15 - Part 1, 2004
- FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference Results
- FCIA at CSC Conference
- FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & 5 Year Anniversary
- FCIA at ICC Code Hearings
FCIA Toronto Education and Committee Action Conference
- Keynote Speaker Dr. Gene Corley, CTL, Inc. presentated on
"Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center" that
kept us at the edge of our seats. Dr. Corley, Chair of the
9/11 Bulding Performance Investigation Team of engineers tasked
by the Federal Emergency Management Act, (FEMA) and the American
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), with the assignment to
collect information for public policy decisions, gave a thorough
report from the group. Here's a few highlights:
- Building Codes - The World Trade Center buildings
were constructed to codes of the time, the 1960's, which
had roots in New York City's 1938 Code.
- Fire Characteristics - The fuel from both aircraft
probably was gone in 3 to 9 minutes after the impact and
fireball that followed. The "afterfire" of building
contents is what continued for the remainder of the fire,
before the WTC 1 & 2 buildings collapsed after about
an hour of fire exposure.
- Design Implications - Dr. Corley mentioned his
support for the Balanced Approach to Fire and Life Safety
in Buildings, where a combination of Effective Compartmentation
and Fire Resistance Rated Construction, plus Alarms &
Detection and Suppression Systems are used to protect people,
property and continuity of operations. Recommendations made
by Dr. Corley's committee include the following:
- First, designing and applying Fireproofing that stays
adhered to steel in greater impact situations than current
technologies is requested by the FEMA/ASCE Group.
- Secondly, Column and Beam Connections that failed
need more testing and possibly new technologies to prevent
failure in the future.
- Third, the code organizations need to decide how long
a building needs to survive before burnout and collapse
of the structure occurs.
- Fourth, stairwells may need to be spread further apart,
to provide true redundancy rather than both being rendered
impassable due to close proximity.
- Fifth, although it would be great to design buildings
like battleships, it's just not economically feasible.
A better answer is to keep terrorists out of airplanes.
Dr. Corley was quoted in a June 6 article on Fire Protection
appearing in Engineering News Record. In the article, Dr.
Corley says its necessary to define the hazard that
will govern a high-rise building design, which should not
be a missile attack. But if you change office space
to a law library, you should check to see if the structure
can carry the added gravity and added fire load." Barring
an unusually high fire load, he says, it is probable
there would be no additional cost to design a building to
avoid collapse before burnout.
Corley also is on record as opposing the reduction of passive
fire protection requirements in buildings equipped with sprinklers
or other active fire protection systems. He believes that
a balance between passive protection methods such as spray-on
fireproofing and the active approach of sprinklers offers
the best way to protect buildings and their occupants. To
read more about Dr.
Corley and the committee's findings, visit their site.
Bert Polk, The National Association of State Fire Marshal's,
(NASFM) "Partnership for Safer Buildings" also presented
to FCIA Members from the US and Canada. He explained key concepts
in Fire Protection in NASFM's opinion:
- Integrity - Design, Inspection, Installation and Maintenance
are all equally important to keep integrity in all fire
and life safety systems in the TRIAD, Effective Compartmentation,
Detection and Alarms, and Sprinklers all working when needed.
- Choices - Occupant safety vs. cost - Architects and engineers
design buildings to meet code. However, code is the minimum
requirement. There are some building owners who choose to
invest significantly more than just the code requirements
for their buildings. Bert cited the Marriott Corporation
and Dupont as owners who are very interested in building
safety in their properties, due to their corporate culture
- NASFM, as an organization, has asked each element in the
Fire Protection Industry to "do the right thing",
implementing the TRIAD of fire protection. He also challenged
the industry to act on it's own to create programs that
help fire and life safety systems perform when needed. Specifically,
Bert mentioned that the sprinkler industry needs to replace
defective sprinkler heads, and passive fire protection should
provide fireproofing that is adheres to structural steel
in buildings better than current standards.
Bert and NASFM, through the Partnership For Safer Buildings,
also recommended that jurisdictions adopt the International
Building Code or the NFPA 5000 Code. He mentioned that both
codes should insert the height and area tables from the UBC
97 code, however, to protect both citizens and firefighters.
"Bigger, larger buildings with less compartmentation
may be a big safety risk", according to Bert. He also
spent time challenging us to understand that recent fire statistics
showing a decrease in fatalities in buildings may have been
due to fire resistance rated construction built under previous
codes, where the TRIAD of fire protection was also present.
For further information about NASFM,
visit their website.
FCIA Thanks all Education and Committee Action Conference
Presenters - FCIA appreciates all the presentations by
industry professionals like Dr. Gene Corley, Mr. Bert Polk,
Rich Walke, PE and Emmanuel Sopeju, of Underwriters Laboratories,
Bill Koffel, PE, Koffel Associates, John Gryffyn Ministry
of Housing, Ontario, and Jeff Gould, PE, FM Approvals, at
the Education and Committee Action Conference.
FCIA Canadian Membership Grows - The FCIA Conference
in Toronto boosted FCIA's Canadian presence considerably.
FCIA currently has 5 FCIA Contractor Members, and 1 Canadian
based manufacturer. And, many FCIA US based manufacturer members
have operations in Canada as well. FCIA has always had a Canadian
presence, with Global Firestop (Bruce Richards) as our first
Canadian Contractor Member. Beverly Life Safety (Allen Rams)
joined next followed by Nexlevel Construction Solutions (Barclay
Meyers), Interprovincial Insulation (Cam Phibbs & Mike
St. Jean) and A/D Fire Protection Products, (Charles Merriman),
Pro-Firestop, Inc., (John Sharpe) along with Brichem Sales
(Jack Seeney), and ThermoFire Systems, Inc. (Mike McClure).
We've grown significantly in Canada, and look forward to working
together to support them while FCIA "Grows Globally".
FCIA at Construction Specifications Canada - As a
result of our Toronto FCIA Conference, FCIA Member Mike McClure
of ThermoFire Systems, Jack Seeney, Brichem Sales and Allen
Rams, Beverly Life Safety Systems attended the CSC Conference
in Toronto May 26, 27 and 28, 2004. We met many new specification
specialist friends at this conference and look forward to
our new relationships. FCIA Executive Director Bill McHugh,
CSI North Central Region President, is working with CSC on
a joint CSC / CSI North Central Region Conference in 2006,
and attended as well.
FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & 5 Year Anniversary
Celebration - FCIA celebrates 5 years of activity in the
industry November 10 - 12 at Frenchman's Reef Hotel, St. Thomas,
US Virgin Islands. This year's theme, "International
Effective Compartmentation" will feature seminars on
how Firestopping fits into the bigger picture of Effective
Compartmentation, throughout the globe. Our agenda will look
like past programs with seminars, a trade show and education
programs. Look for a great educational program...and celebration
of FCIA's 5th Anniversary. Charter Members, be there to celebrate
the past and plan the future. We'll finish early each day
for some fun activity, and provide opportunities for spouses
/ significant others to be included as well. Visit the website
to download the room reservations form. http://www.fcia.org/articles/stthomasmeeting04.htm
Look for a FAXBACK Form and agenda for the FCIA FIC conference
FCIA Firestop Industry Conference Travel Information
- Mark your calendars now and try FCIA's new travel partner,
Corporate Travel Management Group, Inc. (CTMG). CTMG is waiving
ticket fees and providing 5 - 10% discounts for FCIA Attendees
who fly American Airlines, the major carrier to St. Thomas.
This discount applies only to tickets issued by CTMG. If someone
confirms travel on any other carrier than American, a $25.00
per person ticket fee is charged. St. Thomas is a US Territory,
so no passports are required for US Citizens and your cell
phones will work fine. Travel info is listed below:
Diane Fielmann (Group
Corporate Travel Management Group
450 E. 22nd St.
Lombard, Il. 60148
Phone: (800) 323-3800 or (630) 691-9100 x523 (direct)
Fax: (630) 691-8097
FCIA Testifies at International Code Council (ICC) Hearings
- FCIA's Executive Director, Bill McHugh and Code Consultant,
Bill Koffel, testified at the ICC Public Comment Hearings
in Kansas City, KS, May 18 - 21, 2004. Others who testified
included the Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control
(AFSCC), the International Firestop Council, as well as the
National Association of State Fire Marshals. FCIA Members
John Valiulis of HILTI, Inc., 3M Fire Protection Products
(represented by Vickie Lovell) were visible promoting passive
fire protection also. There were many code proposals put forth
by the AFSCC to add passive fire protection features into
existing 2003 International Building Code. Most AFSCC proposals
were defeated by the ICC Code group in attendance at the Kansas
NASFM Inspection Code Proposal for International Fire
Code Passes - The National Association of State Fire Marshals
(NASFM) proposed a code change requiring annual inspections
of building compartment components. The proposal was approved
by the ICC Code Assembly in Kansas City a few weeks ago. Fire
Walls, Doors, Fire and Smoke Dampers, Firestopping in existing
buildings are all included in this inspection. The hearings
for proposed changes to the 2003 International Codes, will
appear in the supplement to 2003 codes called the 2004 Supplement.
Specifically, this will appear in the 2006 International Fire
Code book as part of the larger code book, that is adopted
by municipalities across the country. The new code requirement
for maintenance is great news for building owners who value
Fire and Life Safety Protection as well as economy in buildings.
Effective Compartmentation, like sprinklers and alarms, must
be properly installed, inspected and maintained to perform
when called upon. Once built, fire walls sometimes look like
Swiss cheese after many trades have installed new services.
We all know how hard it is to control "the cable guy"
in buildings. This new code requirement will help owners protect
occupants through a manageable, yearly program, rather than
getting hit with a large repair bill after 5 or 10 years.
Some FCIA Member Contractors already provide this service
to their customers. Watch for more on this as FCIA's Technical
Committee has started drafts on a maintenance document with
specific recommendations that will be included in the FCIA
Manual of Practice.
Walter Smittle, NASFM representative, Bill McHugh, FCIA,
John Valiulis, (HILTI, Inc.) AFSCC President and Rick Thornberry,
Consultant to AFSCC testified on behalf of this code change,
moved first by Don Bliss, Past President of NASFM in 2003,
and resubmitted by Jim Burns, current President of NASFM in
2004. FCIA representatives Aedan Gleeson, GPI Firestop, Inc.
and Bill McHugh visited with Jim Burns, who is also State
Fire Marshal, State of New York, in February. We appreciate
the relationship we are building with NASFM, and look forward
to working together for Fire and Life Safety in buildings.
FCIA Member, IFC President Jim Park in the News -
At the NFPA Show in May, RectorSeal National Sales Manager,
Jim Park was quoted in the Consulting Specifying Engineer
E-News about Firestopping and Maintenance. "I couldn't
agree more with the need for better maintenance inspections
for all fire protection systems, particularly for firestopping
materials". Often a difficult task because of its out-of-sight,
out-of-mind nature, Park says firestopping must be inspected
regularly, particularly for new penetrations made in buildings
due to churn or alterations. The key, however, is education.
He says both building managers and building code officials
must be educated on both the need for passive fire protection
measures and of the importance for ensuring that system integrity
is not breached. Way to go Jim...keep up the good work publicizing
the Firestopping industry...and promoting the need to maintain
Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director
We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will
always be prepared, so we may always be free.
Former President Ronald Reagan, Normandy, France,
June 6, 1984
FCIA's Firestop Industry Conference - November 10 - 13,
2004 - Frenchman's Reef Hotel, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
©Copyright FCIA 06/15/04 - 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 Professional
Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept.
For more information, contact the
Bill McHugh, Executive Director
1257 Golf Circle
Wheaton, IL 60187
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