October 24, 2021 at 11:18 pm #14009
I inspected a triplex. It is composed of one apartment on the main level and two smaller apartments on the second level.
Everything seems to be OK except for an homemade attic hatch located in one of the apartments on the second level. I believe this is not providing an adequate fire separation. What could I suggest be done to remedy the situation?
October 25, 2021 at 11:28 am #14010Robert KingParticipant
First question is does the ceiling in the apartment where the attic hatch is located require a fire separation having a fire resistance rating?
Second question is what Section of Retrofit does the “triplex” fall under? Is it a 9.5?
October 25, 2021 at 3:15 pm #14011
couple of things that might affect the rating, agreed with Robert that we need to know if 9.5 of the OFC applies, but further to that, does the attic contain any building services? does the other unit have access to the attic? is it being used for storage space? does it need detection?
most tri-plexes i come across i have found that they have been converted from a single family dwelling at one time without a permit, you may want to considering asking the building dept if there is any history on this building.
October 25, 2021 at 10:18 pm #14012
Thank you Robert,
Not sure how to respond to your first question. I would say yes, being that if fire was to occur in this apartment, fire spread through this hatch would be a given, no? Also, none of these units share an egress, they all have their own independent exit, so am I right by saying this is not a 9.5? I’m going with a part 2.
No services or storage in the attic, simply insulation. The only access to the attic in through this hatch. The attic is fully opened above both apartments. This property was renovated but was initially built in 1948-1950.
Thanks again gentlemen!
October 26, 2021 at 8:55 am #14014
Julien. just because they do not share common exit facilities doe snot mean 9.5 does not apply, what is the occupant load of the building? more than 10, then 9.5 would apply.
October 26, 2021 at 8:55 am #14015
Julien. just because they do not share common exit facilities does not mean 9.5 does not apply, what is the occupant load of the building? more than 10, then 9.5 would apply.
October 26, 2021 at 6:30 pm #14016
It’s a 2-bedroom on the level (3 occupants), and two 1-bedroom apartments upstairs. (maximum 4 occupants) = 7 occupants total.
October 26, 2021 at 10:01 pm #14017Charles GagnonParticipant
Good evening Julien,
I would have to say that 9.5 does not apply since it doesn’t meet any of the applications. None of the units share a common means of egress and none of the units seems to fit the definition of a boarding, lodging or dormitory. I think it’s fair to say that Part 2 is your only option. However, it doesn’t speak about attic hatch anywhere in the code. Not even Part 9
If you have a ceiling that is covered with gypsum or similar product that would typically have 30 min FRR to prevent fire spread through the attic space into the adjacent unit. As a Chief Fire Official, you have the right to ask the owner that the attic hatch be of same rating (hatch door) as the ceiling by either covering with gypsum or install an approved fire rated hatch.
Not sure if it helped.
It’s a good question!
October 27, 2021 at 11:39 am #14018Martin SaumureParticipant
Julien, what is the construction of the ceiling? gypsum board? At a minimum I would consider the attic hatch to be a closure. thus if the ceiling requires a rating, so does the closure. I would consult with the building department to see if a permit was obtained to complete and work in separating the building into a triplex… If the work was not completed under a permit, an inspection order under “F” in order for them to apply for a building permit to construct an adequate fire separation, and this would also resolve the hatch issue… MY 2 cents!
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