Have you ever looked at a UL listed detail for through penetrations and not known where, in the garble, to find the information you are looking for? There is a lot of information on that one page. You may have read through the whole thing just looking for one piece of information. This is a guide that will show you how to find the information you are looking for more quickly.

The way UL listed details are organized is very logical. It starts with the biggest element and rolls through to the smallest. So, when you look at a UL listed detail, the information goes in the same general order.

  • Item 1 will tell you about the rated assembly – Is it a gypsum wall or a concrete floor…etc… and how is it constructed. This is critical in some cases, for example an assembly for a shaft wall needs to be addressed differently than a standard wall- regardless if we are talking gypsum walls of concrete/block walls. That is a topic for another day.
  • Then, the document will tell you about the penetration – size, material, description etc…maybe even brand
  • It will end with the firestop requirements – discussing things like backing material, sealant and any other requirements relevant to that individual UL listed detail.

This is standard for every through penetration system. One thing that will vary is the additional information that may be required. The location, where you will find it in the document, will follow the same logic. If a sleeve is allowed or required you will see that just after the information about the assembly and before the through penetration.

If the penetration is insulated you will find that information between the through penetration information and the firestop assembly information. Check out our other blog posts for examples.

Now, with this information, you can look at any firestop detail; and depending on the specific information needed for the installation or the inspection, you will know where to look to get any information you need, without having to read through the entire document.

There are a few commonly overlooked things that are important when evaluating if an installer is using the correct UL listed detail for the application. If an installer or inspector offers only a cursory glance over the firstop submittals, these elements are often overlooked.

  • Annular space requirements- You will see a minimum and a maximum annular space in through penetration details. That information will be found in the same section that is discussing the through penetration because this information is related to the through penetrations relationship to the assembly it is penetrating.
  • Certain assemblies will require unique elements such as framing on gypsum rated assemblies, compression of the backing material or other elements
  • Anchors are a critical element of some systems. Drywall screws are often unacceptable in gypsum applications. Concrete screws may be acceptable but you will only know after reviewing the information in the project submittal.
  • Details that do not match. A example- WL5000 detail will be required for an insulated pipe, but you may need a separate document for fiberglass insulation and another for black rubber (AB/PVC insulation). see more on that here.

There is one important take away for you. If you remember nothing else after reading this, remember that the field conditions need to match the details in the submitted document. If you do anything less, then you are opening yourself and others to liability. With this in mind, it is not recommended to give just a cursory glance at the paperwork. You need to know that the installations are compliant, not just close enough, not just red stuff in the hole around the pipes.

If you want more information about how to find the right UL listed detail for a particular application see our older blogs that cover that here and here to explain the UL nomenclature, or test your knowledge of UL nomenclature.  This will help you identify a knowledgable installer or inspector.

Stay tuned to this blog for more information on how to identify proper installations or email us to be added to the distribution list so you will be notified of new blog posts. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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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.