The holiday season has ended, and the New Year is here. While you’re making resolutions for yourself personally, don’t forget to make resolutions for the workplace to help get 2016 started in the right direction. One of the resolutions we suggest this New Year is coordinating a firestop maintenance program to ensure facility safety and compliance.
Whether you schedule a program in-house or with a reputable contractor, firestop is crucial to the integrity of your fire barriers. However, firestop can be the trickiest to maintain correctly by code. There are over 3,000 UL systems in place for firestopping, and it can be difficult to determine which one is correct for the task at hand. Setting up a firestop maintenance program with a reputable contractor will help take the burden (and possible confusion) off your hands, while letting the experts maintain your facility safety and code compliance all year long.
Here are some benefits to setting up a firestop maintenance program:
Scheduled Maintenance Throughout the Year
Scheduling a firestop maintenance program allows you to be “worry-free” throughout the year, with pre-scheduled maintenance that covers your entire building. Whether it’s coordinated by one floor each quarter, or specific areas monthly, problem areas will be addressed in a timely manner. According to NFPA, any penetrations in fire barriers must be firestopped without delay, so having a program in place to take care of these problem areas will allow you to focus on other areas of facility maintenance. These programs are designed to save your facility time, so you or your employees are able to focus on more pressing issues.
Find Areas Needing Maintenance
In larger facilities, there are many departments and moving parts that go into making the facility run smoothly. With so many departments, it can be difficult to know exactly what each department is working on, or if there are any new changes or construction. This can lead to open penetrations in areas of the facility you may not have been aware of. Even with a ceiling management program in place, it is easy for penetrations to go without notice. Because of this, many reputable contractors will set up the maintenance plan so the entire facility is looked at over a 1-2 year period, to avoid missing any areas that may not be already known.
Make AHJ Surveys Easier
While your facility will never be 100% compliant at all times, having a firestop program in place may help your facility during AHJ surveys. Sticking to a plan or schedule will ensure that open penetrations are treated and help keep documentation up to date. Specialty firestop contractors will also provide documentation of their work to provide for an AHJ. With accurate documentation and a written maintenance plan in place, AHJs tend to be more lenient and less likely to cite or warn a facility. They understand that many projects are happening at once, and seeing a maintenance plan in place shows that your facility is being responsibly managed.
Facility Savings with Quarterly Programs
These maintenance programs are set up to provide facility managers with the most convenience, and with that convenience comes dollar savings. Many facilities may only be able to receive approval for certain dollar amounts at a time, so instead of trying to have a large sum approved at once, having smaller parts of a project completed throughout a period of time will help get these jobs done easily. Also, regular maintenance programs from specialty firestop contractors will usually come with reduced rates for continuing business monthly or quarterly, which will also help savings on the bottom line for the facility.
Start the New Year on the Right Foot!
NFPA code states “any penetrations in fire barriers must be firestopped to the correct UL specifications without delay.” A firestop maintenance program will help target those problem areas to help protect your fire barriers and building occupants. Don’t let your facility fall short on compliance this upcoming year, and set up a regularly scheduled firestop maintenance plan today!
The team at PREVENT Life Safety wishes you a prosperous New Year!