FCIA COMITTEE REPORTS
THE COMMUNICATION COMMITTEE
reminds members to visit the "new" FCIA website
(www.fcia.org) which has been live for about 6 months. Our
"hits" have increased from about 600 per month as
of August, 2001 to 5,000 this April. The site is updated frequently
to keep it's reputation as "THE Hub for FCIA Communication,
Worldwide". Watch the site frequently for new features.
Don't forget to use the "Discussion Forum" to express
opinions about our industry.
THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE
reports that while this April's "Education and Committee
Action Conference" in Denver focused on education and
committee work, this fall's conference in Nashville will feature
key industry education in a "seminar" style format,
with opportunities for hands on learning.
The committee is currently planning the Firestop "Industry
Conference" scheduled for November 6-8, 2002 at Opryland,
Nashville, TN. This program will include educational speakers,
the "Firestop Industry Banquet", and our 2nd "FCIA
Golf Tournament". Watch the website for more details
New program ideas are always welcome from FCIA members. Email
Bob LeClair (firstname.lastname@example.org) with suggestions for FCIA
conference topics, or to join the committee!
STANDARDS TASK FORCE
The Standards Task Force, headed by Don Sabrsula, (FireSafe
of Houston, Inc.), was assembled to develop the inspection
standard for Firestop systems. This standard, meant to give
clear, accepted guidelines to those inspecting firestop installations,
has been approved and published as ASTM- E2174-01. To purchase
the standard, go to www.fcia.org, links page and click on
THE CODE COMMITTEE reports:
*The committee agreed with AWCI's Fire Safety Task Group
that public relations could influence codes and developing
a joint strategy with organizations such as these will make
us more successful. They'll meet with two PR firms in June.
Watch for updates on this.
*The committee agreed that the Alliance for Smoke Control
and Containment (AFSCC) is better positioned to propose smoke
leakage standards than FCIA. This committee will work with
the industry to identify concerns/objections to a smoke leakage
proposal, lending support to the AFSCC's code committee.
*Lousiana State Legislation was discussed regarding the requirement
of licensed firestop contractors that is being worked on by
Tremco's Chad Landry. The bill is scheduled for a Fall hearing
and plans are in place to propose in Alabama and Florida as
The Code Committee recently directed Bill Koffel, FCIA Code
Consultant, to investigate the possibility of getting a consensus
paper compiled on the perimeter fire containment code language.
When Mr. Koffel approached a curtain wall trade association
member, they were unaware of the code proposals recently introduced
by the aluminum industry. A document that supports the current
code language represented by the FCIA, Curtain Wall Industry
and Glazing Industry would greatly help in fighting the continued
attempt to reduce that rating. Again, at last weeks NFPA ROC
meetings, before the new code was voted on, the aluminum curtain
wall industry attempted to reduce this condition to thirty
minutes. It was good to see such strong support in the vote
to keep the current language. Both Rich Thornberry (Code Consortium)
and Jesse Beitel (Hughes Associates) have been employed to
represent the reductions.
The first version of a Powerpoint presentation for Firestopping
is almost complete and will be available for FCIA members
use soon. This presentation is a great tool for promoting
the importance of firestopping and specialty firestopping
contractors as well as introducing the "FM 4991 Standard
for Approval of Firestop Contractors" Program. Outline
notes for the presenter will also be available.
In an effort to create a training library, FCIA members are
asked to submit photos, CDs, slides and videos illustrating
both good and bad installations or any "how to"
materials to Bob Patton at FireSafe Systems, Inc. via email
(email@example.com). This information will be compiled into our
first training module "Thru Penetrations", with
more to come. The modules will be manufacturer generic and
will concentrate on installations and methods.
According to Bob, "We've got a lot to do to educate
the industry on the importance of passive fire protection
and the essential, "zero tolerance" firestop installations
required to accomplish the tasks." For more information,
contact Bob at FireSafe Systems Inc., (203) 630-6385 or email
THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE met at the April Education and Committee
Action Meetings in Denver. They focused on the upcoming articles
and "Hot Topics" needed for magazine insertions.
Also of interest was further review of the FCIA "Manual
of Practice" (MOP).
THE ACCREDITATION COMMITTEE'S
discussions at the Denver meeting centered on the proposal,
"Inspection Firm Standard" and promotion of "FM
4991". The committee welcomes new members: Global Firestop's
Bruce Richards and Keith Brebner and Dick Lintelman of Nelson
DENVER MEETING RECAP
The FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference, "Back
to Basics", held in Denver last month was a huge success,
with almost 60 FCIA leaders gathered to hear industry speakers
and participate in committee meetings. FCIA President Kathy
Taraba focused her comments on "Visions for the Future",
promoting FCIA programs (FM 4991 and ASTM-E 2174), the single
source contractor model through specification and code development.
Highlights of the conference speakers' presentations are:
Bill Koffel (Koffel & Associates), FCIA code consultant,
presented the opportunities and challenges in today's code
environment. With guidance from the code committee, Koffel
Associates, FCIA Code Consultant, monitors and submits code
language to affect the proper use of Firestop in the new International
Building Code and NFPA 5000.
Karen Layng (Vedder Price, Esq.), advised FCIA members to
read both their contracts and also that of the general contractor.
The construction documents that cover the scope of the work
are of utmost importance to prevent future disputes. (Note:
Karen is a charter member of FCIA.)
Rusty Sherwood (F.W. Dodge), worked with Bob Murray (McGraw
Hill Economist), to develop and present the economic outlook
for the construction industry. This was beneficial to FCIA
members planning for growth.
A panel discussion was held by firestopping industry professionals.
The panel consisted of: Architect, Greg Markling (MOA Partnership),
General Contractor, Taryn Edwards (Hensel Phelps, Inc.), Code
Official, Jim Thelen (City of Littleton), along with FCIA
members Robert Gomez (Firestop Specialities), Scott Rankin
(Pyro-Stop, LLC) and Doug Walsworth (Diversified Thermal,
On a more casual note, golf congratulations to Tom Hottenroth,
(Firestop Solutions), for receiving the "Silver Caulk
Gun" Trophy, for lowest net score, Scott Rankin, (Pyro-Stop),
for lowest gross score, Bill Hoos, longest drive, Chad
Landry, (Tremco), closest to the pin and the team with the
lowest net score consisted of Breck Spain, (Performance Contracting),
Bill Hoos, Chad Landry and Joe Taraba, (1 Source Firestop).
FCIA would like to thank the Denver Confrrence sponsors:
FireSafe Systems, Inc., Firestop Specialities, Inc., Performance
Contracting Inc., and Tremco, Inc. (golf), Specified Technologies,
Inc., (lunch) and 3M Fire Protection Products and RectorSeal
FCIA MEMBERS NEEDED
IFC Passive Fire Protection seminars will be held in St. Louis
and Chicago in June. These seminars aim to educate code officials
about firestopping. The fee is $25 and pre-registration is required
by calling IFC's office at (914) 332-0040.
INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE HEARING REPORT
At the hearings held this April, FCIA Code Consultant, Bill
Koffel verified that the interest to reduce the rating of
the void at the perimeter was not representative of the curtain
wall industry, but rather came from a small group. A compromise
was reached to leave in the term "materials" and
to introduce the new term "systems". Additionally
the term "interior was introduced to clarify the intent
of the application and remove any doubt of responsibility
that leap frog protection is required.
Proposal FS-110 requested the use of the new ASTM E 2174
Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire
Stops. The committee responded that the standard was not needed.
One version of the document was (rightfully) criticized because
it contained inappropriate language. (It utilized "should"
versus "shall".) Secondly, the committee believes
that inspectors should perform the inspection themselves.
This proposal allowed the code officials to override this
provision when not needed and both Colorado and Utah Code
Development supported the proposal at the microphone; however
the proposal was still rejected on Thursday, April 11th.
by Mark Schneider (Albion Engineering Co.)
FCIA is an organization which allows us to share information,
learn from it and to raise industry standards. This column
is to help stimulate discussion and knowledge of tools used
in the industry. I am writing this column to provide an outlet
for questions and answers to tools and their uses in the Firestopping
industry. Do you have a question regarding a tool's use or
do you have neat solutions to a common problem? Email FCIA
via firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to match members' questions
with answers. Remember...the objective is to raise the level
of knowledge in the industry!
Here is an example of how it works:
Question: "Are there any tricks to working with
Bulk Loading Caukling Guns, which tend to be messy...looking
to keep these clean and improve productivity"?
Answer: At the New Orleans FCIA meeting, I demonstrated
a quick and easy solution when using latex firestop and caulking
materials. Simply spray the barrel of the bulk gun with an
oil or wax substance, (ie. WD-40, Pam, etc.) The objective
is to coat the barrel with a repelling agent, such as oil
or wax, which repel water. By doing this, you keep the material
either in the pail or in the gun. Urethane and Epoxy materials
tools are much harder to keep clean. Loading sleeves, follow
plates and caulking loaders will always improve productivity
and help keep the process cleaner as well. Some contractors
recommend loading their tool, then dipping it in a can of
solvent; using a paint brush to clean the outside of the barrel.
I am not a fan of this because solvents don't provide a healthy
working atmosphere and the mess is still not totally eliminated.