Nebraska Patent of the Month – July 2021

Fire separation walls are made of fire rated sheetrock or other materials in an effort to prevent the spread of a fire into adjoining areas. A common fire retardant sheathing is gypsum board. However, joists and floor trusses cannot be hung from the gypsum board itself, which means the gypsum board has a cutout at any connecting point between the joist.truss and the wall, creating a very discontinuous fire wall. Columbia Insurance Company has developed a solution, wherein a hanger allows the connecting structural components to a wall without creating a cutout of the fire sheath. 

The hanger extends through a narrow slot in the fire retardant sheathing, small enough to maintain the integrity of the fire-retardant properties. Their hanger uses a channel-shaped portion designed to receive the structural component – a joist or truss – and rests on the base of the channel. It is then fastened in place as needed, using nails or other tools. This modification enhances the protection against fires spreading without reducing any structural integrity or support.  

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