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Concrete w/sprinklers up top?

My work's parking structure is that and has numerous sprinkler heads. Since almost nobody is heading to the office, I can usually pick a spot to park or charge that's under a sprinkler head and away from other cars.

I rarely head to the office now due to COVID. I generally only go in on hot days: no central AC home vs. free AC, food, snacks, coffee and L2 charging there.
 

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The sprinkler companies have a quote about a properly designed fire suppression system. Always some sales pitch about never lost a structure. Probably correct.
Some of the homes near me are required to have them installed. A big upfront but I'd assume massive insurance discount.

I've tried for at least a decade to get chargers installed where I work. Last word from the top was someone might get electrocuted.
 

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My garage is below our bedroom and our HOA will not allow me to park my car on the street.

I've installed a hardwired combo ionization/photoelectric smoke detector and a temperature detector on the ceiling above the car.
I've ordered intumescent paint for the drywall garage ceiling.
I've moved the garden hose reel outside the garage where I have access to a street pressure faucet (pre-house regulator).

My "plan" (quotes because I don't have much faith in its success) is triggered by hearing the alarm:
  1. Pull on bathrobe.
  2. Grab cell phone and put in robe pocket.
  3. Carry disabled wife out of bedroom, down a flight of stairs and out of house.
  4. Call 911.
  5. Open garage door (if opener hasn't been fried). My thinking is that having a metal door between the car and the ceiling might slow down the residential BBQ?
  6. Hook up quick-connect on garden hose, unreel, and start spraying everything in the garage from a distance.
  7. Pray.
On a more practical level, I'm working with GM Concierge to get me a loaner and store my Bolt until it is fixed. Don't have a heluva lotta faith in that plan either.
 

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Turn the garage into a air lock and starve out the fire.
My initial thought was the same, but the chemical fire reaction may not need lots of oxygen to really do damage. If I didn't have any water, I might try to starve the surrounding fires, but with even a garden hose I'd be laying down as much water as I could.
 

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My initial thought was the same, but the chemical fire reaction may not need lots of oxygen to really do damage. If I didn't have any water, I might try to starve the surrounding fires, but with even a garden hose I'd be laying down as much water as I could.
Yeah, the chemical fire reaction doesn't need oxygen. In fact, it's called "venting" when it happens because the cell is venting smoke and gasses out of it, not drawing oxygen in. The pack itself doesn't have a lot of air inside and there are just vents at the top that have a special material that blocks water and allows a very limited amount of air to pass. I would think that when the cell starts to vent, most of the air is pushed out of the inside of the pack and it quickly fills with smoke anyway. You won't be able to starve it of oxygen to put it out because it doesn't need oxygen.
 

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I suggest that any person with an attached garage consider intumescent paint. It has to be put on really really thick. Also your door may need to have special weather strips that do the same as the paint. If your door doesn't have a label on fire rating you can paint the heck out of it too. The strip expands in heat to block fire.
Same goes for any penetrations you use caulk. You will be happier even if you spent $600 on the project.
 

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Actual architect here.

This is something I've been thinking about a little bit. What I would do is, first, never park your car in and attached garage if it's a major fire hazard unless you have a solid concrete wall separating your house from the garage.

Otherwise, here are your options:

New build - concrete or CMU walls, 3 hour fire rated. Fire blocking at all wall penetrations, such as electrical, plumbing etc using intumescent caulking or pipe rings.

Option 2 - wood structure with 3+ layers of Type "X" gyp board (drywall for you plebs). Same fire blocking as above for wall penetrations. For your studs, go with fire treated lumber. Put mineral wool/rockwool (NOT PINK BATTS) in your wall cavity, fitted tightly. NO SPRAY FOAM OR FOAM INSULATION!!!

Ceiling - same 3 layers of Type X gyp, mineral wool insulation. Optional - add a fire vent.

Also, extend fire blocking in your attic to your roof sheathing.

Finally, add smoke alarms and a sprinkler.

But that's just off the top of my head.
 

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Part of the issue is toxic smoke and maybe flying molten metal.

Yes, one could make a garage somewhat fire resistant. Intumescent paint over fire rated material along with intumescent caulk should be a national code. There is a 1 hour fire rating on the ceiling if you apply the paint correctly. It is really neat stuff. I think it cost me $330 for 5 gallon and it doesn't cover much. I bought it before all of this just for piece of mind.

I urge anyone to abandon the idea of pulling out their car unless long cable used. Don't get near it. Get out!!! Get others out. Then phone fire department.
Intumescent paint is very expensive and it chips easily. It's really mainly used on metal. You also have to reapply it occasionally. Did I mention it's expensive?

In commercial for fire rated walls we use fire rated Type X drywall and then fireblock the voids and wall penetrations.
 

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After Boston completed the infamous “Big Dig” project (I-93 raised highway put underground), some of the ceiling panels fell, killing a woman who was riding as a passenger. They used concrete ceiling tiles fastened with epoxy. The claim was the ceiling panels had to be heavy to keep from moving with all the air flow through the tunnel?

Anyway, someone mentioned the garage ceiling being the fire weak point. I wonder if anybody has (properly) installed concrete ceiling tiles in a garage as fire-proofing?

Also - the mention of NO FOAM (insulation) in wall cavities. Closed-cell foam is about the best R-Value insulation you can install in wall cavities. I see the guys on This Old House promoting its use all the time. Is this stuff also highly flammable??
 

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...HOA will not allow me to park my car on the street.
I ran for an open seat on the HOA where I lived and got it.
Get on the board, then domething simple that everyone likes and you've got some leverage. I raised the indoor pool temperature by 3 degrees, which made the seniors quite happy.

Gesture Sleeve Font Fictional character Thumb
 

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The best way to slow down a garage fire is to get the FD there ASAP. With that in mind, a security service will probably get the FD there faster than no security service. Spend money on that if you want peace of mind.

I would not advise anyone to spend money trying to retrofit a higher fire resistance to their garage, other than simple inexpensive measures like fireproof caulk. If a fire occurs, the fire department is who will save your house.

This is all temporary. Once our cars are fixed, it’s business as usual.


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The paint I bought is for wood and sheetrock. It is specifically not for metal. The door was replaced with a 2 hour fire rating and has the required close and latch.
It is like any other latex paint. If you run into it you will damage it and sheetrock.
It was a $660 investment that I felt was well worth my piece of mind since my bedroom is slightly over the garage. This was all done before the Bolt deal.

Yes, One could make a "new" build garage specifically designed to resist fire. Best would be to use sprinkler system and fire/heat resistant materials. Some concrete is quite poor at heat. Fire resistance is a number that offers time to allow FD to do their job. It should not be considers like a flam cabinet that is designed to stop fires.
 

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Also - the mention of NO FOAM (insulation) in wall cavities. Closed-cell foam is about the best R-Value insulation you can install in wall cavities. I see the guys on This Old House promoting its use all the time. Is this stuff also highly flammable??
Yes, plastic foam is quite combustible and requires an ignition barrier in exposed locations. The architect's advice to use mineral wool in framing cavities is best. For exposed areas outside the wall and below the ceiling, use a rigid mineral product.
 

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Yes, plastic foam is quite combustible and requires an ignition barrier in exposed locations. The architect's advice to use mineral wool in framing cavities is best. For exposed areas outside the wall and below the ceiling, use a rigid mineral product.
OK, I just found a webpage that says it's flammable, but there are "different levels of flammability" for closed-cell foam insulation. Of course, they don't go into detail as to what the "different levels" are, so who knows if that's of any significance, right?

BTW: Mineral wool looks like it only has 1/2 the R-Value of Closed Cell Foam per inch ... (16 vs 28 for a 4" wall cavity)
 

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The sprinkler companies have a quote about a properly designed fire suppression system. Always some sales pitch about never lost a structure. Probably correct.
Some of the homes near me are required to have them installed. A big upfront but I'd assume massive insurance discount.

I've tried for at least a decade to get chargers installed where I work. Last word from the top was someone might get electrocuted.
No! No massive discount on insurance. We have sprinklers all over and it wasn't worth my time to save 14 dollars annually to go look for a certificate. Yes, the fire can be put out by sprinklers, but water damage is colossal! It's almost an even loss. More over... sometimes the sprinkler system has a defect and it starts sprinkling water without a fire being detected. It happened to my neighbor. If I could remove it from my house, I would.
 

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I would say the best preparation is to install a smoke detector AND prepare to evacuate the car quickly. Don't set the parking brake. I don't know how to leave the Bolt in N (I don't think it's possible), BUT we can leave a wheeled hydraulic jack or strong dolly in front of the car. If it starts smoking, open the garage door, lift the front and push it out (I am parking head in)!
 

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Bet it costs more to replace an entire house with all the furnishings and personal belongings than to dry out a house.
The State you are in and other claims in region may have the reason you don't get a discount. Here they do.

I would prefer wet stuff. Actually most of my valuables in in safes so the junk is just left out.
 

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My neighbor had to have all the drywall and floors removed. I’m assuming some of the studs had to be replaced too. Yes, the exterior was intact. That’s why I said an almost even loss.
if you’re certain you’ll have a fire, the risk of accidental water damage is worth taking. Att this point I think the risk of having a fire is lower than the risk of accidental flood.
all that is true, unless you have a Bolt :)

i have a Bolt and sprinklers in the garage. From what I hear, the Bolt will burn away just fine while water is poured on it.
 
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