Does your jurisdiction need training for local/regional 3rd-party inspectors conducting firestop special inspections?
Has your jurisdiction adopted IBC 2012, 2015, or 2018? Then you are likely aware of the firestop special inspection requirement in Chapter 17. To view the IFC’s archived 50-minute webinar that fully explains the IBC firestop special inspection requirements, go to https://youtu.be/23rs61yi78Y.
Many areas having adopted IBC 2012/2015/2018 are lacking personnel with the competence required to conduct a knowledgeable and competent special inspection to ASTM standards E2174 and E2393. A poor 3rd party inspection can be worse than no inspection at all – passing installations that just won’t work in the event of a fire, and reporting proper but unusual firestop installations as “fails.”
The IFC can help. Please contact the IFC (email@example.com , 201-870-0037) to explore the possibility of having the IFC bring its 1-day, hands-on seminar for special inspectors to your area. The IFC charges student tuition for these seminars, to pay for time and travel of the instructors. The end result should be a pool of locally available inspectors in whom you can have confidence, thus helping you to apply and enforce the 2012/2015/2018 IBC firestop special inspection requirements.
All that you as the AHJ need to do to enforce the special inspection requirements is require that the owner’s representative provide the special inspection report, as mandated by the code. This alleviates to a certain degree the need for the AHJ to have the in-depth knowledge needed to thoroughly inspect the penetration, joint and building perimeter firestops. It also frees up time for the AHJ, knowing that the special inspection agency will be conducting very detailed and extensive inspection of these features.
The IFC website provides announcements and registration links for scheduled hands-on inspection seminars, which are held 4-6 times per year in various US cities. Go to www.firestop.org, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details about these seminars, including course content, can be downloaded here.
The 1-day hands-on seminars for special inspectors are registered in the ICC Preferred Provider Course Catalog, providing 0.7 CEUs. Course #10472 and #16578.
Many IFC Inspector Certificate Holders use these seminars as an addition to their training. On the other hand, some inspectors use the seminars instead of doing the online training program, if they do not require the depth of knowledge and the certificate provided by the online program.
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 718.104.22.168, 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 722.214.171.124 and 714.4.2 shall be conducted by an approved agency in accordance with ASTM E 2174.
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 E 2393.
1704.2 Special inspections and tests. Where application is made to the building official for construction as specified in Section 105, the owner or the owner’s authorized agent, other than the contractor, shall employ one or more approved agencies to provide special inspections and tests during construction on the types of work specified in Section 1705 and identify the approved agencies to the building official. These special inspections and tests are in addition to the inspections by the building official that are identified in Section 110.