Newsletter August 23, 2004


  • FCIA Board at FM
  • NFPA, Firestop Industry Conference
  • CSI MasterFormat 2004
  • UL's "W" Rating proposal & Recent Changes
  • Call for FCIA Board Nominees

FCIA Firestop Industry Conference - From small beginnings of 40 people meeting at UL, January 1999 in Chicago, this group has grown to over 100 members. The 2004 Firestop Industry Conference celebrates 5 years in existence as FCIA, with "International Effective Compartmentation" as the theme. Seminars are planned on Perimeter Fire Containment Systems, FM 4991 Approval Procedures, Fire Walls / Floors and Effective Compartmentation Components, FCIA's AIA CEU Presentations and how you can qualify to present AIA CEU Programs. In addition to seminars, the FCIA Program Committee has scheduled free time for touring, a golf & fishing tournament, and fun. Bring your spouse, and don't miss this event! . If you call CTMG for Travel info, ask for Dianne, (800) 323-3800 x523.

CSI MasterFormat Changes - CSI's flagship product, MasterFormat, has been updated. Over the next year, major specification programs such as MasterSpec, BSD SpecLink, Kalin, and others along with McGraw Hill, Reed Construction, GSA and other government agencies will convert to the new MasterFormat 04. "The new MasterFormat is organzed by Work Results, instead of products as in MasterFormat 95", states CSI MasterFormat Task Team Chair, Dennis Hall. Significant changes occurred in the communications and low voltage cabling sections as well as civil engineering areas. Firestopping was expanded to include Smoke Sealing. To view the Firestop Sections, visit the link. Firestopping is on Page 42 & 43 of the complete MasterFormat Document - Firestopping is in the same place it was under MasterFormat 95, (Division 7, 07 84 00, but with more titles, like smoke protection, joints, etc.)

For some technical and humorous reading, see Dennis' "Southern Fried Architect" E-Newsletter.

UL Standards Technical Panel (STP) Seeks comments on "W" Ratings - As a member of UL's STP for UL 1479, FCIA was informed that the Firestop Qualification test is to add a "W" Rating to the test standard. The "W" rating is to simulate head pressure of water passing through the untested firestop assembly. Many FCIA Contractors reported "washout" of uncured Firestop Sealants when installed in a building where windows do not yet exist, and requested testing for water resistant firestop sealants. Comments on the new standard are welcomed by UL, via FCIA's membership on the Standards Technical Panel. If you have ideas about how a standard should look, reply to this email and FCIA's Technical Committee will pass on the commentary. Read the press release from UL and the brief description of the new rating.

UL Personnel Changes - FCIA member Scott Rankin, Pyro-Stop, LLC, visited with UL and IFC a few weeks ago. At UL, some changes have taken place. Rich Walke is now Manager of Architectural Services, supporting A/E's who call in seeking advise on UL Services. Monica Keeler is the new Firestop Systems and Fire Damper contact. Rich has served our industry well over the past 18 years, and we wish him the best in his new opportunity. Rich will stay in touch with our group while Monica will serve the industry directly.

FCIA at NFPA Headquarters - FCIA's Board of Directors met with Robert Solomon, NFPA Vice President. Both NFPA and FCIA are forming a healthy relationship and understanding where FCIA can improve fire and life safety through education about properly installed, inspected and maintained Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping. FCIA's Board learned more about NFPA's history and direction and we may have found ways to work together as an industry. Thanks, Robert for arranging an opportunity to visit NFPA's impressive headquarters and for discussions with FCIA's Board of Directors.

FCIA at FM Approvals - The FCIA Board visited Tom McCarty and Jeff Gould of FM Approvals August 13 during it's board meeting. Tom and Jeff agreed to educate their internal management about the need for Effective Compartmentation and quality firestopping applications. Thanks to Lance Simms, FFI Firestopping for sharing a well written document on firestopping risks when the unqualified firms and installers work with Firestopping.

Become an FM 4991 Approved Contractor - Last year at this time, there were about 2 - 10 Projects out for bid on FW Dodge that had FM 4991 Approved Firestop Contractors as part of the specification. Today there are from 20 - 70 projects bidding at any given time, according to FCIA Board Member, Richard Keeney, Firestop International, Inc. That's impressive since FM 4991 was only introduced in 2001. Three years, 30 FM 4991 Contractors nationwide, with the ranks growing at 15% per year. Contractors report that FM 4991 Specifications are being successfully held 15 - 40% of the time, depending on location. What was a once a dream of FCIA Member Contractors who met first in Chicago 5 years ago is becoming a fire and life safety reality.

FCIA Call for Directors - Each year, three directors rotate off the FCIA Board. FCIA Thanks Tom Hottenroth, Firestop Solutions, Inc., Richard Keeney, Firestop International, Inc., and Roger McKenzie, McKenzie Insulation, Inc., for their service to FCIA on the 2004 FCIA Board of Directors. FCIA Voting Contractor Members who want to give back to the industry through volunteering for the FCIA Board of Directors can email the Nominating Committee. Bob Patton (Chair), rpatton@firesafe-systems.com, Bob LeClair or Scott Rankin are the 2004 nominating committee for 2005's FCIA Board. Board of Directors serve terms of two years. Board members attend 3 board meetings yearly, 2 at FCIA Conferences, at another time and place. Responsiveness to Email and phone calls are important to the position .... plus member recruiting, and a willingness to give back to the industry.

Feeling Green? - As "sustainable" design and development principles have become more common, construction companies are having to find ways to incorporate green building standards. Many companies now report their environmental performance along with financial results, and the General Services Administration wants all new and rehabilitated government buildings to meet LEED Standards according to Engineering News Record. FCIA Contractors are hearing more about LEED and Firestopping. How many miles is it from the Firestop factory to the Jobsite? How can we minimize chemical release of solvents, etc.? Although a small piece of the bigger construction pie, firestopping needs to be part of the program.

Safety - The National Safety Council praised Exxon Mobil Corporation for its safety leadership in enacting a ban on cell phone use by ExxonMobil employees and contractors while driving on company business. The new policy was developed after Exxon Mobil commissioned an analysis of available science on cell phone use that concluded talking on a cell phone significantly degrades driving performance. What is your cell phone policy? Hands free only? Headsets (illegal in some states)?

"I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done." Henry Ford

FCIA's Firestop Industry Conference - November 10 - 13, 2004 - Frenchman's Reef Hotel, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

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