Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, and the International Firestop Council (IFC), a nonprofit association dedicated to improving passive fire protection systems and materials, have partnered to create a program to increase the overall quality of firestop inspections. The program, a part of Intertek’s Qualified Personnel (IQP) Program, builds off of IFC’s existing inspector education and examination program, increasing the proficiency of participating inspectors and adding further structure and third-party audits to ensure the highest level of quality.
Under the new program, qualified firestop inspectors must complete the IFC’s existing training program and receive a passing score on the final exam. In addition, candidates can now apply to be a qualified inspector through Intertek. Once qualified, the inspectors must maintain their qualification by passing audits and on-going training. The combination of the two programs gives authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) increased confidence that specialized training and extensive knowledge is applied to the firestop inspector.
“The IFC is always looking for new ways to improve the safety of a building through passive fire protection, and a key component of that is the inspection of firestops,” said John Valiulis, Executive Director of IFC. “Partnering with Intertek through its IQP Program allows firestop inspectors to seek and achieve a higher level of external evaluation and qualification, adds value to what we offer inspectors, and gives confidence to AHJs, who are ultimately responsible for the overall safety of a building.”
As part of the Intertek Qualified Personnel Program, qualified firestop inspectors will now have upgraded credentials and capabilities. Each inspector will be issued a formal ID badge allowing them to be readily identified throughout the industry. Additionally, each inspector will be provided inspector-specific identification labels to tag and identify which specific firestop system installations have been visually or destructively inspected as part of the ASTM E2174/E2393 inspection. With the backing of Intertek and the IQP program, qualified firestop inspectors will now benefit from the recognition and network associated with each.
“The IQP Program was designed to allow us to partner with industry associations and our customers to help them take their inspections to the next level,” said Gavin Campbell, Senior Global Vice President at Intertek. “When we have the chance to work with associations like the IFC to create a program that improves the quality of a fire stop inspection, the industry as a whole benefits.”
The requirement of special inspections of firestopping in the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) has driven a need for specialized training to ensure inspectors are equipped with the right knowledge and skills. IFC is the leading industry organization providing firestop product and hands-on inspector training for individual charged with the inspection of installed firestop systems.