I-Joist Fire Protective Assemblies and Firefighter Safety

Webinar: Fire Protective Assemblies and Firefighter Safety

Presented by Robert Neale of Integra Code Consultants, former vice president of National Fire Service Activities for the International Code Council, this training focuses on assemblies that meet the fire-protective membrane requirements of the code, specifically as they relate to I-joist floor systems. This information is presented in the context of what firefighters, fire officials and code officials should know about code requirements and tested alternatives to ensure requisite structural performance in fire conditions. This course is approved by AIA (1 HSW/LU) and ICC (0.10 CEU). Note: Do not navigate to YouTube if you require a certificate. A downloadable certificate of completion is available only when this webinar is viewed on this webpage in entirety, after completing a brief questionnaire.

Approximate length: 1 hour.


Fire-Resistive Construction Makes Buildings Safer

Fire Protective Assemblies and Firefighter Safety While no building is truly fireproof, construction materials and systems can make a building safer. Fire-resistive construction gives time for firefighters to discover a fire, suppress it before it spreads and evacuate the building, if necessary. In many cases, ordinary wood-frame construction with plywood or other wood structural panel sheathing provides ample fire safety and is completely acceptable. Other materials may require additional protection.

The engineered wood products industry, working with code authorities, is committed to continuous improvement of fire safety for the protection of homeowners and fire service personnel.

As construction evolves and new building materials and techniques are being developed, the engineered wood industry continues working to address concerns about fire safety.

The Popularity of Engineered Wood I-Joist Floors

I-joists are used in about 50% of framed floors in single-family homes in the U.S. There are several reasons for the growing prevalence of I-joists in floor construction. They provide consistent performance, reducing the cost of callbacks for squeaks in floors. They are readily available and easy to install, especially for long spans in open floor plans, and there are many choices for I-joist floor assemblies that comply with building code requirements to provide builders with greater flexibility.

Fire Protection of I-Joist Floors

For the safety of occupants and firefighters, the International Residential Code (IRC) includes provisions to enhance the fire performance of floor systems. For example, the IRC requires that all residential floor assemblies, unless protected by an automatic sprinkler system, be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum board membrane, 5/8-inch wood structural panel membrane, or equivalent on the underside of the floor framing member. Several code-compliant alternatives for design and construction of fire-protective I-joist floor systems are provided in the APA System Report 405: Fire Protection of Floors Constructed with Prefabricated Wood I-Joists for Compliance with the IRC.