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Options to avoid fire hazard


I live in small condominium building built in 1969. I'm trying to put in Hardwood flooring but my HOA has some stipulations to help protect my downstairs neighbor from sound pollution. Two of those stipulations are 1) The empty space between the 2nd floor and the first floor must be filled with insulation and 2) On the first floor unit all electrical in the ceiling must meet current city code prior to work. Of particular concern are “Retrofit” recessed lighting installations as opposed to “re-model” lighting installations. Using retrofit recessed lights without the proper installation of a dry wall fire barrier is a fire hazard. I live in a city (Santa Monica, CA) that is EXTREMELY anal about things being up to I need help with a solution that meets code. 

My questions:

  • Assuming my downstairs neighbor has Non-IC recessed lighting (and we have no access from above), do I have any options except ripping apart his ceiling to install either IC rated lighting units or some sort of perimeter barrier. My online research was leading me to believe that the only way I could meet the stipulations would be tearing apart his ceiling. Is there a less severe option; one where I just replace his cans or something like that?
  • I had planned on having insulation blown in from above, but am I up to code if I have the insulation blown into his ceiling and simply "avoid" the recessed lighting?
  • Any thoughts or ideas that don't require changes to the HOA stipulations (which I know are over-the-top)? Trying to make this as painless for him as possible and cut down on my costs for the project.

I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to these things, so I'll take any advice I can get.


Michael Thompson

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Posted 2017-01-30T22:03:40+0000  by mtthompson50 mtthompson50
Wow, it sure sounds like installing your new flooring is going to be complicated project!

I thought the terms "retrofit" and "remodel" were synonymous but in any case, if the space between floors is to be filled with insulation then whatever light fixtures your downstairs neighbor has must be rated for insulation contact.  Otherwise you'd have to come up with some kind of shield around the fixtures, which doesn't sound practical give the nature of the project.  Now depending on the type of fixtures he has, it may be relatively easy to replace a non-IC fixture with an IC fixture.  Of course, because these are condos, all electrical work must be done by a licensed electrician.

I don't know what they mean by a "drywall fire barrier."
Posted 2017-01-30T22:51:15+0000  by Adam444
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