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Bad Example Type 2:Deemed-To-Comply', or 'home-made' firestops.

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Main Site

Firestop Site

Code Evaluations AVAILABLE!

Glossary of Fire Protection Terms

3M Fire Barriers

Vectorising Drawings and Maps; Paper to CAD

Circuit Integrity Fireproofing

Bounding

Code Req's for Firestops

Essay on Performance Based Codes

Master Spec. Section 07840 Firestopping

Related Sections to 07840

Penetration Seal Drawings

Building Joint Drawings 1

Building Joint Drawings 2

Building Joint Drawings 3

History of Firestops in North America

Warnock Hersey Experience

Firestop Trade Jurisdiction

Achim Hering Bio

Man Made Mineral Fibres

Fire Protection Industry Links

Firestop Products and Equipment

Firestop Mortar

Firestop Silicone Foam

Intumescent Products

Endothermic Products

Insulation Products

Caulking & Paint Firestops

Firestop Pillows

Firestop Devices

Firestop Slide Show 1 of 10 Basics

Firestop Slide Show 2 of 10 Code

Firestop Slide Show 3 of 10 No Seal

Firestop Slide Show 4 of 10 Deemed-to-comply

Firestop Slide Show 5 of 10 Misinstalled

Firestop Slide Show 6 of 10 Re-entered

Firestop Slide Show 7 of 10 Faulty Spec.

Firestop Slide Show 8 of 10 Proper Firestops

Firestop Slide Show 9 of 10 Test

Firestop Slide Show 10 of 10 Smoke and Trays

Sample Firestop Listing

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning; Boiling-Hot Pressure Washing

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Sometimes the cause of the "Deemed-to-comply" scenarios is simply a lack of knowledge, sometimes a lack of funds, always false economies. There is recorded history on this phenomenon. Regardless of who or what is to blame, these are against the law, representing moral and legal problems of potentially large proportions. None of these pictures are staged.

Old Boot used as firestop. Anything from old rags, sometimes oil-soaked, even expensive designer sweaters have found their way into 'penetration seals'.

My personal favourite. The boot. But some of us in the holeplugging business have other, equally entertaining examples. They include oily rags, sweaters, duct tape, you name it. If you can cram it in a hole, we've seen it in one - literally. Actually, considering the price of some of the clothing and apparel we have seen, real firestops would have been far cheaper! BTW: At the time this picture was taken, in Nova Scotia, there was reportedly no-one inside of the boot. THAT would have been painful, what with the measly 10’ drop on the other side!

Stuffed rockwool '(home-made) firestop' in a high-rise office building in Toronto.

This was found in a Toronto high-rise office building. Rockwool! A common component in firestopping. But by itself it is no more than a furnace filter, and not a good one at that. It does not matter that rockwool comes with impressive flame spread ratings and may be certified for assorted uses. Rockwool by itself is not a certified firestop. This is a recipe for spreading toxic, corrosive and re-ignitable flue gases and smoke.

Another home-made 'firestop' - fibreglass with canvas and mud, common in the insulation trade - but not a legal firestop.

Fibreglass, even with lagging muds typically used in the insulation trade, simply does not work as a firestop. This is not bounded by any certification listing. The above contraption would melt and fall out in a real fire as well as a fire test - very rapidly. A 3 hour fire wall, in this case, was reduced in fire-resistance rating to perhaps all of 15 minutes because perhaps $100.00 worth of proper firestopping is missing.

Polyurethane Foam used as a 'firestop'. Can we possibly use anything more flammable?

The holy grail in firestopping. Polyurethane foam! This wonderful stuff was used at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Generating Station (Tennessee Valley Authority). Except TVA had put two coats of ‘Flamemastic' on both sides of the foam. This was a site decision, btw. The vendor of the flame retardant never proposed the use of his material in this configuration, as a firestop. One day in 1975, the plant discovered a pressure leak in a service room. They sent a fellow who was to investigate where the leak was. He took a candle, which he lit. He knew that he was 'safe'. After all, there were supposed to be a uniform 2 coats of a very effective flame retardant on both sides of this economically attractive seal. Wherever it flickered, he knew he had some more 'sealing' to do. Well, this fellow started a 6 hour and 40 minute fire, which cost about 10 million dollars US and resulted in the issuance of Appendix R, courtesy of the USNRC. Appendix R was supposed to resolve all sorts of problems experienced at Browns Ferry Nuclear Generating Station. Unfortunately, the real result was that fraudulently tested fire barriers were used around critical safe shutdown wiring PLUS they wound up using other foams for firestopping, without proper damming materials, which was not the way the manufacturer tested it. The NRC was not and is still not and fights vehemently never to be bound by local building codes (If local building inspectors and fire prevention officers in Canada and the US got jurisdiction in our nuclear plants, they might just run out ‘order-to-comply’ forms.) and must still spend considerable time cleaning up these highly costly messes. The cost to plants and rate payers is considerable. For instance, the foam used in Canada in place of the above, after Browns Ferry, ran about $600.00 per ft² installed, whereas commercially available and noncombustible firestops run about $120.00/ft² installed. The safety risks of not having installed firestops bounded by certification listings are also considerable. These issues have been debated between congressmen, senators,' grass roots' anti-nuke groups, the press, etc. The same problems exist in Canadian nuclear plants and the same fixes are being debated. Again, the costs to fix the problems are absolutely staggering. It takes about 3 hours per cubic foot to remove these foams. Replacements and cover fixes are not cheap either. Plus, the most common method to attack the problem is to sweep everything under the rug and make it look good with paper (= 'pencil-whipping’ / financial persecution of whistleblowers etc. – a particularly popular method in North America). Blow the whistle and loose your job, your house, your career....  The problems are enormous and yet very very simple to prevent. Use systems where the listing bounds the installed configuration. Period. If you can't find one, develop and test one. This is not hard to do, and a lot cheaper than fixing things afterwards. Each of the four model building codes in North America demands system compliance (= bounding). That's all there is to it.

FIRESTOP SLIDE SHOW PAGE 4 OF 10

NEXT

(listed firestops misinstalled)

BACK

(NO firestop at all)

FIRESTOP PAGE

MAIN PAGE

GLOSSARY

CONTACT

Main Site

Firestop Site

Code Evaluations AVAILABLE!

Glossary of Fire Protection Terms

3M Fire Barriers

Vectorising Drawings and Maps; Paper to CAD

Circuit Integrity Fireproofing

Bounding

Code Req's for Firestops

Essay on Performance Based Codes

Master Spec. Section 07840 Firestopping

Related Sections to 07840

Penetration Seal Drawings

Building Joint Drawings 1

Building Joint Drawings 2

Building Joint Drawings 3

History of Firestops in North America

Warnock Hersey Experience

Firestop Trade Jurisdiction

Achim Hering Bio

Man Made Mineral Fibres

Fire Protection Industry Links

Firestop Products and Equipment

Firestop Mortar

Firestop Silicone Foam

Intumescent Products

Endothermic Products

Insulation Products

Caulking & Paint Firestops

Firestop Pillows

Firestop Devices

Firestop Slide Show 1 of 10 Basics

Firestop Slide Show 2 of 10 Code

Firestop Slide Show 3 of 10 No Seal

Firestop Slide Show 4 of 10 Deemed-to-comply

Firestop Slide Show 5 of 10 Misinstalled

Firestop Slide Show 6 of 10 Re-entered

Firestop Slide Show 7 of 10 Faulty Spec.

Firestop Slide Show 8 of 10 Proper Firestops

Firestop Slide Show 9 of 10 Test

Firestop Slide Show 10 of 10 Smoke and Trays

Sample Firestop Listing

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning; Boiling-Hot Pressure Washing

ULC           UL

T O S

(Theory of Survival)

DIBt

TU Braunschweig iBMB

CONTACT

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