I am currently trying to fire proof my reptile room which consists of racks that are ran with heat cable. I'm worried that a rodent may chew through the heat cable and cause a fire.

I'm looking to add 2-layers of 5/8" Type-X fire-rated drywall and in addition use Scotch 3M 3326 Aluminum Foil Tape which has a temperature range of -20 to ~ 250°F.

Is there anything I'm missing that might make it a terribly bad idea to run Aluminum Foil tape up and down the walls all around?


  • 3
    I think you're on the path to spend a lot of money and effort to achieve little result (eg, 30-60 minutes extra of rated fire time). Also, do you have an exterior fire-rated door on the room? Is the ventilation system separated? The first thing that comes to mind is that you should make sure you have arc fault breakers on the circuit(s) in the room, as well as a smoke detector and nearby fire extinguisher. Far less money, and even if you have all the type X drywall in the world it's still not good to have a fire in your house.
    – gregmac
    Nov 24 '14 at 7:18
  • 1
    The 250°F rating of the tape, means that the tape will not fail below 250°F. It does not mean that it will "block" temperatures less than 250°F. The tape will transfer the heat between the air and the substrate it's attached to, so it is not a fire proofing martial.
    – Tester101
    Nov 24 '14 at 13:42
  • @Tester101 wouldn't it still add a layer of protection against the drywall. Aluminum foil is known to resist against heat am I not right? Nov 24 '14 at 21:25
  • 1
    @KerxPhilo Here's an experiment you can try at home. Get some aluminium foil, and form it into a bowl. Fill it with water, and place it on a burner of the stove. True the burner on, and wait. Does the water boil? If it does, I'd say aluminum foil does not prevent the transmission of heat.
    – Tester101
    Nov 24 '14 at 23:44
  • Aluminium is a great conductor of heat. aka heatsink in computer, aluminium radiator in cars. The purpose of aluminium foil on certain products is to prevent a fire from directly igniting fibres it "protects" by its open flame. This is only temporary and will defianlty cause smouldering and given the correct atmospheric conditions, ignite. Look for fire retardants, like foams or special material that prevent flash over by releasing various stuff caused by heat, to douse the flame. None of these products guarantee fire proofness though and if electronics go... its even more difficult.
    – Piotr Kula
    Nov 25 '14 at 21:17

The type-X drywall is a great idea as it is a great barrier to reduce heat transmission to combustible materials beneath, thereby increasing the amount of time it would take for the underlying materials to ignite when exposed to fire conditions. Use drywall tape and mud to finish the joints and call it good. As @Tester101 suggests, aluminum foil will do very little at structure fire temperatures, in fact I would bet the tape adhesive would catch fire and the tape would melt.

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