FCIA ECA Conference - Well, the FCIA Education and
Committee Action Conference is history. We all attended the
education sessions, worked together at committee meetings
while having a bit of fun in Las Vegas at shows, casinos,
and just relaxing by the pool. The FCIA Education Sessions
received praise from many at the conference. Listed below
are some highlights from each presentation:
- Dennis Nolan, State of Nevada, Building Inspector -
Dennis reported that firestopping, when awarded to the trades,
"no one gets it right". What goes wrong with firestopping
on projects? Problems include
For questions on the program email
- Coordination and timing
- "What do we do with Firestopping?"
was a question asked in 1993, as "one of the least
understood items", "one of the largest cost over-run
items" , according to John Tucker, Director of Buildings
and Safety, City of Las Vegas, NV;
- Inspection of Firestopping
should be done by a third party, independent firm, using
ASTM E 2174 as a guideline. Municipal inspectors have almost
40 inspections to do per day in Las Vegas alone, making
it difficult to spend the time needed on firestopping.
- Designers could make firestopping easier by overlaying mechanical,
electrical and fire wall plans; and providing more space
above ceilings for services required throughout buildings;
- Engineering Judgments / EFFRA's need to be handled to
meet the requirements of the area, and may even need a licensed
individual to write them.
- "Alliance for Fire Safety" (AFS) - The
team of Charbel Tagher (Specified Technologies, Inc.) Bill
Koffel (Koffel and Associates) and Kathy Taraba (1 Source
Firestop, Inc.) participated in this summary and discussion.
AFS is a committee of the "Alliance for Smoke Containment
and Control" (AFSCC), of which FCIA is a member organization.
The AFS is funding a PR Campaign for promotion of Passive
Fire and Life Safety Systems in the building codes. The
budget for this PR Campaign is roughly $500,000 per year
for over 3 years. It's aim is to promote the balanced approach
to fire protection reinserting passive protection systems
in the codes to the same extent that they existed in past
building codes. As the IBC 2000 and NFPA 5000 codes were
being developed, the AFS felt that there was an overreliance
on sprinklers. According to the AFS Group, NFPA's own statistics
show that sprinklers may fail in about one in six fires.
Charbel reported that a major campaign success occurred
in Phoenix AZ recently. A version of the "height and
area table" from the UBC 97 code was inserted into
to the NFPA 5000 Code in that case, bringing stronger Passive
Fire and Life Safety Protection to their code. To be successful,
the awareness of the reduction in building safety from previous
codes needs to be communicated to more people, nationwide.
The AFS Group feels both Sprinklers as well as Passive Fire
and Life Safety Systems with Firestopping are required for
- "Fire Barriers" - John Valiulis (HILTI,
Inc.) did a nice job explaining fire resistive construction
elements used in Passive Fire and Life Safety Systems. John
presented a very educational program on what constitutes
fire walls, fire barriers, smoke barriers and fire partitions,
all of which are different. Many in the construction industry
wrongfully assume these systems are the same. John is also
president of the AFSCC, and explained a testing program
using computer fire modeling by Hughes Associates, a world
renowned fire protection engineering firm. John explained
that the fire modeling would provide data indicating how
a building would perform when sprinkler systems fail, using
the sprinkler trade offs in IBC 2000 that utilize construction
where fire barriers are minimized. Although the basic project
is moving along, more funding is needed to complete modeling
on various building types.
- FCIA FM 4991, Inspector Standard Updates - Aedan
Gleeson, (Gleeson Powers, Inc., Franklin, MA) Accreditation
Chair reported that contractors nationwide are seeing more
specifications that require an FM 4991 Approved Contractor
due to ARCOM MasterSpec and BSD SpecLink's addition of the
standard to their master specifications, FCIA's efforts
with the Construction Specifications Institute and Specification
Consultants in Independent Practice, as well as www.4specs.com
Bosscawen (Multi Con Fire Containment, Columbus, OH)
informed the group about a new ASTM Standard for Firestop
Inspection firms. Randy is chair of the ASTM Group and is
looking for help from FCIA Members on the task.
- NFPA on NFPA - Nancy McNabb, NFPA Regional Manager,
reported that the new NFPA 5000 Code was a consensus developed
code, or "C3"....Comprehensive, Complete Codes".
The code combined NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code, IAPMO's
codes, and used the Disney "Reedy Creek Code"
as a model reference as well. NFPA 5000 is different in
that it compiles standards from ASCE, AISI, ACI, NFPA in
to an "occupancy based" format. To review the
codes, visit www.c3codeset.org . Nancy also reported that
there are task forces reviewing NFPA 5000, and the height
and area tables as well. Kathy Taraba, (1 Source Firestop,
Inc.) represents FCIA on the NFPA Technical Committee on
Fire Protection Features.
- "Developing the Passive Fire Protection Message"
- FCIA Past President, Blase Reardon, (A.F. Underhill, Inc.,
Canton MA) helped summarize the FCIA ECA Conference Attendees
- FCIA Education Program Tours - FCIA Contractor
Members toured the Carpenters International Union National
Training Center as well as the Heat and Frost Insulators
Union Facility to view their Firestopping installer training
curriculum while in Las Vegas. Each organization is currently
providing training to firestop installers who are part of
their respective union.
FCIA Committee Reports - The FCIA Committees reported
on actions to date. Most committees have been more active
this year than last, with teleconference meetings and face
to face gatherings to produce new FCIA Programs, or participate
in industry meetings like ASTM, IFC or others. Committee
Reports are posted on the website when received.
FCIA ECA Golf Outing - Twelve FCIA Members braved
the winds of Las Vegas on the Stallion Mountain Golf Course.
Dean Whitcomb, (W.R. Grace) won the closest to the pin while
Mike Dominguez walked away with longest drive. Dean and Mike
also won the Cash Prize for predicting their scores of 86
and 87 respectively.
NFPA Show - Dallas, TX - On May 18 (4:30 - 6:30 pm),
19 (10:30 am - 3:30 pm) and 20 (8:00 - 11:00 am) FCIA is sharing
a booth with IFC at the NFPA Show. If you are interested in
working at the booth, meeting fire officials, fire protection
engineers, and friends at this show, please email Don
Murphy of PPMI Firestop or Bill
McHugh so we can put you in the schedule
FCIA Firestop Industry Conference - November 12 -
15, 2003 will be held at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Orlando,
FL. The FCIA Program Committee is planning exciting speakers,
educational seminars, DRI Testing for those whose three year
retesting requirement will be due, Golf and discounts on Disney
Park tickets as well. Don't miss this excellent program location.
Watch our site for details.
Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director
Copyright FCIA 05/12/03. Permission is hereby granted to
forward, print, circulate, quote with credit to FCIA.
FCIA is a non profit, volunteer organization of Firestop
Contractors, Contractor Branch Offices, Manufacturers and
Associate Members interested in furthering life safety through
the Professional Specialty Firestop Contractor concept, (experience,
value, expertise) and life safety in the industry. For more
information, contact the
1257 Golf Circle
Wheaton, IL 60187