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Fire rated entry door from garage?

Posted by dcward89 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 13:03

We live in Elyria, OH (Lorain County). We are currently remodeling our kitchen which has an entry door from the garage. We need to move the door down a few inches and our contractor is telling us that due to code, he won't be able to re-use the current wood door with 1/2 window and he will need to replace it with a 2-hour fire rated door. I'm just wondering if anyone here has a link to the Ohio, Elyria or Lorain County building code that I can look this up. My husband doesn't want to buy a new door so I need to show him in writing if this really is code. I have looked on-line but can't seem to find a link to the actual code that requires this. Thank you in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

That is a national building code and has been for some time.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

R 302 5.1 of the 2009 International Residential Code (also the 2012 Ediition) which has been adopted in Ohio, requires a solid wood door no less than 1 3/8" in thickness or solid or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1 3/8" thick or 20-minute fire-rated doors between garages and the home.

You should be happy that you have hired a contractor who knows and follows Codes. (I just rehabilitated and sold a 2006 home where a previous owner had deliberately disabled the self-closer on the garage door.)

This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 14:12


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

Thank you worthy for providing that link. I am very happy to have a contractor who wants to do things the right way...not so happy that my husband wants to pinch pennies about a safety issue :( I just needed to find it in writing to show him and he'll come around.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 14:24


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

Your contractor is correct that a door with a window is not allowed

I thought there are fire rated doors with windows.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:43


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

Check with Elyria's building inspector. I too live in Ohio. Elyria may have stricter enforcement than Ohio's minimum. Just like a lot of cities in Ohio adopt their codes for cracked concrete drives, tall grass, permits for certain things, which I think is outrageous. Like a permit to install carpet!

I used to hold a GC license in 3 surrounding cities, each city required the GC to be licensed, bonded, insured. Then 2 of them dropped the bonding. One of them upped the general liability insurance from 1 million, to 2 million. Then the other 2 eventually followed.

For roofing jobs, 1 did not require a permit for tear-off, unless sheathing was replaced. The other 2 required a permit for any work done over $50.

One home in particular, had a door from garage to main structure. It had a window in the door. The home could not be listed for sale unless the door had a 2 hour fire rating, and they considered a window as part of the door. So it too had to have a 2 hour fire rating.

Bottom line, only Elyria's building department will give you want the correct information.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

Fascinating that Ohio omits the IRC (2012) requirement for a self-closing device. That defeats the whole point of fire-rated doors and air-sealing against CO. (Perhaps some Code writer locked got locked out of his house one too many times.)

only Elyria's building department will give you...the correct information

Yep, every bureaucrat needs to assert themselves; just like no government can resist writing new rules and charging new fees. For the public good, of course.

This post was edited by worthy on Thu, Jan 30, 14 at 14:26


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

worthy...our contractor mentioned the self-closing device too. We are going with the door and hinges he recommended. It's not that much money when compared with what we could lose if a fire in the garage spreads too quickly to the house. Thank you all so much for the information!


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:45


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:52


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:54


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

So....my contractor looked at me like I had lost my mind when I told him we would go with the 2 hour fire rated door with self-closing hinges. Apparently I misunderstood or misheard or something because he said he was discussing a 20 minute fire door, not 2 hour. As all of you know better than I, that is a much less expensive door. My husband was relieved when I told him the mix-up because he was questioning the contractors competence. He was wondering what good a 2 hour fire door would do us if the wall it is installed in won't last 2 hours in a fire. Anyway, all is good here...I guess I just need to listen better next time. I so very much appreciate all of your input and advice.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

a CO detector

CO detectors are primarily to alert residents to dangers from the combustion gases of motors and contained fires. In the wake of deaths and hospitalizations in the aftermath of Ice Storm 2013 in the Toronto GTA (from running generators and barbecues in garages) CO detectors are now mandatory in Ontario.

But where there's a will there's a way: In a house I just rehabilitated and sold where the garage door closer had been purposely broken, smoke and CO detectors had been disabled as well.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

Here is a link that might be useful: why this door is not a fire door

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:55


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

the glass would have to be 20 minute fire rated or wired glass in a metal door in a metal frame which would be prohibitively expensive

I was required to do that once because the house was less than x feet from the property line. As bad as the cost and the prison-look door, was the frost that accumulated on the door in the winter as it was uninsulated.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:56


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

It appears that a certain "renovator" is very quick to offer a wealth of picayune knowledge, yet nothing is cited so that one may ascertain the validity of such claims. Self-closing hinges are absolutely necessary for a garage man door. Call the Elyria building department and the inspector will tell you that the project will be turned down if those hinges are not installed.

Any reputable contractor knows how difficult it can be to navigate through the code books; as many sections will refer to other sections, or even different code books.

Furthermore, many municipalities have adopted their own set of rules that are above and beyond that of the Ohio code; in which case, the contractor must abide to that code.

I would be wary, not of your contractor, rather a disputative "renovator" that makes claims that a CO2 detector is a good defense against fire. Even more, to make claims as to what the code says, yet offer no citation for reference.

It sounds as if your contractor is a commercial contractor and following commercial codes, rather than residential.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:57


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

I commend OP for installing above minimum code. Why not be "better safe than sorry".
IMHO, I think a garage door should have an auto closer. If I back into my garage, my exhaust would be within 5' of the door to my house. For this reason, I don't back in. It takes 30 minutes for the fumes to completely dissipate. If my garage door didn't close tightly, those fumes would surely enter my home.
What I do object to, is a door that slams closed. A few years ago, my 8 yr. old GD had a door like that slam on her finger. It severed the tendon and that finger now has a permanent "crook" as if she had arthritis.
It is possible to get an auto closer that doesn't slam, but closes firmly..I have one.


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:44


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RE: Fire rated entry door from garage?

All the best


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