fcia.org’s latest issue has an excellent artcile about whether or not to choose firestop systems or fire caulk:
MANY HAVE HEARD ABOUT ‘FIRESTOP.’ WAIT, WHAT? WHAT’S FIRESTOP? Firestop is a tested and listed SYSTEM. The SYSTEM comes from the many fire tests conducted at leading laboratories like FM Approvals, Intertek or Underwriters Laboratories. The manufacturers of these materials invest a lot of money and time ensuring that they—the materials— in fact, work for the specific application and required time, based on proven fire test procedures, such as ASTM E 814 and UL 1479 for penetrations and ASTM E 2307, ASTM E 2837, ASTM E 1966 and UL 2079 for joints. Therefore, firestopping should be all about listed, classified firestop SYSTEMS. The SYSTEMS are an assemblage of materials—the floor or wall assembly, annular space or joint size, type, size of penetrating item and possible coverings that have been tested for a particular application, a particular hourly fire-resistancerating and/or smoke-resistant property. The SYSTEMS are then listed and classified by FM Approvals, Intertek or UL, and/or other credible independent third-party testing labs. Now we come to the installation of these firestop systems, and it seems that despite the hundreds of millions of dollars invested by the manufacturers in testing, that some in the industry continue to refer to it as, “we installed the fire caulk, so the floor and wall are now rated.” Really? There’s a magic product that provides fire-ratings?
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