Newsletter August 12, 2009


  • Firestop Industry Conference and Trade Show

FCIA at CONSTRUCT2009 – CSI & TFM Show – FCIA displayed and spoke at the CONSTRUCT Show in Indianapolis. The session covering Firestopping and Compartmentation, “Had great reception and excellent feedback. Plus, FCIA’s Life Safety Digest Magazine handout went over well.”, stated FCIA’s Marketing Committee Chair Don Murphy. 

FCIA at Metro Chiefs Association – Edmonton, Alberta CANADA-  FCIA displayed at the Metro Chiefs Conference in late June.  FCIA Board Member Randy Perry  worked the tabletop at the event. FCIA’s activities in North America and overseas continues to grow. To see who attended, visit the FCIA Members Only section, https://www.fcia.org .

FCIA at ASHE – FCIA exhibited at the American Society of Healthcare Engineers Show in Aneheim, CA, August 3&4.  We made many new friends all who asked about the Specialty Firestop Contractor Trade.  Watch for listing of those organizations that visited us on the FCIA Members Only section, https://www.fcia.org

FCIA 10-Year Anniversary Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show – FCIA is celebrating in Key Biscayne, FL! From a small group that met in 1999 at UL’s Chicago headquarters, FCIA has grown into a worldwide organization of over 250 firms.

FCIA heads to Key Biscayne FL’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.  Room rates are $179/nite. Several airlines serve Miami International Airport (all the big airlines) and Ft. Lauderdale (Southwest, etc.). Reserve your rooms now, as they are going fast at this rate.

Education Sessions, FM & UL DRI Exams, Golf, FCIA Trade Show, and more…
Education sessions include Bill Koffel, FCIA’s Code Consultant who will have just participated at the ICC Committee Action Hearings, Jim Milke, PhD, PE, Assistant Chair, University of Maryland; Learn how to get into the expanding Fire Damper, Fire Door and Effective Compartmentation Maintenance Industry…plus much more.

FCIA Ray Usher Memorial Golf Outing –  To fund Education for Fire Protection Engineering Students, Scholarships at the University of Maryland, and other leading institutions, enjoy a day on the links. FCIA funds scholarships, an FCIA Manual of Practice and Life Safety Digest Magazines at these important campuses, where the future of our industry is schooled.
FCIA Apprenticeship Program – FCIA’s Apprenticeship Leaders Bob Hasting, Specialty Firestop, Inc., and Don Donnelly, Thomas J. Donnelly, Inc., have been fast at work refining the first two years of the 576 hours of Education needed for workers to become journeymen.  Contractors, Manufacturers, Associates, FCIA’s Apprenticeship Committee requests ‘step by step’ installation pictures for the Apprenticeship Education Modules. Email billmchugh-jr@att.net for the detailed committee request. Look for the full committee to meet via teleconference in September to review modules and create needed sessions.

FCIA at ASME A 112 Meetings – FCIA’s Standards Committee worked with Consultant Ron George Design & Consulting at the Seattle ASME Meetings, July 20-22. Ron, on FCIA’s behalf, and the Laborers International Union of North America, and HILTI, spoke against the standard.  The result was that ASME’s A 112 Main Committee voted to transfer the standard to ASSE, who has developed installer standards. ASME develops product standards. To find out who’s who, and what they do, see the FCIA at IAPMO story below.

FCIA Membership Still Growing, after all these years - FCIA’s Membership is up to 251 Contractor, Manufacturer and Associate Members, thanks to the FCIA Member Recruiting Contest:

KUDOS to the FIRST FCIA members to recruit NEW FCIA Members in 2009.

Tom Hottenroth, Firestop Solutions, Inc., found NEW CONTRACTOR Member, 2 Brothers Industries, Inc., Hauppauge, NY AND NEW CONTRACTOR BRANCH Member, Firestop Solutions, Inc., NY.

Al Garcia, AICRAG Construction Services, LLC, Wayne, NJ, brought in NEW ASSOCIATE Member, Mechanical Control Systems Inc., Tewksbury, MA.

Don’t forget, bring in new FCIA Members, and WIN BIG. 
1ST PRIZE – FREE 2010 MEMBERSHIP ($1,185 Maximum Value)
Don’t Delay, Contest Ends September 30th, 2009! Call the FCIA office for further details!

2 Brothers Industries, Inc., NY
Alcal Arcade Contracting Inc., CA
B.W. Dexter II, Inc., CT
Brannon, Inc./DBA Smith Electric Svc, CA
Chambless Construction Specialties, GA
Columbia Pacific Firestop, WA
Dean Roofing & Insulation Inc, NV
EOC Solutions, PA
Kansas City Firestop Co. Inc., KS
KASCO Firestopping, MI
KHS&S of Concord, Inc., CA
Mechanical Insulation Specialists, NV
Michigan Mechanical Insulation, Inc., MI
MTS Contracting Inc., MO
Pabco Construction Corp., NY
Performance Firestop Inc., WI
Petrochem Inc., HI
R.T.Guthrie Plumbing and Heating, NJ
Richard's Services, ONTARIO
Shelter Rock Contracting Corp., NY
Southwest Firetek, Inc., TX
Sprayworks, FL
Sweeney Drywall Finishers, MA
Top Firestop, ONTARIO

Alcal Arcade Contracting, Fremont, CA
Firestop Solutions, Inc., NY
Platinum Coatings Inc., NC
Texas Moisture Protection Company, TX

Dico Tech Qatar WLL, Qatar
National Fire Fighting Manufacturing FZCO, DUBAI
Thermofire ME Limited, DUBAI


Bay Insulation – Cleveland, OH
Bay Insulation –Columbus, OH
Bay Insulation - Green Bay, WI
Bay Insulation – Houston, TX
Bay Insulation - Tri Star, MN
Eastern Wings Equipment, DUBAI
Falconer Engineering and Testing, ONTARIO
General Insulation Company, MA
General Insulation Company, GA
General Insulation Company, IL
General Insulation Company, TX
General Insulation Company, FL
General Insulation Company, NY
General Insulation Company, WA
Houboltco Inc., TX
MTS Contracting Inc., CO
Mechanical Control Systems, Inc., MA
~NEW FCIA Member, FM Approved and UL Qualified Firestop Contractors

NEW FM Approved Firms
Farwest Insulation Contracting, CA
Firestoppers LLC, IL
Life Safety Services, NY
Performance Contracting, Inc.,WA
Performance Contracting, Inc., AZ
Rise & Shine Insulation Contracting UAE

NEW UL Qualified Firms
Fire Stop Technologies, Inc., MO
Fire Stop Technologies, Inc., IL
Safe Check East, Inc., MD
Firestop Logistics, TN

FCIA at IAPMO – FCIA has opposed a move at The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) by the United Association of Plumbers, Pipe Fitters Union (UA) of (plumbers, sprinkler fitters) to claim firestop workforce jurisdiction for firestopping around all types of piping, using The IAPMO Uniform Plumbing Code reference to ASME Standard, A 112.20.2., section 8.2. in Table 14-1, of the Code.  Who’s who, see the chart below, and read on. 

Who’s who in this IAPMO, ASME, ASSE, ANSI BSR situation?
ASME is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  ASME is an ANSI Accredited Product Standards Developer, using the ANSI process for code development. The plumbing industry is heavily involved, with union plumbers and plumbing inspectors, several who were union plumbers, as members.

ASME A 112 Main Committee – This is the overseeing committee for Plumbing Product Standards.  At ASTM, it would be equivalent to ASTM E06 Main Committee. ASME Main Committee voted against FCIA on the ASME A 112.20.2, section 8.2, overturning our request to delete that section.

ASME A 112.20.2, section 8.2 – This standard was developed under ASME’s A 112 Committee, task group 20.2, led by Sid Cavanaugh, employee of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, Union, (UA). FCIA and the Firestop Industry Manufacturers participated in the development of this standard, and objected to the requirement:

ASME A 112.20.2 – 8.2 “The certified firestop installer shall have a minimum of four years of documented practical experience recognized by the ISO / IEC 17024 ANSI Accredited third-party certifier, in the installation of piping systems.”

It mandates a 4th year plumber to install firestopping around piping…without stating which type.

ASSE is the American Society of Sanitary Engineers, also an ANSI Accredited Standards Development Organization. ASSE has two ‘professional practice standards’, one for backflow installers, the other for medical gas installers. They are meant for supervisors.  Union plumbers are members of ASSE, along with plumbing inspectors, many  who used to be journeymen plumbers.
ASME A 112.20.2 was voted by ASME’s A 112 Main Committee to moved the ASME A 112.20.2 Standard to ASSE at ASME Meetings, July 22.

ANSI is the American National Standards Institute, the accreditation organization for standards and code developers like ASME and IAPMO. The ANSI Process is an open process, where consensus is built among all materially affected parties. ANSI has Essential Requirements for development of standards, and procedures for appealing as well at the Standards or Code Development group, such as ASME or IAPMO, and then to ANSI Directly, if not resolved at the standards / code developer organizations.

ANSI BSR – The ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR) hears standards development issues from parties who have already exhausted the appeals process at the Standards and Code Development Process…such as IAPMO.

ANSI Consensus Process – Open, Balanced, Notice given affected parties, ‘Consensus’ – A ‘balanced’ and ‘open’ committee of an industry comes to consensus through voting.  In plumbing, that’s the plumbing officials, plumbing contractors, plumbing union representatives, plumbing suppliers, plumbing inspectors, and plumbing engineers. Open means anyone has access to the meetings. To gain consensus, the group must represent all affected parties.

IAPMO is the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, a Plumbing Code Developer that uses the ANSI Process for plumbing code development. During the ANSI structured code development process, everyone votes, including union plumbing individuals from local, regional and national organizations, suppliers to plumbers, inspectors, manufacturers. IAPMO has a committee meeting format, where code changes are heard by a committee, then a larger assembly at final action.  This differs from the International Code Council (ICC) code development process.  At ICC, a committee of industry and building officials, fire marshals votes during the Committee Meetings. At ICC Final Action Hearings, only building officials and fire marshals vote, a totally different consensus body than the IAPMO Process.

UPC – The Uniform Plumbing Code is published by IAPMO. The 2009 version has ASME A 112.20.2 referenced in table 14-1, and required by mandatory language in Chapter 3, 313.7. 
ICC is the International Code Council, a competing organization to IAPMO. The International Plumbing Code has been adopted widely, except in California, Oregon, Washington and other areas, where IAPMO Plumbing Codes are in force.

…And the rest of the story unfolds
At the IAPMO final action hearings in 2008, IAPMO Code Committee actions FCIA previously had won were reversed by the assembly through ‘hand’ voting. Industry participants such as union plumbers, plumbing manufacturers and suppliers, plumbing inspectors, plumbing and related association members/staff, all voted at the final action hearings….that voted in a standard that mandated a 4th year plumber for all firestop installed around ‘piping’.

Union plumbers want to increase hours for workers to keep pension, health and welfare funds, and the industry healthy. One way to accomplish this is through using the consensus of plumbers, and reaching into the fire resistance industry, and taking jurisdiction for firestopping around piping using the plumbing consensus. 

IAPMO’s consensus scope of authority is the plumbing industry.  FCIA believes firestopping is related to the fire resistance rated wall, floor, and other features, for continuity of the fire rating.  Firestopping is not about the penetrating item, but the fire resistance rated and smoke resistant wall or floor. It is FCIA’s belief that IAPMO extended its “consensus” authority from plumbing issues and reached into the fire resistance industry to take jurisdiction through their consensus wrongly. The IAPMO scope of consensus is plumbing. 

This new IAPMO UPC 2009 requirement for ASME A 112.20.2, Standard for the Approval of Installers of Fire Stop around Piping, will become mandatory once a municipality adapts the IAPMO Uniform Plumbing Code, 2009 version.  To date, California and Oregon have deleted the reference to ASME A 112.20.2 from their adoption of the 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code. Washington wrote a letter to IAPMO stating they would too.

FCIA has appealed the ASME A 112.20.2 at IAPMO’s Code Development Process, at the IAPMO Standards Council, the IAPMO Board of Directors to get the standard removed.  

After all avenues at IAPMO had been exhausted, FCIA appealed to the ANSI BSR with a hearing Aug. 6 at ANSI headquarters in New York.  FCIA’s Don Donnelly, Thomas J. Donnelly, Inc., FCIA Outside Counsel Mark Singley and Executive Director Bill McHugh testified to the ANSI BSR Committee.  We were supported by Tony Fontana, Premier Firestopping, Jim Stahl, Jr., STI, Tom Fletcher, HILTI, the NY Heat and Frost Insulators Union Dennis Ippolito & their attorney, Ironworkers Local 508, with a letter submitted by the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).  LIUNA and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters had both supported FCIA at earlier IAPMO hearings.  Stay tuned for results from the ANSI BSR Hearing, sometime in late August. To view the presentation, visit the FCIA Members Only section, https://www.fcia.org.

FCIA 2009 Manufacturer Members:

  • 2009 Gold Level – BALCO, Inc., Specified Technologies, Inc., 3M Fire Protection Products,
  • 2009 Silver Level – HILTI, Thermafiber, Inc.
  • 2009 Bronze Level – Abesco, International Carbine Technology, Roxul, Inc., W.R. Grace & Co.

Enjoy the rest of the summer…safely.  Remember to tell family & friends, “always, keep two ways out through a building area using effective fire resistance rated and smoke resistant compartmentation”. 

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director, the FCIA Staff and Board

© Copyright FCIA 8/12/09 - 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
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