Last week we mentioned a new standard for firestop installers. Today we are going to talk about a new standard for Special Inspection of Firestop.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
We find that a number of special inspection firms who do an array of special inspection tasks are asked to do “this fire thing” and they comply with the clients request without complying with the actual requirements of the standards that are written into the building codes. This causes a liability for everyone- the owner, the builder, the community…. But it is a liability for the architect as well because they are responsible for reviewing the inspector as well as their reports. It is written into the inspection standards as such and since those standards are part of the building code, there is a legal obligation to conform with the standards.
If you have questions about this and you are a building official or an architect, I am happy to send you a document that is designed to help you vet a special inspection firm so you can be sure they are qualified and competent according to the current codes. If you email me from an email address of a building or fire official or an architects office I will gladly forward you this document.
WHAT MIGHT AN ARCHITECT CHANGE IN THIER SPECIFICATIONS
Our discussion today is on relatively new standard that architects may want to consider writing into their specifications. ASTM E3038 is the “Standard Practice for Assessing and Qualifying Candidates as Inspectors of Firestop Systems and Fire-Resistive Joint Systems”. By including this in your project specifications you are asking for a way of confirming that whoever is conducting this scope of work has a certain level of training that enables them to complete this scope of work in accordance with the standards that are already written into the codes (ASTM E2174 and ASTM E2393 for inspection of firestop penetrations and rated joints respectively)
If you want to make your life easy, just throw this requirement into your quality segment of your firestop through penetrations specifications. If you want to know more about this, feel free to reach out to us for more details or purchase a copy of the standard at the ASTM website.
WHAT DOES THE STANDARD REQUIRE?
Here are just a few of the requirements. For all the information please visit ASTM and purchase the standard.
- Two years in construction dealing with firestop under the direction of an inspector
- Two years in firestop QC ( not just QC, but specifically related to the firestop industry)
- Four years working in the firestop industry compiling submittals or field installations
- Be a registered design professional WITH experience in the firestop industry
- Pass an exam covering firestop
- Attend firestop training (the standard has more information on this requirement, but having a manufacturers training card is not sufficient to meet this requirement)
If you are a code official, remember that once you have approved a set of plans and specifications, then the build team is legally obligated to provide the level of quality in the construction documents, so even if you can enforce it per the building code, you can based on the approved specifications the owner and architect have agreed to for the project.
Keep learning and keep improving! If we can help don’t hesitate to contact us!