|A screen capture from a public service video demonstrates how proper fire-stopping materials and techniques prevent smoke and flames from entering a room.|
However, these catastrophes can be significantly reduced with improved fire stop systems specification and installation awareness among architects, engineers, contractors, code inspectors, and building owners, according to a new public service video co-produced by the International Firestop Council (IFC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
A National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report reveals U.S. structure fires in 2010 accounted for only 37 percent of fires, but resulted in 2,755 deaths and $9.7 billion in property damage. Every year many fire-related deaths are attributed to poor flame and smoke containment that occur with inadequately sealed joints and penetrations for plumbing, HVAC, electrical, communications and other building trades, as demonstrated in the video.
“A significant number of commercial buildings today either don’t have the proper firestop systems installed at the penetrations and fire-rated joints, or they were improperly installed,” said Patrick Tesche, vice president of compartmentalization services for fire/life safety engineering and third-party inspection firm, Telgian Corp., Tempe, Ariz., and the task group chair for firestop inspectors qualifications standards on the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM-International) E06 technical committee.
Available for viewing at www.firestop.org, the six-minute video, “Close Enough, Is Not Good Enough: A Demonstration of Proper vs. Improper Firestopping,” outlines the proper systems, materials, and methods for sealing wall, ceiling, and floor penetrations and joints for optimum passive containment of smoke and flame during building fires.
Publication date: 10/29/2012