Labeling Walls with Fire Rating

Q: Is there an NFPA code requirement for labeling fire / smoke rated walls above ceiling and if so what is it?

A: No… there is not a NFPA code or standard requirement to label the walls above the ceiling. But I’ve been told there is an IBC requirement, but I cannot provide you with any confirmation of that. I’m not a big fan of labeling the walls above ceiling with their hourly ratings, or even whether or not they are fire-rated walls or smoke barriers, etc. The reason why; it often can be labeled incorrectly… then what does a surveyor do if the walls are labeled one way and the LS drawings show something different? It creates confusion and opens the door for a finding by the surveyor. If you don’t have to do it, I suggest you do not.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.