Newsletter August 29, 2006


  • FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show
  • Ray Usher Memorial Golf Tournament
  • Standards and Code Meetings
  • Life Safety Digest Call for Articles
  • New Logo Available Online

FCIA 2006 Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show - FCIA’s Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show has much to offer the specialty firestop and effective compartmentation contractor. Learn about International Code Council and National Fire Protection Association code change hearings and new specification requirements from leaders like Bill Koffel, FCIA’s Code Consultant; Bert Polk, former South Carolina State Fire Marshal and currently with the National Association of State Fire Marshals’, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, (JCAHO) plus other industry leaders.  Attend education sessions on the new FCIA Firestop Worker Apprenticeship Program, Compartmentation, Perimeter Fire Containment, ASTM Inspection Protocol, FM 4991, Standard for Approval of Firestop Contractors Education; DRI Testing….and have some fun at the FCIA Awards Banquet, spouse/guest tours and the Ray Usher Memorial Golf Tournament. 

The Firestop Industry Day and Trade Show Thursday is open to architects, specifiers, engineers, building officials and fire marshals who want to learn about specifying firestopping and compartmentation.  Tabletop displays are featured plus excellent education speakers for valuable health, safety and welfare credits.  And, meet firestop contractors, consultants, manufacturers, distributors and manufacturers reps from around the United States and Canada….

Join FCIA November 8 – 10, 2006, in historic Charleston, South Carolina, at the Downtown Charleston Doubletree Hotel.  Charleston is one of the top 6 destination locations in North America.  FCIA’s Rate of $169/nite will go fast.  Sign up and make your room reservations now. A current agenda, information and convention download forms are availble online..

DRI Pre-Testing Education Program – FCIA’s Firestop Industry Manual of Practice (MOP) summary using a Powerpoint Presentation prior to candidate testing, really helped the over 30 Designated Responsible Individual (DRI) Candidates prepare for testing.  DRI Testing, administered by FM for FM 4991, Standard for the Approval of Firestop Contractors and UL for UL’s Firestop Contractor Program took place at the Montreal FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference last April.  Join FCIA in Charleston, SC to take your DRI Exam. 

FCIA Life Safety Digest – Call for Articles – We look forward to your article submission to the FCIA editorial committee, via bill@fcia.org . FCIA’s magazine is making a difference in the drive for compartmentation as an effective fire and life safety tool in buildings. Be a part of it through participation. 

FCIA Life Safety Digest – Reprints Available - FCIA Members use FCIA Life Safety Digest, as a credible handout.  Order reprints of the Summer issue from FCIA.  Costs are below, plus shipping (UPS Ground) from FCIA’s office, address below. Email bill@fcia.org to order, with credit card number, expiration date, name on card, billing address and shipping location for the magazines. 

Cost per magazine, in increments of 100…in stock and ready to ship!

  • 100 – $.95 ea  
  • 500 – 1000 -  $.90 ea  
  • 1000+ - $.80 ea

FCIA Life Safety Digest Advertising Opportunities – This issue’s potential readership jumps to 25,000 as it’s packaged with the 9,500 McGraw Hill Southeast Construction’s magazine circulation.  Don’t miss out!  The next issue is circulated in October, with the final issue for 2006 publishes in December. Contact Bruce at 312-233-7477 or Dean, 312-233-7475 for ad space. 

FCIA Board Meets – FCIA’s 2006 Board of Directors met at the site of the inaugural board meeting in Alexandria, VA, August 9-11, 2006.  The board heard about a passion for safety from Bert Polk, National Association of State Fire Marshals, specifications from Joe Berchenko of ARCOM’s MasterSpec, the NEW FCIA Firestop Worker Apprenticeship Standard from the US Department of Labor and FCIA’s Bob Hasting, and legal issues from Mark Singley, FCIA’s attorney. 

California State Fire Marshals Propose Changes - The CA SFM submitted several proposals to modify the International Building Code at initial California ICC Code adoption hearings in late July.  “The California State Fire

Marshals proposals for modified height and area tables were approved by a vote of 5-2 in California,” said Bert Polk of the National Association of State Fire Marshals. This is the first step in the California Code adoption process. Several more hearings take place before voting for final adoption.

FCIA at ASTM Meetings – FCIA’s Randy Bosscawen and Barclay Meyers attended ASTM Meetings in Toronto, Ontario in April and June.  They spent time working on the ASTM Firestop Inspector Qualification Standard while attending several sessions about ASTM E 2174, ASTM E 2393, ASTM E 814, Perimeter Fire Protection and Leapfrog standards, and other important committees that affect what is submitted to ICC and NFPA for code changes during future proposal cycles.

FCIA Firestop Inspector Qualification Standard - FCIA’s Randy Bosscawen, ASTM Task Team chair, and the committee are developing a Firestopping Inspector Qualification Standard.  Randy met with representatives of the Firestopping industry at the ASTM Meetings in Toronto, heard objections, incorporated many of them into the standard, while soliciting further comments to make the standard practical.  Where there is a non educated Firestopping Contractor and Inspector, a risk to fire and life safety exists.  FCIA contractor, manufacturer, associate members, plus firestop inspector firms are welcome to join FCIA in this effort to continue pursuit of the proper ‘design, installation, inspection & maintenance’ of firestop systems and effective compartmentation. Email bill@fcia.org if you are interested.

FCIA ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Maintenance – These two standards required editing to insert mandatory language, making the standards suitable for the code change process at ICC. 

ASTM E 814 Penetration Seals – According to Barclay, this was the largest attended group and had the longest meetings of the June ASTM meetings in Toronto.  Discussion centered on the need for an air leakage (L) rating standard for ASTM E 814, test method for through penetration fire stop systems, similar to what exists in UL 1479.  There was also discussion about whether the “L” Rating test should be performed during the actual fire test as part of ASTM E 814. 

The chair, John Valiulis, HILTI, Inc., acknowledged FCIA’s comment supporting wording change from Fire-Stop to Firestop System, with reference to compartmentation.  FCIA applauded John and the committee for making these suggested changes because it reflects ‘systems, not products’…an important FCIA goal since its inception. 

Debate continued about whether to make standards at Underwriters Laboratories, (UL) NFPA, Omega Point Laboratories, or other labs ‘aligned’, and identical to each other.  According to Barclay, another ASTM committee is looking at this issue. 

ASTM E 814 Membrane Penetrations – Discussion centered on the locations and number thermocouples on the single sided assembly for these types of penetrations…and even methods on how to build the testing assembly for testing procedures. The big issues were whether to test on both sides of the wall, one side, and how to address open piping system situations.  FCIA’s position is that the testing should reflect actual conditions as they may occur in the field.

Building Perimeter Fire Containment – This is the standard for ‘leapfrog’ protection of buildings, where fire may jump from floor to floor at the exterior of a building.  There has been discussion about this standard for several years according to the committee chair, Jim Shriver, from Thermafiber, Inc.  Current limitations to passing the standard include lack of equipment at testing laboratories, direction from code authorities, and the method used to determine ratings of the wall and floor juncture at the perimeter using engineering evaluation.  FCIA continues to support the need for this standard to be developed.  It is important for the firestopping industry to have a system tested and listed as a proof source for hourly vertical fire compartmentation protection at the important building perimeter. 

Guide for Developing a Cost Effective Risk Mitigation Plan – FCIA recently commented on the ASTM Standard E06 on Risk Mitigation submitted by NIST.  FCIA suggested that a reference be made to effective fire and smoke resistance-rated effective compartmentation in the engineering section for risk mitigation. Building owners, managers, designers and others should have the option to reference this as a method for risk mitigation.  We also recommended that education be conducted for employees, occupants of buildings about where safe havens are located in buildings, and which walls / floors are compartmented with fire resistance rated construction for safety.  FCIA appreciates its relationship with NIST people, and looks forward to growing our knowledge of the programs and research available from this strong US based resource. 

FCIA Membership Growth - The Firestop Contractors International Association continues its growth since inception in 1999.  With the retention rate above 90 percent, and new contractors from the US, Canada and the United Kingdom joining, support for FCIA initiatives for better fire and life safety continues to grow.  FCIA’s expansion has prompted a move to a larger facility, at 4415 W. Harrison St., Suite 322A, Hillside, IL.  708-202-1108 phone, 708-449-0837 fax.  Please change our address in your databases.

AFSCC Meets - The Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control met in the Chicago area recently for its annual meeting and summit.  The group of about 20 people met to plan strategy for the 2006/2007 code development efforts.

Safety for all- With or without hot weather, here’s a safety tip:  Recognizing stroke symptoms early and getting help quickly prevents brain loss. 

CSI Receives Grant – FCIA watched as Michael J. Sullivan, general president of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, presented CSI 2005-2006 President Mike Owen, FCSI, and the CSI Foundation with a grant for $180,000 at The CSI Show & National Convention.  This formalizes a joint project between the foundation and the National Center for Energy Management and Building Technologies to create a lexicon of American English terminology used in design and construction, a “construction taxonomy”.  Look for good things from this initiative.

DHI Foundation renamed - The Door and Hardware Institute has renamed its foundation the “Foundation for the Advancement of Life Safety and Security”.  According to DHI, this better reflects the work the group has undertaken this last year.  “There is much to be done to provide enhanced security within the buildings we touch through education about the important fire door inspection program, while improving code requirements for fire and life safety” stated Bill Johnson, the foundations managing director.

ICC Code Expo & Committee Hearings - The International Code Council holds hearings on the ICC Family of Codes in Orlando, FL September 17 – October 1, 2006.  FCIA has submitted several proposals for code changes along with many other organizations.  To view the changes, visit www.fcia.org, click on committees, code. Send the FCIA code changes to your favorite building official and / or fire marshal.  Building official and fire marshal support is needed at the ICC Hearings to further fire and life safety through firestopping and effective compartmentation. 

Look for articles about the hearings in coming issues of the FCIA Enews and Life Safety Digest.  ICC’s website has full meeting and conference details..

NFPA Meetings - NFPA’s Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) and Building Construction and Safety Code (NFPA 5000) ROP Meetings take place in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, October 31 – November 10, 2006.  Additionally, ICC has withdrawn lawsuits between NFPA and ICC regarding copyright infringement issues, allowing NFPA to continue publishing NFPA 5000.

New FCIA Logo – Take a look at the FCIA logo on this newsletter.  It’s now a registered logo, and has the US Copyright Office Registration ® to accompany it. As a member benefit, use the FCIA logo on business cards, stationery, proposals to add the “FCIA brand” to your firms’ good name.  The logo is available online at https://www.fcia.org, Members Only area, downloadable 24/7. Use this ® logo in place of the older “SM or TM”, as they are now obsolete.  Contact bill@fcia.org for assistance.

FCIA Member Adds Staff – Mark Schneider, president of FCIA Member Albion Engineering, announced that Bob Reynolds joined the firm as General Manager.  Bob has been in the sealant and waterproofing dispensing, manufacturing and distribution industry for several years.  Contact is  bob@albioneng.com  

SFPE & DBIA Show – Firestop Contractors serve many customer groups.  The Society of Fire Protection Engineers and Design Build Institute of America both have trade shows coming up, where FCIA Members could show their capabilities to these important industry influences who specify and purchase Firestopping Services.  Check out www.sfpe.org and www.dbia.org for more information.  Booths are still available, and at a reasonable fee.

FCIA Manual of Practice Free to A/E’s, Fire Marshals, Building Officials - FCIA developed the FCIA Manual of Practice for increased fire and life safety in buildings through knowledge of the zero tolerance installation protocol needed for firestopping systems design, installation, inspection. Fire Marshals, Building Officials, Architects, Engineers, Specifier firms can receive a FCIA Manual of Practice on CD free as a service from FCIA to advance fire and life safety.

Visit www.fcia.org to download an order form, and simply FAXBACK the form with the AE, Fire Marshals or Building Officials’ business card and we’ll mail them a free copy on CD.  The book is a $295 value to FCIA members, $895 for non members. 

FCIA Mourns Loss – FCIA member Allen Rams, Beverly Life Safety, reported that two of his crew were killed in an accident earlier this summer.  The third person in the accident survived.  A drunk driver struck their vehicle early one morning. Allen and all at Beverly are thankful the families were well insured by their union. He did suggest donations to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Contact Allen if you have questions.

FCIA Manufacturer Sponsors – Support FCIA Manufacturer Members & Sponsors…

Gold –  Specified Technologies, Inc., 3M Fire Protection Products

Silver – HILTI, Thermafiber, Tremco

Bronze level Manufacturer Members include: Grabber, Inc., Johns Manville/Passive Fire Protection Partners, W. R. Grace, Watson Bowman Acme / FPT Flammadur. 

"Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly."
- Robert H. Schuller

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director

© Copyright FCIA 08/29/06 - 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

FCIA Office
Bill McHugh, Executive Director
4415 W. Harrison St.
Hillside, IL 60162

Phone: (708) 202-1108
Fax: (708) 449-0837

Email: info@fcia.org
Website: www.fcia.org

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