Newsletter January 2000

Meeting Announcement - The next meeting of the FCIA will take place in San Antonio, TX March 26-28, 2000. San Antonio's charming river walk will give an excellent setting for FCIA to kick off the new year. FCIA will have two meetings per year with separate committee meetings and special educational programs from the "Formal Meetings" to further the mission of FCIA. Thank you for your commitment. Details will appear in the "Meeting Info" area of the website , next week. Call 630.690.0682 or email for seminar information.

FCIA in the industry - Four members of FCIA attended the International Firestop Council Meeting in San Diego, CA, December 2, 1999. Thanks to Kathy Taraba, 1 Source Firestop - Denver, CO; Lorraine Graves, FireBarrier - San Francisco, CA; Breck Spain, Performance Contracting, Sacramento, CA; Scott Rankin, AC and S, Inc, Lancaster, PA for representing FCIA. (The International Firestop Council is a group of manufacturers of firestop and fire protection wrap systems for ductwork and electrical protection.)

Industry News

Northbrook, IL - Underwriters Laboratories and B&F Code Consultants, Chicago have teamed up to present seminars on passive fire protection standards and codes. Seminars are open to anyone and will be delivered nationwide. The UL Website, will list sites and dates for the programs. UL is also working on an electronic web-based version of it's "Fire Resistance Directory". Look for it on UL's website around April, 2000. A CD version may be released soon.

Chicago, IL - The FCIA has chosen FM Global (Factory Mutual) as an initial step to help write the FCIA Accreditation Program. See committee reports below for more information.

Membership - The FCIA is growing fast. From an original cast of 7 firms, the association has grown to 39 contractors, 7 manufacturers, 3 distributors and 1 lawyer as members. We've met our goal of 50 members by the end of 1999. Our goal for 2000 is 75 members. Most importantly, our goal is to involve new members in the association on committees. Those involved as members are already reaping benefits from their association with FCIA.

FCIA Committees have been working together further cementing FCIA as the industry leader for Firestop Systems and Life Safety in the industry:

Accreditation Committee - Blase Reardon, (A.F. Underhill, Inc.) Chair, reports that FM Global (Factory Mutual) has been chosen for the initial step guiding us in the development of the FCIA Accreditation Program. FM Global personnel are already meeeting with FCIA members, both in their offices and at jobsites, to understand the Firestop Systems Contracting Industry. The Accreditation Committee will be meeting with FM Personnel January 14, 2000 to discuss the construction of the program.

Technical Committee - Kathy Taraba, (1 Source Firestop) Chair, and Tech Committee Members have been writing their portion of the "Firestop Manual of Practice". Assignments have been given to members for completion by the January 20, 2000 Technical Committee Meeting at Kathy's cabin in Colorado (3 hours west of Denver somewhere in the Mountains). Blase Reardon, Accreditation Committee Chair will attend to tie together the accreditation and Technical Committe work. "This committee is really committed to making the Firestop Manual of Practice document The Firestop Industry Education Source", states Kathy.

Communications Committee - Aedan Gleeson, (GPI Firestop), Chair, The FCIA Website went online July 15, 1999 and is updated monthly. Check the site out at If you've written an article, viewpoint or opinion, send it via email or fax to the FCIA Office for electronic entry to our website. The Chat Room awaits you! Need a website, the FCIA webmaster can help you put one "on-line" fast. Contact for more information, or call FCIA.

Liaison Committee - Breck Spain, (Performance Contracting) & Don Murphy (PPMI Firestop) co-chairs, - Don Murphy has joined Breck Spain as Co-Chair of this importang committee. The Liasion committee has been working with the various agencies involved in the firestop systems contracting industry. Other Agencies contacted include, BOCA, SBCCI, ICBO, AIA, CSI and others. Working with these groups has helped them understand more about the Firestop Systems Industry and FCIA.

FCIA Meeting, San Antonio, TX - March 26-28, 2000 - The FCIA Meeting this spring will be held in San Antonio, Texas. The Riverwalk area is a great place to meet, work and play. We'll be sure to have fun. This years Golf Tournament, orgnized by Mike Dominguez, Firestop Specialties, Miami, Florida looks to be a real attraction.

FCIA Speaking engagements - FCIA will be speaking at the following events:

  • Associated Walls and Ceilings Industries (AWCI) Academy - January 15, 2000 - Atlanta
  • National Insulation Assocation Convention Roundtables - April 15, 2000 - Orlando, Florida
Contact the FCIA office for scheduling a seminar.

FCIA New Members - Welcome to FCIA. We appreciate the industry support from these Contractors, Manufacturers & Distributors of Firestop Systems Products.

Contractor members

  • Debrino Caulking Associates - Larry Alvaro - Castelton, NY
  • Firestop Carolinas - Michael Wellons - Mooresville, NC
  • Firestop Technologies - Mike Reynolds - Powell, TN
  • Wilson-McKenzie Insulation Co. - Roger McKenzie - E. Kennesaw, GA

Manufacturer member

  • RectorSeal Corporation - Jim Park - Houston, TX

Distributor Member

  • Exterior Materials, Inc. - Bart Russell - Knoxville

FCIA October Meeting a Success! - The FCIA met in Atlanta October 13-15, 1999. The Meeting was well attended with over 60 in the room Thursday. Committee meetings took place on Wednesday. Thursdays program included presentations from:

Karen Layng, Esq. - Vedder Price, Chicago, IL- Karen presented new information on liability in Firestop Systems installations, Who is Liable? Recommendations to minimize liability for FCIA Contractors included: Be familiar with codes and standards; Follow developments in performance based codes and NFPA/ICC developments; Keep abreast of legal developments in construction negligence and Firestopping cases; Maintain insurance and investigate available products, for coverage of specification, manufacture or installation of these systems. See Karen's article on the FCIA website www.fcia.org for more info.

Kelly Reynolds - Code Consultant, Chicago, IL - Attended the code hearings for the International Building Code in St. Louis this past September and reported on code changes. Apparently, the new IBC 2000 code will look much like the BOCA Code (96), with performance based language included as well. His perspective was that although some tradeoffs have occurred eliminating firewalls, that Firestop Systems in Floor applications will become more important to the ability of the performance based life safety system to function.

Vickie Lovell - Code Consultant, Intercode Consulting, Margate, FL -reported on the state of the International Building Code for the US. Apparently, new performance based codes are eliminating the need for fire resistance rated assemblies in buildings. She pointed out that these tradeoffs can cause safety risks as sprinkler systems are not 100% reliable due to maintenance, microbial troubles or defective sprinkler heads. The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control has been formed to address code issues where tradeoffs have eliminated fire resistance rated assemblies. Formation is underway. Members will include passive fire protection manufacturers, contractors and other interested parties from.

John Battles, PE, CBO - Vice President, Technical Services, Southern Building Code Congress International, Birmingham, AL - Gave a well prepared program on the code change process. He stressed that the code is changed by groups like us, communicating concerns through the formal channels already in place. He offered many suggestions that FCIA has already started to implement. (See committee updates)

"War Stories" - Kathy Taraba, Technical Committee Chair -led a successful war story session with great participation from the audience. I can only report that "You had to be there".

Accreditation Program Bidders Presetentations - Factory Mutual, Underwriters Laboratories and Building Professionals Consortium presented their proposals to the membership for comment and questions. All attendees were invited to attend these programs. This is a first in the Firestop Systems Industry. Never before have contractors, Manufacturers, Distributors, Code Consultants, a Fire Protection Engineering Professional and Lawyer been able to view the future of the industry in this forum.

Manufacturer Presentations - were well received by the contractor membership during the FCIA Meeting. Manufacturers presented topics of their choice....from firestop product line and technology presentations to business strategies for the industry and FCIA. We appreciate the high level of professionalism, hard work and time invested in these programs by our manufacturer industry partners. (3M, Specified Technologies, Inc., International Protective Coatings, Johns-Manville, Nelson Fire Stop Products and Thermafiber, LLC were the Presenters. Thanks from FCIA to each of you.)

Friday programs - Included an open discussion about the Accreditation Bidder Presentations. The group agreed to leave the final choice for the Accreditation Program in the hands of the Accreditation Committee. (See above for choice made)

FCIA Golf Outing - Although the course was a bit "rough", a good time was had by all. Thanks to Scott Farley of Georgia Firestop who provided "Red Truck Limo Services" for many of us, we were able to make it back to the hotel and depart for home. We owe you one Scott!

The Board of Directors of the FCIA thanks the membership, speakers and interested parties for their part in the meeting. Our goals were to increase FCIA members understanding of the Accrediation and Technical Programs, invite new members to get involved in committees while inviting the manufacturers to become part of this important industry wide group.

Based on the participation from the industry, our goals were met. At our March Meeting in San Antonio, we'll have a chance to review where these programs are in their development, understand them and offer suggestions as well. A tour of the Omega Point Fire Test Laboratory is also on the agenda as well.

We look forward to a successful 2000 with you as an active member of the FCIA.

Firestop Contractors International Association
1257 Golf Circle
Wheaton, IL 60187
630.690.0682 PHONE
630.690.2871 FAX
e-mail: info@FCIA.ORG

© 2000, FCIA.

Permission is hereby granted to forward, print, circulate, quote with credit to Firestop Contractors International Association.

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