The Firestop Contractors International Association announces that it has collaborated with key parties to build better reliability of effective compartmentation in healthcare facilities.

The Joint Commission, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and Underwriters Laboratories have co-developed a free Barrier Management Symposium to educate healthcare engineering professionals about fire resistant rated construction including all compartmentation components.

The two-day Symposium will cover how to build the reliability of fire rated barriers through design, installation, inspection and maintenance of effective compartmentation, fire resistance rated and smoke resistant barriers, specifically addressing the top two violations in healthcare facility audits by TJC: penetrations/joints and openings. Faculty from each discipline will also cover barrier management initiatives from the swinging door, fire damper, fire rated glazing, fire rated wall and floor and firestopping industries. Each of these disciplines is a key component keeping continuity of rated barriers reliable. The DIIM approach is designed to manage barriers as a continuous system from construction through the building life cycle with sound management principles. The first of three scheduled programs for the next year is set for Steamboat Springs, Co., Sept., 5-6, 2013.

The Barrier Management Symposium content is based on the compliance with the National Fire Protection Association Code and International Codes, as well as the correct installation of protective systems to provide continuity to breached rated barriers.

Also covered is inspection and maintenance which ensures the existing barrier is properly protected using commissioning, ongoing survey and documentation. Maintaining existing barriers based on sound management strategies such as restricting access and routine maintenance surveys is critical to fire and life safety in healthcare structures.

All faculty are donating time to the program, and no products will be recommended or endorsed. State ASHE Chapters are asked to host the Barrier Management Symposium providing time, classroom & healthcare facility personnel attendees. Each organization is committed to providing a compendium of knowledge for attendees resulting in a safe healthcare experience for patients. The Joint Commission is taking applications for the symposiums.

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In 2012 three of the top six most often scored findings in hospital surveys conducted by The Joint Commission, three included barriers. The standards are LS.02.01010; LS.02.01.20 & LS.02.01.30.

  • LS.02.01010 – This standard was scored 46 percent of the time during all hospital surveys in 2012. This standard addresses General Requirements, including Penetrations and Joints in fire rated barriers.
  • LS.02.01.20 – Scored 51 percent of the time during all hospital surveys in 2012. This standard addresses Means of Egress including Vertical Openings & Doors.
  • LS.02.01.30 – In all surveys in 2012, this standard scored 39 percent of the time. This addresses protection, including vertical openings, stairs, doors and smoke barriers.