Newsletter October 25, 2005


  • FCIA Elections
  • New UL Contractor Program
  • FCIA works with FAA
  • Life Safety Digest
  • FCIA at IAPMO - ICC Hearings
  • FCIA Firestop Industry Conference

FCIA Elections – Every year, three members from FCIA’s Board of Directors finish serving their two year term. FCIA thanks Don Sabrsula, Firesafe of Houston, Inc., the family and friends of Ray Usher, Superl, Inc., who passed away in May, and Scott Rankin, who served last year as Past President. These terms expire 12/31/05. Scott Rankin has been appointed by the Board to serve Ray’s last year as past president. That still leaves 3 vacancies open for a total board of 9 FCIA Contractor Members. The FCIA Nominating Committee, (Don Murphy, PPMI Firestop, Bob LeClair, AF Underhill, and Scott Rankin, Pyro-Stop, LLC) has presented a slate of candidates for 2006/2007’s Board based on interest from the membership. Several capable candidates have accepted the nomination to serve two year terms. To review bios and see who’s running for board positions, visit the website home page, https://www.fcia.org , click on elections, then the person’s name for a profile, with picture. Contractor voting members received a FAXBLAST already. Call if you need another form to vote with. One vote per contractor member firm, for 3 candidates.

FM Investing in FM 4991 Program – FCIA Accreditation Chair Aedan Gleeson and Executive Director Bill McHugh met with FM recently. Aedan reports that FM conducted another Continuing Education program for auditors that review firestop contractor firms FM 4991 Approval. FM continues to invest in the program through presentations to the New England Fire Marshals Association and education of internal FM personnel involved with the Firestopping Contractors.

UL Announces Qualified Firestop Contractor Program Development – FCIA has learned that UL is getting into the contractor accreditation business. An early draft program has been discussed with FCIA’s Board, and will be presented at the FCIA Firestop Industry Conference. FCIA’s Membership will listen to UL present the intent of the program, with a potential debut in 2006. This program would be another option for Specialty Firestop Contractors to quantifiably qualify their quality programs through audits of zero tolerance firestopping installation procedures and applications.

FCIA Assists FAA in Specification – A fire protection engineering consultant from the Atlanta, Georgia, USA area contacted FCIA recently to learn more about specialty firestop contractors. He agreed that Specialty Firestop Contractors are the way to go when specifying firestopping. FCIA offerred it’s updated spec as a basis for their master specification, that is submitted to architects who design FAA Facilities. Review the specs.

Life Safety Digest, The Magazine of Effective Compartmentation – FCIA’s new magazine debuts at the Firestop Industry Conference, San Diego, CA. This magazine, published by McGraw-Hill and edited by FCIA, is an opportunity to educate about Effective Compartmentation. Want to write an article about firestopping and compartmentation? Submit it to FCIA’s editorial committee. Advertising?

Report from IAPMO Hearing on ASME A-112.01 Standard for Firestop Installers – FCIA Executive Director Bill McHugh attended International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Hearings in Denver, CO, May, 2005. FCIA testified against a motion by the United Association Pipe Fitting Union (UA) and Cavanaugh Consulting to have all pipes that are firestopped in buildings be installed only by journeymen plumbers required by code mandate. The UA used an ANSI standard from ASME, which FCIA objected to during its development. IFC’s code consultant Tony Crimi made a public comment against this proposal as well, objecting to the UA’s move. At the IAPMO Final Hearings in New Mexico, Sept. 27, 2005, the vote by the complete IAPMO Conference was about 224 to 3 or 4, in favor IFC’s public comment and FCIA’s testimony that the code is not to determine who does what work in the field. Speaking against the UA motion was Arnie Rodio, a California plumbing contractor who stated that others perform firestop services, not necessarily plumbers. He was also concerned about the liability that this code would add to plumbing contractors since they would be forced into the firestopping business. The California Pipe Trades (union) representative also testified in support of FCIA Contractors and Manufacturers. Another person, from Oregon, mentioned that the qualification of workers is a licensing issue, not a code issue. This same move was attempted by the UA at the ICC Hearings in Cincinnati, OH last February, and failed there too. FCIA, IFC, 3M, the National Roofing Contractors Association, Building Officials from Minnesota and Illinois, plus Bill Koffel, Koffel Assoc. testified against the move at ICC, successfully.

FCIA at ICC Code Hearings – The International Code Council conducted its Final Action Hearings, September 28 – Oct. 2, 2005 in Detroit’s (MI) Cobo Hall. FCIA supported several code change proposals that the IFC, AFSCC and National Association of State Fire Marshals. The changes proposed inclusion of ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Inspection becoming a requirement in codes, labeling of fire resistance rated walls, and language to restore compartmentation. Richard Licht, AFSCC Technical Director, reported that AFSCC had a successful tabletop display at the ICC Trade Show, plus an education session. FCIA’s Firestop Industry Conference will offer an update on codes as well.

The only change of significance for compartmentation was the creation of a safe haven in high rise buildings for handicapped individuals. NIST estimates this handicapped population to be about 6% of occupants. Review Chapter 9’s recommendations that talks about this:

The changes in ICC’s 2006 code seemed to be focused on structural steel hourly ratings in high rise buildings, where fire resistance ratings on higher floors have been increased from one hour to three, providing more protection for structural steel.

FCIA supports code changes where effective compartmentation is a vital part of total fire protection in buildings.

FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show – We’re focusing on both the Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation Industries. Dick Bukowski, of The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an author of the findings from the World Trade Center Disaster, will address why Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation is needed in buildings, large and small.

Wednesday’s FCIA Firestop Industry Update will allow FCIA Members to listen to and talk about industry issues:

  • Accreditation – Contractor Quality Program Updates from FM & UL.
  • Technical – MOP 2006 Plans
  • Code Requirements – Results from ICC 2005 Hearings - 2006 Code Cycle
  • Marketing – Articles, PR, Magazine, FCIA Presentations, Contractor Promotion Tools, Plans for 2006.
  • Education – CD’s DVD, Firestop Education for Installers.

Dennis Hall, FCSI, CCS, will introduce us to new markets in firestopping due to the new CSI MasterFormat 2004 Specification Sections. Gary Dunger, OSHPD, visits with us about Firestopping in

Hospitals. Plus, FCIA Firestop Contractor Project Profiles may bring answers to your day to day problems on projects.

Thursday’s Effective Compartmentation Symposium will show you how compartmentation adds to your firestopping business through expanded opportunities in fire doors, fire dampers plus firestopping maintenance. The FCIA Conference Trade Show immediately follows the seminars. And, the AIA and CSI Chapters, plus local Fire Marshals and Building Code Officials from San Diego have been invited to join us.

Come for FCIA’s Firestop Industry Conference for education, stay for some fun. The Ray Usher Memorial Golf Tournament and separate tours, plus the FCIA Firestop Industry Awards Banquet brings opportunities to renew relationships…and have some fun.

Contact FCIA if you need a room at the FCIA Rate!

Architects, Engineers, Code Officials, Fire Marshals and Building Owners welcome at the Firestop Industry Conference.

"Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into a even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”
                          Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director

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