Can anyone direct me to the information in Ch8, 8.3 Fire Barriers. I am looking for a requirement in NFPA 101-2012 that might require a third party inspection of installed fire stopping in new construction or major renovation. Thanks.
I cannot direct you to anything more, but I will say I took a class last year regarding these inspections and the instructors assessment was that most inspectors do not know what to look for or the details about what a particular application might require, therefore 3rd party inspectors are likely the best way to ensure proper compliance. We have a large new school project right now that we required a third party inspection and that revealed many questions about proper fire stopping where the application was not specifically detailed in the manufacturers listing info. So, at this point we learned that it takes people with special knowledge to "certify" all fire stopping is compliant. Most inspectors see the red caulking and think "it's all good", when that's not at all the case.
I will say that 101 has a provision that let's the AHJ require third party certification for any piece they feel needs it. So where an AHJ is not fully comfortable with all the requirements of fire stopping, then requiring a third party expert seems prudent.
Thanks for the information.
Just to give you a reference, NFPA 101 (2015 Ed):
188.8.131.52. The AHJ shall be permitted to require a review by an approved independent third party with expertise in the matter to be reviewed at the submitter's expense.
A.184.108.40.206 of the 2009 NFPA 101 give some guidance for inspection:
ASTM E 2174, Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Stops, provides guidance for the inspection of through-penetration fire stop systems tested in accordance with ASTM E 814, Standard Test Method for Fire Tests of Through-Penetration Fire Stops, and ANSI/UL 1479, Standard for Fire Tests of Through-Penetration Firestops.
Section 4.6 (4.6.13) of the NFPA 101 provides the AHJ enforcement of the 220.127.116.11. I have required special inspection of out of the ordinary firestops for compliance with 18.104.22.168. If your a health care occupancy, the LSC surveyors have general knowledge about inspecting firestops, but have no specialized inspector certification. I see the 2012 NFPA 101 focuses on fire door inspections and it is very tempting for CMS and TJC to require special inspections for existing firestop methods. I would believe from the information about inspecting firestops I have seen that a large portion of the firestop method would fail inspection.
What you have submitted is correct with the understanding that further along in the paragraph NFPA 101-2012 in 8.3.5 Penetrations, a key sentence is this provision "The provisions of 8.3.5 shall not apply to approved existing materials and methods of construction used to protect existing through-penetrations and existing membrane penetrations in fire walls, fire barrier wall, or fire resistance-rated horizontal assemblies, unless otherwise required by Chapters 11 through 43."
I understand this as it is speaking to those none traditional penetrations or penetration assemblies, those that require an engineering judgement or design from the norm that require this type of inspection. If I read this correctly.
I think the word "approved existing" is key to in this sentence.
Approved Existing is defined by NFPA 101 as:
That which is already in existence on the date this edition of the Code goes into effect and is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
The word acceptable while not defined by NFPA 101 has a defined use in the English language according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary - capable or worthy of being accepted (generally approved or used)
The act of not identifying an improperly constructed firestop does not mean they are capable or worthy of being accepted by the AHJ. Without an official declaration from AHJ accepting the existing firestops, I believe Section 8.3.5 applies. The provisions stated to not apply Section 8.3.5 would be set at very high bar in my mind as an AHJ before stating the existing firestop construction was acceptable.
Special Inspection of installed firestopping is not mandated by NFPA 101. However, it is mandated in NFPA 1 in Chapter 12, Features of Fire Protection", Section 12.3, "Fire-resistive materials and construction":
12.3.2* Quality Assurance for Penetrations and Joints. In new buildings three stories or greater in height, a quality assurance program for the installation of devices and systems installed to protect penetration and joints shall be prepared and monitored by the RDP responsible for design. Inspections of firestop systems and fire-resistive joint systems shall be in accordance with 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Inspection of firestop systems of the types tested in accordance with ASTM E 814, Standard Test Method for Fire Tests of Through-Penetration Fire Stops, or /UL 1479, Standard for Fire Tests of Through-Penetration Firestops, shall be conducted in accordance with ASTM E 2174, Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Stops. [5000:40.9.1]184.108.40.206 Inspection of fire-resistive joint systems of the types tested in accordance with ASTM E 1966, Standard Test Method for Fire-Resistive Joint Systems, or UL 2079, Standard for Tests for Fire Resistance of Buildings Joint Systems, shall be conducted in accordance with ASTM E 2393, Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Resistive Joint Systems and Perimeter Fire Barriers. [5000:40.9.2]
It's absolutely true that most people who endeavor to inspect installed firestopping don't really know what they are looking at, and could likely "pass" incorrectly installed firestopping, and might "fail" an acceptable installation. To overcome this training and education gap, the International Firestop Council (IFC) launched in 2014 a free online training program and examination for firestop special inspectors. Details of the free online training program are at www.firestop.org/inspection. A listing of those who have completed the self-study program (typically takes 40-60 hours) and have passed the examination are listed at www.firestop.org/certificate-holders.
Intertek also have an accreditation program for firestop special inspectors. Details are at http://www.intertek.com/IQP/firestop-inspector/. The Intertek program requires the candidate to have passed the IFC special inspector examination, plus has some additional requirements (take a 1-day hands-on firestop inspection training class, have hands-on product training from firestop product manufacturers, have a field audit within one year of accreditation).
Similar to the requirements in NFPA 1, and depending on which model codes your state/jurisdiction has adopted, the International Building Code section 1705.17 mandates inspections of installed fire-resistant penetration and joint assemblies in certain circumstances. References are from the 2018 IBC. (https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IBC2018P2/chapter-17-special-inspections-and-tests)
1705.17 Fire-resistant penetrations and joints.
In high-rise buildings or in buildings assigned to Risk Category III or IV, special inspections for through-penetrations, membrane penetration firestops, fire-resistant joint systems and perimeter fire barrier systems that are tested and listed in accordance with Sections 7220.127.116.11, 714.4.2, 715.3 and 715.4 shall be in accordance with Section 1705.17.1 or 1705.17.2
1705.17.1 Penetration firestops.
Inspections of penetration firestop systems that are tested and listed in accordance with Sections 718.104.22.168 and 714.4.2 shall be conducted by an approved agency in accordance with ASTM E2174.
1705.17.2 Fire-resistant joint systems.
Inspection of fire-resistant joint systems that are tested and listed in accordance with Sections 715.3 and 715.4 shall be conducted by an approved agency in accordance with ASTM E2393.
Section 1703 further defines "approved agency", the general idea of which is a third-party agency that has qualified personnel (having completed the IFC/Intertek IQP programs meets these requirements).
Hope this helps!
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