Are you an inspector or installer of firestop materials? Do you work with one? If so, I’ve got some information you NEED to know. First, if you are easily offended, then PLEASE stop reading, because I’m about to be brutally honest with you. If you do not understand the firestop industry’s UL nomenclature (the naming system for firestop details), then I would respectfully challenge whether or not you are doing your job to the best of your ability. The good news is, I’m on your side and I want to help. I am passionate about sharing this knowledge because I think it will only serve to improve the construction industry and make safer buildings. An added benefit is that it will help mitigate your construction liability. If you are ready to learn a little more, join me for the next few blog posts discussing how to understand the UL numbering system.
The UL nomenclature is the ABC’s and 123’s of firestop tested assemblies. There are other testing agencies, but UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is the predominantly accepted testing agency for through penetration firestop assemblies, as well as construction rated joints and perimeter containment. Since UL is the biggest name, understanding the naming system they use (the nomenclature) is important. Lucky for you, it is simple too.
But first; let’s discuss why it is important for you to understand the nomenclature. If you are installing the firestop material, you need to know which set of direction to use. This will ensure the installation is going to function as expected and actually stop fire and smoke from spreading prematurely through the building.
If you are inspecting firestop installations, you need to be able to find the correct UL listed assembly in order to conduct any inspection properly, otherwise you are just guessing if it is right. The problem with that, is that if it is done wrong and the inspector doesn’t notice, then the installer assumes they have done a good job and so does everyone else on the project team. This weakens the entire industry because it is accidently promoting poor workmanship and not through laziness, but through lack of knowledge. This blog post is an attempt to change your knowledge level and with your help, ultimately I want to change the industry.
If I have convinced you that you need to know more about the UL nomenclature, then read on. We will start to talk about what the letters and numbers mean and how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.
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Halpert Life Safety Consulting LLC’s
“Saving Lives for the Life of your Building” TM
Our mission is to make a colossal impact on the level of life safety of your building and on the talent of your people. We provide consultation, training, quality control and third party special inspection related to firestop and passive fire protection. We consult for the building industry in the New York/New Jersey (NY/NJ) metropolitan area, as well as across the United States and internationally.