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1/9/2008 12:00:00 AM

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The Importance of Firestop Training

Compiled by FacilitiesNet Staff

Firetop training is an important part of a comprehensive fire-safety system. Firestop training is important because it can ensure that the firestop is in place, installed according to code and remains for the entire life of the firestop product.

Education and training should be the top priority in ensuring the integrity of firestop beyond the original installation. Whether managers are planning to maintain fire barriers with an in-house maintenance crew or contracting out the process, it is imperative to use workers who have firestop training. Managers can take advantage of many manufacturer-sponsored educational programs specifically developed to provide the necessary training to install firestop systems correctly. Often, these programs are available for free or a small fee.

To protect occupants, property and business operations, maintenance and engineering managers should use firestop training that puts procedures in place as an operations standard. For example, training should remind staff to eliminate the common practice among occupants of propping open of fire- and smoke-resistance-rated doors. Propping open a door and restricting its ability to close in case of a fire might cause the fire to spread into other areas.

Managers also can enhance fire and life safety by implementing a maintenance schedule for self-closing doors to ensure they operate properly. Occupants, owners and managers also must receive training about the result of fire doors being left open when a fire occurs

Firestop training should include the development of written and enforced policies and procedures that establish firm guidelines for contractors and others who might need to penetrate fire barriers. Managers should consider policies and procedures that incorporate a process for contractors or others to check in and receive a permit before penetrating fire-rated assemblies.

Finally, firestop training should incorporate a process for inspecting the work to ensure that penetrations are properly sealed and consequences are spelled out for those who do not follow set procedures.

Sources:
Fighting Fire With Training by Thomas A. Westerkamp

Facility Safety: Focus on Firestops by Barbara Pankoski


Related Articles:
A Head Start on Firestops

Firestop Systems: Keeping Fire In Its Place