Newsletter March 4, 2005


  • FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference
  • Committees
  • FCIA at ICC International Building Code Hearings

FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference welcomes IFC Members - FCIA's Education and Committee Action Conference returns to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, April 26 - 29, 2005. The conference, "Effective Compartmentation & Firestopping Leadership", brings the industry together through active participation from both FCIA Contractors/Manufacturers, and the International Firestop Council (IFC) as well.

Some FCIA and IFC Committees are meeting jointly to jumpstart our efforts as an industry. Join the seminars on Effective Compartmentation, Legal Issues in Firestopping and Specifications, UL's "W" & "L" Rating Practical Implications, and an update on the "Firestopping Quality Process", Tested & Listed Systems, FM 4991 Contractors, ASTM E 2174 Inspection, Maintained by FCIA Member Contractors. FCIA Member Manufacturer updates will add value to your business through industry strategy and product presentations by leaders in our industry. Plus, the Committee Meetings will have the magic of FCIA and IFC wrapped all over.

FCIA at MGM Grand Hotel - FCIA returns to the 1999 site, the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. Hotel Room Rates per night are: $119 -Tuesday, Wednesday, $149-Thursday, $209 per night-Friday. Reservations - Call 800-929-1111 and identify that you're with the Firestop Contractors International Association or “fci006”. Reservations must be made by March 30, 2005 to get the group rate. For Air Travel, call CTMG - 800.323.3800 - (Diane) FCIA's Travel Partner.

Best ground Transportation is local taxi. And, you will want to fly out late Friday as our FCIA Golf Tournament for the Traveling "Firestop Bulk Gun" Trophy kicks off at the Revere Golf Club, Concord Course.

For Registration info, visit the events pages. The Preliminary Agenda, Hotel, Golf, FAXBACK Form and other information are all online. Check out

FCIA MGM Hotel Room Rate Gambling - FCIA has discovered that there may be internet specials online at MGMGRAND.com for less than the FCIA Room Block Negotiated prices. When reserving your room at MGM, check the internet rates first and ‘play their game' before booking'. FCIA will not lose anything in attrition penalties if you stay at MGM and work the MGM internet system for the best price. HINT:Current (03.04.05) MGM internet rate is $109 for a stay from April 25 - 29, at www.mgmgrand.com . Give it a try.

Hotels and Associations have had this problem as hotel occupancy rates dropped after 9/11. Room rate fluctuations after association contract signing for Hotel and Meeting Rooms, Food & Beverage for Conferences has been a huge problem in the association industry. Rates can fluctuate higher or lower, depending on demand, like the airlines pricing schemes. FCIA is lobbying with Association Forum and ASAE to solve this important industry problem.

FCIA Committees - FCIA's Committee Pages at https://www.fcia.org were updated in January by FCIA Committee Chairs. The Committees play a vital role in how our industry is heard on the outside world with Architects, Engineers, Code Officials and Fire Marshals, Building Owners and Managers. Do you want to give something back to the industry? What about some national exposure? All it takes is everyone contributing "a little bit", for our FCIA Members to be recognized as "The Specialty Firestop Contractor Trade". Look over the committee profiles on the website. Watch for Committee Agendas, and join in! Call the chair, and ask what you can do in advance to help, or lead a committee. Questions, call Bob LeClair (781) 828-9760 or Bill McHugh (630) 690-0682.

FCIA Welcomes New Members - FCIA's Contractor Membership continues to grow. FCIA welcomes Voting Contractor Members Building Specialties, Inc., Houston, TX, Ruud Palmer, Inc., Amarillo, TX, WW Nash Construction Services, Inc., Richmond, VA, Lloyd N. Moreau, LLC, Pineville, LA, Associate Members Turnair Systems, S.J. Hoffman Consulting, Inc. Check them out on https://www.fcia.org , Member Lists, then and welcome these firms and people to FCIA.

FCIA Membership Renewal - Thanks to the many FCIA Members who have renewed their memberships in 2005. Our membership renewal rate is about 70% to date, ahead of last year's pace. Plus, we've added 6 new members in the first two months. Remember, only paid members remain listed on the FCIA Website. With visits from over 7000 / month looking for Firestopping Contractors and Manufacturers, you won't want to be left out.

FCIA at ICC Committee Hearings - FCIA Testified with FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates, IFC and other industry leaders and consultants at the ICC International Building Code Committee Hearings in Cincinnati, OH from Feb. 23 - 27, 2005. The decisions made by the committee are next published for public commentary. Then, FINAL ACTION Hearings where voting members of the ICC ballot, (by show of hands or standing) occur September 25 - October 2, 2005. Nothing becomes a code requirement until the Voting Membership takes FINAL ACTION on the proposals. The resulting changes are published in the 2006 International Family of Codes. There were several positive accomplishments for Fire and Life Safety through Firestopping at the committee hearings. Here's a brief summary.

  • "L" - Air Leakage Ratings - Following FCIA's try 2 years ago, Richard Licht's (IFC) code change asking for "L" Rating of <5cfm/sf opening area in smoke barriers passed the committee vote.

  • ASTM E 2174 Inspection - Also following FCIA's move for this a few years ago, IFC's proposal was not successful at adding a code requirement for ASTM E 2174 Inspection. Cost to implement was cited as a reason. FCIA believes that the Quality Process is tested and listed systems, quality firestopping installation, inspected and maintained. Since specifications already call for qualified firestopping contractors, inspected to ASTM E 2174, the cost is built in. It's a 'pay me now, pay me later' situation, where inspection costs can increase significantly with inexperienced installation firms.

  • "T" Ratings - Achieving equal "F" and "T" Ratings has been a 'hot issue' in our industry. HILTI's code change for limiting “T” Rating requirements to where penetrating items come in contact with non-combustibles on the cold side of the assembly was accepted by the committee. There’s still an exception when using grout full thickness of the assembly around the penetrating item, where no “T” Rating is required.

  • ASME/ANSI - Standard for Plumbing Installers for Firestopping - FCIA Code Consultant Bill Koffel led FCIA, IFC, 3M, Minnesota Building Officials, National Roofing Contractors Association, and others in supporting FCIA's objections to this standard that required 4 years plumbing experience to install firestopping around plumbing pipe penetrations. The standard, although ANSI Approved, promotes one trade in code and does not recognize the true driver of Fire and Life Safety....the Specialty Firestop Contractor Firm who is qualified to educate employees, has insurance, has trained personnel and accepts the business risk for the firestopping performed by the Firm on the project.

  • Other Code Proposals - The Committees accepted the addition of both ASTM E 119 and ASTM E 2307 for Perimeter Fire Protection Systems, UL 2221 and ASTM E2336 for Grease Ducts, and the use of firestop systems products in less than one hour rated assemblies. This protects those 1/2 hour assemblies that are now part of codes in certain occupancies. For Effective Compartementation to work, Firestopping must be part of the fire resistance rated assembly regardless of whether the rating is 4 hours or 15 minutes. FCIA Code Consultant Bill Koffel led FCIA, IFC and others, as we were also able to keep the floor fire rating 'continuous' as required by current codes. The committee did not accept a program to add labeling requirements for fire resistance rated assemblies at this time. Code proposals for more compartmentation and structural protection through reinsertion of Height and Area Tables from the UBC Codes were not accepted by committees.

Remember, that each of these proposals voted by the committees last week is just that, a proposal. It's not part of code until the full ICC Membership votes in Detroit this September. Look for FCIA to be active at the next round of hearings to work on behalf of fire and life safety.

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director

FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show - November 9 - 11, 2005 ~ San Diego, CA

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