Jan 24, 2022
In this episode we are taking a deep dive into fireproofing. We get into topics like the codes and standards around fireproofing, UL certification validation, tunnel fire proofing and much more. In our first panel discussion for Fire Code Tech this episode is packed full with interesting content about passive fire protection. Are panel for the episode consists of Phil Mancuso and John Dalton, two career professionals in fire proofing and passive fire protection.
Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.
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Hello, welcome to fire code tech. This is episode 45 on this episode, we're talking about fireproofing. It's our first ever panel episode of fire code tech. And on this episode, our board for the panel consists of. Phil man QSO and John Dalton, Phil and John are career professionals in fireproofing and passive fire protection.
So in this episode, we dive deep on what are the codes and standards around fireproofing? What are the testing means and methods, and how do they differ across different occupancies and hazard groups like commercial occupancies tunnels, and also petrochemical facilities. This episode was really special and John and Phil are very passionate about their industry and promoting people, getting involved with, uh, fast fire protection and fireproofing.
So I hope you enjoy, don't forget to follow us on social media and subscribe. So you never miss an episode. Well, Phil and John, I just want to welcome you both to the podcast and say, thanks for coming on. Thank you for having us. Yeah. Thank you for the opportunity. Awesome. Well, For the listeners, this is the first time we've ever done a panel discussion.
And so, um, generally how I kind of start these, um, podcasts or interviews off is trying to get a little bit of background about, um, who we're speaking with to give the listener, um, a way to key in and, and have some knowledge of the, the person's history. But yeah. Um, would you both mind giving a little bit of exposition on, uh, how you found fire and life safety or how you kind of, um, got into your, into your roles now?
Um, sure. I'll go up first, I guess. Um, so, uh, it kind of fell on my lap, I guess you could say , um, The company itself, actually that I've, uh, been working for for about the past 20 years. I, I actually started in my, uh, teenage years just working during the summers, more like filing paperwork and different things like that.
And, uh, over time, um, they had an opening and they're technical and I figured I'd take, Hey, any, uh, temporary job, see how it works out. And, uh, here I am. um, there was a lot of family and so forth in the company as well, kind of working in various areas. So it was kind of an easy, uh, an easy transition for me.
And, uh, the rest is history. Very nice. Very nice. Yeah. That seems to be a very common theme in the industry is, um, somebody, you know, has some exposure to fire and life safety, and then it turns out to be a good career move. So that's, that's uh, interesting to hear. That's a, that's a pretty common theme. Uh, John, uh, what about you?
How did you find fire and life safety? Yeah. Uh, it kinda landed on me in a, in a strange moment of a way. So I started working, uh, with the company in, um, 1999 and I was an R and D technician there for about two years or so. And I was doing a concrete pour because we have a, an ad mixture site and a, a bucket landed on me and I, I.
It it, I picked up to look to see who had dropped a bucket. And there was, there was a gentleman up there on the back of a concrete mixer and he and I got involved in a shelter match about his, um, his, uh, his work habits and dropping buckets. And about two days later, I get a phone call from, from, um, from this guy who, I didn't know at the time said here, I, I hear you're an R and D technician with some potential.
I'd be, I have an opening in, in the fire protection technical service team, if you want to come down and have a chat. And I had no idea who he was and until I rounded the corner into his office, and there was the guy who had been having a screaming match with like two days prior. And, uh, it just kind of started from there very similar, I think, uh, pathway to fill, like I started, um, pretty much sort of just answering the calls and, and, and, and like taking information and then going, finding out where the answers were.
And then, you know, over time as people retired or moved on, I just kind of, uh, Got promoted and moved up in within technical service and, and sort of I'm the technical service manager now in I role similar to what Phil had, um, obviously in competing companies, uh, for about the past 10 years or so. Wow.
That's I can't believe you, it literally fell onto you. It hit you over the head with the job. That's I'd never heard that one before, so that's interesting to hear that, John. Well, so I wanted to, you know, preface our conversation with today's topic centers around fireproofing and, you know, um, diving into this topic.
So for those who, you know, for those who might not have much knowledge about, uh, what this term means, you know, uh, in, uh, both of your estimation, like broad overview terms, what, what is fireproofing. Uh, I'll, I'll jump on that one, Phil, cuz you took the first one if you want. But, um, fireproofing is in our terms is a product that you spray roll tr onto structural steel or concrete in order to give it a fire resistance rating.
Um, we don't actually make anything fireproof as such, but it's the, the fireproofing that you see spread on the structural steel in buildings. It, you see it in on the under side of tunnels. You see it a lot in petrochemical, uh, facilities, just to protect the steel, to keep the building upright, to keep the, the building square so that the fire stopping products can work, um, to support the sprinkler pipes.
Um, there's a lot, a lot to it. Um, that that's probably it in the nutshell. Fill dunno if. yeah, it's it's, I mean, it's pretty straightforward. It's nothing, nothing new there . Um, but, um, yeah, it's basically a, uh, layer of insulation that you apply to steel. Uh, it can be applied in different ways. Um, it could be, you know, like a cementitious type material or a, uh, paint on material or mechanically attached material.
But, um, ultimately it's use is to keep the limiting temperatures down to a, uh, a specific number and, uh, or a specific value to keep the steel from hitting a, uh, a point of, uh, collapse. I see. I see. Well, that's, that's very interesting. So I immediately, after, uh, John contacted me, I was like, I gotta figure out the codes and standards around this topic, or try to find somewhere in the code where it's specifically required.
But, um, I wanna get your perspective before I just run my mouth for, you know, my code nerd business. But, um, when is this fireproofing required? I, I can understand there are probably many situations in which you might need these, um, systems to give, uh, specific, uh, fire rating to, um, different materials, but yeah, in either of your estimation, when are these systems utilized?
it's entirely code driven. Um, you know, the, everything is, uh, modern, the modern, uh, international building code, obviously an ever changing code. But, um, most of what's in there has been historically, um, similar over the years, uh, with, with, with various minor changes and tweaks over the years. But, uh, for the most part, what you'll find in, uh, what we're dealing with is chapters, uh, five, six, and seven of the code.
And, uh, um, the fire protection requirements are all based on the use and type of the building different, various, uh, aspects that are all put together. And, uh, it all kind of falls onto one table in chapter six that, uh, determines the hourly fire resistance.
very nice. Yeah. Yeah. There's a that structure fireproofing, I, I think is the most common area in which I've seen it in my career in a, in a variety of buildings. But, um, you know, uh, I guess depending on which version of the building code you're looking at, there might be, uh, more or less. Um, I was just looking through the 2015 edition and I found a couple areas, you know, I, I do a lot of hanger work, so, uh, at the company I'm with now.
So, uh, SIM cementitious spray for, um, columns and hangers is, is fairly common. Mm-hmm so, yeah, I appreciate you talking about that kind of win piece of fireproofing. Right. And, and one thing to keep in mind too, is that even though everything's kind of backed by the international building code is everything all kind of walks down to the state level and then the local level.
So it's all, uh, It's all interpreted down the way, depending on, um, you know, who, who wants what, but it's, again, we're, we're dealing with, uh, life safety here, so we're all trying to do the right thing. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. That's such a great, uh, conversation point. I always try to express to people, you know, when they, when they come for solutions or asking what a system is required, I say, you know, do you know what you're dealing with in your jurisdiction?
Because if you don't, uh, I can't, I can't even begin to, to answer your questions. So I appreciate you touching on that point of the, of the jurisdiction and the, uh, local adoptions, cuz it's so important. No problem. But so I wanted to further go on in the discussion and you guys touched on a couple of different types of these fireproofing solutions and, and kind of what the intent.
Is for them, but I'd like to speak more specifically about, um, the different types of, uh, solutions. Um, you said, uh, you could, if you can travel it on, if you could spray it on, but, uh, I was taking a look at a couple of your, um, company's websites and it seemed like there's kind of like four, uh, broad types of solutions, but yeah, I'd love to speak about those more detailed, um, in specific sure.
I'll, I'll swing at that. Phil. Um, there are sort of two main types of fireproofing. There is the sort of more traditional, which is cement and gypsum or gypsum mixed in a bag with a binding or as a binding agent with a pumping aids and, and mold inhibitors and a few other bits of fufu dust and stuff like that.
You mix it with water and you spray it onto the steel that's sort of by far and away has been the most common traditionally around the world. Um, It it's been around in various forms for quite some time. And there hasn't really been a huge development in that over the last 30, 40 years or so. Um, and then I suppose the younger brother of that is the, um, is the esent fireproofing, which is often sort of referred to assent paint, which is a product that expands and forms an insulating char when it's exposed to heat.
So they're, they're the, probably the two by far and away the most common types. We also see board products. So for instance, gypsum wallboard is an excellent insulator, uh, for the steel, there are specific mineral fiber type boards that are also used the leather most less, uh, much less common than say the, the product that you sprayed comes in a bag mixed with water or the ENT there to by far and away, the biggest, they would probably account for 95% of the fireproof and sold around the world.
right. And then there's various different. Each segment can be broken down further depending upon the, the environmental conditions in which it's going to be exposed. So if you have a, uh, an oil R in the north sea, that's gonna be exposed to really severe winter weather for nine months of the year, you tend to speak typically will have a, a really durable, epoxy type insent that can withstand a lot of environmental degradation.
Or if it's an interior conditioned office space where it's hidden behind a, a wall or above a drop ceiling, that's a much less robust product. Um, and then everything in between. Wow, that's interesting. So you could probably break it into seven or eight different product type categories, and then most companies will have products in each segment.
Huh? Wow. I guess I spend so much time focusing on the interior aspect of the buildings that, uh, I don't, uh, think of that fire rating on these exterior pieces of equipment and or structure that, um, might take a beating. That sounds like a pretty harsh environment, you know, on the, on the north sea with the petrochemical facilities, uh, it sounds like, yeah, you'd need a different tool for that.
Application's pretty interest the fires. Yeah. The fires that they're gonna be exposed to are much less severe. So they, the product on the interior of the building, it's going to be exposed to an, a TM E one 19 type fire, which is a relatively slow burning fire. It's typical to the ISO, a 34. Um, and it's not, you know, it's been around a hundred years, mimics how wood burns as opposed to a petrochemical fire where you've got this huge initial blast of heat, um, reaches 2000 degrees FN height after five minutes and maintains that temperature for as long as you're raining is it's a much more severe fire.
Uh, similarly. Fireproofing products used in tunnels that they have a different fire test curve, which is probably the most severe of them all that'll reach 1,350 degrees Celsius, um, which is an extremely severe fire. And so it's, it's, there is a huge variety of, um, pathways to achieving a fire resistance rating, depending upon the type of fire and the type of exposure of the product.
Wow. Yeah. 1300 degrees Celsius is ripping hot. That's that's crazy hot toast. Your marshmallows on that. yeah. Toast your house on that, but, uh, no. Uh, so you talked about a couple of, uh, ASTM standards, you know, and that's probably something that is, uh, hyper critical for these applications are the, um, listing agency standards in which these systems are tested.
Uh, would you both mind, uh, speaking about a couple of these more common, um, standards that are really important for fireproofing and for people to understand when trying to apply these solutions? Um, I guess, uh, I'll take that one. Uh, uh, there are various, uh, standards I'll, uh, you know, as John was alluding to before, uh, I'm gonna I'll stick with just the, the, the standard ones, but, uh, there are various tests that can be used, um, throughout the industry, uh, depending on the material that's being used.
Uh, the two most common are gonna be the, uh, AST ASTM E one 19, or the, uh, uh, UL 2 63. That's that cellulosic, uh, fire curve that John was alluding to earlier. And then, uh, once you start getting into the Hydrocarb. You get into UL 1709, which was a much more severe test on top of that. There are other various tests as well that can be done for the petrol, for the petrochemical and jet fire blast explosion.
Uh, there's all different types of physical property tests and things that the, uh, uh, the materials have to withstand, uh, weathering. Uh, we can go on and on, continue to talk about that. Uh, maybe on another, uh, another time, but, uh, uh, you have tunnels, uh, that's the, uh, RWS the, uh, Rick water stat, uh, test it's, uh, all different types of, uh, all, all various things depending and, and test depending on what the end result.
Um, needs to be, but, uh, you know, the majority as John was mentioning earlier, I think the majority of what we're dealing with here is gonna be primarily, uh, the cellulosic end hydrocarbon end. Um, you know, the hydrocarbon end has been, uh, changing a lot more recently. I would probably say more so more or less the commercial, um, aspect of the business, but, uh, you know, just, uh, using, you know, kind of, kind of moving toward, uh, different, uh, products types, um, that are a little bit more durable, but, um, those, those are your primary, uh, uh, factors that are used in terms of those types.
Yeah. Wow. That's interesting. Yeah. I've never had the opportunity to work on a project centered around a tunnel, but it seems like, uh, such a high hazard, um, and such stringent applications, especially in the seems like the EU takes tunnels, uh, extremely, extremely serious. They do in they're fire and life safety application.
They definitely do, but yeah, , uh, it's talking to go ahead. No, no, I mean, I, I was just, you know, you'd mentioned it like, so, um, we do a lot in tunnels, like tunnels are one of our things and, and tunnels are one of those buildings. Like every, you know, every fire proofer or every engineer, you know, you sometimes you're, you're driving around or you're walking about, and you see a building that you worked on, you think, yeah, that was one of mine.
Or I did that. We did that. Tunnels are kind of like that, you know, they're just so big. Like they're huge. Civil engineering works, that when you, when you're walking down a tunnel and you're looking up at your fireproof, and it's one of those sort of career defining moments where like, no matter what part of fire protection you're in, whether it be sprinklers or, or, uh, smoke movement or whatever, it's like a signature thing.
Tunnels are just, they're, they're all inspiring to work on. But they're one of those things, because, you know, it's, it's, uh, it's a difficult time in terms of the tunneling fire protection world, because there's a lot of moving parts to it. Um, especially with sort of the development of, of electric vehicles and, and autonomous driving and stuff like that.
It's kind of fraught with risk and, and because the, um, the, the, the, the dangers are so great in tunnels, it is a kind of, one of those ones where you kind of, you're always checking yourself. You're always thinking, did I do the right thing on this? Like getting somebody else to look at your work that that review was big.
On the tunneling side, I buildings like a fire story office block. They're very similar. They're all kind of the same. Whereas tunnels are ones that give you pause. I agree. And, uh, I agree exactly with what John just said. And you know, when it comes to the commercial structures, you pretty much have, uh, standard UL designs.
Sometimes you move off of those a little bit in terms of engineering judgements, but it's all very straightforward. Uh, petrochemical takes it a step further, but, uh, tunnels, um, uh, from the initial design phase to the project start in completion could be five, 10 years. Um, sometimes with some of these, uh, projects and the amount of paperwork, the amount of tests, um, um, application instructions and just every, you know, uh, dotting every ti uh, I crossing every T.
Everything that's in there is just very extensive. And, uh, I, I, I agree with what John said is, you know, you look at it and then you see the final result. It is definitely awe inspiring, uh, to actually see it once it's all said and done. Wow. That's awesome. I love hearing about that from you guys about, um, I have some projects like that in my life, but, uh, it's uh, the only thing I would compare to, um, in my experience is that hanger work, you know, such a, such a greater impetus for fire and life safety and so much, uh, specific design knowledge where you have to really understand what you're doing.
Like, I'm sure you guys would say, you know, you can't just walk into tunnel fireproofing. If you don't have significant experience and that you just would get. You'd get your lunch eat. And so, um, it's, it sounds like that is, uh, your guys' experience with tunnels. And I love hearing about that because, uh, kind of the most severe and biggest fire and life safety, uh, challenges are, uh, the most difficult and the most rewarding, um, when done.
Right. So that's really neat to hear you guys about talk about those. And I, you know, we like our, our standard fire curve is the as TME 1, 1 9. And, and we do, you know, between our companies, we've probably done thousands of fire tests and it's the same fire test all the time. It's a standard size furnace standard size beam.
You might play around with it a small bit in terms of the loading on the beam or whatnot, tunnels it's, it's generally speak in a different fire test for every, every project. Any to tunnel of any size will want their own fire test because their concrete's gonna be slightly different than it. That becomes a thing.
And you know, you're sitting in the fire test lab and they, they turn the gas on, they turn the heat on, and then all of the work that you've done for years, designing your, designing your system and, and looking for it, it's kind of, you're just sitting there waiting. And I often think it's, it's like when, you know, when my son was born, I'm just kind of pacing back and forth, kind of waiting for something to happen.
And you're just sort of looking at the monitors and you think, oh man, yeah, this is, but it, it really is sort of a stressful three or four hours that you're walking back and forth, peering into the furnace, you know, seeing what the thermal couples are reading and, and an exhilarating time. Like it, it really is.
I often find that when I like after a fire test for a tunnel or. It, you just, you just have to sit and just stop and sit down and, and kind of calm yourself a bit because you're so stressed out for so long, you know, making sure everything has gone wrong. And, and, um, there's a, there's a saying in, in fire, in our side side of the fire protection that, you know, the only way to win is that I'll test them.
And testing is so important to us and to, to everybody in this field that, that once it happens and it's over with you are so relieved. You're so provided. It's gone well, its not done worse than if it fails with a couple of minutes to go spend all this money. Oh my. And you don't get anything. Yeah, that's, that's crazy.
I can't imagine the stress of having to, uh, be in that situation. I've had big acceptance tests before that have felt like that, where you have trouble sleeping the night before and you're pacing in the morning and you're looking at everything and double checking your testing documents, but that's awesome.
It sounds like a, quite a momentous occasion when you pass a test. But yeah, it'd be great to hear a little bit more about that, that testing process, since it seems like it's so integral into how the business of fireproofing operates. Yeah. So, so when we, when we do it, um, typically speaking, what we will get is a like on the RS or, or any of them, like, I mean, if you, are you talking about in commercial construction or are you talking about sort of on the hydrocarbon Petro tunnel type side of things?
I mean, you could just speak to either broadly. I mean, I wouldn't be able to tell, tell you the difference between, uh, the applications or the testing, but yeah. And whichever one in specific that you would like to, to go over. I mean, um, I have more interest in, uh, the, the tunnel stuff sounds very interesting or that, I mean, I don't get a chance to do as much petrochemical stuff, but I'm sure there's listeners who have experience in that too.
So, uh, whatever you'd like to go over, uh, John, Phil, I mean, if you want, I'll take the Petro and RWS, if you wanna take the commercial sure. Go for it. You can start. Okay. Well, so, um, the, the. I Phil will touch on it a bit, but generally speaking, when we do E one nine type fire test or something like that, we will go to somebody like underwriters, laboratories or Intertech.
Um, they're the, the two big players on this field in the United States and Canada, and then maybe go to Warrington or effect this in Europe. And, um, tho those fire tests, the commercial ones are fairly straightforward. You don't really see a lot, the ones for the, the, um, the, the hydrocarbon, the jet fire type tests.
They are visually very spectacular. So if you can imagine a, um, you have a, uh, a steel box about a meter square, and it's positioned 60 feet away from a, um, uh, a flame shore, I suppose, is probably the kindest way to putting it. And they, they. you, you fireproof it, you, you term a couple in, you're trying to make sure that the temperature on the backside doesn't exceed a certain temperature.
The temperature on the steel itself doesn't exceed. Typically speaking for us, it's a thousand degrees Fahrenheit, 5 38 sea. That's the temperature, which steel will begin to lose its ability to carry the load. And once it begins to lose its ability to carry load it's curtains really quickly, once it starts to soften it, it will be gone within a couple of minutes.
Right? And if you've ever seen a, the aftermath of steel in a full scale fire test, that's, that's behaved where badly or hasn't gone. Well, it is amazing how to form. It becomes, it is just big U shape hanging down between the supports or it is snaked. And, and so what, on the, on the jet fire tests are the, are the RWS tests.
These are huge samples. Um, they're visually very arresting in that you, you have, some guy goes over with a, with a, a, a. Uh, a lit rag or something like that, lights the gas. And then within a second, this gas is shooting 60 feet across the, uh, across the, the, the, the test area. And it's impinging upon your sample and it'll just blast away a temperatures in excessive 2000 degrees FHE for, for as long as you can get it to go hours.
And then you kind of start pacing back and forth and, and you're trying to, you can't really do anything at that stage, but it is a, uh, it's a very spectacular, uh, fire test. It's same with the RS test. It's the RS test is a furnace test, but it's a huge sample. It's, uh, one meter wide, three meter long curved, like typically you would see in the tunnel and they apply a load to the top of the curve.
You fire proof on the underside of it. Obviously you let it cure. And then they, they, they like the furnace close the doors, and all you can watch is the thermal couples. And you're again, you're trying to maintain. So on the, on the RWS test, the ability to carry the load is obviously hugely important because you don't want the, the segment to fall in on you, but in tunnel fire tests, one of the things that it's, it's not really just about temperature it's you wanna stop the concrete from Sping.
So when you look at big tunnel fires that have happened, like the tunnel ti, uh, fire test between England and France, the Mount Blanc fire, uh, Italy, France, the, one of the things that the firefighters commented upon after our survivors did was that not only was the smoke and the extreme heat dangers to them, but the Sping concrete.
So the Sping concrete, the concrete that's exploding as it's exposed to these super hot temperatures. Poses a danger to the firefighters and to the people trying to escape. So we have very different criteria than the E 1, 1 9 UL, 2 63 commercial fireproofing. Um, it's not just a case of a temperature race, but there's also various sort of bits and pieces.
Um, one of the things that came about say post nine 11 was the ability of fireproofing to withstand the blast. So for a lot of, um, a lot of these fire tests that we do on the petrochemical side, we will position the sample, um, in a blast area, they will direct, uh, uh, a, a blast or the, a blast impact onto the sample, examine the sample and then light the fire and see how it does after a blast.
So we have a, a very varied type of pass fail criteria within, within the fire proofing community. It's not really just very straightforward. There's a lot of. Stuff going on and, and there's no real on the Petro and the, uh, the tunnel side. There, there is, there's no codified requirements. So a lot of projects will have very different requirements.
So certain projects will have, they want to do a blast test, then followed by a, a, um, a jet fire test. But during the jet fire test, they want the fireproofing to be impinged upon by a, a hose stream, sort of replicating what would happen with a rapid cooling and heating that you could expect to see if a firefighter were to come across this situation with these hose.
If he hits the, the extremely hot fireproofing with the water from the hose, will that negatively affect the fireproof and will the impact of the water knock the fireproof and off the steel will the sudden decrease in temperature and then, and then increase in temperature, will that affect the fireproof?
And so it's a, it is a very, like the testing side of it is very interesting and, um, That's the sort of thing that gets you outta bed in the morning is that sort of testing. Wow. Phil, that's fascinating to hear about you talk about the variety of tests and the understanding of the fire science of the different, uh, um, type of applications.
Yeah, that was, and there's definitely a lot more involved as John mentioned with the, uh, petrochemical in the tunnel, but when it comes to the commercial side, it's, uh, more or less, uh, um, replicating, uh, what you actually have on a, on a, on any given building construction. Um, essentially what we do as, uh, manufacturers is, uh, it's up to us to take a, a common construction assembly, whether it be a floor or a roof construction and, uh, uh, build that in a furnace at the, at the laboratory.
Um, again, whether that's the underwriters. Or UL, uh, Intertech effect, Warrington and so forth. And, uh, we're essentially building, um, I'll, I'll, I'll speak to the E one 19 and what we do at UL, uh, being that that's the most common, at least here in the, uh, in the, uh, states, um, we construct, let's say a floor assembly.
Okay. It consists of a metal deck. And, uh, what they'll do is they'll put a, uh, the topping, the concrete topping on it, exactly how they would build it on a job site, uh, with the welded wire fabric or the, or anything else that's in there. It's a specific concrete type, uh, density, um, compressive strength, everything like that is all followed.
Uh, we have to allow that to cure and, uh, below that supporting it, we is generally a, uh, now a four beam assembly. Uh, it's up to the manufacturer to decide what they wanna test, how they want to test it. Um, thermal couples are put on there to, uh, evaluate the limiting temperatures and, uh, A specific thickness is applied and generally they'll either test a high, low, or, uh, there's, there's, there's some calculations that's done in the background, but, um, uh, this is done with all the different type of materials, whether it's the cementitious or the ESC esent nowadays being the most more, you know, the, I would say the more difficult one to, uh, to deal with in past, just cuz you're dealing with, uh, different, uh, aspects of charring and uh, and stuff like that where you don't really run into that as much with the cementitious materials.
But, uh, uh, essentially all we're gonna do is we're gonna we're. Uh, construct the assembly. We're gonna load it, um, similar to how you, how traditional building would be loaded and, uh, conduct that fire test. And, uh, it's, it's a simple fire test. Uh, not much really happens during the duration. It's kind of a slow test, uh, for the cellulosic, uh, essentially the temperature, uh, in the furnace.
Uh, it reaches about a thousand degrees after five minutes, and then, uh, it slowly increases up to, uh, 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or, uh, 10 93 Celsius, um, over the duration of four hours, uh, or depending on whatever the, uh, you know, the final outcome or the expected outcome is. Um, and with that information, the laboratory will take the results and they will essentially create a, uh, a fire test or a UL design.
And in our case, um, there's, it doesn't sound like it's a lot, but, uh, it definitely, um, Definitely takes quite a bit to, uh, at least lately to, uh, you know, go from, you know, a design stage, you know, coming up with a new product or, uh, or, and so forth and kind of deciding what, what needs to be done competitively and kind of get in there and, uh, do all the testing and, uh, you know, keep your fingers crossed and pass.
Um, one of the big things too is, uh, actually following the, the building code, which refers to E one 19 and making sure that these tests that are being done out there are full scale tests. Um, there's a lot of, uh, smaller laboratories or other, other suppliers trying to come in and, uh, testing things, uh, to a smaller scale, non loaded, which unfortunately looks
It looks good on paper, but, um, uh, uh, but unfortunately it does not give the end result that's needed to actually meet building code. Been one of the more recent battles that we've been dealing with, thankfully, thankfully, successfully, but, uh, You know, the, the, the big key here as I, and I'll mention it, I mentioned it before, and I'll mention it again, is life safety and just making sure everybody is, uh, getting the end result that they need to meet whether it's code or, uh, or, or whatever's specified for the specific instruction.
Yeah. It's, it's very interesting to hear you guys talk about testing, cuz I know how, uh, costly it can be to go through some of these testing processes with these, uh, big organizations like, uh, UL. And so I know that that probably only adds to the duress of, uh, witnessing some of these tests and kind of formulating a plan and going through all these, I imagine that is, uh, uh, a big, uh, consideration in trying to get, um, one of these products through, uh, listing.
Um, yeah, it's it, it is. I don't, I mean, it's probably happened to you too, Phil, and probably to you as well, GU, but you know, we've had instances in the past where, so when we, we decide we're gonna do a fire test at UL, um, it's very, it's a lengthy process. They have to go and pour a concrete slab and put the beams on and the concrete's gotta dry.
And that takes about nine months and then you spray your stuff and it takes a month or two, then they've gotta find a spot for you to go into the furnace. And, and there was sort of, we had won about five years ago where we'd done all of that and the gas shut off. After four minutes, there was a malfunction of the furnace and, and, and they couldn't get it restarted.
And it, it became an invalid test. It happens, oh my gosh. so you've spent a year get getting to this thing. And all of a sudden it, it goes pear shaped, but. I was just, and then you've got to make the phone call because everybody's sort of waiting at home, wanting to know how'd you do? Yeah. yeah. Yeah. You spent three days.
Well, it was looking really great. Yeah. You spent days leading up to this, telling everybody how stressed out you are over this thing going down, and then it just goes sideways for something that you can even is outta your control. Yeah. And you're like, we have to do this again. And it's, it's a long process and they try and help you out and do it, but you're still, you're still, you know, they can't bump somebody else off their furnace because they messed up for yours.
And, and, but, you know, when you, when you talk about like the likes of underwriters and Intertech, you they're very expensive. Yeah. But you kind of get what you pay for, like you get, you get knowledge that they're not gonna put their thumb on the scale for you, that you, you know, that well, they're very expensive.
They are backed. Such a stringent adherence to the requirements of the standard and the building codes. They they're very thorough in terms of coming to make sure that, you know, the product that you're making is the same that you test it, all of that, like we know it's expensive and it adds a lot to the cost of the, the product that you supply, but the supply or the architect or the end user, you know, they know then that they're getting product that has been very rigorously tested.
And, and there's no, there's no small scale at UL. It's a, it's a full on fire test. It's, you know, 14 feet wide, 17 feet long, fully loaded. It's a, it's a monster, whereas it's not, you know, you know, when you're dealing with somebody like that, that you're getting, you're getting all of what UL brings and you're getting the technic.
Experience that UL or Intertech or factory mutual will bring to bear, you know, they, they are great organizations as much as we might grumble about them until the cost. Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's awesome. No, I think that you're right. You know, we're, we're dealing with lives here, so it's good that we have a very rigorous process and you know, we're not, uh, cutting corners.
So yeah, I, I appreciate the notes on both sides, the grumbling and the saying, Hey, you know, you do give what you pay for in most aspects of life. So . Yeah. But, uh, Yeah, I, uh, we talked a lot about, um, kind of, uh, uh, ASTM and, and, you know, UL and some of these, um, big organizations, but I'd love to hear more about, um, I know that you guys have been, uh, involved in some professional organizations.
I'd love to hear about your, uh, community involvement and kind of above and beyond, uh, what you're required to do at your, at your day job. Um, just being a part of the fire and life safety industry, both of you. Sure. Um, John, you want me to go on this or I'm, I'm sure we can go back and forth on this cuz uh, John and I are generally involved in, uh, all the same organizations over the years.
Um, uh, when it comes to the, uh, sprayed fireproofing. I guess for the majority, uh, you have your testing labs, they have their own, uh, you know, small organizations for all the suppliers, but, uh, the big one now that's been, um, uh, growing substantially over the past. Uh, several years is the, uh, national fireproofing contractors association.
That's the N FCA. We're basically our in our industry. They're all specialized applicators. Um, you don't necessarily want to give. You know, everybody access to a life safety product, just because there's a lot involved on estimating and building, you know, the product products and applying them correctly and so forth, they represent you.
Right. So there are, there is an industry organization where they all get together and, uh, yeah, there's a lot of training, different stuff, involved manufacturers get involved and, uh, it's, it's, it's, it's a very good, it's a very good thing for any industry to have. Um, you know, in my, uh, in the past, I was part of fire stopping for a while.
There's an similar one called the F CIA. Um, uh, so those are, those are generally some, um, very important aspects of any, of any building or, or any, any construction material industry. Um, one of the other ones that John and I are heavily involved in is, uh, ASTM, um, John, uh, John's the chair on our, uh, our, our main, uh, organization, the, uh, that's cuz I'm better than the face of it.
Wow. Shots fired. They do give me kind of a quasi sub chair of one of the things, but it's not really realistic. It's just kind of thrown in there that, uh, John, John runs the, uh, the S FRM side for the most part, the cementitious fireproofing. And I've been kind of involved with the esent, uh, side of it for the most part, trying to help develop a lot of standards.
As you know, John's job. There is easy, cuz he's fairly , he's dealing with a lot of, uh, existing standards that have been around for decades. Um, there is a lot involved to update those standards, keep 'em current with, you know, the ever changing, uh, uh, industry code and so forth. But uh, on the ENT side, we're kind of coming in from a clean slate and uh, we're trying to develop our own standards and uh, Sometimes, piggybacking on some existing standards that are out there.
Uh, that's kind of been my job over the last, I'll probably say 10 years. I, uh, I'm sure Mo many people would like me to kind of work on things a little bit faster and get things done. Unfortunately, I'm kind of working on my own schedule, but, uh, uh, you know, those, so those there's a lot in the background that, uh, that's that's involved is, you know, again, we're, we're supplying products that need to be tested and those standards also need to change, uh, periodically.
Um, so, uh, there there's, there's a lot in that and, um, I'm sure John can probably add to, uh, you know, those who were involved with, uh, ASTM and, uh, the real big thing. And I know John, you would agree with me on this is that we need to get more people involved, right? Absolutely. Um, yeah, that's gr you know, um, so to Phil's point, many of the standards that I look after, so, um, there's a couple that are referenced in the building code.
So CME 6 0 5 and 7 36. Talk about bond density and thickness testing of, of applied products. But there's a slew of other ones that are in there too, to talk about how to test and provide test reports to your, um, to your, uh, to the, to the third party. So the architect or the building specifier, or the product specifier will be looking for test reports, making sure your product is not damaged.
One of the things that, you know, Phil and I have constantly been trying to do with the ASTM is that ASTM standards evolve and they change and. They change because products change the methodology changes. Um, the raw materials may change the ability to test them changes. And, and it's sort of very frustrating to us when we, we make modifications to test standards and there's about 600 people on our that get the test standards that we work on every five years to have to be recertified.
We make a few changes to the standard. There is a flurry of people commenting saying we don't like this. We don't like that. Okay. Well then tell us what you would like give us some feedback at, during the course of our meetings as to what we, we meet twice a year, but give us some feedback during our meetings, we would like this standard to change.
It's very frustrating. As people manufacturers who put in a fair amount of our own time into developing and writing test standards that you, you write the test standard, you submit it to the TM, they review it, make sure it's it's legal and current. And, and then you get people who come out of the woodwork, who haven't bought ANTM standard for 30 years complaining about the fact that they can't get something done or that they're trying to test a product to a standard that was written in 1986 when it's gone through 12 iterations since then.
And we would like, I mean, we really like the testing agencies. To, to get involved. The, the people who come along and physically do the testing of the products, they're the ones that are using these standards all the time. And as I said, it is kind of frustrating that when you, you, your, your applicator gets a, uh, a nonconformance notice on a building because they, the testing agency has done something that hasn't been in the test standard for 15 years or 20 years.
That that can be a tough one. And, and, um, you know, to Phil's point, and I don't know what sort of your background is in terms of fire protection costs, but like you, can't not, everybody can just rock up and buy, uh, set of sprinklers and install it. You have to be certified to be an applicator. You have to, you, you want people that are competent to be able to do this.
And so the N FCA has been really making a lot of great strides in terms of, and, and, and underwriters of orgies to qualified applicator programs so that people who buy the product. Are qualified to install it. You don't want it to be like before, say in England, before Grandfield, it was like the two men in a van, right.
Was their reference. So that any two guys would've with a van and a ladder could show up and, and if they wanted install certain amount, certain aspects of the fire protection thing. So cladding, uh, not, not fireproofing because they have a scheme there, but there's, we, we don't want that. We would like to get away from that situation.
So I know most of the big players in fireproofing will not sell to qualified applicators people who don't know what they're doing. Um, whereas there are, you know, we, we would really like to see, uh, greater adoption of say N FCA requirements for, uh, qualified individuals that only you can only sell and install two qualified individuals.
Yeah, I think that's an interesting point on qualifications. I think, uh, in general, in the fire and life safety industry, something that, uh, seems like a dynamic tension, you know, don't wanna make it too rigorous to where it's a, it's a barrier to entry and people, you know, can't make it happen, but you, you wanna get the, these situations where it's two guys in a van and you know, these kind of fly by night operations that are not doing the right thing out as well.
So yeah, mm-hmm, I appreciate you talking about that, John. Um, Yeah, it's uh, very fascinating. You, you speaking about the professional organizations and kind of the, uh, broad, um, goals and like trying to get people involved on the testing side and, you know, seeing these, uh, standards change and evolve with time.
Um, I'm a little bit more acquainted with how the codes and standards process change, but yeah, like what kind of frequency do these testing standards? Uh, change, if at all? I mean, I don't know how, how long have, have some of these been in place? Uh, the more common ones, some of them, um, the, uh, some of the more obscure ones have been around for quite some time.
And it's just a sort of re-validation every five years we have a vote on it and that people, there are some people who will vote negative all the time because they have a particular slant or they wanna see something included. Um, but the, the commonly used ones, the T E 6 0 5 TM. Uh, 7 36 even ASTM E one 19 and TM E 84.
They will change. We, we meet twice a year, every October and, and November, December and sorry, every October and every April. And they change, I would say in about once or twice, every five years, once or twice every cycle, you will see your modification to it or a change to it. Um, or a further adoption. So like, as Phil said, he's, he's taken on a, a whole slew of workload related domestic.
They change regularly. The, the problem, not the problem. The, the difficulty sometimes is that it it's a consensus they're there are consensus standards and they are like, in any like the, like the, on the sprinkler side, like NFPA 13 or, or I think you said your hangers is like STM or NFPA 4 0 9, right? They, those N F P standards.
Tend to be a bit more rigorous. Like they, those co I'm on the NFP 5 0 2 committee and, you know, it's a, it's a there's they're well attended and people are very invested in them. We would struggle sometimes to get more than 10 people at our TM meetings. And so, wow. It, the process can, I mean, we've before, like back in the mid two thousands, it would be just Phil and ice staring at each other across the table.
I do remember that room in our end though, but, um, now we do get much, it's much more heavily involved and, and we do get a fair amount of comment via email about them. Yeah. But because they're consensus standards, they, they, people can put the sort of kibosh to your development if they really want to. So if somebody objects and objects and objects, it can lead to.
A lot of like, so Phil has a standard in there at the minute, one of the inspection standards for the ments. And that must be on its 50th iteration. Yeah. Jesus. And it's not, it's not Phil's fault. It's just that every time you put something out, there's one vested interest or this vested interest who kind of draws the kibosh in and doesn't like the idea of shell versus should or something like that.
And it can be, it can be sort of many times over the years, I felt like trying it's, it's definitely a challenge when it comes to that. Um, and, uh, you know, I I'm working on the, the there's actually three practices, uh, being put through I'm working on the, uh, cementitious SFR M practice for inspection as well as the ANC.
And then there's also one being worked on in the background for, uh, boards and wraps. And, uh, yeah, anytime you put the stuff through, you think you've finally got it. And, uh, It goes through valid and, uh, you always end up with, um, some sort of comment. A lot of 'em are valid. Some people just have their own agendas.
Some people have you change something one round and then the next round, they also comment on the change that they made, which sometimes interesting . But, uh, we do run into a lot of it. It becomes a lot of politics, I guess, uh, internally and, and, uh, or, you know, the goal is to make everyone happy. And, uh, you know, when we're dealing with, uh, the inspections, you know, you're dealing with the inspectors, you're dealing with the suppliers, you're dealing with the construction managers and the construction teams.
So we've, we've seen a lot more, uh, attendance recently due to these, uh, due to these practices. And, uh, we're getting close. We're getting close. I, I guess I've been working on it for about three, four years now. And, uh, if we can keep it under a year, for it to get adopted, I'll be very happy. I just wanna get it all off my, uh, my desk, to be honest with you.
Wow, that sounds like, uh, quite a, quite a struggle there. Well, I was gonna ask, uh, if you wanted to tell people how to get involved, but I don't know if you want any more chefs in the kitchen with, uh, trying to get something through for three years and having people vested interests coming in and. And throwing a wrench in the plan, but, uh, okay.
The more the matter. Yeah. yeah. So if somebody who's listening right now wants to get involved or is interested in hearing about the hearings or proceedings, how would you go do that? I'm kind of acquainted with NFPA, you know, and, uh, how you'd throw in your kind of resume and into the pod and, you know, be considered for standards and codes, but how does it work for some of these, uh, different agencies it's relatively inexpensive, um, too.
And, uh, essentially you just go to astm.org for ASTM, you go on there and, uh, they have various different, uh, means for you to become involved. Uh, you could be, uh, you know, a supplier and engineer so forth. Um, um, in fact, I, I don't think there's actually a specific requirement, uh, uh, you know, to become a voting member and different things like that, that.
That that does vary, uh, but, uh, just to become involved and, uh, we, we would always, uh, suggest it for anybody. Literally just go to astm.org and, uh, follow the, uh, prompts to join. Uh, you would pick a, uh, you would essentially pick a specific, um, um, how do you want, how do you wanna say that John? We have E E five and E six.
So yeah, co and standard committee. So you have E five, which are the, uh, the fire standards and you have E six, which tends to be where we get into the, uh, the different, uh, physical properties and stuff like that. Oh, very good. Well, I appreciate you sharing that. Uh, I sounds like something I might wanna get involved in and bug you guys more frequently about, but yeah, but, uh, so I like to end these episodes with.
Little bit on just the professional development or the current kind of climate of fire life safety. And you guys have talked about some, some interesting, different, common topics that are kind of impacting you in the field right now. Like John was speaking to, uh, electric vehicles and, and battery alternative fuel vehicles and how that's a, a challenge for tunnels, or I had the thought of, um, I don't know how you, uh, both are responding to, um, mass timber or, uh, wood construction becoming more prevalent, um, around the world.
But yeah, I'd love to hear about what you guys are both seeing as trends in the industry. Sorry, not to seed the pot there with my own ideas on what I'm interested in. Uh, yeah. Wood timber or, or wood timber. Yeah. Timber construction. Um, timber construction does have a concern for us. Yeah. Um, for, for any number of, sort of, um, Any number of reasons, the biggest thing.
So there have been some fire tests that have been run detailing the use of timber that will, you know, it, it sort of sustain the ability to sustain the load. Nobody really cares about the temperature, right? Temperature is important, but if you're in a building, you're not really worried about how hot it is, it's really hot, but whether it's gonna come down on you and, and the, the thing that like the E one 19 as a fire is it it's used everywhere.
Like, so whether it be here or in Europe or in the UK or whatever, it's, it's the same fire test curve, the slightly different in terms of the term couples that are used, but it's the same. And, and so they run at according to that curve and there's very, very little leeway allowed in terms of how hot or cool it can get relative to the curve.
So they either turn up the gas or turn down. Right. And, but it doesn't really reflect how buildings burn. Now there's far more plastics in buildings than there were a hundred years ago. The, the, the thing that concerns us a small bit concerns. Me is that when you're doing steel or concrete, you're not contributing any fuel to the fire.
The, um, with, with mass timber, you are, you're contributing a huge amount of fuel to the fire. Now you can get on and on and on beyond that and say, okay, well, we're going to do this and we're gonna have a better sprinkler system and all of that. And, and the second thing that, that concerns me a small bit about it is this that, so anecdotally we know that there are issues with respect to different products that are used.
The glues that are made may not always be the same. So you're gonna put 'em in fire rate construction. It's not just a case of making them and putting them in there should be fairly strict quality controls of respect to the types of glue that's used the type of lumber that's used. So if you've got Northern white pine, which burns really well, is it the same as having an eight by eight section of, of white Oak.
Probably not, it's not the same, but so there's, there's all of this thing. It's just, okay, it's just it's wood and it's fine for us. The steel is all a sin. If 58, 36, they're all much of a muchness in terms of the fire resistance ratings. And we know we've a long, long record of it. I like the idea of wood.
My fear is that as soon as there's a big wood fire, eventually there will be that you're going to have a problem. I know, you know, we, we see the NFPA magazines and stuff. Wood is a Arsen Lovett, right? Even in my hometown of Walham Massachusetts here, we had a huge fire like four or five years ago, right.
Wood building, almost complete burned to the, and that that's my concern is that that you're going to have an issue with wood. That the first time there is a big wood building fire, you're going to have. Big recoil away from it because of the fact that it's going to burn. Now you can put fire retardants in there, you can do all sorts of stuff.
But at the end of the day, the, the, the raw material itself is combustible. And I would like to see, I know there's a lot of vested interests sort of weighing heavily that it's the best thing ever. Yeah. I wouldn't live in one . Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate the exposition. Yeah. Yeah. What about you, Phil? What are your, what are your thoughts on, uh, trends or you don't have to double down on timber.
I liked John synopsis. I mean, no, John covered that pretty well. I won't, I won't touch on that. Um, I, John and I are both on the same page when it comes back, when it comes down to that. So we'll, we'll have to wait and see, I guess, um, some of the other big things is, uh, you know, in terms of our industry is again, trying to make sure everybody's doing the right thing.
Um, again, there haven't been any revolutionary changes in fireproofing in the testing standards, but. Things evolve. Um, John, uh, I'm sure you'll agree with me here. Uh, some of the, one of the big things that happened, and I'm not gonna cover it in detail, cuz this can take hours, days, weeks to, uh, try to explain, but uh, dealing with things like load restrictions, um, that's a big change that's happened in the fireproofing industry over the last, uh, five years or so I would say, um, making sure, uh, the buildings, uh, and the fire tests used are based on the construction, the steel that was tested again 8 30, 6, 8 50.
Um, a lot of this involves restraint restrained or unrestrained. We won't touch on that. Um, they, these all kind of work together in making sure that the end user is, is, is, uh, putting the product on to actually meet modern building code. Cause that's, that's the key, uh, building code tells you what to do.
They tell you the fire rating requirements, depending on the, the individual building type use height area, no matter what it is, um, you know, it, it all comes down to that thickness that is put on that steel and the durability of that product. That's put on the steel, making sure everything's following building code.
And, uh, you just wanna, you know, you, John spoke earlier, uh, John and I, uh, that, you know, the people who install our products, they're, they're generally a trained contractor. Uh, you don't want anybody getting in there. And, uh, typically, uh, if anybody kinda walks in and says, okay, Uh, you know, I'm now a fire proofer today and, uh, this is what I'm doing.
I'm now installing fireproofing. Um, they generally weed themselves out after getting in trouble. , um, typically expensive mistakes for them and not only them, uh, the general contractor, the owner, because, uh, ultimately their mistakes end up, uh, rolling down the line, I guess you could say. Um, so, so again, the big thing is, is making sure everybody is, uh, getting on the same page and, uh, load restrictions, full scale testing, proper patching.
Uh, that's another big thing is making sure you're using the proper materials to patch fireproofing. Um, each manufacturer has their own specific material and, uh, the only items that can patch those materials are the same material or an approved patch. So, uh, that's all, some something that's, uh, changing slightly in the, in it's been changing in the industry over the past, uh, several years.
So, but besides that, it's, uh, It's a piece of cake. If I, if I could double down a small bit or, or just sort of highlight another thing that I see gust, that that is, it's a trend for us. Mm-hmm um, it is sort of in terms of fire, uh, fire protection engineering. Um, so it is not a widely, um, discipline. Okay.
And so I'm lucky I live here in, in Massachusetts. And so Worcester Polytechnic is just out the role for me. And, you know, you've got Maryland and I think Cal Berkeley and, uh, Oklahoma state do something, but it's not really widely taught. And so there's a real sort of lack of understanding within the fire protection engineering community about.
fireproofing about the fireproofing that we do. So I, again, I apologize, but I don't know your background, but, um, I was there much a, was there any emphasis at all? Because I know from talking to people who, you know, graduates fire protection engineering graduates from WPI that they don't, they don't have anything, they don't do any fireproofing at all.
Fireproofing of structural steel is not a thing. It's not thought there, it's not, as far as I know, not thought in Maryland. And we come across a lot of fire protection engineers, both Phil and I, and, and probably our, uh, colleagues and other companies who have never had anything to do with fireproofing of steel.
Yeah. And, and. The thing that's kind of pushing, like one of the big macro things that's pushing in on this industry is performance based design. So we see a lot of, sort of move towards that, where people are going to engineer the fireproofing out, gonna remove the fireproofing in lots of areas. And a lot of times the engineers who are doing these analysis have no real experience with fireproofing of steel.
It's a, it's a paper exercise. And we would probably, I think, like to see a little bit more education of the fire protection engineers to, um, to, to understand a bit more about the fire protection of structural steel, the fire ratings of, of foam plastic, that's where we play. There's, there's, there's a real lack of knowledge.
Um, not only education obviously, but a real lack of knowledge of that area in what we do. Yeah. I think that's a great point, John. Uh, you know, I went to formal schooling for, uh, Fire and life safety at, uh, Oklahoma state. So, uh, even in that program, I, I wanna say, you know, we covered the topic of fireproofing, but very, very limited amount of, uh, you know, knowledge.
And, you know, my background is, uh, as a fire protection engineer on the design side. Um, and you know, I've been involved with, you know, like four, 500 projects over the course of my career. And you know, how many times I've gotten into the nitty gritty on fireproofing is, uh, infant small. So, um, I think that you're right.
Um, we need to do better about, uh, facilitating this education piece. And, uh, I love talking with you guys about it and, um, kind of getting some more information out there for people who want to know about the subject. So I think that's a great point. But, I mean, there are lots of people that, like, there are lots of knowledgeable people out there, but, but it would be great if one of the schools that's heavily involved in fire protection engineering, they'd maybe give a course, they tend to do it more like the structural steel, like the, the structural engineers, I think do some of it, but there's not really, you get some people, Kevin Alba, I think has a, uh, joint license.
Mm-hmm but you, you, you really kind of, you don't see it that often you don't see PE se too often. And, and there are the people that we would want to see doing a lot more of the work in, um, in this field. Yeah. You know, I think it's an interesting topic because, um, across the nation, at least I can speak for the us.
Um, there's a real shift between who does the, the fireproofing or the fire stopping, you know, uh, smaller to medium size firms might have, uh, an engineer do it. And you know, maybe some firms have their architects, uh, specify, um, building construction and fireproofing. And then, so you kind of get everything in between that spectrum.
Mm-hmm , uh, maybe some firms have the structural guy more involved or not involved at all in that option other than to make sure that it's there. So, yeah, I think, I think you could get, you'd be surprised how many people, um, and how many disciplines touch that, uh, fireproofing, or maybe you wouldn't be surprised.
I don't know who I'm talking to here. Yeah, I did see of talking to somebody recently and they were talking about, um, the amount of new fire protection engineers, every. Is so small, you know, it's like 250 or something. I, I thought I saw that only 250 new fire protection engineers every year, which I don't really think there's any goes anywhere close to satisfying the need.
Yeah. Yeah. I, I can speak to the program that I graduated from. We were only producing about 45 graduates and about, I'd say maybe only probably a third or less of those go into actually being fire protection engineers, you know, they might go into environmental health and safety or go work for a petrochemical company and, you know, or do loss prevention for a FM or a UL.
So, I mean, yeah, I think that the, the need for knowledgeable people is you guys have stated is exorbitant. And, you know, if people want to get involved, there's so much opportunity out there for people who want to do the work and, um, be a part of this process. Didn't Russ Harvey go to Oklahoma state. Was he an Oklahoma state?
I believe it might have been. Yeah. Yes he did. I believe it was Oklahoma state. And, um, I, so Russ Harvey is a colleague. Yes. Colleagues of he's a colleague of sales. Yes. And, and, and, you know, the one thing that I'll add to what John said is, you know, a lot of people when they're looking for a career path, especially, you know, in the younger age, you're always looking for that niche industry.
Right. Um, fire protection is one of those. And, uh, you know, you can, uh, you know, the one incentive is it's it's niche. You can get into it and, uh, you can make a good name for yourself and you can be very successful at it. So, you know, that's, that's one thing that I'll, I'll definitely say is, uh, get in now we'd like to have more people involved.
Um, and, uh, you know, it'll only make for, uh, you know, a better industry and everything moving forward. Yeah. It is, it is a great industry to work in. Like it really does have a lot of really highs to it. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. There's so there's a lot of opportunities and, you know, for people who are, are good at what they do and in, uh, firing life safety.
So that's awesome. Well, good to end on a promising note, but, um, I just wanted to thank you guys so much for coming on the podcast. I really enjoyed this episode. Um, thank you very much, guys. That's great. Thanks for listening everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business.
The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes end standards interpretation. Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again. And we'll see you next time.