2.0204.2 Isolating Combustion Appliance Rooms (e.g., Boiler Room, Furnace Room, and Generator Room)

Combustion Safety
Desired Outcome: 
Effective air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary between the combustion appliance room and all other spaces of the building
For supporting material, see Referenced Standards and Building America Solution Center.

Hazardous materials stored in mechanical rooms with air handlers or combustion appliances (e.g., boilers, furnaces) will be identified and removed; operators will be educated on the dangers of storing hazardous materials in these areas

Repairs necessary to stabilize work areas and protect or preserve integrity of energy improvement will be completed before subject work begins

Mechanical room doors in a fire-rated wall will be closed; problems that cause doors to be blocked open will be determined and resolved

Eliminate existing storage hazards and prevent future dangerous storage occurrences

Repair or address moisture, pest, and structure-related issues

Provide a safe and stable work environment

Identification of penetrations

Penetrations will be identified using visual inspections, infrared thermography, smoke, and/or pressure tests [ ASTM ASTM ASTM International, www.astm.org E1186-03 (2009)]

Locate air leakage pathways to repair


Health and safety concerns will be addressed for occupants, workers, and repair materials in accordance with OSHA OSHA U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov standards ( OSHA OSHA U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov 1926, 1910)

The area will be prepared and isolated in accordance with health and safety standards for the application and materials (e.g., extreme temperatures, lead, asbestos, carbon monoxide)

Work lighting, work platform, and adequate ventilation will be provided

Provide a safe work environment

Provide a safe indoor environmental quality (IEQ) work environment

Provide effective repair access

Sealant and materials selection

Sealants and materials will be compatible with their intended surfaces and applied in accordance with manufacturer specifications

Selection will be durable, pest resistant, and have a weather-appropriate seal

Indoor sealants will be low VOC VOC Volatile organic compound products that meet independent testing and verification protocols, such as Green Seal GS-36, "GREENGUARD Children and Schools," or comparable certifications

Fire-rated assemblies will be sealed by qualified workers, using materials and sealants permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, and in accordance with adopted building codes

Mechanical and boiler room enclosures may need to be fire-rated assemblies Materials will be rated for application in approved details; for example, the annular space around a pipe penetration through a fire-rated wall can usually be sealed using mineral wool fire safing sealed with a coating of flexible fire dam material

Sealants and materials will be continuous and meet fire resistance rated assembly specifications

Ensure sealants and materials meet or exceed the performance characteristics required of the assembly (e.g., fire rating)

Prevent intrusion of moisture and pests into the sealed assembly

Prevent exposing workers or occupants to excessive VOC VOC Volatile organic compound levels

Provide a durable and effective isolation of the identified compartmentalized space


Repairs will be verified using visual inspections, infrared thermography, smoke, and/or pressure tests [ ASTM ASTM ASTM International, www.astm.org E1186-03 (2009)]

Ensure quality and effectiveness of air sealing