President's Message January 04

Part 2 - "Where are we now, and where are we going...early 2004"


In the last message, we reviewed where FCIA has been "from 30,000 feet"......Call it the Executive Summary. In the final 2 parts of this message, you'll see what created the results that made up the Executive Summarry. It's the hard work of FCIA Volunteers and FCIA's staff. Read on....

Where are we now

FCIA Committees continue to be “where the action is”. Our FCIA Members work together to further our industry through joining together to tackle big jobs. Here are just a few accomplishments from 2003, and info about where each committee is going in 2004:

Accreditation Committee – Aedan Gleeson, Chair - In 2003, this group has grown the Specification Presence of “FCIA Member", "FM 4991” and “ASTM E 2174”. Specifications where a FCIA Member, FM 4991 Approved Contractor are appearing Nationwide due to FCIA’s presentations at SCIP(Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice), AIA and CSI Chapters, advertising in " www.4Specs.com ", ARCOM’s MasterSpec and BSD SpecLink Master Specification Programs, heard and subscribed by architects nationwide. ASTM E 2174 is also part of this new specification requirement.

In 2004, the Accreditation Committee's goal is to get more FCIA Members to become FM 4991 Contractors. This is critical to fulfill specification demands for Approved Contractors. They are also soliciting questions submitted for the new “DRI Test”. These questions are sent either to the FCIA Office, or FM Directly. FM 4991 has received a "PIN number" (FM 4991 is the PIN or Project Identification Number). ANSI Approval for FM 4991 is important to be recognized by code writing agencies. This committee, led by our first President, Aedan Gleeson, has also been meeting with NFPA and the National Association of State Fire Marshals to further promote "The Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept" in our industry.

Technical Committee – Mike Dominguez, Chair – The Technical Committee, originators of the “FCIA Manual of Practice” (special thanks to Kathy Taraba on this original undertaking in 1999/2000), started new projects in 2003 that will be fruitful in 2004. The “Standard Answer” Program of common answers to questions contractors struggle with every day, will be published shortly. Their work with CSI’s MasterFormat 2004 revisions, made sure we were represented during this industry wide event.

For 2004, FCIA’s Technical Committee is preparing for the 5 year revision to the “Manual of Practice”, developing a program to communicate the "penetration location standard" presented by Richard Smits, Skidmore Owings & Merrill architects in Orlando, in addition to work on the MOP's content. They are reviewing strategies to make the MOP more widely available to those who are influential about fire and life safety in the industry.

Code Committee - Kathy Taraba, Chair – As a subcommittee to the Technical Committee, the codes group has helped make FCIA visible on the Code Development “radar screen”. Kathy Taraba, and FCIA’s Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, attend code hearings and speak about code changes that may alter passive life safety in buildings during these conferences. Kathy and FCIA has been a member of the “Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control”, which works as a group to promote the passive fire protection industry nationally. Additionally, Kathy has been involved with the Alliance for Fire Safety, a subcommittee of AFSCC that works together to effect change in codes from the local level, through a large PR campaign. FCIA thanks Kathy for her tireless volunteer efforts at many hearings around the country that have made our industry a supporter of fire and life safety. Kathy and FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, work diligently to keep the “Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept” front and center in the code arena. FCIA currently is looking for a Voting Firestop Contractor Member to work with Kathy in the codes. If you are interested, either reply to this email, or email Ray Usher.

Inspection Task Force – Don Sabrsula, Chair - Another subcommittee of Technical is the Inspection Task Force. Don Sabrsula has worked closely with ASTM to produce “ASTM E 2174–01 “Standard for the Inspection of Through Penetration Firestop Systems”. This document has been specified by ARCOM MasterSpec, and BSD SpecLink as a specification requirement for firestopping inspections.

In 2004, we expect that the complimenting standard, ASTM E 21XX - “Standard for the Inspection of Joint Systems” will become a standard. Once this happens, maintenance will be needed on ASTM E 2174 to keep it up to date. Many in the ASTM circles have complimented ASTM and FCIA's efforts to get this standard developed and published in a very short time. The idea was generated in March, 1999 when Roger McKenzie, McKenzie Insulation, asked why there were no standards for inspection, as there were in structural steel fireproofing. Watch the FCIA Website (www.fcia.org) in the next few weeks where the ASTM E 2174 Standard will be available through FCIA.

Education Committee – Bob Patton & Renee Woodruff, Chairs – In 2003, this group finished the Firestop Presentation, “FCIA, FM 4991 and ASTM E2174”, available on the FCIA Website, downloadable as a membership benefit, and public service. It's been used by FCIA Members quite a bit over the past few months. Visit the Internet Page for the program.

For 2004, the Education Committee will roll out a new education program for FCIA Member Contractors to use when training their staffs. The presentation, with many pieces, will be suitable for many audiences, from employees, to architect/engineers, code officials, and others interested in our business. Look for this new presentation in the "Members only" area of the website, which will be created in April.

We at FCIA are passionate that Passive Fire and Life Safety Systems are an integral part of people protection in buildings, as are sprinklers, alarms and security. FCIA is educating our construction industry about how to protect fire and life safety in buildings through passive fire protection and a “zero tolerance” systems application protocol. If we can attain further “buy in” to this "zero tolerance" concept in our industry, buildings can be safer for all our citizens, and more important, our families. Who better to fulfull this goal, than the Professional Specialty Firestop Contractor.

Help yourself and our industry by getting involved in a committee, or recruiting a new FCIA Voting Contractor Member. (see www.fcia.org/committees to contact chairs)

Next President's Letter - FCIA's President's Letter will look next at the remaining FCIA Committee activity and some tangible goals for 2004.

Stay Tuned ...

Ray Usher
FCIA 2004 President
Superl, Inc.
(763) 573-7464

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