Newsletter June 20, 2008


  • FCIA at ECA Conference
  • ICC
  • UL
  • CSC
  • Insurance Industry
  • ASTM
  • More…

FCIA visits the Insurance Industry – FCIA’s Bill Hoos & Bill McHugh visited the insurance industry to put Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping on their radar screen for building owner and firestop contractor benefit.  Look for more developments in the next few months.

UL Standards Technical Panel (STP)– UL 1479, the standard for testing firestopping, has a technical panel of individuals from manufacturers, building owners, architects, building officials, fire marshals, associations, and academics.  FCIA members belong to the panel, including Randy Bosscawen, Gary Hamilton, Bob Hasting, Don Murphy, Bob LeClair, Bill McHugh and others.  At the January UL 1479 STP Meeting, FCIA requested study regarding movement of penetrating items (or the wall, while the items are static), and environmental exposure of firestop systems prior to testing.  Additionally, an architect in Las Vegas asked that labeling of firestop systems be a requirement of UL 1479.  The three study groups then met at the Education and Committee Action Conference in Seattle and laid groundwork for research that will continue in spring, summer and early fall.  FCIA Standards Chair, Randy Bosscawen has scheduled a meeting for July 23, in Miami, FL at the FCIA Summer Technical Committee Meeting.  Plans are being made now, so watch our site in late June for info.

ICC Ad Hoc Committees & Study Groups – FCIA has been named to the ad hoc committee on Terrorism Resistant Buildings (TRB) by the ICC Board of Directors.  We were involved in writing several public comments, mainly on egress.  Once written, the committee votes to support (or not) code changes related to the TRB. 

FCIA also participates at Height and Area (Features-non voting participation), and the Vertical Openings Study Groups (voting member).  The Vertical Openings issues deal with smoke migration throughout buildings.  There are some participants who believe that large openings for stairways between floors of various occupancies be allowed to transmit fire and smoke between 4 stories or more.  The result is reduction of fire resistance rated floors in multi story buildings, creating large compartments, and less protection of structural floors in fire situations.  Watch FS162 and many other code change proposals in the code development Final Action Hearings online. 

ICC Code Development Final Action Hearings – ICC holds final action hearings in Minneapolis, MN Sept. 17-23, 2008.  Public comments on code proposals will be voted on by the membership in attendance at the meetings.  Watch them online.  Visit the ICC site, click on code development, and look for the ‘webcast’.  FCIA will comment on several items.  Watch our site for details.  

FCIA comments & attends IAPMO Hearings – The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) code is used in jurisdictions throughout the west and other areas. FCIA public commented a code proposal that would have required firestop installers to be 4 year plumbing journeyman to install firestop systems.  We attended hearings May 5-7 to present our case against adding this requirement and won in a close vote.  Thanks to Tony Crimi, consultant to International Firestop Council and North American Insulation Manufacturers Association for providing information about the code change proposal, and 3M for supporting testimony at the hearings. 

FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference – What a great conference we had in Seattle, WA.  The location and view, outstanding…imagine looking out at Elliott Bay during the meeting. Was that a sailboat cruising easily through the bay…I wonder… No, back to work!. 

Rob Hlady, Affinity Architecture and Pat Tesche, Global Environmental and Safety, both Firestop and Compartmentation Consultants, provided statistical research results that showed Specialty Firestop Contractors are more competitive than non specialists, or the many trades that install firestopping. Also, it was clear that FM 4991 Approved Contractors were more efficient than non Approved Contractors. 

FCIA Code Consultant Bill Koffel presented ICC and NFPA code hearing results and advice for the future Thursday, while providing a healthcare industry update about how best to serve the industry as a specialty firestop contractor. 

Chris Chatto, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects presented that Firestopping has little effect on LEED Points for buildings…we’re a small portion of the project.  The the presentations are available in the member’s only section. Call the FCIA office if you don’t remember your password.

FCIA Committees and the UL Standards Technical Panel Study groups also met to further objectives as a group. A very lively meeting was had by all.  Don’t miss the FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show plus the Ray Usher Memorial Golf Tournament in San Antonio, TX. 

FCIA Thanks Conference Sponsors – FCIA thanks it’s sponsors; 3M Fire Protection Products, Specified Technologies, Inc., HILTI, Nelson Firestop Products, Thermafiber, Inc.

FCIA Membership – New & Renewals – FCIA’s membership continues to renew at a rapid rate, with retention very high.  We’re thankful for great support from FCIA Members in North America and beyond.  And, our membership drive is bringing new firms. New FCIA Members include:


  • Carothers Insulation Concepts – NC
  • B.L. Harroun & Son – MI
  • Metalclad Insulation Corp.

Contractor Branch

  • Performance Contracting, Inc. – Anaheim, CA

Associate - Distributor

  • Atlas Supply, Inc. – Seattle, WA (Joined at FCIA’s ECA Conference!)

New MAP of FCIA Members – We have a new worldwide map of FCIA Members. FCIA is in fact growing worldwide each year in Canada, the UK, Middle East, and Far East.

FCIA & IFC at FDIC – FCIA’s Don Murphy attended the FDIC Convention for firefighters, where we had a display for firestopping and compartmentation. FCIA split the cost of the booth with the International Firestop Council (IFC), supporting education of firefighters.  A handout was Life Safety Digest Magazine.

FCIA at ASTM E06 Meetings – FCIA’s Randy Bosscawen attended ASTM meetings in Anaheim, CA with Bill McHugh.  Task Group E06.21.16 maintains ASTM E 2174 Inspection Standards.  Ballots were reviewed at the meetings to remove permissive language in the standards. This was one reason cited why the standards have not been adapted by the International Codes yet. Negative comments were adjudicated while constructive commentary reviewed by the task group for possible inclusion into the standards.  Watch for a reballot shortly … and vote positively if you are an ASTM Member. 

FCIA Contractors & FM Approval - UL Qualification – At FCIA’s Education and Committee Action Conference, 25 people took the FM or UL DRI Exams starting the road to FM Approval or UL Qualification.  Currently there are about 50 FM Approved Contractors and one UL Qualified Firestop Contractor.  FCIA Member Gleeson-Powers, Inc., has been qualified.  We understand at least 10 more are at final stages of UL Qualification. 

FCIA at UL Canada – FCIA Members in Toronto, Ottawa, Ontario and Omaha, NE attended the FCIA DRI Exam Education Session and Quality Management Seminar March 25, 2008, at UL Canada headquarters.  The education session lasted about 3-1/2 hours, with exam proctored by UL in the afternoon. 

FCIA at Construction Specifications Institute CONSTRUCT2008 – FCIA’s booth and two seminars at CONSTRUCT2008 were well received with a packed room at the Firestopping Update session, and a good crowd to hear about Effective Compartmentation … in a 1 hour program.  Great comments were received from the audience about both.  Architect / Specifiers, fire marshals, building officials and engineers who work for firms that specify firestopping and effective compartmentation were offerred the FCIA Manual of Practice, FREE on PDF as a service to the industry. Life Safety Digest issues were handouts for presentations and booth visitors.

FCIA at Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) – During FCIA’s visit to Toronto, we called on Construction Specifications Canada, (Canada’s Construction Specifications Institute - CSI) and were able to secure presentations about the firestopping industry at the CSC National Conference, May 30, 2008 in Halifax, NS and in May 2009 in London, Ontario.  The program at CSC May 30 went well with attendees from throughout Canada…and many great contacts and new friends made along the way.  Life Safety Digest was enjoyed by all attendees…

FCIA – UL Total Fire Protection Systems Symposium – FCIA’s Bill McHugh moderated the symposium in San Jose, CA.  UL’s John Taecker provided testing and code information after each speaker as well.  With over 50 building official, fire marshal or architect attendees, the program continues to deliver great information about all parts of fire protection including Effective Compartmentation.  A special thanks to UL’s Betsy Titus for funding the program and John Taecker for organizing the Tri Chapters for this education session.  Watch for 2009’s schedule at FCIA.org this fall as we move east and north with the program.  Want one in your area?  Find a way to partner up with an ICC Chapter, a CSI, SFPE and AIA group, where we can educate a minimum 100 people, and we can request to UL that we present in the area.  Email bill@fcia.org for more info. Visit their list of chapters at the International Code Council. 

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director

© Copyright FCIA 6/20/08 - 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 Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept.  For more information, contact the

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