Fire walls and fire doors are one of the most important components of a passive fire protection system and are required to be maintained regularly by IBC and NFPA 101. But when it comes to firestopping, industry experience counts. Passing inspection is not only necessary for occupant safety but will keep you from getting fined.
Recently, an independent third party surveyor recently determined that when trades or in-house staff installs firestop systems, it is done correctly only 32% of the time. However, when a specialty contractor installs firestop systems using the proper UL systems, it is done correctly over 86% of the time. Using a specialty firestop contractor for your firestopping projects increases your chances of passing inspection by 54%.
When choosing a contractor, there are several things you should look for:
- Ensure they are licensed to do work in your state in the trade they are proposing work.
- Check their experience in your facility type (ex. Healthcare, Commercial, etc.)
- Ask if they perform the work themselves and make sure they do not subcontract the work out.
- Make sure they have liability insurance to cover the work they are doing.
- Ensure their staff consists of a trained and professional workforce.
Establishing a Firestop Maintenance Program with a specialty contractor is a great way to stay on top of the penetrations in your firewalls and help you maintain your compliance with life safety codes. In this type of program, the contractor comes out regularly to install firestop, sealing any penetrations in your fire walls. This ensures that your fire walls maintain compliance at all times, so you won’t have to worry about firestopping when it comes time for your inspections.