What is the Use of a Firewall in the House?

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Are you planning on building your dream house? Take a pause from all the planning and calculating because there are still far more important things that you have to take care of, like the firewall. One of the most threatening occurrences that can happen to your property is for it to be buried in a fire. Fire is so destructive that it could not only destroy your house but cause serious injuries to people inside the burning property or even cause some casualties. Read this article to know more about how to create a home trough a firewall in the house.

Read Also: Electrical Fire Safety Tips for Your Home

1. Prevention Always Comes First in Fire Safety

Some of the most important fire safety features in buildings or houses are those that the naked eye cannot see. A firewall in the house isn’t really something you think about much when it comes to constructing your dream home. But in reality, a firewall in the house is one of those invisible features that can save your life in case of fire.

Essentially, a firewall is an aid to reduce the potential spread of fire uncontrollably across a property. It is actually a fireproof wall or barrier that stops the spread of fire from entering a place to give occupants more time to escape. In many cases, these types of fire barriers like firewalls can slow the progress of the fire long enough to allow the fire department to arrive and get the fire under control. Hence, it is really important for an individual, especially a homeowner, to know what is a firewall and why is it used when it comes to building your property.

2. Putting Firewall in the Right Places

Although most fires from the home start in the kitchen, the garage has also the requirement for a firewall. It is because fires that start in the garage can go unnoticeable, even if the occupants are asleep, and could block the pathway going outside making it hard for the occupants to escape the fire unlike fires in the kitchen which tend to be obvious and discovered quickly. But it’s still possible to have a firewall installed in any room. There are many possibilities for fire problems to arise in the garage. There are a lot of flammable items stored like paint and gasoline along with other items that create flammable vapors like brake fluid, varnish, motor oil, and fluids containing solvents, such as paint thinner. Moreover, oil and gasoline leaks from vehicles could also be a source of fire. They could be unnoticeable yet these flammable liquids could also eventually ignite. There are a lot of flammable items often stored in the garage, so it perfectly makes sense to require a firewall in the house, especially from the garage also. If you have an attached garage in your home, make sure that your firewall does not have any holes or cracks, it should remain intact. You never know, in case a fire arises in your garage, your firewall might just save your life.

How do Firewalls Work?

Firewalls that are resistant to fire are usually made with sheetrock which doesn’t burn quickly and slows down the speed of fire infiltrating through the dwelling areas. A firewall in the house is a simple structure to implement consisting of a layer of drywall. It is often made of fire-resistant structures, typically made of concrete, concrete blocks, or even reinforced concrete designed specifically to slow down the spread of fire by means of compartmentalization. While different building code in the world requires different measurements, the standard measurement for a firewall in the house is at least ½ inch drywall in the building of a firewall. But in the Philippines, there are a lot of things to take note of first. For instance, according to the National Building Code of the Philippines (NBCP), for all residential classifications, if there is a firewall on one side only, the building structure should be measured horizontally from the property line with a firewall to the outermost countenance of the opposite exterior walls of the building structure. Another instance is when there is a firewall on two sides or one on the rear property line and on one side, then the building structure should be measured horizontally from the opposing property lines if there is a firewall on two sides or from the rear property line with a firewall to the outermost countenance of the opposite exterior walls of the building structure. Furthermore, a firewall in the house in the Philippines represents the maximum allowable use of property along its property line. Any extension beyond the property line is a violation of property rights like trespassing, illegal use of the air rights of an adjoining property, and similar violations, and thus open for the filing of a complaint.

Also, the National Building Code of the Philippines (NBCP) allows the establishment of light and ventilation wells together with firewalls provided the operable windows are measured 2.0 meters away from the firewall. In the opinion of one architect in the Philippines, a firewall is not required when it comes to designing your home unless similar building types beg for the anticipation of a firewall because this serves as a separation wall for each unit to delay fire from coming into your home.

A firewall should not be confused with other fire protection systems like fire barriers, partitions, or smoke walls. They all have their own function in the overall design of the building or house. A firewall is simply a wall separating buildings or subdividing a building structure to anticipate the spread of fire while maintaining structural stability and sturdiness while also offering fire resistance to the area. A fire barrier has a fire-resistance rating in hours depending on the purpose, it could also serve as a separation barrier for occupants or isolate hazardous areas, thereby creating an enclosing exit. While a smoke barrier is used for restricting the movement of smoke in the building and usually have a fire-resistance rating also. Lastly, smoke partitions are not the same as smoke barriers as they do not have a fire-resistance rating and may terminate at a ceiling.

Why Should You Ensure that Your House has a Firewall?

The construction and maintenance of a firewall is a pretty basic and safety precaution for your home yet often overlooked and no one appreciates it until they need it.

Again, a firewall in the house is necessary to contain fires and limit therefore any property damage, and protect the lives of the occupants. Fire resistance barriers have been tested to act as passive fire protection that can withstand fire for at least a couple of hours to enable the occupants to escape and find a way out. A firewall is only a passive fire protection system because it only restricts the fire growth, not extinguish it. But nevertheless, it still does its job to protect the occupants and the public from the danger of uncontrolled fires, especially in urban areas. Passive fire protection is one of the key components of effective fire protection in modern facilities like buildings. Other active fire protection system includes automatic sprinkler systems that automatically attempts to suppress a fire. A fire extinguisher is also a must in any household, check this article from BRIA Homes to know more– Importance of Fire Extinguishers at Home.