As we start the new millennium and our tenth year at FCIA, we’re undoubtedly going to encounter new challenges and have the opportunity to set new priorities to improve our industry’s value in fire and life safety, by looking inside ourselves for ways to deliver a better firestop system that’s been installed, inspected and maintained that works when called upon by fire and smoke.
To be successful, we’ll need to stay on top of protecting, maintaining, improving, expanding, and strengthening FCIA Members to even a greater extent than in the past, due to the current economic conditions. Here’s how I foresee the coming years goals.
PROTECTION; First, we need to protect people in buildings with firestopping. Second, for our industry, as the available work diminishes for many in the construction industry, we need to consider diversification. Thru attempts in the standards, code and legislative arenas, FCIA will diligently monitor and protect fire and life safety, and the process that results in firestopping installed to systems, protecting people in buildings. This in turn, protects our value to the customer, and our industry.
MAINTAINING: Many building and fire code change proposals are attempting sprinkler trade offs, and less stringent compartmentation requirements. FCIA stays heavily involved in the code arena testifying on behalf of the firestopping and compartmentation industries to maintain fire and life safety though the use of fire resistance rated and smoke resistant compartmentation in buildings
IMPROVE THE DIIM: As FCIA, we will continue the DIIM (Design, Install, Inspect and Maintain) philosophy thru our initiatives with the International Accreditation Services, International Code Council, FM, UL, ASTM, ICC and many other organizations, to be sure our industry provides the best it can for the ultimate user of our services, the building occupant.
EXPAND: There are many special interest groups attempting to claim firestopping work to build hours for their workforces. FCIA will need to continue to create a career education path programs for our Firestop / Containment Worker workforce. Additionally, FCIA will continue to provide education opportunities helping firestop contractors diversify their companies into fire and smoke damper inspection, photoluminescent marking systems, surveying of existing buildings, and other related systems.
STRENGTHENING: We strengthen our interests by separating our industry from others through the best programs we can delver. FM 4991, the UL and ULC Qualified Firestop Contractor Programs, ASTM E 2174/2393 Inspection Standards, IAS’s AC 291, are all examples. And, through development of the FCIA Apprenticeship Education and a North American Industry Classification Code for Firestopping are examples of issues we must continue and invest our resources for the future of our industry.
Our FCIA Contractor, Associate, and Manufacturer Members’ growth, sustainability, and future are greatly affected by our FCIA initiatives and success in the protection, maintenance, improvement, expansion, and strengthen of our industry.
These initiatives take funding and it’s critical we retain our current membership and obtain new members to keep our positive momentum. As 2010 FCIA President, I ask all members to remember all FCIA has accomplished in the past for the betterment of our industry, when you evaluate for renewal. I personally thank all of you for your continued support. Here’s to a successful 2010.
Randy Bosscawen, 2010 President
Firestop Contractors International Association