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Newsletter April 13, 2007

Highlights

  • UL Changes UL 1479 Testing
  • FCIA & UL Partnership
  • FCIA Members Educate Nationally
  • Code Development
  • Specifications
  • FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference – Sign up NOW
  • More…

UL ‘Caulk and Walk’ Testing Change – Underwriters Laboratories, (UL) has notified the industry and FCIA of changes to testing requirements in UL 1479 for firestops tested in wood frame construction, floor/ceiling assemblies, effective September 20, 2007.  This change removes the wall from the UL 1479 fire testing for floor applications, exposing penetrating items to the fire directly.  Firestop systems that may have passed the UL 1479 fire test with ‘caulk and walk’ systems when tested behind a wall, may or may not pass under the new requirements.  This makes the ceiling plane most important in this application, and key to fire and life safety. 

For detailed information about systems that qualify under the new testing requirements, refer to the UL Fire Resistance Directory Online after September 20, 2007 (immediate information), the 2008 Fire Resistance Directory hardcopy, and your Firestop Systems Manufacturer.  Look for more discussion at the upcoming FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference, articles in Life Safety Digest, the FCIA Enews and FCIA Website about the change. Stay tuned for more!

FCIA Membership Growth – The health of any good association is in its membership’s commitment to the group.  In 2006, FCIA grew to 141 members, with over 100 Firestopping Contractors. Renewals are ahead of previous years’ with 12 new contractors joining in the 2007 so far.  Manufacturer and Associate members renewals are also moving along nicely as well. 

FCIA and UL Partner for Education – FCIA and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. partnered to provide education to 80 AHJ’s (Fire Marshals, Fire Inspectors, Fire Educators, Building Officials) and Architects / Specifiers March 15, 2007.  At UL’s Northbrook, IL Headquarters, FCIA and UL presented its first Total Fire Protection Systems Solutions Symposium, with leading speakers from each fire protection industry, followed by a tour of UL’s Fire Resistance, Detection / Alarm Systems and Full Scale Suppression testing facilities. 

UL is pleased to present a complete look at all facets of Fire Protection”, stated UL’s Chris Hasbrook, Vice President of Fire and Security during opening remarks. “FCIA was pleased to work with UL and organize the program promoting that all aspects of fire protection produce safe buildings.” stated FCIA Past President Don Murphy. 

Look for more Total Fire Protection Solutions Symposiums to take place in Chicago, California, New York, and Toronto… in the future. Many thanks to Betsy Titus of UL for all the hard work to make this happen. 

FCIA Code Development Efforts – FCIA has been very active the past year at the International Code Council, participating in three committees. The groups include Vertical Fire and Smoke Migration Group, for studying migration of fire between floors, Height and Area, and Balanced Fire Protection. FCIA’s code committee leadership, Bob LeClair, Aedan Gleeson, Don Murphy, and Bill McHugh provided definitions for terms for Vertical Fire and Smoke Migration as assigned by the chair of the committee.  Terms included compartment, firestop, draftstop, opening, penetration and others.  UL Regulatory Services’ Rich Walke was assigned to work with FCIA on the definitions, presented in Atlanta, March 28 & 29 to the committee.  Many of our submissions are under discussion at this point. 

FCIA participated in the Height and Area Study Group (now called “Features”) as well.  The Features Study Group used the word “Compartmentation” and “Compartment” thousands of times during discussions.  It seemed that Building Officials and Fire Marshals were not comfortable with larger, more open buildings, and want more compartmentation.  At a meeting in December, FCIA organized the compartmentation industry to attend the “Features Study Group” meeting, with the Door and Hardware Institute, Door and Systems Manufacturers Association, Fire Rated Glazing Industry, and Fire Damper industry in attendance, all commenting about their industry and effective compartmentation. 

FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates, mentioned that NFPA 5000 had a study group that researched compartmentation and the height and area table issue, eventually developing an annex with requirements that call for more compartmentation along with sprinklers in buildings. 

The Balanced Fire Protection group met for the first time in a year March 29, with ARUP’s Brian Meacham presenting worldwide study about the concept of ‘balanced fire protection’.  The study group had been idle, as many of the participants were on the ‘Features’ Study Group as well.  FCIA will continue to participate in these important debates where ‘balance’ or ‘total fire protection’ is discussed. FCIA believes it is important to be actively involved in ICC and other code entities (NFPA, National Building Code of Canada), to promote effective compartmentation as an integral part of fire and life safety in buildings.

FCIA / Firestopping in UL’s Fire Safety Newsletter – FCIA partner Betsy Titus, from UL has written a nice article on the UL Qualified Firestop Contractor Program that was published in the “Fire and Security Authority” Newsletter (page 3).  The circulation is about 9,500, with about 2,000 AHJ’s (Fire Marshals/Building Officials) subscribing.  Visit this link to view the publication; http://fcia.org/ulapproval.php , and scroll down.

FCIA Members & Code Consultant present Firestopping Symposium – FCIA Member HILTI, Inc. and FCIA “Life Safety Digest” Partner McGraw Hill, co-sponsored by AIA New York Chapter, assembled dynamite Firestopping Symposium in New York, March 27, 2007.  The program, aimed at promoting the positive aspects of Firestopping, was well received by Architects and Firestop Contractors.  FCIA Member Don Donnelly, T.J, Donnelly, Inc., FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates, covered topics ranging from ‘why a specialty firestop contractor is needed’ to ‘engineering judgments’, and compartmentation concepts.  Our hats are off to FCIA Member HILTI, Inc., who spearheaded the program, for investing in the industry.

FCIA Members Educate – Over the past few months, FCIA Members have presented blockbuster programs to educate fire marshals, building officials, architects, building owners, employees, and many more. 

In St. Louis, Dan Flynn of Firestoppers, Inc. presented to the State of Missouri Fire Officials. In New York, Peter Schmidt of Firestop Solutions participated in a program for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In both programs, Dan and Peter also worked with International Firestop Council, bringing a broad base of knowledge to the industry. FCIA spent time with the Orange County Fire Dept., and CA State Fire Marshal, Building Officials from Florida, Texas and Virginia, educating about compartmentation in codes.

Regardless of the venue, FCIA contractor, manufacturer, and associate members provide great educational resources to the firestopping and effective compartmentation marketplace influences.  Even if there’s some duplication of effort, it’s good for the industry to ‘get the word out’ about the importance of our industry for fire and life safety in buildings.

FCIA Specification Updated – Available on the FCIA Website, FCIA added each manufacturer member by name to the FCIA specification on the web.  FCIA Spec development efforts are very concentrated, and educate specification writer professionals about the “Firestop Quality Process”.  Visit http://fcia.org/articles/spec07840.htm to see the sample industry spec.

FCIA at CSI Show - FCIA’s “Compartmentation Symposium” Education Seminar takes place June 21, 2007 at the CSI Convention.  Plus FCIA has a booth at the CSI Convention, known as the “CSI SHOW” to provide updates to specifiers near and far, in Baltimore, MD. Visit http://www.csinet.org to learn more.  FCIA has also participated in CSI local and regional events, and Construction Specifications Canada spreading the word about our firestopping and effective compartmentation industry. 

FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference – FCIA’s ECA Conference features education programs about how Firestopping and the new Effective Compartmentation initiatives can grow business for your firm, while adding fire and life safety value to buildings.  Don’t miss the FCIA roundtable committee meetings that bring the industry to one place to discuss important issues, make plans, and get things done.  FM 4991 Standard for Approval of Firestop Contractors Program DRI / UL Qualified Firestop Contractor Program DRI Education and Testing takes place at this conference, plus take a tour of UL’s world renowned compartmentation fire test, sprinkler, and alarm testing facility.

FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference - May 2 – 4, 2007, Chicago, IL.  The hotel selected is the Mart Plaza Holiday Inn - Rate - $169/US, a real bargain for a location downtown in the middle of everything, with first class rooms, business style.  Free internet included…deadline for hotel is April 10, so move fast. Call reservations at 312-836-5000, and ask for the special Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) $169 rate.  http://chicago.martplaza.holiday-inn.com/

If you have troubles getting the rate, call the FCIA Office. We may be able to help.

UL & FM Updates – Look for an update on the new UL Qualification of Firestop Contractors Program, with an announcement important to world markets at the upcoming FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference.  Both UL’s Betsy Titus, plus ULc’s Emmanuel Sopeju,  and FM’s Jeff Gould will offer updates and testing at the FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference, Chicago.

FCIA at PANYNJ – FCIA Member Firestop Solutions’ Peter Schmidt has organized a program with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for April 18, 2007.  FCIA Members are welcome to attend, but with limited seating.  Contact Peter at Firestop Solutions, Inc. for details.

I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money. 

Arthur Godfrey (US Radio/TV Personality). Taxes are due April 15 normally in the US

FCIA Staff
Bill McHugh, Evie Caprel & Linda McHugh


© Copyright FCIA 4/13/07 - 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

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

Phone: (708) 202-1108
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