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Newsletter September 26, 2007

Highlights

  • FCIA Firestop Industry Conference
  • ICC/NFPA Code Proposals
  • FM & UL DRI Testing
  • FCIA Contractor Survey

FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show -  Key programs include a new Quality Manual Development Program Tuesday afternoon free to full conference attendees, (see next column), FM & UL DRI Testing, 2007/2008 ICC Code Development Cycle compartmentation and Firestopping Code Change Proposals and strategies, NEW Specification Developments, Building Information Modeling’s coming effect on our industry, Scaffolding for Firestopping, and more.

Make your reservations now for FCIA’s Fall Conference, in Hollywood Beach, FL, November 7-9, 2007.  Rooms are selling fast at the $179 rate for this beach property.  Check out the agenda.

Plus, don’t forget, there’s fun involved.  Join FCIA Members for the Ray Usher Memorial Golf Tournament, the FCIA Trade Show, great education sessions, FCIA Board Elections, relationships, and the Annual Awards Banquet. 

FCIA Education – FCIA offers the Firestop Contractor Designated Responsible Individual (DRI) Exam Prep Program and Exam Wednesday, Nov. 7.  Education is free to test takers.  NEW -- Building Officials, Fire Marshals, (AHJ’s) can also attend the education, take the test based on the FCIA Manual of Practice, and receive both FREE OF CHARGE.  Have the AHJ’s contact bill@fcia.org for info.

Plus, on Nov. 6, a new FCIA Quality Manual Development Education Program for contractors takes place. If you want to learn about writing Quality Manuals, and working your way through the UL Qualified Firestop Contractor Program, it’s a must.  It’s FREE for FCIA Member Attendees, $395 for non-members.  Plus, FCIA DRI Education cost is free for FCIA Firestop Industry Conference attendees, $695 for Non-Members. 

The UL DRI Test is $450 for all. 

Learn about the complete UL Qualified Firestop Contractor Program.

FCIA Leaders meet with UL – FCIA’s Accreditation Committee Chair Aedan Gleeson, Past Presidents Bob LeClair and Don Murphy, have made several trips (on their own dime) to meet with UL’s Betsy Titus and her team about the Qualified Firesotp Contractor Program.  Their efforts have been aimed at making the program the best it can be providing value for FCIA Members, and … most important, fire and life safety. 

FCIA Board of Directors Meet – FCIA’s Board all flew south for the summer board meeting.  Important discussion topics included a review of committee activities, and strategic discussion about apprenticeship, accreditation (UL & FM Programs), Inspection, Standards, Firestop Contractor marketing tools development, and membership development goals. FCIA 2007 President, Mike Dominguez stated “the Board really came together this meeting, with lots of great discussion about our industry.  We are excited about the upcoming new program announcement at the Firestop Industry Conference for our industry.” 

FCIA FM 4991 DRI Education Celebrates 7 years of Partnership–What started as a goal in 1999, is not specified widely around the globe, with architects holding specs in many education, healthcare and important office occupancies.  FM’s Jeff Gould, original author of the program with FCIA in 2000, continues to lead the program, offering the new and renewing DRI exam Weds., Nov. 7.

FCIA at ICC Height and Area (Features Committee) Meetings – FCIA has attended all the Height and Area Table discussions over the past year.  Recently held in Chicago last month, the committee developed a code change proposal to add the important “Compartmentation Concept” to the International Building Code, where more fire, smoke and fire / smoke resistance rated compartmentation than currently provided is proposed.  FCIA will support the concept, as it adds more fire and life safety to buildings.

FCIA at Vertical Openings Committee –  This group studied how many total floors could be open with stairways or other convenience openings, before a compartment is required.  The concept uses compartmentation as a way to create open spaces in buildings, possibly larger than currently allowed by code.  With this proposal, there could be unprotected openings and penetrations in horizontal assemblies, fire resistance rated for structural reasons only. Since ASTM E 119 is designed for one side fire attack, and not fully engulfed as this proposal would allow, structural failure / collapse of a floor could occur.  FCIA is still studying this proposal, as there are many ‘out of the box’ ideas in it worth consideration. 

FCIA Submits Code Changes - FCIA submitted several code change proposals for the ICC 2007/2008 Code Change Cycle. 

  • IBC Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 is where Firestopping resides in the code, section 712 for penetrations, and 713 for joint systems. FCIA submitted that in “Fire Resistance Rated Construction”, in both 712 and 713, Firestopping be installed by “Approved or Qualified Contractors by Approved Agencies”.  FCIA also submitted that firestop systems should be able to perform in the environment in which they are installed.  Where exposed to field conditions where water, chemicals, movement, and other conditions, the firestop system should perform in place, and also when called upon by fire later at some time in it’s life cycle.  FCIA also proposed that the Chapter 7 name change to reflect what the chapter is “Fire and Smoke Protection Features”. Features are every element in fire and smoke resistance that make Compartmentation Effective.    
  • IBC Chapter 1 - Administration is where construction documents and inspection is discussed. For construction documents, we added that shop drawings (systems submittals) be required for firestopping in one code change…and compartmentation in another.  For inspection, we added that smoke barriers and smoke partitions not be concealed from view before inspection. 
  • IBC Chapter 2 – Definitions – In both the International Building Code, (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC), FCIA proposed a definition for  Compartmentation.  Currently, there is no such word defined in the Codes, even though it is used in various chapters.
  • Chapter 34 – Existing Buildings – FCIA added that compartments created by fire barriers and horizontal assemblies resistant to the passage of fire and smoke, be added.  Current language doesn’t address rated construction. 

FCIA Supports Other ICC Changes -FCIA will again support the National Association of State Fire Marshals, on a code change to restore fire resistance ratings to corridors.  FCIA stated with statistical evidence that compartmentation, sprinklers and alarms, and occupancy education produced the safe buildings we enjoy today…not one fire protection technology.  

Occupancy Separations – FCIA will support the National Association of Insulation Manufacturers (NAIMA) on a proposal to restore fire resistance ratings to occupancy separations in buildings.  The International Firestop Council’s Code Consultant, Tony Crimi, also represents NAIMA. FCIA has supported the IFC’s code changes for many code cycles through testimony at code change hearings. 

FCIA also worked with a building inspector to submit a code change for requirement of the ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Inspection of Penetration and Joint System Firestops…and will support it as well. 

FCIA NFPA ROP Comments – FCIA submitted comments to the Report on Proposals publication this August 31.  The comments focused on key issues for specialty firestop contractors. First, we added that in addition to the ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Standards, that “Approved or Qualified Contractors by Approved or Qualified Agencies” be required. 

FCIA members find that when inspection is required, inexperienced or unqualified contractors cause the cost of inspection to increase dramatically over inspecting a qualified or approved contractor.  It’s FCIA’s position that the best value for building owners and managers is when BOTH Firestopping Inspection and UL Qualified and/or FM Approved Contractors are used on projects. FCIA will testify on this comment in October at the NFPA Fire Protection Features Committee Meetings, where FCIA is a committee member.

FCIA at IFC Meetings – FCIA President Mike Dominguez, Director Bill Hoos, and Standards Chair Randy Bosscawen are attending the International Firestop Council Meetings in Cleveland this week.  FCIA is pleased to work with the manufacturer organization where it makes sense for both groups.

FCIA Standards efforts – FCIA Standards Chair, Randy Bosscawen, continues to attend ASTM Meetings, participating in ASTM E 05 and E 06 meetings. 

FCIA has had several members added to the UL Standards Technical Panel, for UL 1479 & UL 2079 including Randy Bosscawen, Mike Dominguez, Gary Hamilton, Bob Hasting, Bob LeClair and Don Murphy. 

FCIA at HILTI – FCIA’s Bill McHugh visited the HILTI Firestop Contractor Seminar in August.  We received commitments to join FCIA from non-members, and to join committees from members in attendance.  FCIA is pleased to see education investment in the industry by all FCIA contractor, manufacturer and associate members.

FCIA New Members – FCIA has added new members this summer!

NEW FCIA Contractor Member

  • Northwest Firestop, MI/IN
  • Olds Firestop, IN
  • James G. Staat, Inc., MO
  • Esso Firestop, Inc., MD
  • John Penney Co., MA
  • American Plumbing, Inc., MA
  • West Coast Firestopping, Inc., CA
  • Axiom Fire Containment Solutions, OH,

NEW FCIA Associate

  • General Insulation, NJ
  • Metro Supply, NJ
  • Mutual Screw and Supply, NJ

NEW FCIA Manufacturer

  • No-Fire, Inc., CA

FCIA Life Safety Digest – FCIA seeks technical articles for this renowned publication.  Submit an abstract for consideration by the editorial committee. Just email it to evie@fcia.org

Life Safety Digest is circulated to about 10,000 – 25000 readers with a US, Canadian, European, Middle and Far-East reach.

Consider advertising in the next issue, which offers additional circulation in the Midwest.  Contact Bruce Weissman of McGraw Hill for info, at 312-233-7477.

FCIA Contractor Survey - Have you received our short survey?  All contractor members were sent the first of our four-part survey via email to learn more about contractor membership, and to build programs and education to serve you better.  All responses are anonymous and confidential.  Please take a few moments to complete the survey.  An aggregate analysis will be presented at the upcoming Nov. 7-9 Firestop Industry conference and Trade show in Hollywood Beach, FL.

FCIA Member Discount for On-Center Software – FCIA Specialty Firestop Contractor Members can purchase estimating software for a discount.  Contact On-Center Software by visiting the link at http://www.fcia.org , to receive the 20% discount.

FCIA Thanks E-News Advertiser:

On-Center Software, Inc., Firestop Estimating Software for productivity.

FCIA Thanks Manufacturer Members:

Gold - 3M Fire Protection Products, Specified Technologies, Inc.

Silver – HILTI, Thermafiber, W.R. Grace & Co.

Bronze Level  – BOSS Products, Inc., No-Fire, Inc., PFP Passive Fire Protection Partners, Roxul, Inc., Tremco, Inc.

Bill McHugh,
FCIA Executive Director


© Copyright FCIA 9/26/07 - Permission is hereby granted to forward, print, circulate, quote with credit to FCIA.  FCIA is a non profit organization of Firestop Contractors, Contractor Branch Offices, Manufacturers and Associate Members interested in furthering life safety through the Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept.  For more information, contact the

FCIA Office
Bill McHugh, Executive Director
4415 W. Harrison St.
Hillside, IL 60162

Phone: (708) 202-1108
Fax: (708) 449-0837

Email: info@fcia.org
Website: www.fcia.org

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