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Edward Dueppen, AIA, CSI, LEED AP

Ron - thanks for the early Christmas present! This article was very good and highly necessary. Fire walls are one aspect of codes that most designers don't understand.

Ron Geren

Ed: I'm glad you enjoyed it.


I live in Fl, and my congregation would like to hang a shelf for a 15" speaker from a firewall. Is this against code?

Ron Geren


The first question I have is: are you sure it is a fire wall and not some other fire-resistance-rated wall, such as a fire barrier?

Depending on the wall construction, the penetration of a fire-resistance-rated wall can be treated differently. I assume this is a gypsum board partition and the mounting of the shelf would only penetrate the gypsum board on one side, thus making it a membrane penetration and not a through penetration.

The use of metal screws for mounting into a would backing really isn't any different that screwing or nailing the gypsum board to the studs. Therefore, that type of attachement would not be a problem. If the attachment is through the layer of gypsum board using toggle bolts, then there might be some concern depending on the size of the hole. However, the code allows 100 sq. in. of metal electrical boxes through the gypsum board with minimal protection, so I really doubt that a few screws, which have very little area, would be a problem.

frank patrouch

question. a verizon tech was told to run a wire through an attic of a strip mall, through two fire walls. this was in new jersey and i was told this was against regulations. im the techs union rep and would like to straighten this out.

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