Finding a specialty firestop contractor can take a lot of time and resources, so when you finally find one that you think is a good fit for your facility it can be a huge relief. You’ve likely scheduled some on-going maintenance with your contractor, and expect that they are doing the job in a timely, professional and safe manner. To ensure that they are doing the job up to your standards, here are a few things to look out for to be certain that money spent is going to good use.
They Provide Updates on the Job
If your firestop contractor is not providing updates on the progress of the job, how do you know it’s actually being completed? A good firestop contractor should make a point of keeping you informed. As they work through your facility, you should know what has been accomplished so far, if they found anything out of the ordinary, and what the status of the job is so far. These updates will help you keep track of your budget, ease your compliance worries, and avoid any surprises at the end of the job.
They Obtain Certification from Multiple Firestop Manufacturers
As we all know, materials from different manufacturers should never been mixed in one firestop penetration, so it’s important that your specialty firestop contractor is familiar with the materials used in your facility. When a specialty firestop contractor is certified by one or many firestop manufacturers, it ensures they are familiar with the product and UL codes associated with each product. Each manufacturer has its own set of UL specifications, so having a firestop contractor that is certified from the preferred manufacturer means they understand the code and specifications to the fullest.
They Keep Work Areas Clean & Tidy
Firestopping can be a messy task if the person doing the job is inexperienced. Many contractors that are seasoned pros will know how to firestop a penetration correctly, while also making it appear neat and tidy. If your firestop contractor gives you the excuse “firestop is sloppy,” they are likely not as experienced in the field, and could be doing the job incorrectly all together.
They Know How to Handle Special Circumstances
Some areas in your facility may be very sensitive to outside elements, such as operating rooms, intensive care units, or specialty manufacturing areas. Hiring a specialty firestop contractor with experience working in these delicate conditions is crucial. If you notice your contractor is not taking precautionary measures to limit the amount of dust and other infectious particles or foreign entities in these sensitive spaces, they could be affecting the health and air quality of your facility. Most quality firestop contractors will also use a mobile containment unit, such as The Solution, to keep their materials and any dust confined to a controlled space when working in sensitive areas. A mobile containment unit is also helpful for not only keeping sensitive areas free of contaminants, but they also make a job run more smoothly and quickly.
They Provide Documentation with Before/After Photos
Providing thorough and clear documentation is one of the most important things your contractor should be doing for your facility. Without this documentation, your facility could be subject to fines or penalties from an AHJ. Along with the documentation should come before and after photos of each penetration, to give definitive proof that the penetration has been sealed using the right materials according to UL specifications. Without before and after photos, it can be hard to tell what was done, or if a penetration was firestopped prior to the most recent maintenance. If your contractor is not providing these documents for you, your facility could be facing reparations from the AHJ.
It’s important to be sure your firestop contractor is doing the job, doing it correctly, and providing you with the tools you need to keep your facility in compliance. Any contractor that enters your facility should have the same high standards that you hold as a facility manager. If your contractor isn’t doing these five things while working in your facility, they could end up costing your facility more money in time and labor. Don’t let your facility be jeopardized by a contractor that doesn’t have your facility’s best interest in mind the way you do.
If you’re looking for a specialty firestop contractor, PREVENT can create a program to fit your facility’s needs. Give us a call at 877-392-6074 or request a free quote online.