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How to Make a Fire Proof Wall

Neal Litherland

Fire prevention is a real concern when it comes to many structures and buildings. However, while nothing can be truly fireproof -- which means impervious to fire -- there are ways to make walls and structures a great deal more resistant to fire.

This can be particularly helpful in states where wildfires rage, such as California, or in locations where fire could easily spread, such as in tightly grouped, inner-city dwellings.

  1. Build an outer wall from insulating concrete forms (ICFs) by snapping the pieces together to form the wall. These hollow, polystyrene blocks fit together like bricks of Lego. Once they're put together, fill the form wall up with concrete, one of the most fire resistant materials there is. According to "This Old House," walls built from ICFs can withstand fire for up to four hours.

  2. Attach a layer of plasterboard to the interior of the ICF wall. Use concrete screws to attach the plasterboard to the ICF wall. Plasterboard is rated for roughly half an hour of fire resistance on its own, and combined with the ICF wall, it will only make the total wall more fire resistant.

  3. Install metal wall studs butted up against the plasterboard. These studs should be installed vertically, roughly every foot or so. On the other side of the studs, install a second layer of plasterboard with more screws that go into pre-drilled holes in the studs. Once this wall is complete, you should have a layer of ICFs as the outer wall, a layer of plasterboard, metal wall studs and another layer of plasterboard. While not truly fire proof, this should give you roughly five hours of solid fire resistance.

  4. Tip

    Make sure that you also install smoke detectors in your home for proper fire safety.