Building Codes and Inspections/firewalls


can I run electrical busway through a firewall

I do not pretend to be an expert in anything other than ADA signs. I can tell you that we take fire doors very seriously, and never screw signs into them, because it renders them useless. However, I don't remember anyone telling us that we can't pierce firewalls, because I assume that at least some of the corridors where we put signs like tactile exit route signs have firewalls. Obviously, the best place to get a definitive answer would be the building and safety department, or the local fire authority where the building is. Obviously, the whole point of a firewall is to burn more slowly than other walls, so that people will be safer in that corridor or space than elsewhere if they cannot be rescued right away or cannot exit right away for some reason. How much your electrical busway would destroy the integrity of the wall would be the issue, and that's what the people in those departments should be able to tell you. Another possible source of information if you don't have a building and safety department  you can access would be a well recommended licensed electrician, and especially one who does commercial work.

Good luck.

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Sharon Toji


I have special expertise in the subject of accessibility codes and guidelines (ADA), and most specifically in the field of signage. If you have a question that is not about the ADA or about signs, I suggest you try the following excellent site: Naffa International BCDG (Building Code Discussion Group). The website address is You do have to register, but it's free. You will find discussions here on all kinds of Building Code Q & A topics. You go to the forum that sounds as if it's close to your topic, check out some of the posts and see if it sounds like a fit. Then pose your question. With luck, you may get some really good answers. You can email some of the experts individually by clicking on the headings of their posts. When you ask a question, of me, or of someone on the above site, tell them your state, and maybe your city if it's a large city. That is crucial for answering code questions. Sharon Toji


I am a voting delegate to the American National Standards Institute that writes accessiblity standards used by the International Building Code and are the basis for the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). I am also a member of the Access Advisory Committee to the California State Building Standards Commission, among other positions.

Signs and the ADA (a manual I have written that is used across the country), and articles in many trade journals.

BA, Reed College Graduate work, University of Munich (Germany) and University of California, Irvine

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