Steps to Take to Implement New Fire Stopping During Downtime
Even the busiest facilities need a break. Whether you’re gearing up for a vacation or some mandatory downtime, if you’re planning on temporarily shutting down your facility, don’t let this time go to waste. An empty, powered-down facility is prime for inspection, repair, and renovation. Fire protection and prevention should always be at the top of your list of priorities. Let’s go over some steps you should take to implement new fire stopping materials and methods in your facility during a shutdown.
What Is Fire Stopping Material?
We’ll start by defining fire stopping (or “firestopping”). This form of passive fire protection (PFP) refers to substances, construction, and systems that, according to the International Firestop Council (IFC), “…resist or stop the spread of flame and its by-products through openings in rated walls, floors, or floor/ceiling assemblies.” Simply put, the purpose of fire stopping is to block any and all passage for flames to spread from one room to another within a building. Fire stopping material comes in many forms, including intumescents, cementitious mortars, silicone, firestop pillows, mineral fibers, and rubber compounds.
Implementing New Fire Stopping in Your Facility
Know Your Facility’s Fire Codes
Fire safety is a no-brainer, but implementing the proper practices requires ongoing effort and understanding. Industrial business owners and facility managers have enough on their plate as it is – becoming a fire safety expert is typically too much. This is why regulatory agencies like OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration, IFC (International Fire Code), and NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association) are so important – these organizations create fire safety standards for specific industries to follow, allowing agents to efficiently inspect buildings for potential threats and issues when it comes to firestopping, fireproofing, etc.
Still, it’s good to get a grip on your building’s unique needs and codes before implementing new fire stopping materials. Even having a rough idea of your facility’s fire codes will help you budget your projects, prepare your space, and find the right contractor. Read our blog, “Top 5 Ways to Implement Proper Fire Codes Throughout Your Commercial Facility” to learn more.
Make a Fire Safety List
Knowing a thing or two about relevant fire codes will help you devise a fire safety checklist before the break. You can’t be too detailed with this list, nor can you check it enough. Forgetting to properly shut down heating or electrical components (no matter how small) before exiting your facility can result in significant damage (not to mention undue energy use). This is also the time to take stock of your facility’s current fireproofing and firestopping materials and methods. If you or your inspectors find an issue (e.g., damaged or missing fireproofing, loose firestopping, etc.), you’ll want to have it taken care of by the time you return from the break.
Solidify Your Schedule
Depending on the nature of your operation, your facility might only have a couple of days off, or you might shut down for an entire month. Whatever the case, determine the details of your shutdown plans months in advance. Not only is this a courtesy to your employees and patrons – it’s also crucial for scheduling fire prevention and protection services. The duration of firestopping projects can range from a few hours to several weeks, so you’ll want to get the most out of the time offered by your scheduled downtime.
Schedule Firestop Services Now
A scheduled shutdown presents the perfect opportunity for firestopping installments and improvements. Going over your facility’s codes, needs, and schedule will ensure that you receive the right services without any disruption to your normal operations. Kaloutas has the most updated equipment and knowledge of what your commercial facility needs for its firestopping. With fire engineers on staff, a no work stoppage guarantee, and multiservice repertoire, you only have to implement one contractor onboarding, one walkthrough, and one contract when working with us.
To learn more about us and all that we do for your facility in MA, RI, or NH, contact us online or give us a call at 978−532−1414 today.