Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (141 KB bytes)

Title: Fire containment in wood construction doesn’t just happen

Author: White, Robert H.; Sumathipala, Kuma;

Date: 2007

Source: Wood Protection 2006 : March 21-23, 2006 ... New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Madison, WI : Forest Products Society, c2007: ISBN: 1892529483: pages 67-75.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Regardless of the type of construction, structures capable of containing a fully developed fire do not just happen. Fire walls or area separation walls play an important role in the building codes in that they allow each portion of a building separated by such walls to be treated as a separate building. Attention to construction details is critical to maximizing the ability of a structure to contain a fire until its extinguishment. Unprotected joints, gaps, and penetrations can affect the fire resistance of an otherwise well-constructed assembly. In the case of fires originating in concealed spaces, firestopping and draft stopping can be important factors in preventing the spread of a fire within the concealed space. Spread of interior fires is typically controlled by compartmentalization. Within such compartments, rated assemblies and unrated assemblies may intersect. The construction detail of the intersection of a non-rated assembly and a fire-rated assembly can be critical in ensuring that the fire resistance of the rated assembly is maintained as intended. In the case of fires in the wildland-urban interface, failure to protect penetrations and other gaps in the protective membrane can allow burning brands to enter the interior and concealed spaces and thereby ignite combustibles not exposed to the outside.

Keywords: Building materials, standards, flame spread, fire testing, flammability, wood, thermal properties, combustion, building laws, fire prevention, thermal degradation, fire resistance

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



White, Robert H.; Sumathipala, Kuma 2007. Fire containment in wood construction doesn’t just happen. Wood Protection 2006 : March 21-23, 2006 ... New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Madison, WI : Forest Products Society, c2007: ISBN: 1892529483: pages 67-75.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.