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Building Code Evaluations - What on Earth for?

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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

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We tried to put ourselves in your position, when faced with the duties of maintaining facilities in accordance with the Ontario Fire Code, and asked questions we would have if we were you and then answered them. For a quotation, please contact us.

Building Code Evaluations of existing facilities are about saving serious money, time and aggravation.

In the first place, it is about providing you with the ability to prove due diligence in fire protection.

If your facility is older, and may have been added to at different times, it is likely time to have a fresh look at just how you are planning to combat fire, via all means, including active (i.e. detection & suppression) and passive fire protection (fire-resistance rated walls and floors) means.

Why?

Because if you have imprecise building records and particularly if your facility was added to and expanded or changed over many years and with different building codes in effect at each permit application and you have performed any sort of regular maintenance, which has necessitated regular perforation of fire separations, the original architect(s)' concepts may have gone out the window. Some facilities' managers don’t really know which walls are rated and how long for. A building code evaluation would determine what is rated and how long for and just what the defence-in-depth against fire really is.

So what?

This can save you serious money in the short term and the long term, and aggravation, in the unfortunate event of an accident involving fire.

How?

1. short term $avings 

Your facility is hopefully insured. This means that you have regular visits from your insurer, who often demands this or that new fire protection measure. Your insurer is interested in maximum protection, obviously, and is not necessarily your friend, if he or she can prove after a fire, that you have been negligent. All insurance works this way, as we all know and overall, it is not a bad system. No one has thought of a better system yet. But you may not be entirely happy with each demand your insurer makes of you, because they always cost money and don’t necessarily provide you with improved production or any sort of return on the added investment. So how can you argue against some of these demands? By having a baseline document in place. Fire protection measures in a building are all about trade-offs. If you do a great job in one area, sometimes you can degrade another. Very simple. If you fail in Music, but your math grade is A+, you can still pass. But same as in this example, everyone knows what is going on and you have a baseline to present for your argument. “No, we won’t sprinkler this, because we have 3 hour fire-resistance ratings over here.” How would you know to make such a case to perhaps enable you to keep from spending $50K on sprinklers? By spending much lesson a building evaluation and getting US in your corner.


2. long term $avings 

You will continue, as you may have for decades, to make changes in your buildings. Sometimes you will use outside contractors and sometimes you will use your own forces. Let’s say you have to provide access somewhere in a wall. If you don’t know how long that wall is rated for, do you buy a 3 hour door to be on the safe side or a 2 hour or 1 hour or a 20 minute door? The wall may be ancient and very thick and capable of withstanding nuclear attack. But if you know from our evaluation, that it isn’t rated at all, or maybe only for 30 minutes, a 20 minute door may just do the trick and again save you a bundle. This may work in reverse in some cases as well, but overall typically saves money and time. We keep both your budget and fire safety as priorities in our work and always seek the best compromise attainable within the context of Ontario law and common sense.


3. $avings and Aggravation in the Event of a Fire 

God forbid, but if you do have a fire and one or more casualties, and the hunt for the scapegoat is on, who is your friend? Victims and their families are out for the largest possible compensation they can get. If your facility is generally considered wealthy, it makes a worthy target for attorneys, as we all know. These attorneys may be representing your insurance company as well as the victims and/or their families. What is THE EXCLUSIVE platform of attack for your opponents (insurers trying to get out of paying and others looking for compensation – i.e. the McDonald’s hot coffee case)? To prove that you are negligent. McDonald's coffee was deemed 'too hot'. The 'burn-victim' won. If you can prove that you have met code requirements, the negligence attack dies, instantly. What is your EXCLUSIVE defense against the negligence attack? Documentation – due diligence. In fire protection, that starts with having a basic plan in place. This is the same concept as in your work safety program. Documentation - safety meetings with minutes, MSDS on everything from caustic soda to toothpaste and committees etc. in place to help prove due diligence as well as to prevent and minimise accidents. If someone swallows a poison in your facility, it's most likely his or her fault and you can prove it. At this juncture, the local municipality, who so far may never have never pressed matters inside the plant, can become your friend in need and friend indeed. How? If you allow us to provide you with this code evaluation, we can assist you by working with the municipality to obtain blessing for this plan. If you have an accident and claims ensue, it won't just be your word to back you up.

What does this really do for me?

You can then demonstrate, in writing, on other people’s letterhead: due diligence. No doubt about it, you have done what it took to meet not only the basic building code and fire code requirements, but also the more stringent requirements of your insurer. There is a difference between what the insurer wants and what codes demand. Codes are about minimum life safety requirements, which are part and parcel of basic human rights in Canada. Your insurer not only wants to protect lives (because those are really expensive claims when lost) but also property and continuity of operations. It is all about risk management, which is in everyone's interest. Sometimes insurance and code requirements conflict. We can help sort these matters out to your best benefit.

There is no more that you COULD do! And you can prove it in writing on other people's letterhead, signed, stamped, approved and delivered.

We can also liaise with your insurer as well as the municipality to add to the over-all buy-in. 

What qualifications do you have to make such claims?

Our architect, is renowned in this field and licensed to stamp and approve work of this nature. John in fact not only practises but also teaches other architects and technologists on a regular basis. Combine this with our experience in passive fire protection in particular, and the results are convincing. You can contact us for more information about this topic.

And how much does this code evaluation cost us?

The evaluation is not a very expensive matter, albeit that 'expensive' is a relative term. To provide you with a lump sum price, one of us needs to come out and have a look your building and the drawings. Within a couple of  days, you will have your lump sum price. We do not need a lot of your time. We know what to do, once you give us the access to the drawings and the odd spot check in the facility.

Let’s say we do this, then what?

We register the resulting documentation with the municipality and assist you in obtaining buy-in from both the fire dept. and the building dept. Then we do the same thing with your insurer. This puts all parties on notice, that you have a plan in place and someone in your corner. This is where the savings can start, as pointed out above, with future work, renovations and additions.

What about the firestops?

Good point. You may already has a sizable investment in firestops in your facility. Each time a new addition or renovation has taken place, electricians and mechanical contractors, bricklayers and caulkers may have added bits and pieces to the puzzle. One thing you do have to do is maintain the firestops. The difficulty is that with the low tender system, lots of folks often put in a variety of materials.

Right now, you may have trouble identifying who made which firestop in what hole. And how do you know whether any of these firestops actually are even necessary (perhaps some aren’t, if we wind up de-rating some walls as a result of the code evaluation) and whether they are bounded by any ULC listings, as they should? Are they in fact operable? Ask us for a Word document entitled maintpro.doc and let's meet on it. We are firestop experts, and can easily make sense of this and implement a maintenance program that simplifies this task and keeps you in compliance with the requirements. But this is step 2 and 3.

Step 1 is your baseline – what is rated and how long for? 

So what do we do now?

If the concept interests you, let us know and I will come out and have a look at your plans. We will then give you a lump sum quotation for the code evaluation and we can go from there. We will not require a lot of your time.

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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