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How Does My Company Get FM 4991 Approved?

Becoming an FM 4991 Approved Firestop Contractor is an involved process consisting of several steps. Completing the program from application to accreditation can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more depending on various factors, including the readiness of the company, how fast a Quality Management System (QMS) and Manual can be built (if not already in place), and FM Approvals’ audit schedule.

Below are the steps to take to get accredited to FM 4991, Standard for the Approval of Firestop Contractors.

1. Write and implement a company Quality Management System and Manual.

Companies pursuing FM 4991 approval must have a Quality Management System and Manual and operation in place and must have completed at least one (1) job under the process.

FCIA has a Management System Template available free to FCIA Specialty Firestop Installation Contractor Members to help get this process started. FCIA Members access the template in the Members Only section. Learn more about FCIA Membership Benefits.

2. Pass the FM Firestop Exam.

The FM Firestop Exam is a comprehensive exam based on the FM 4991 Standard, Firestop Listings, and the FCIA Firestop Manual of Practice (MOP). The FCIA MOP covers a variety of areas of the firestop industry, including but not limited to the FM 4991 Standard, installation, systems selection and analysis, inspection, code requirements, and more.

To prepare for the exam, study the FM 4991 Standard AND the FCIA MOP, and review listings from the FM Approval Guide. A score of 80% or better is required to pass. The FM Firestop Exam is offered at all FCIA Conferences and Symposiums in the US, Canada, and Middle East. For more information on upcoming testing opportunities, click here.

For more information and to order the FCIA MOP, contact the FCIA Office.

3. Submit to and pass an on-site audit by FM Approvals of the company’s implemented QMS and record keeping system for installations. (NOTE: There is also a job site audit to verify that the QMS is implemented in the field.)

Among the items reviewed are the company’s system design selection capabilities, training, transmission of system design requirements to field personnel, installation practices, and more. Further, as part of the initial job site audit, FM Approvals will conduct a minimum of two (2) randomly selected items to be examined for destructive testing.

For more information on the FM 4991 Audit requirements, refer to the FM 4991 Standard.

4. Designate a Designated Responsible Individual (DRI) from your company to oversee the operations of the company and the FM 4991 program.

The DRI is the individual from the company who passed the FM Firestop Exam and is designated by the company. This person is responsible for the in-house maintenance of the firestopping QMS. This individual is also required to earn a benchmark level of Continuing Education credits every three years or must retake the FM Firestop Exam to maintain their DRI Status.

5. Complete payment to FM Approvals

The FM 4991 Approved program is a third-party accreditation program. There is an initial cost associated with the program, payable directly to FM Approvals, as well as an annual fee for participation. For more information on FM Approval fees, contact the FCIA Office.

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