President's Message March 23, 2005


... and welcome to a new year for the FCIA. For those who have not met me before, my name is Robert (Bob) LeClair and I have been involved in the firestopping industry since 1992. When I started working for AF Underhill, the industry was just starting to develop in our area of New England. Enforcement was the driving force in getting work and as history repeats itself constantly, it is the same challenge we are faced with each year.

We have many goals this year as an organization, too many to go into in this short letter of greeting, but of main priority is enforcement. We are attacking this issue on many fronts within the organization. Our main vehicle for this is Promotion of the Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept and the Firestopping Quality Process FM 4991 program which approves firestopping contractors plus ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E2393 Inspection Standards. The detailed program offered by Factory Mutual reviews the mechanics of quality assurance, means and methods of installing firestopping for contractors around the country. We as contractors are finally starting to see the return on our investment in this program as FM specifications are beginning to appear around the country. Our challenge as an organization is to see that these specifications are not broken by general contractors who sacrifice life safety for monetary rewards.

Through industry relations we have been promoting the Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept and "The Firestopping Quality Process" in news articles, press releases and direct contacts with the specification, architecture and building owner / manager and code communities. Over the last few years due to dedicated work of our members, two inspection standards have been developed through ASTM (ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393) to review installations in the field. FCIA is the first association to use a standards to build a sub contractor quality process. Our aim is to bring further credibility to our industry, help further the education and knowledge about firestopping and how it contributes to fire and life safety.

These are just a few of the on going activities we have been involved in to help develop and build our industry. We expect to have available to the membership many exciting educational packages at our conferences and on the web site. Our educational program can be offered for AIA CEU's and our new DVD firestopping program will be the perfect addition to any contractor or architect library.

Much of what we do as volunteers in the organization is accomplished through hard work and perseverance. As any organization we need funds to complete our work. I personally want to take a moment and recognize you, the membership, for your support and dedication to the industry. Without your help through dues and attendance at our functions, much of what we do each and every year would not be possible. Thank you.

Bob LeClair, FCIA 2005 President
A.F. Underhill, Inc., 781-828-9760

(c) Copyright FCIA 03/23/05 - 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 Professional Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept. For more information, contact the FCIA Office:

Bill McHugh
Executive Director
1257 Golf Circle
Wheaton, IL 60187

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