Firestop is a necessary asset for buildings seeking extra protection against fires. Now, not all people are familiar with the attributes of firestop, which leads to some misunderstandings revolving around it. We’re here to clear up all of the confusion. Today, we’re going to go over some myths pertaining to firestop and debunk them one by one.
“High-Rise Buildings Go Through the Same Inspections as Normal Buildings”
High-rise buildings are a different animal from other buildings. High-rise buildings must abide by more specific guidelines and have more specific inspections that pertain to them. The NFPA 101 specifies that a high-rise building is any building in which occupants are kept at a height of at least 75 feet. The 75 feet threshold is significant because this is the extent to which fire departments can access a building.
For buildings that go over this height, special inspections must be undergone for fire-resistant joint systems, membrane penetration firestops, and through-penetrations. Perimeter fire barrier systems also have to get tested.
“Intumescent Firestop Can Be Used For Any Penetration”
This is also not a true statement. Intumescent sealants should only be used on materials that will otherwise burn away. These sealants expand as they take in heat, creating a char that fills the space that’s made whenever combustible penetrants begin to melt.
Non-intumescent sealants are made for metal pipes, and they don’t expand. You won’t want to use an intumescent sealant if the penetrant won’t collapse or melt when a fire breaks out. The sealant will end up expanding, which applies pressure to your noncombustible penetrant.
“All Firestop Caulks Have to Be Red”
There isn’t a building code in place that requires all firestop caulks to be red. In fact, these caulks are available in various colors because each color is used to distinguish which product it is and what use it has.
There are many manufacturers who elect to use red and other colors as a means of making it easier to stand out, which makes inspections easier and products easier to identify.
“After Firestopping a Facility, You’re Fine Until the Next Inspection”
This is not the case. Firestop maintenance is an ongoing procedure. It has to be done constantly to ensure that everyone in your building is safe and that no problems suddenly occur.
Concrete Visions Will Get The Job Done Right
Concrete Visions has been working with clients for over 25 years. Our G&M Services installers are certified with the industry’s major firestop product manufacturers. As part of our firestop service, we can assess abnormal field conditions and, with the manufacturer’s technical support assistance, provide engineering judgments in a timely fashion to comply with contract specifications. Our Field Mechanics undergo ongoing training, including mandatory monthly safety meetings, weekly Toolbox Talks where safety and equipment information is shred, and trainings on safe work standards and safety best practices.