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Fire Rated Door Requirements Between a Garage and House

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Lets get straight to the point…

Is a Fire Rated Door required between the Garage and the House?

If an openings is provided through a wall separating a dwelling unit from the garage, it is required to be protected per the International Residential Code (IRC).

See the example below:

fire rated door for garage

The opening between the garage and the house must be equipped with a door that provides protection per Section R302.5.1 of the International Residential Code.

This section of the code outlines the garage/home separation door requirements.

Any one of the following types of doors provided between the garage and house shall satisfy the requirements of Section R302.5.1.

  • Solid Wood Door not less than 1-3/8 inches thick
  • Solid or Honeycome-core Steel Door not less than 1-3/8 inches thick
  • 20 Minute Fire Rated Door

All of the doors mentioned above must be installed with a self-closing or automatic-closing device in order to comply. For example, if a 20 minute fire rated door is installed in an opening between a garage and the house, it must be self-closing. This device is installed to limit the free flow of carbon monoxide or other combustible fumes from entering the living area.

It is important to note that in the above example, the fire door opening is located between the living room an the garage. The code does NOT allow the opening to be located between a sleeping room and the garage.

The code does not want someone sleeping in a room that has an opening directly located to potential carbon monoxide fumes or smoke that can be present in a garage.

Therefore an opening from a garage directly into a sleeping room is NOT permitted but other openings between the garage and the house, like in the example above, shall be equipped with a door that provides adequate protection.

What about the swing? Which way should a garage fire door swing?

The code does not specify the direction of swing for fire doors between the garage and the house.

In Summary

  1. Openings in a wall separating a garage from the house must be protected by one of the following:
    • Solid Wood Door not less than 1-3/8 inches thick
    • Solid or Honeycome-core Steel Door not less than 1-3/8 inches thick
    • 20 Minute Fire Rated Door
  2. Any of the doors used to provide protection must be equipped with a self-closing or automatic-closing device.
  3. Openings in a wall separating a sleeping room from the garage are NOT permitted.

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* Reference Source – 2018 International Residential Code – [Buy on Amazon]


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