FCIA Toronto Education and Committee Action Conference - Keynote Speaker Dr. Gene Corley, CTL, Inc. presentated on "Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center" that kept us at the edge of our seats. Dr. Corley, Chair of the 9/11 Bulding Performance Investigation Team of engineers tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Act, (FEMA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), with the assignment to collect information for public policy decisions, gave a thorough report from the group. Here's a few highlights:
Dr. Corley was quoted in a June 6 article on Fire Protection appearing in Engineering News Record. In the article, Dr. Corley says its necessary to define the hazard that will govern a high-rise building design, which should not be a missile attack. But if you change office space to a law library, you should check to see if the structure can carry the added gravity and added fire load." Barring an unusually high fire load, he says, it is probable there would be no additional cost to design a building to avoid collapse before burnout.
Corley also is on record as opposing the reduction of passive fire protection requirements in buildings equipped with sprinklers or other active fire protection systems. He believes that a balance between passive protection methods such as spray-on fireproofing and the active approach of sprinklers offers the best way to protect buildings and their occupants. To read more about Dr. Corley and the committee's findings, visit their site.
Bert Polk, The National Association of State Fire Marshal's, (NASFM) "Partnership for Safer Buildings" also presented to FCIA Members from the US and Canada. He explained key concepts in Fire Protection in NASFM's opinion:
Bert and NASFM, through the Partnership For Safer Buildings, also recommended that jurisdictions adopt the International Building Code or the NFPA 5000 Code. He mentioned that both codes should insert the height and area tables from the UBC 97 code, however, to protect both citizens and firefighters. "Bigger, larger buildings with less compartmentation may be a big safety risk", according to Bert. He also spent time challenging us to understand that recent fire statistics showing a decrease in fatalities in buildings may have been due to fire resistance rated construction built under previous codes, where the TRIAD of fire protection was also present. For further information about NASFM, visit their website.
FCIA Thanks all Education and Committee Action Conference Presenters - FCIA appreciates all the presentations by industry professionals like Dr. Gene Corley, Mr. Bert Polk, Rich Walke, PE and Emmanuel Sopeju, of Underwriters Laboratories, Bill Koffel, PE, Koffel Associates, John Gryffyn Ministry of Housing, Ontario, and Jeff Gould, PE, FM Approvals, at the Education and Committee Action Conference.
FCIA Canadian Membership Grows - The FCIA Conference in Toronto boosted FCIA's Canadian presence considerably. FCIA currently has 5 FCIA Contractor Members, and 1 Canadian based manufacturer. And, many FCIA US based manufacturer members have operations in Canada as well. FCIA has always had a Canadian presence, with Global Firestop (Bruce Richards) as our first Canadian Contractor Member. Beverly Life Safety (Allen Rams) joined next followed by Nexlevel Construction Solutions (Barclay Meyers), Interprovincial Insulation (Cam Phibbs & Mike St. Jean) and A/D Fire Protection Products, (Charles Merriman), Pro-Firestop, Inc., (John Sharpe) along with Brichem Sales (Jack Seeney), and ThermoFire Systems, Inc. (Mike McClure). We've grown significantly in Canada, and look forward to working together to support them while FCIA "Grows Globally".
FCIA at Construction Specifications Canada - As a result of our Toronto FCIA Conference, FCIA Member Mike McClure of ThermoFire Systems, Jack Seeney, Brichem Sales and Allen Rams, Beverly Life Safety Systems attended the CSC Conference in Toronto May 26, 27 and 28, 2004. We met many new specification specialist friends at this conference and look forward to our new relationships. FCIA Executive Director Bill McHugh, CSI North Central Region President, is working with CSC on a joint CSC / CSI North Central Region Conference in 2006, and attended as well.
FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & 5 Year Anniversary Celebration - FCIA celebrates 5 years of activity in the industry November 10 - 12 at Frenchman's Reef Hotel, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. This year's theme, "International Effective Compartmentation" will feature seminars on how Firestopping fits into the bigger picture of Effective Compartmentation, throughout the globe. Our agenda will look like past programs with seminars, a trade show and education programs. Look for a great educational program...and celebration of FCIA's 5th Anniversary. Charter Members, be there to celebrate the past and plan the future. We'll finish early each day for some fun activity, and provide opportunities for spouses / significant others to be included as well. Visit the website to download the room reservations form. https://www.fcia.org/articles/stthomasmeeting04.htm Look for a FAXBACK Form and agenda for the FCIA FIC conference shortly.
FCIA Firestop Industry Conference Travel Information
- Mark your calendars now and try FCIA's new travel partner,
Corporate Travel Management Group, Inc. (CTMG). CTMG is waiving
ticket fees and providing 5 - 10% discounts for FCIA Attendees
who fly American Airlines, the major carrier to St. Thomas.
This discount applies only to tickets issued by CTMG. If someone
confirms travel on any other carrier than American, a $25.00
per person ticket fee is charged. St. Thomas is a US Territory,
so no passports are required for US Citizens and your cell
phones will work fine. Travel info is listed below:
Diane Fielmann (Group Co-Ordinator)
Corporate Travel Management Group
450 E. 22nd St.
Lombard, Il. 60148
Phone: (800) 323-3800 or (630) 691-9100 x523 (direct)
Fax: (630) 691-8097
FCIA Testifies at International Code Council (ICC) Hearings - FCIA's Executive Director, Bill McHugh and Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, testified at the ICC Public Comment Hearings in Kansas City, KS, May 18 - 21, 2004. Others who testified included the Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control (AFSCC), the International Firestop Council, as well as the National Association of State Fire Marshals. FCIA Members John Valiulis of HILTI, Inc., 3M Fire Protection Products (represented by Vickie Lovell) were visible promoting passive fire protection also. There were many code proposals put forth by the AFSCC to add passive fire protection features into existing 2003 International Building Code. Most AFSCC proposals were defeated by the ICC Code group in attendance at the Kansas City hearings.
NASFM Inspection Code Proposal for International Fire Code Passes - The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) proposed a code change requiring annual inspections of building compartment components. The proposal was approved by the ICC Code Assembly in Kansas City a few weeks ago. Fire Walls, Doors, Fire and Smoke Dampers, Firestopping in existing buildings are all included in this inspection. The hearings for proposed changes to the 2003 International Codes, will appear in the supplement to 2003 codes called the 2004 Supplement. Specifically, this will appear in the 2006 International Fire Code book as part of the larger code book, that is adopted by municipalities across the country. The new code requirement for maintenance is great news for building owners who value Fire and Life Safety Protection as well as economy in buildings.
Effective Compartmentation, like sprinklers and alarms, must be properly installed, inspected and maintained to perform when called upon. Once built, fire walls sometimes look like Swiss cheese after many trades have installed new services. We all know how hard it is to control "the cable guy" in buildings. This new code requirement will help owners protect occupants through a manageable, yearly program, rather than getting hit with a large repair bill after 5 or 10 years. Some FCIA Member Contractors already provide this service to their customers. Watch for more on this as FCIA's Technical Committee has started drafts on a maintenance document with specific recommendations that will be included in the FCIA Manual of Practice.
Walter Smittle, NASFM representative, Bill McHugh, FCIA, John Valiulis, (HILTI, Inc.) AFSCC President and Rick Thornberry, Consultant to AFSCC testified on behalf of this code change, moved first by Don Bliss, Past President of NASFM in 2003, and resubmitted by Jim Burns, current President of NASFM in 2004. FCIA representatives Aedan Gleeson, GPI Firestop, Inc. and Bill McHugh visited with Jim Burns, who is also State Fire Marshal, State of New York, in February. We appreciate the relationship we are building with NASFM, and look forward to working together for Fire and Life Safety in buildings.
FCIA Member, IFC President Jim Park in the News - At the NFPA Show in May, RectorSeal National Sales Manager, Jim Park was quoted in the Consulting Specifying Engineer E-News about Firestopping and Maintenance. "I couldn't agree more with the need for better maintenance inspections for all fire protection systems, particularly for firestopping materials". Often a difficult task because of its out-of-sight, out-of-mind nature, Park says firestopping must be inspected regularly, particularly for new penetrations made in buildings due to churn or alterations. The key, however, is education. He says both building managers and building code officials must be educated on both the need for passive fire protection measures and of the importance for ensuring that system integrity is not breached. Way to go Jim...keep up the good work publicizing the Firestopping industry...and promoting the need to maintain effective compartmentation.
Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director
We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will
always be prepared, so we may always be free.
Former President Ronald Reagan, Normandy, France, June 6, 1984
FCIA's Firestop Industry Conference - November 10 - 13, 2004 - Frenchman's Reef Hotel, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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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.
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Bill McHugh, Executive Director
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