About The Training


1. IBC 2012, 2015 and 2018 require 3rd-party inspection of firestopping

The 2012 International Building Code requires special inspection of firestopping for buildings over 75 feet in height, and category III and IV buildings (IBC article 1705.16).

The IFC 3rd-party inspector education and examination program is designed to help provide a broad range of knowledge necessary for inspectors charged with inspection of installed firestop systems.

2. Going to a 1-day class is unfortunately insufficient

Firestop-related seminars and classes are useful for increasing understanding of firestop principles and obtaining a general understanding. Unfortunately, such seminars are not comprehensive enough to truly provide all of the needed technical information that a 3rd-party inspector would need to know to perform a knowledgeable and competent "special inspection" as defined by the International Building Code. Such in-depth knowledge can help assure that the inspector does not overlook installed firestops that might provide inferior fire resistance. Conversely, such expertise can also allow an inspector to quickly recognize unusual conditions that are nevertheless code-compliant.

3. Self-paced training program available online at no charge from the IFC

To fill this education gap, the International Firestop Council developed the first comprehensive Firestop Special Inspection education and certificate program. To allow construction inspectors from all of the hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the US, and in foreign countries also referencing the IBC, to have access to the technical information required for a comprehensive understanding of firestopping, the program was designed as a self-education program using resources that can all be accessed through the internet. All except the required ASTM standards can be accessed at no cost. The self-education reading and video list consists of the most critical and important information sources on firestopping.

4. An available online exam provides evaluation and documentation of competence

Any person spending the 40-60 hours of study needed to read and comprehend the self-education program references will likely want some tangible confirmation of the knowledge they have acquired. To make that possible, the IFC partnered with Test.com to make available an online examination. The examination requires an 80% grade to pass. Early test-taking results have indicated that people not taking the time to study each and every one of the self-education program references will find passing the exam to be close to impossible. Each one of the references provides some information that is essential to a full technical understanding of firestop installations and inspection.

Upon successful exam completion, a certificate will be provided indicating the exam-taker's name and date of test, available for immediate download, and also e-mailed to the exam-taker's e-mail address.

5.Post-exam hands-on product familiarization is an important additional element

To fully meet the education and experience requirements as recommended by the International Firestop Council, the person passing the Test.com exam should obtain hands-on product training from four different firestop manufacturers. This will help ensure that the person not only understands the theoretical knowledge related to firestopping, but also has a first-hand understanding of the various types of firestopping products that would be encountered during inspection work. The manufacturer members of the International Firestop Council have all pledged to make such hands-on product training available upon request, as arranged with local representatives. While it is impossible to provide training that would cover every product from every firestop manufacturer, obtaining training from at least 4 manufacturers should provide enough exposure to all of the major product types and installation methods to allow the inspector to have an understanding of the vast majority of installations. Each inspector is of course encouraged to seek out and obtain additional product training when needed.

6.The exam certificate can be presented to the AHJ as part of documentation of competence

The education received through this program may be submitted to the authority having jurisdiction to help establish competence for Special Inspector Qualifications.

From IBC:
1704.2.1 Special inspector qualifications. The special inspector shall provide written documentation to the building official demonstrating his or her competence and relevant experience or training.

Trainee Testimonial: More to it than expected

My jurisdiction is requiring a multi-story building owner to hire a Special Firestop Inspector for the very first time. I am truly grateful now that I did not pass the test the first go around. Having to go back and re-visit the material has made me very aware I didn’t have a clue. There is so much more to it than picking a submittal and comparing it to the installation.

I am now confident my jurisdiction will only accept a Special Inspector qualified per ASTM Standards of Practice and hopefully IFC certificated.

Thank you. You have contributed to a “safer tomorrow” in, at least, my little part of the world.

T.M., Fire Inspector, Brevard County, FL