FCIA is an Association of Firestop Contractors, Inspection Agencies, Manufacturers, Distributors, Manufacturers Representatives and other interested parties from around the world all dedicated to the installation and maintenance of Life-Safety Firestop Systems.
FCIA Members are companies that provide services and products to the Firestop and Fire-Resistance-Rated and Smoke-Resistant Assembly industries. When firestop products are installed to the Manufacturer’s installation instructions and tested and listed system specs, the installation and inspection services result in an installed Firestop or Fire-Resistance-Rated SYSTEM. FCIA Members are integral to this process.
FCIA Mission Statement
The FCIA's mission is for member organizations to be recognized throughout the construction industry as preferred quality contractors of life safety firestop systems.
FCIA Member Contractors are committed to providing consistent, high-quality Firestop Systems as a critical part of Effective Compartmentation. Through active participation in the FCIA and related forums, Members contribute to the advancement of the Firestop and Effective Compartmentation industry and maintain exceptional knowledge of this specialized trade.
Through this professional commitment to fire- and life-safety, Member Contractors bring considerable value to their customers by enhancing public safety and property protection.
Firestopping included as part of Fire-Resistance-Rated or Smoke-Resistant Assemblies provides protection against the spread of fire and smoke within a building and from building to building. These assemblies play a big role in Building Resilience. They provide life-safety protection for building occupants during emergency egress, including those that must be ‘defended in place’. They also provide increased protection of property from fire and smoke damage and continuity of operations of the structure after a fire event.
FCIA's goals since the birth of the association in 1999 have been - and continue to be - focused on building reliability of installed Firestop Systems through the ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™.
The ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™ is defined as the proper ‘D’esign, ‘I’nstallation, ‘I’nspection, ‘M’aintenance and ‘M’anagement of Firestop Systems. When all the pieces of the ‘DIIM’ puzzle are present, the result is greater reliability of installed Fire-Resistance-Rated and Smoke-Resistant Assemblies and Effective Compartmentation, which means a safer building protecting occupants and property and continued use of the building after a fire event. Following the ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™ ensures that installed Fire-Resistance-Rated and Smoke-Resistant Assemblies have a better chance of performing as designed.
The ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™ gets accomplished by:
'D' - 'D'esign - Through work with the Design and Specification community providing education about Firestopping and the complete Barrier Management Systems, properly ‘D’esigned construction documents provide communication to Contractors, Inspection Agencies and Building Owners and Managers.
FCIA’s detailed 07-84-00 Specification and the FCIA Firestop Manual of Practice (MOP) provide a basis for the Firestop industry, Architects, Specifiers, Building Code Officials and Fire Marshals to understand the requirements of and to gain knowledge in this specialized field.
Since its inception in 1999, FCIA has worked to build a living 'Firestop Industry Body of Knowledge'. This eventually became the FCIA Firestop Manual of Practice (MOP)
. This living document is updated as the standards and practices of the industry change. FCIA’s Education for FM & UL/ULC Firestop Exams, Webinars, Presentations at various industry conferences and Barrier Management Symposiums bring both Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation knowledge to those who need it. FCIA’s goal is to educate for better ‘D’esign, ‘I’nstallation, ‘I’nspection and ‘M’aintenance practices, resulting in safer buildings worldwide.
'I' - 'I'nstallation - Proper ‘I’nstallation of firestop materials that become Firestop Systems when installed to the Manufacturers’ installation instructions and the tested and listed system specs by a Contractor company that has a culture of 'Zero Tolerance' provides continuity to breached, fire-resistance-rated and smoke-resistant barriers.
Since 1999, FCIA has worked with FM Approvals and UL to develop the FM 4991 Standard for the Approval of Firestop Contractors
and UL/ULC Firestop Qualified Firestop Contractor
Programs. These programs provide an independent, third-party audit path to accreditation directly to Firestop Contractor companies. Both programs were built for the express purpose of improving Firestop Contractor operations, resulting in better installations and safer buildings. These two programs have become standards among Specialized Firestop Contractors worldwide.
By having the accreditation programs offered directly through FM and UL/ULC, the process is objective and not influenced by the Association, Manufacturers or Distributors/Manufacturers Reps. The third-party – FM or UL/ULC - provides the Quality Management System & Manual audits, rather than FCIA or the Company itself. FCIA provides education for the FM & UL/ULC Firestop Exams
and Quality Management System Manual development. FCIA does not accredit Members.
FM 4991 Approved
or UL/ULC Qualified Firestop Contractors
must employ a person who has passed the FM or UL/ULC Firestop Examination. The Firestop Contractor Company then undergoes a rigorous FM or UL/ULC Company and Field Audit of their Quality Management System & Manual (the implemented Company policies and procedures).
'I' - 'I'nspection - Using competent, third-party independent ‘I’nspection by Firestop Special Inspection Agency Companies with the proper equipment, competent personnel and experience adds an integral quality check of the Firestop installation process.
Further, Firestop Special Inspection Agency personnel need to show individual competence through experience, training and/or passing the FM or UL/ULC Firestop Exams
and IFC Firestop Exam.
'M' - 'M'aintenance and 'M'anagement - Installed Firestop and Barrier ‘M’anagement is critical to fire- and life-safety in buildings. ‘M’aintenance of existing fire-resistance-rated and smoke-resistant assemblies, both rated and non-rated assemblies, need regular attention to conform to the International Fire Code requirements. The International Fire Code, NFPA 1, The Fire Code and NFPA 101 The Life Safety Code both have requirements for maintaining all installed fire-resistance-rated and smoke-resistant assemblies for the life of the building. An annual inspection or survey of the installed 'Compartmentation Features', including Firestopping, is part of this ‘M’aintenance and ‘M’anagement strategy and is required by the Fire Codes.
- FCIA Members provide Fire and Smoke Barrier Management Services worldwide to maintain fire-resistance-rated assembles for both Compartmentation and structural reasons. FCIA’s Barrier Management Symposiums bring education to Building Owners and Managers about what’s really required to keep these assemblies working properly should they be called upon, so they protect people from fire and smoke spread in buildings.
While the cornerstone of the FCIA Vision is spreading the word about the ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™ worldwide, FCIA also concentrates considerable focus on:
- Advocating for the Firestop Specialist internationally through:
The FM 4991 Approved, UL/ULC Qualified Contractor and IAS AC 291 Inspection Agency Company Accreditation Programs are referenced in Master Specifications worldwide to ensure qualified Specialty Firestop Contractors are installing and Firestop Special Inspection Agencies are inspecting fire- and life-safety systems.
- Building and Fire Codes
Installation by FM 4991 Approved OR UL/ULC Qualified Firestop Contractors - FCIA has submitted, but not yet been successful in adding, the FM 4991 Approved Contractor Program and/or the UL/ULC Qualified Contractor Program to the International Building Code and NFPA Codes. We continue to advocate for these programs to be added to the codes in the US, Canada, Middle East and beyond.
Inspection to ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 have been added to the 2012-2021 International Building Code in Chapter 17, Special Inspections for buildings 75' and higher. Recently, FCIA succeeded in adding Residential Occupancies greater than 250 occupants to the 2021 International Building Code.
- FM 4991 Approved & UL/ULC Qualified Contractors
Educational Seminars, Conferences
- FCIA continues to conduct the leading Firestop industry Conferences in North America. We also conduct Symposiums in the Middle East and Canada, meaning the Events lineup further spreads the word about building the reliability of Firestopping worldwide.
By educating the Architects and Specifiers ‘D’esigning and specifying Firestop systems – the Firestop Contractor ‘I’nstalling the specified Firestop Systems – the Firestop Special Inspection Agencies and their personnel, the Building Code, Civil Defence and Government Officials ‘I’nspecting these systems at new construction and throughout the life of the building – the Healthcare Facility Engineers ‘M’aintaining and ‘M’anaging these systems – we see a worldwide acceptance and acknowledgement of the importance of having a Specialized Firestopping Contractor installing Firestopping to the Manufacturers’ installation instructions and the tested and listed system specs to ensure effective Fire-Resistance-Rated and Smoke-Resistant Compartmentation.
FCIA has accomplished a lot in our first 20 years, but we still have a lot of work to do!
As we look to the future, we are focused on adding more Specialty Firestop Contractors to the FM 4991 Approved Firestop Contractor and UL/ULC Qualified Firestop Contractor programs. We continue to work to include the FM and UL/ULC Programs in standards, specs and codes. Having this as a specified qualification will go a long way in convincing purchasers of the value of the Specialty FCIA Member Firestop Contractor concept, thereby making the FCIA Member Firestop Contractor the preferred provider in the construction industry vocabulary.
We continue our pursuit to educate Special Inspection Agencies about becoming accredited and Special Inspection Agency personnel showing competence through FCIA education and passing the FM or UL/ULC Firestop Exams and the IFC Firestop Exam.
FCIA’s Firestop Contractors and Barrier Management Services Section pursues better reliability through survey and repairs of installed Firestopping AND the features of Fire-Resistance-Rated and Smoke-Resistant Effective Compartmentation.
Visit the many areas of FCIA.org to see how involved FCIA's Committees are around the world at working towards making these goals and visions – the ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™ and Effective Fire-Resistance-Rated and Smoke-Resistant Compartmentation - become reality.
Building an industry is a cooperative joint effort that results in safer buildings, and we need your help to get this done. If you are not a member, Join FCIA and get involved to help us continue to convince the industry that the ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping™ is the way to go for Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation. If you are a FCIA Member, thanks for your commitment. Continue to stay involved through Committee participation and leadership.