At FCIA’s Virtual ECA ’20 Conference, FCIA launched a new initiative to get fire and life safety improvements using the FCIA’s ‘DIIM’ for Existing Buildings.
FCIA’s 2020 President Ben Urcavich stated, “The world pays attention to sprinklers and alarms, what about effective compartmentation and its many benefits? How many ceiling tiles have we all moved and found breaches in important fire and smoke barriers that are there to protect people from fire, smoke, and air spread?”
“FCIA Members provide the services needed – with knowledge enough to be responsible individuals in firestopping and effective compartmentation – helping keep buildings safe for all,” he continued.
Urcavich further encouraged, “We need the whole firestop industry – Specialty Firestop Installation Contractors, Manufacturers, Special Inspection Agencies, Distributors, Manufacturers’ representatives, and friends of FCIA to help in this charge. We already see FCIA Members taking action and delivering new webinars to educate about the importance of our industry.”
“If everyone at FCIA educates someone about what firestopping and effective compartmentation is – and the importance of our industry - we’ll make a difference in the demand for safe buildings delivered by FCIA Members,” said Ben. FCIA has already started to help you with this initiative to help make existing buildings safe. FCIA’s Committees developed and are refining educational content to help FCIA Members protect breaches – all of them – in existing buildings. FCIA Member Firestop Contractors understand the concept that fire-resistance-rated and smokeresistant assemblies are different than “regular” non-rated walls. They need to be repaired so that listed systems are not compromised.
Fire doors need to be inspected annually. Fire dampers need to be checked every 6 years in hospitals, every 4 years in all other occupancies. Firestopping needs to protect breaches made for new services in buildings. And, L-Rated Firestopping – and the smoke and sound sealants - might be a way to protect non-rated assembles that need to stop air movement from room to room.
FCIA’s call-to-action for FCIA Members is to get ready now.
“Get ready now by building lists of potential buildings where people and property need to be protected,” stated Urcavich.
According to Anirban Basu (Sage Policy Group), this list of buildings is bigger now than it used to be. FCIA Members must be ready to service all types of existing buildings, not just hospitals. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that all of these buildings need greater protection against air movement and the things air can carry. As soon as the COVID-19 crisis is over and people start to occupy public spaces again, it is likely that building types that never considered air movement before will look to make improvements in protection, and some of these improvements may also involve non-fire-resistancerated operations.
FCIA is here to help you get ready to protect existing buildings.
We have the new Barrier Management Services section of FCIA.org where Barrier Management Services providers can get found.