Newsletter June 13, 2005


  • CSI Show
  • FCIA Conference a big success
  • FCIA welcomes IFC & DHI at Conference

FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference welcomes IFC - FCIA's Education and Committee Action Conference brought over 80 people together from the Firestop Specialty Contracting and Manufacturing industries. FCIA Welcomed the International Firestop Council, the firestop manufacturer organization, who co-located their meetings with FCIA. "The conference allowed the Technical Representatives from the Manufacturers to interface with the Contractors who talk to them on a daily basis & added significant value to both FCIA and IFC's conference experience", stated Scott Rankin, FCIA Program Committee Chair. “This was a well run event”, commented Steve Tyler, IFC President.

FCIA Forms Working Relationship with DHI - FCIA's Board of Directors and DHI's (Door and Hardware Institute) President, Mark Hallgren met to strategize how to promote Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation at the FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference. Further meetings have taken place with DHI to develop programs that benefit members of both groups. "Fire Doors are the Front Door for Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping", stated Mark Hallgren, DHI President. Watch for more from DHI and FCIA as both become active promoting the effective compartmentation story.

State of Nevada says FCIA Contractors can influence building insurance for owners - Dennis Nolan, State of Nevada, mentioned that a building owner’s representative, he negotiates rates with insurance firms for building coverage. "Professional Firestopping Contractors should mention to the Building Owner that Insurance Discounts should be extracted from the building's Insurance carrier for fiirestopping".

FCIA and IFC Code Committees Support "W" Rating, "L" Rating - FCIA's Technical & Code Committee and IFC's Code Committee supported new "L" Rating language that passed the International Building Code Technical Committee hearings. "L" Ratings, a firestop systems' ability to resist the spread of smoke, are an important part of life safety in buildings providing clearer egress areas in fire and smoke conditions. FCIA and IFC also agreed that the new "W" Ratings offer a way to quantify the water resistance of firestopping. Watch FCIA's website for a technical paper on "W" Ratings.

FCIA Presents at 2005 CSI Show - FCIA was very active at the CSI Show April 20 -22 in Chicago. FCIA's booth had much traffic with many specifiers asking about the Firestopping Quality Process....and how to get quality contractors more involved in their specified projects. FCIA's presentation at the CSI Show, with Don Murphy, PPMI Firestopping, Bill Munyan, Freeman White Architects, Karen Layng, Esq., Vedder Price and Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director was standing room only with over 130 people in the room. The presentation was repeated at the FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference with IFC as well. Plus, FCIA's Press Conference generated opportunities for magazine articles.

FCIA at IAPMO Committee Hearings - The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) developed an American National Standard (ANSI) for qualification of installers of firestopping for piping penetrations with the UA Pipefitters Union. This standard requires installers to be journeymen plumbers to install firestopping around piping penetrations. FCIA testified on behalf of all the specialty contractors that install firestopping including the Insulation Contractors Association of America, National Insulation Association and Sealant Waterproofing and Restoration Institute and FCIA. Together, we represent most specialty firestop contractors across the US. The result was that the motion failed by one vote. This same motion will be heard at the International Building Code Final Action Hearings in Detroit this September.

FCIA at NASFM - FCIA 2005 President, Bob LeClair and Executive Director Bill McHugh, paid a visit to the offices of Jim Burns, State Fire Marshal, State of New York, and current President of the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM). NASFM has been very active bringing Total Fire Protection to Code Hearings for ICC and NFPA. They believe that Building Occupant Education, Effective Compartmentation, Detection and Alarms, Structural Protection and Suppression systems are ALL important to protect building occupants.

Bert Polk, Partnership for Safer Buildings Team Member presented to at the FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference with IFC on Friday, April 29. His program on why Total Fire Protection is needed was well received. Most important, his philosophy that we are all responsible for demanding safety in buildings was on target. As citizens, we're responsible for being prepared. We can also ask for fire protection features wherever we use a building for whatever reason.

FCIA Speakers set Effective Compartmentation Strategy - After Bert Polk set the stage for us, FCIA's Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, moderated an excellent panel discussion on how to promote Effective Compartmentation in the industry for fire and life safety. His points have been the basis of FCIA's strategy for some time. Look for FCIA to take the show on the road soon working with other industries to spread the word about Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping.

FCIA invited Karen Layng, Esq., head of Vedder Price's Construction Law Group, to remind us of the liabilities we all take when firestopping, selling product or inspecting. "Simply by attending a seminar or conference where industry standards are discussed, means you have knowledge of these standards. In fire and life safety, negligent behavior means you varied from industry standards, a breach of contract. Therefore, correct documentation must be kept on projects.” stated Karen. Whichever role we play, we must be responsible for our actions and the results in the field when it comes to fire and life safety.

FCIA & IFC Committees Meet Together - Here's the topics FCIA and IFC committees discussed at its recent FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference

Accreditation - Aedan Gleeson, Chair - The group discussed the FM 4991 Standard, and its large acceptance in specifications and costs to contractors for approval. The cost to contractors to become approved is approx. $4500 - $7500 initial, plus about $1500/year, less than an ad expense. FCIA and FM are working hard to educate architects, owners and others about the value of Firestopping Specialty Contractors on projects. "Inspection is increasing on projects nationwide and in Canada", according to Steve Hoffman, SJ Hoffman Consulting, McHenry, IL. A trend is that as the qualifications of a contractor reduces, the cost of inspection increases significantly on a project.

Technical - FCIA's Technical Committee discussed FCIA's input to UL's Standards Technical Panel on UL 1479 for the Chase Wall Firestopping Issue (we're not sure an 'optimized system' is appropriate in these applications), and the new "W" Rating Issues with IFC Members. During the conference, a panel of Rich Walke, UL, Brandon Cordts, 3M and Rick Reuss, Tremco presented information to the membership about the new “W” Ratings. Mike Dominguez, FCIA Tech Chair mentioned that the "W" Rating is a great way to say a product is suited for an application where water exposure is possible. However, there are limitations. “The "W" Testing does not include a simulation for washout, the early exposure to water, movement in the penetrating item before water exposure, or aging greater that the normal curing time before exposure to water." Rick Reuss presented a very creative presentation about the ‘W” rating, and importance of not overloading floors. FCIA is providing input to UL's Standards Technical Panel to be sure the testing reflects actual field conditions. "Contractors need to be aware of the limitations of the new "W" Rating or become exposed to liability", stated Mike.

Marketing - FCIA's been promoting the benefits to fire and life safety of Effective Compartmentation and Specialty Firestopping Contractors at CSI, AIA, and anywhere else we will be heard. "We unveiled several new tools to help FCIA Members become leaders in firestopping in their areas", stated Don Murphy, Marketing Chair. FCIA articles are to be published in several magazines over the next few months starting with the National Insulation Association's Insulation "Outlook" Magazine. Construction Specifications Canada's Magazine, CSI, and several other publications are online for FCIA Articles. IFC’s marketing committee presented its PR Campaign and plans for seminars in 2005.

Code - The Code Committees of FCIA and IFC attended the ICC Code Committee Meetings recently. The groups planned at great length the next meeting with the International Building Code in September. Our Firestopping industry has had support from both IFC and FCIA developing code change proposals for Membrane Penetrations, L Ratings, Perimeter Protection, and Independent Inspection. Future efforts to affect safety through Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping Requirements will continue as FCIA and IFC work together on important code issues. Contact Bill McHugh for further information about FCIA's Code involvement.

Standards - The Standards Subcommittee of the Technical Committee finished it's work on Inspection Standard ASTM E 2174 (penetrations) and ASTM E 2393 (joints). Several inspectors and contractors were on hand to discuss work on a new standard for Firestop Inspector Qualifications, with Randy Bosscawen chairing this task group.

"Having qualified inspectors look at our work increases both contractor and inspector productivity", stated Randy. rbosscawen@multicon.us

Education - FCIA rolled out many new Education Tools at the FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference:

  • New AIA CES Approved Firestopping Quality Process Presentation (FREE) for use by FCIA Members. Approved for 1 hour credit, this program is available from FCIA Contractors to architects, engineers, building officials and fire marshals.
  • FCIA's New Firestop Education Program (FREE TO MEMBERS) is a 202 slide generic education tool meant to streamline the Firestopping Education Process. It reviews generically firestopping products, systems, codes, and many other topics. Complete with script, it can be used for audiences from new firestopping employees, architects, engineers, building officials and fire marshals, inspectors who want a full, detailed look at the industry.
  • FCIA Manual of Practice - This 3" thick book is the firestop industry resource. Available in Print - $295/members, $345/Non Members. CD, $195 Members, $245/Non Members. 2005 Updates are due out shortly.
  • FCIA's New Firestopping Fundamentals Education DVD's ($145) complete the package with full visual effect...and is an excellent training piece. Do you want us to come to you?
  • FCIA's Custom Education is also available. Call for information. To request these items, simply email bill@fcia.org . Watch for more new things from the Education Committee in the next few months.

Program - The FCIA Program Committee reaffirmed its choice of San Diego for November, 2005. Watch for an agenda and location in Early July.

Membership – Allen Rams & the FCIA Membership Committee have offerred a program that rewards new member recruitment. The next FCIA Member who recruits 10 new members to join FCIA, receives free attendance fee at the San Diego Firestop Industry Conference. Allen Rams, arams@cogeco.ca

Join a Committee Now - Contractors, Associate Members, and Manufacturers are welcome. To sign up, fill out a form and contact the Chair. https://www.fcia.org/articles/committeeapp.php

FCIA Display Available to FCIA Members - Any FCIA Member can use the FCIA Booth at a local event to promote themselves and FCIA. Reply to this email to get on the schedule for the booth. The trade show display ships in a self contained, approx. 70 lb. container. You pay for shipping the booth to the next event, and store it until then.

FCIA Call for FCIA Conference Presentations - FCIA's Program Committee seeks programs for upcoming FCIA Conferences in 2005. The Call for Presentations for the Firestop Industry Conference lasts until June 30, 2005. Presentation submissions are welcome from FCIA Members, Architects, Engineers, Code Officials, Fire Marshals, Building Owners and Managers, Consultants, and others. Email info@fcia.org with the presentation outline or idea for consideration.

FCIA Thanks Education and Committee Action Conference with IFC Sponsors : 3M Fire Protection Products, HILTI, Inc., the International Firestop Council, Passive Fire Protection Partners/Johns Manville, Rectorseal, Inc., Specified Technologies, Inc, are appreciated.

FCIA & IFC’s Meetings Productive – The meetings in Las Vegas were well attended by both IFC and FCIA Members. Productive Committee Meetings, excellent speakers from the industry, FCIA and IFC, made the event add value to all who attended. And, we had some fun too. Join us for the FCIA Firestop Industry Conference in San Diego, November 9 – 11, 2005.

IFC Announces Education Seminars – IFC has set a goal to continue education of inspectors about Firestopping. Education Seminars to Fire Marshals and Building Officials have been scheduled for the next few months:

  • IFC – July 12 – Mesa, AZ
  • IFC – July 20 – Vancouver, WA
  • IFC – August 5 – Breckenridge, CO
  • IFC – August 18 – SEATAC Airport, WA
  • IFC – August 19 – Gig Harbor, WA
  • IFC – November 4 – Pomona, NY

FCIA Members welcome to attend seminars free of charge. Contact any IFC member manufacturer for information.

FCIA Mourns Passing of Ray Usher - FCIA Immediate Past President, Ray Usher passed away after a battle with cancer. Ray was a driving force in everything he did for our industry and others. His education sessions about perimeter fire containment as it relates to thermal, vapor and fire protection were cutting edge. He gave much to many FCIA and IFC members as a mentor, business partner and friend. Ray left a strong company with Maggie Usher and several key employees continuing the tradition of quality at Superl, Inc. Ray's spirit lives on in those who knew him. His passion for life, family (wife Maggie, Daughters Sarah and Rachel) and the right way to do things was second to none.

Cards can be sent to Maggie & Family at Superl, Inc. 5155 E. River Rd., Suite 104 ~ Fridley, MN 55421.

Memorials can be sent to the University of Minnesota’s Cancer and Transplant Center. Checks are to be made out to “Minnesota Medical Foundation”. Be sure to reference “Ray Usher” in the memo section or invoice reference area of the check. Send to:

University of Minnesota, c/o Rosemary Gruber
University of Minnesota Cancer Center
MMC 806
420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

“When a leader reaches out in passion, he is usually met with an answering passion…..”
John C. Maxwell

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director ~ 630.690.0682

©Copyright FCIA 6/13/05 - Permission is hereby granted to forward, print, circulate, quote with credit to FCIA.

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