Newsletter July, 2002



reminds members to visit the "new" FCIA website (www.fcia.org) which has been live for about 6 months. Our "hits" have increased from about 600 per month as of August, 2001 to 5,000 this April. The site is updated frequently to keep it's reputation as "THE Hub for FCIA Communication, Worldwide". Watch the site frequently for new features. Don't forget to use the "Discussion Forum" to express opinions about our industry.


reports that while this April's "Education and Committee Action Conference" in Denver focused on education and committee work, this fall's conference in Nashville will feature key industry education in a "seminar" style format, with opportunities for hands on learning.

The committee is currently planning the Firestop "Industry Conference" scheduled for November 6-8, 2002 at Opryland, Nashville, TN. This program will include educational speakers, the "Firestop Industry Banquet", and our 2nd "FCIA Golf Tournament". Watch the website for more details

New program ideas are always welcome from FCIA members. Email Bob LeClair (afunderhil@aol.com) with suggestions for FCIA conference topics, or to join the committee!


The Standards Task Force, headed by Don Sabrsula, (FireSafe of Houston, Inc.), was assembled to develop the inspection standard for Firestop systems. This standard, meant to give clear, accepted guidelines to those inspecting firestop installations, has been approved and published as ASTM- E2174-01. To purchase the standard, go to www.fcia.org, links page and click on ASTM.


*The committee agreed with AWCI's Fire Safety Task Group that public relations could influence codes and developing a joint strategy with organizations such as these will make us more successful. They'll meet with two PR firms in June. Watch for updates on this.

*The committee agreed that the Alliance for Smoke Control and Containment (AFSCC) is better positioned to propose smoke leakage standards than FCIA. This committee will work with the industry to identify concerns/objections to a smoke leakage proposal, lending support to the AFSCC's code committee.

*Lousiana State Legislation was discussed regarding the requirement of licensed firestop contractors that is being worked on by Tremco's Chad Landry. The bill is scheduled for a Fall hearing and plans are in place to propose in Alabama and Florida as well.

The Code Committee recently directed Bill Koffel, FCIA Code Consultant, to investigate the possibility of getting a consensus paper compiled on the perimeter fire containment code language. When Mr. Koffel approached a curtain wall trade association member, they were unaware of the code proposals recently introduced by the aluminum industry. A document that supports the current code language represented by the FCIA, Curtain Wall Industry and Glazing Industry would greatly help in fighting the continued attempt to reduce that rating. Again, at last weeks NFPA ROC meetings, before the new code was voted on, the aluminum curtain wall industry attempted to reduce this condition to thirty minutes. It was good to see such strong support in the vote to keep the current language. Both Rich Thornberry (Code Consortium) and Jesse Beitel (Hughes Associates) have been employed to represent the reductions.


The first version of a Powerpoint presentation for Firestopping is almost complete and will be available for FCIA members use soon. This presentation is a great tool for promoting the importance of firestopping and specialty firestopping contractors as well as introducing the "FM 4991 Standard for Approval of Firestop Contractors" Program. Outline notes for the presenter will also be available.

In an effort to create a training library, FCIA members are asked to submit photos, CDs, slides and videos illustrating both good and bad installations or any "how to" materials to Bob Patton at FireSafe Systems, Inc. via email (info@fcia.org). This information will be compiled into our first training module "Thru Penetrations", with more to come. The modules will be manufacturer generic and will concentrate on installations and methods.

According to Bob, "We've got a lot to do to educate the industry on the importance of passive fire protection and the essential, "zero tolerance" firestop installations required to accomplish the tasks." For more information, contact Bob at FireSafe Systems Inc., (203) 630-6385 or email (RPATTON@FIRESAFE-SYSTEMS.COM)

THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE met at the April Education and Committee Action Meetings in Denver. They focused on the upcoming articles and "Hot Topics" needed for magazine insertions. Also of interest was further review of the FCIA "Manual of Practice" (MOP).


discussions at the Denver meeting centered on the proposal, "Inspection Firm Standard" and promotion of "FM 4991". The committee welcomes new members: Global Firestop's Bruce Richards and Keith Brebner and Dick Lintelman of Nelson Firestop Products.


The FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference, "Back to Basics", held in Denver last month was a huge success, with almost 60 FCIA leaders gathered to hear industry speakers and participate in committee meetings. FCIA President Kathy Taraba focused her comments on "Visions for the Future", promoting FCIA programs (FM 4991 and ASTM-E 2174), the single source contractor model through specification and code development. Highlights of the conference speakers' presentations are:

Bill Koffel (Koffel & Associates), FCIA code consultant, presented the opportunities and challenges in today's code environment. With guidance from the code committee, Koffel Associates, FCIA Code Consultant, monitors and submits code language to affect the proper use of Firestop in the new International Building Code and NFPA 5000.

Karen Layng (Vedder Price, Esq.), advised FCIA members to read both their contracts and also that of the general contractor. The construction documents that cover the scope of the work are of utmost importance to prevent future disputes. (Note: Karen is a charter member of FCIA.)

Rusty Sherwood (F.W. Dodge), worked with Bob Murray (McGraw Hill Economist), to develop and present the economic outlook for the construction industry. This was beneficial to FCIA members planning for growth.

A panel discussion was held by firestopping industry professionals. The panel consisted of: Architect, Greg Markling (MOA Partnership), General Contractor, Taryn Edwards (Hensel Phelps, Inc.), Code Official, Jim Thelen (City of Littleton), along with FCIA members Robert Gomez (Firestop Specialities), Scott Rankin (Pyro-Stop, LLC) and Doug Walsworth (Diversified Thermal, Inc.)

On a more casual note, golf congratulations to Tom Hottenroth, (Firestop Solutions), for receiving the "Silver Caulk Gun" Trophy, for lowest net score, Scott Rankin, (Pyro-Stop), for lowest gross score, Bill Hoos, longest drive, Chad Landry, (Tremco), closest to the pin and the team with the lowest net score consisted of Breck Spain, (Performance Contracting), Bill Hoos, Chad Landry and Joe Taraba, (1 Source Firestop).

FCIA would like to thank the Denver Confrrence sponsors:
FireSafe Systems, Inc., Firestop Specialities, Inc., Performance Contracting Inc., and Tremco, Inc. (golf), Specified Technologies, Inc., (lunch) and 3M Fire Protection Products and RectorSeal Inc., (breaks).


IFC Passive Fire Protection seminars will be held in St. Louis and Chicago in June. These seminars aim to educate code officials about firestopping. The fee is $25 and pre-registration is required by calling IFC's office at (914) 332-0040.


At the hearings held this April, FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel verified that the interest to reduce the rating of the void at the perimeter was not representative of the curtain wall industry, but rather came from a small group. A compromise was reached to leave in the term "materials" and to introduce the new term "systems". Additionally the term "interior was introduced to clarify the intent of the application and remove any doubt of responsibility that leap frog protection is required.

Proposal FS-110 requested the use of the new ASTM E 2174 Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Stops. The committee responded that the standard was not needed. One version of the document was (rightfully) criticized because it contained inappropriate language. (It utilized "should" versus "shall".) Secondly, the committee believes that inspectors should perform the inspection themselves. This proposal allowed the code officials to override this provision when not needed and both Colorado and Utah Code Development supported the proposal at the microphone; however the proposal was still rejected on Thursday, April 11th.

by Mark Schneider (Albion Engineering Co.)

FCIA is an organization which allows us to share information, learn from it and to raise industry standards. This column is to help stimulate discussion and knowledge of tools used in the industry. I am writing this column to provide an outlet for questions and answers to tools and their uses in the Firestopping industry. Do you have a question regarding a tool's use or do you have neat solutions to a common problem? Email FCIA via tools@fcia.org and I will try to match members' questions with answers. Remember...the objective is to raise the level of knowledge in the industry!

Here is an example of how it works:

Question: "Are there any tricks to working with Bulk Loading Caukling Guns, which tend to be messy...looking to keep these clean and improve productivity"?

Answer: At the New Orleans FCIA meeting, I demonstrated a quick and easy solution when using latex firestop and caulking materials. Simply spray the barrel of the bulk gun with an oil or wax substance, (ie. WD-40, Pam, etc.) The objective is to coat the barrel with a repelling agent, such as oil or wax, which repel water. By doing this, you keep the material either in the pail or in the gun. Urethane and Epoxy materials tools are much harder to keep clean. Loading sleeves, follow plates and caulking loaders will always improve productivity and help keep the process cleaner as well. Some contractors recommend loading their tool, then dipping it in a can of solvent; using a paint brush to clean the outside of the barrel. I am not a fan of this because solvents don't provide a healthy working atmosphere and the mess is still not totally eliminated.


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