining what should be fairly obvious about venting over a space with a significant fire load, minimal life hazard, open structural members and large openings that allow for rapidly employing large BTU killing lines? Aren't their tons of articles about vertical ventilation hazards in unprotected attics and those with lightweight building materials? Articles on tactics for garages in general that make no mention of utilizing vertical ventilation?
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 06-05-2011 at 11:48 AM.

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    Well.. if there is a fire in my garage...

    Save the Mustang!



    I have two heat detectors (one for each bay) tied into my home fire alarm system. My garage is full insulated, drywalled and sheetrocked with attic space above; access via a set of pull down stairs, so a garage fire at my house would be treated just like any other structure fire. The key is getting out and looking at new constructioni n your district and share the info with the other stations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    My garage is full insulated, drywalled and sheetrocked with attic space above; access via a set of pull down stairs.
    Are the pull-down stairs code-compliant fire separation stairs??? (If not, as long as the wall in between the living space and the garage attic storage is a compliant separation wall (see below) you are ok. If not, I would cover the bottom of the pull-down panel with a piece of 5/8" type X GWB.

    By the way, for those of you in the International Residential Code world.....The IRC requires that the wall inside the garage be a minimum of
    5/8" Type X GWB.....The walls inside the living space adjacent to the garage have to be a minimum of 1/2" drywall. All electrical boxes adjacent to or under living space must be boxes rated for installation in a garage fire separation assembly. If there is accessible space above the garage, the pull down stairs must be a set of rated stairs *OR* the wall adjacent to the living space (inside the attic) must be compliant.

    Anyone who builds a new home in my jurisdiction with living space above the garage is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to install a double layer of 5/8" on the garage ceiling, seams staggered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Well.. if there is a fire in my garage....
    SCREW THE MUSTANG!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Well.. if there is a fire in my garage...

    Save the Mustang!
    furds are turds!



    mopar or no car.
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    I'm usually one of the more pro-vertical vent people here, but when you can open up a massive door that provides a giant hole that goes almost to the roof line I don't see the use of it in the majority of situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    mopar or no car.
    Ford: F*cked Over Rebuilt Dodge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    SCREW THE MUSTANG!
    You need a bigger garage!

    PS: the separation walls are both 5/8ths sheetrock..
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 06-06-2011 at 01:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    You don't have it in FL? Incredible considering that FL is one of the most regulated states when it comes to the building industry. My father became a licensed FL contractor after years of doing the same, without any license requirements in the Northeast. The number of required inspections and documentation for a simple residential home is ridiculous compared to most states. I'd be very surprised that FL didn't require separation of a garage from the living space.
    im not a contractor or anything, but I've always done alot of snooping around houses under construction and from my observational standpoint, it is not required to have seperation extending all the way up through the attic. Garage seperation is just done with sheetrock and just recently(<5yrs) the entry door to the house got an increased fire rating via thin metal skin to make it a bit more substantial than a regular hollow core exterior door.

    I hate to derail the original topic, but an interesting construction feature we are encountering now are hurricane straps. They are threaded rods that run the joist bay vertically and tie into the foundation/top plate every 8' or so. Theoretically they are supposed to keep the house/roof anchored to the foundation. In reality whats happening is the houses are being struck by lightning in the summer and are creating interesting void space fires and heat travel inside the walls as the lightning travels through the rods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Ford: F*cked Over Rebuilt Dodge.
    In his defense, 80% of fords are still on the road today.








    20% made it home. I jest, I'd kill for the new 5.0 coyote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    In his defense, 80% of fords are still on the road today.
    And 80% of any given Mopile is spread out all over the roads.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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