Firestop Video Released

Underwriters Laboratories and the International Firestop Council collaborated on a demonstration test project and the new video.

A new public service video co-produced by the International Firestop Council, a not-for-profit trade association, and Underwriters Laboratories shows how proper and improper firestop systems perform to contain smoke and flame during building fires.

The "Close Enough, Is Not Good Enough: A Demonstration of Proper Vs. Improper Firestopping" video from Fort Collins, Colo.-based IFC lasts six minutes and is streamed from its website, www.firestop.org.

Proper firestop systems, materials, and methods comply with ASTM E814 (UL-1479) and ASTM E1966 (UL-2079), according to IFC. They seal wall, ceiling, and floor penetrations and joints. The association reports many fire-related deaths occur each year that are attributed to poor flame and smoke containment 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 Telgian Corp., a Tempe, Ariz. fire/life safety engineering and third-party inspection firm. He is the task group chair for firestop inspector qualifications standards on the American Society of Testing and Materials E06 technical committee.

The video was filmed in a full-scale room fire at UL's Northbrook, Ill., test facility. "The intent of the IFC and UL is to educate every person associated with building construction on the dangers of using ineffective firestop sealing materials and improper installation techniques in wall, ceiling, and floor penetrations and joints," said John Valiulis, a Tulsa-based fire protection engineer who assisted in the UL-IFC demonstration test project and video. "If this video helps save just one life -- and we believe it will save many -- we've reached our goal."

"This video suggests all property managers should inspect existing buildings for non-compliant penetration and joint firestopping materials in their fire-rated walls and floors," he added. "Likewise, we want all architects, consulting engineers, contractors, and building inspectors to view this video in hope of saving lives."

For more information, call 970-223-4985 or email brice.miller@firestop.org.

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