Don’t Get Burned: Critical Components of Fire Safety for Contractors

In 2013, a fire department responded to a structure fire every 65 seconds and fire claimed nine lives every single day, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Contractors are often the last line of defense in ensuring proper construction of a building and nowhere is that more important than in matters of fire and life safety. Understanding fire safety components and proper application doesn’t just help prevent injury and loss of lives, it can help contractors win bids and increase productivity too.

Be the Fire Expert

Adhering to building codes and standards, and being educated on unique fire performance applications is key for contractors to be able to demonstrate their expertise on and off the job site. Education on matters of fire safety compliance can often give contractors a leg up from competition on a bid. Contractors can also demonstrate their knowledge if they can recognize inaccurate specifications and call attention to it during the bidding process.

In the field the contractor is the last person who can identify incorrect specifications, (e.g. Type X vs. Type C applications) and submit the change order, if necessary.

Additionally, innovations in material, design and construction technology are making fire-related risks much greater, presenting new challenges to fire safety. Having a firm grasp on these innovations and how new materials perform in fire-rated assemblies can give contractors a competitive advantage.

As the authority on fire and building safety, the NFPA develops and provides free access to over 300 codes and standards, which are used around the world.

Boost Productivity and Profits

Having the right products and solutions for each job is a top priority for every contractor. Fire-stopping products and systems are some of the most important elements in a building and can often be a cause of lost production if not specified or applied properly.

Products and systems designed to work together to provide fire protection or combine steps in the process often help eliminate inefficiencies during installation. For instance, RectorSeal® Track-Safe™ can save time on installation labor versus other fire-stop methods because it is approved for installation on just one side of the wall assembly.

Additionally, products like USG Sheetrock® Brand UltraCode® Core Gypsum Panels achieve a 2-hour fire rating with single-layer construction when used with mineral wool insulation in steel framed walls. In many applications, this eliminates the need to hang two layers of wallboard resulting in greater productivity on the job.

Stay tuned as we’ll be addressing more critical components of fire and life safety within various applications, including insulation, drywall, and fire-stop systems throughout the year. If you have questions or an area of fire safety you think we should address, please let us know in the comments!

All data and information provided in this blog posting is for informational purposes only. L&W Supply makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information provided therein and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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