Firestopping New Cable Installations: Through Penetration of Fire Walls

Using UNIQUE’s  Smooth Firestop System for Through Penetration of Firewalls

Problem:

Low voltage cable installers are installing cables everywhere. There are CATV, computer, telephone, intercom and security cables running through firewalls in almost every building. Building maintenance people relocate and install cabling systems as well. Because this group of cable installers are for the most part unregulated and are not required to permit their work, firewall penetrations can get out of control and invalidate the protection of the fire barrier. Regulation in the form of licensing, certification and inspection will require cable installers who penetrate firewalls to properly seal them. Conduit must be found and cut, and drywall and mud mixed. If you’re not careful, the conduit will will cut into the cable as you pull it through the conduit. A UL-listed pre-assembled firestop conduit, with all necessary hardware would save time, cut cost, and eliminate the liability incurred from the penetration. [Read more…]

Firestopping by the Numbers: Step by Step For Cable Installers

  1. You must know the hourly rating of the barrier. (5/8″ fire rated gypsum is rated for 1/2 hr. per sheet / Cement Cinder Blocks are rated at 2 hrs.)
  2. Select a UL tested product system with a UL Listing that matches or exceeds the barrier. Pay attention to cable loads and fill procedure for the product system you choose.
  3. Go to the Cable Load Chart link for the product system you chose. Select the proper size Sleeve, based on the % cable fill load permitted in the UL listing.
  4. Seek pre-approval from the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ Inspector). Remember, it is approved if the Inspector says it is!
  5. When installing the System, be sure not to exceed the listing limitations. Read the listing.
  6. After installation, fill out the label and take a picture to document the System for future reference.

If you follow the steps listed above, you will guarantee AHJ acceptance.

Split Sleeve Firestop System Assembly Instructions

Determine cable violation in firewall (how many violations), angle of entry or exit. Inspect violation to determine the proper Split Sleeve System size (1″, 2″, 4″ inside diameters). Up to 48% of the aggregate cross-sectional area of the Sleeve may be filled with cables in walls and floors rated up to 2 hours; 34% cable load for 4 hour ratings. See the Load Chart and Installation Pictorial. [Read more…]

Split Sleeve Installation Pictorial

Split Sleeve Firestop System

System contents: (2) 12 inch long threaded 1/2 sleeves, (4) slotted washers, (2) slotted couplings, (2) split bushings, 2 documentation/warning labels, and a package of UNIQUE Intumescent Putty. The zip ties are for the split bushings.
A common penetration violation in a sheet rock firewall. A Sleeve will control and direct the expansion of the fire-rated intumescent putty. Without a sleeve, this penetration may fail to restore the hourly rating of this wall.
Clean-up the firewall penetration (both sides of wall) ensuring not to nick the cable jacket(s). Use one of the washers as your guide.
Use one of the SSS halves to protect your cables. After you clean up the hole, slide the bottom half of the threaded sleeve under the cables. Take care to protect your cables. Look for the machine holes near the ends of the sleeve halves to maintain polarity.
Slide the top half over the cables, maintaining sleeve polarity, until both halves protrude evenly. Position the sleeve with the seams at 9 and 3 o’clock.
Work the cables through the slot in the first washer and work the washer down the sleeve, against the wall. The first washers slot should be positioned at the 6 o’clock position. NOTE that the inside washers for both sides does not have printed information. The SSS will need a bead of caulk if the holes in the wall are not exactly the OD (outside diameter) of the SSS to be installed.
Install the second slotted washer, inverting the slots 180 degrees from each other (12 o’clock). Make sure UL label is facing out! Position sleeve protrusion equally.
Work the cables through the slotted coupling and screw it down against the washers. HAND TIGHTEN ONLY.
Repeat this procedure on the other side of the wall. HAND TIGHTEN ONLY.
Install a minimum 1-inch thickness of the supplied UNIQUE Intumescent Firestop Putty in both ends of the Sleeve System. See our UL Systems documentation for sealing Systems up to 4 hours. UNIQUE Intumescent Putty is supplied with the system.
Install the “split bushings”, taking care not to open the bushing any more than is needed to get the cables in. There are a pair of zip ties for securing the split bushings in place after installation.
Install the documentation labels on both sides. We advise you to ID (indelible marker) and take a picture of your installed system for an added bonus – protection of your workmanship.
NOW BRING ON THE INSPECTOR!

Mike Tobias Talks Automotive Firestops in February’s Shop Mag

Mike Tobias, owner of Unique Fire Stop Products, was quoted in a piece appearing in this month’s The Shop, a car magazine for performance, restyling and customization professionals.

Fire stopping for race cars | Unique Fire Stop Products

Read the entire article in the current issue (use the navigation tool to jump to pages 31-32).

Firestop Certification: Customer Testimonials

From a construction coordinator at Time Warner Cable:

time warner cableThank you!

I watched the firestopping video and looked at Fire Stopping By the Numbers and it helped a lot. I thought this was a very informative site, loaded with useful information. Until I got a Construction Coordinator position here at Time Warner Cable I didn’t realize there was so much to know about fire stopping techniques. — Doug G.

[Read more…]

Installation Slideshows for Unique Fire Stop Products

Please visit our Unique Fire Stop Products SlideShare channel where we share installation pictorials for our products and tips and how-to’s designed to make the life of the cable firestop installer easier and worry-free. [Read more…]

The Art of Pleasing the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) When Firestopping

With over 40 years in the cabling business and 20+ years as a firestop manufacturer I am confident I can help you if you are routing cables through fire-rated barriers. Here is what you need to know.

Who is an AHJ Inspector?

Inspectors are always the same in that they all carry the burden of being the individual who must approve or disapprove someone’s work or product. All AHJ’s (Authority Having Jurisdiction) want themselves and their organizations to be protected from liability, so naturally it is important to identify who the AHJ is. The American National Electrical Code states that the AHJ is the local, state or federal official designated and responsible for approving equipment, installation or procedure. In essence, the AHJ assumes some liability when he/she makes a decision. [Read more…]

The Automotive Firewall. How to Protect Race Car Drivers.

UNIQUE Extreme Competition Automotive FirestopperHenry Ford saw the value of protecting his equipment and protecting his driver when he invented the first automotive firewall for cars. It was born of necessity. There was no way he could sell cars if the motor should catch fire and the driver or passenger was burned. Ford also envisioned the ability to drive the car without smoke, fumes and gases overwhelming the driver. [Read more…]

Fire Stop Installer Tips: Do’s and Don’ts When Firestopping

Why is it Important to Do Firestopping Correctly?

By Mike Tobias, Unique Fire Stop Products

Firestopping is such a hot issue now because cabling professionals have not been doing a very good job of it. Public safety officials, fire marshals, and building inspectors want us to respect the firewall, which is designed to save lives and property in the event of a fire. In fact, any AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) will require a cable installer to restore the firewall to it’s previous rating before they approve the job. So it’s very important that firestopping is done correctly. However, there is some confusion as to how to properly firestop a cabling installation. [Read more…]