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What GC’s Need to Know About Third-Party Firestop Inspection

James P. Stahl Jr., CFPS, CDT is Vice President & General Manager, Engineering and Emerging Businesses at Specified Technologies Inc. and President of the International Firestop Council.

Many jurisdictions have adopted the 2012 or 2015 International Building Code (IBC). Most GC’s may not be aware that Chapter 17 includes provisions for special inspection of firestops for penetrations and joints (2012 IBC: Section 1705.16 and 2015 IBC: Section 1705.17). In risk category III and IV buildings or where the building height is 75 feet or more, special inspections can be called for at the discretion of the building official.

What impact will this have on construction projects?

Firestopping is heavily scrutinized by third-party inspectors because they perform more comprehensive inspections. Municipalities are often overloaded, and even under the best of circumstances the most committed inspector may not have the time to apportion to proper firestop inspection. Third-party firestop inspectors are extensively trained in the finer nuances of firestopping, and are sometimes better equipped to determine compliance.

The IBC Special Inspection provisions for firestopping reference specific ASTM Standards that dictate how to conduct firestop inspections. The referenced standards are ASTM E2174 for penetration firestop systems and ASTM E2393 for joints and curtain wall perimeter fire barrier systems. These standards provide an option for the firestop inspector to either visually observe the installation of the systems or destructively test installed firestop systems.

When it comes to firestopping, a little bit of upfront planning goes a long way. Sadly, on many projects, firestopping is an afterthought. The trades decide how to run penetrants through fire rated barriers without regard for how someone will subsequently firestop the opening. This actually makes firestopping more difficult. With more scrutiny by a third-party inspector, there are more opportunities for jobsite difficulties, but this is easily preventable with forethought.

A GC is managing a myriad of responsibilities to deliver a construction project on time and on budget. Firestopping as a percentage of the job is quite small, but as a critical component of life safety, it can cause unnecessary delays and complications.

So what can a GC do to minimize disruptions and more easily manage the process?

Find a quality firestop manufacturer to be your partner for firestopping related needs. Consider standardization on a single source to eliminate mistakes. A quality partner will have a full product line with a wide breadth of tested and listed firestop systems. At our company, we pride ourselves on our commitment to R&D testing and having the most UL Systems. Training is essential to ensure proper firestopping, and a quality manufacturer stands ready to provide such support.

Coordination between trades is another important facet, and those who make the openings should plan ahead with those who will seal the openings. An easy way to do this is to pre-select the firestop systems and build accordingly. A quality firestop manufacturer can help. Finally, another viable solution is to subcontract the firestopping to a specialist. Firestop contractors are readily available, and the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) is a resource. Keep firestopping simple on your next job by planning ahead. Avoid inspection issues with good preparation upfront, and be aware of the things that can go awry.

Specified Technologies Inc., STI, is an industry leader in developing innovative firestop solutions that help stop the spread of fire, smoke and hot gasses. They offer a comprehensive product line designed to address any application and back them with over 1,400 UL® Certified systems – more than any other firestop company. Visit STI at World of Concrete Booth #N313 or me.stifirestop.com to find out more.

UL is a registered trademark of Underwriter Laboratories.

 Literature

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EZ-Path

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User Guide: International

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 Product Attributes

Applications

Metal Pipe

Plastic Pipe

Multi. Pen.

Cable Tray

Cables

Cable Protection

Curtain Wall

Electrical Box

Duct

Blank Opening

Head of Wall

Floor to Wall

Floor to Floor

Busway

Bottom of Wall

Wall to Wall

Properties

Paintable

Water Based

STC Rating

Intumescent

Smoke Barrier

Water Resistant

Autobonding

Low VOC

Spray

Silicone

Self Leveling

Re-Enterable

Quick Dry

Permanent

No Expiration

Light Weight

Joint Movement

Flexible

Finished Product

All Weather

Zero Maintenance

 Warranty Information

Limited Warranty

STI warrants that its products will be free of defects for one year from the date of purchase. In the event a product does not conform to this warranty, the sole and exclusive remedy is, at STI’s option, replacement of the product or refund of the purchase price. The warranty provided herein shall be void and of no effect in the event that the product is not installed in accordance with STI’s published instructions, listed systems and applicable building and safety codes. THIS WARRANTY IS IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER REPRESENTATIONS AND EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES (including the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use) AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL STI BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR LOSSES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY LOSS OF REVENUE, PROFIT OR USE. Prior to use, the user shall determine the suitability of the product for its intended use, and the user assumes all risks and liability for subsequent use. No person other than an officer of STI is authorized to bind STI to any other warranty for any product for which this warranty is issued.

 CAD Detail Sheets

Detail sheets are documents grouped together with the most commonly used systems in five categories. These files can be downloaded as either a PDF or DWG file.

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Construction Joints
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Curtain Wall
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Electrical-DataCom
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EZ-Path®
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Plumbing – HVAC
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 STI Guide Specifications

 Data Sheets

Construction Joints

  1. AS Spray
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    Installation Sheet
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  1. ES Spray
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small


  1. LC Sealant
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
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  1. SIL Sealant
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
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Curtain Wall

  1. AS Spray
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    Installation Sheet
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    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small


  1. FT Spray
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
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MEP

  1. Collars & Wrap Strip
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    LCC
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    pdf_icon_small
    SSC
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    SSW
    pdf_icon_small
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  1. CS Cable Spray
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
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    pdf_icon_small


  1. CS Composite Sheet
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small


  1. LCI Sealant
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small


  1. SSB Pillows
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small


  1. SSM Mortar
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
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  1. SSP Putty Pads
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
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Data

  1. EZ-Path® Grommet
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    Installation Sheet
    RFG1
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    RFG2
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  1. EZ-Path® Series 44+
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
    Installation Sheet
    EZD44S2
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    EZD44ES
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    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    EZP144W
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    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    EZP144RS
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    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    EZP144F
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    EZP544W
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
    EZG844
    EZD444MBS

    EZDG844S

    pdf_icon_small
    pdf_icon_small
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  1. SSP Putty
    Technical Data Sheet
    Safety Data Sheet
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 Estimation Sheets

 Specification Review Services

Did you know that many specifications for firestopping reference older fire test standards or obsolete products?

Let our firestop experts assist by reviewing your firestop specifications and making appropriate recommendations. STI provides this service free of charge.

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