One of the many little things that goes into building a house in New York City is fire stopping. Not many of us stop and think like a fire would – about all the holes fire can find and spread through. We just think in terms of the obvious things like doors.
One of those little areas is the plumbing wall. There are big gaps around the pipes and fire likes to spread vertically. I didn’t see it going in, but they put some cement-like stuff in the wall around the pipes to stop fire from traveling up the pipes.
The other area where you wouldn’t think of needing firestopping is between the brick wall and the subfloor. Here they put a special sealant that can withstand fire.
I can start to see how when a fire occurs it take fire fighters are always concerned about where it might be hiding after they’ve got the fire “out” – how it can smoulder in a wall and start back up. Fire is a tricky thing. But NYC’s code is relatively good – someone has to certify the fire stopping measures before the job can be signed off, so contractors can’t ignore it.