Firestopping is the process of containing fire and/or smoke through the use of properly installed UL tested and certified products and assemblies. Firestopping, as we know it, has been around for approximately 40 years. This was kick started from the 1980 MGM Grand fire in which 85 people were killed (including seven employees) and 650 injured, including guests, employees, and 14 firefighters. Insurance companies were the driving force behind promoting and developing firestop products to minimize the risk of property lost. This created an increased demand for firestopping which ultimately lead to changes in the building codes.
At first, builders used what was readily available for firestopping. Drywall, mineral wool, steel framing, and spray-applied fireproofing were all products already known to restrict the passage of fire. Drywall manufacturers designed wall assemblies that could be tested per design standards found in ASTM E119 and ANSI/UL-263.