Spotlight on the Key Points in Firestopping

Firestop is widely recognized as a problematic issue for owners, specifiers and contractors alike. It is perhaps the most misapplied and misunderstood segment in Life-Safety in modern construction, especially with the constant changes in code. Please join the New Jersey Subcontractors Association and Specified Technologies, Inc. – STI Firestop‘s John Zalepka for our next breakfast networking meeting on December 1st from 8:30-10:30, where we will have a presentation on the Key Points in Firestopping.

In this one-hour CEU / AIA-accredited course (FS070), we will cover the basics of life safety and how to properly design code compliant firestopping systems. Additionally, this course covers major issues in design such as coordination of the subcontractor trades, data cabling, through penetrations including plastic pipes, typical construction joints and curtainwall. Finally, we will discuss how to take a UL System approach for managing the entire firestop process on your next project.

So… get your CEU’s or contractor certification cards before the end of the year… network with other  industry professionals… and get a glimpse inside STI’s Global Corporate Headquarters.


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Spotlight on Scott Greenwald

Construction industry veteran joins STI Firestop

Me scott 2

Scott Greenwald has recently joined STI Firestop’s NY-NJ Metropolitan team, he will be partnering with me as a fellow Territory Manager.

Scott is a fine person and a real professional. He brings with him over 8 years of industry experience, working previously with Kenseal, a loyal STI distributor focusing mainly on high-rise construction.

I will be working closely with Scott over the next few weeks, bringing him up to speed on the market. We will be making calls together and when you meet him, I am confident you will find him very knowledgeable and responsive.

In the meantime… don’t forget to visit our website to get all the information you need to select STI Firestop products; Request for Engineering Assistance, Firestop Submittal Builder, Product Data Sheets, Technology Updates, New & Improved UL Systems, BIM Resources & Product Estimators…

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Spotlight on Shrinkage

The Incredible Shrinking… Firestop Sealant?

Do firestop sealants shrink? This is a question that has been bandied about at various industry meetings. The simple answer is yes. Sealants may exhibit various degrees of shrinkage dependent upon the environment in which they are installed. The majority of the firestop sealants on the market are latex based or silicone based, so we will constrain our discussion to those two types of sealant technology. For the most part, silicone sealants exhibit a negligible amount of shrinkage (generally <5%). Latex sealants, on the other hand, may shrink much more. Historically speaking, latex sealants have been on the market for more than 30 years, and while nothing has changed significantly, it is more of an issue today because of increased inspection, and specifically, destructive sampling where the dried sealant is cut and measured.

Latex based sealants dry rather than cure. The curing mechanism is quite simple and is somewhat analogous to a mud puddle drying. In a more humid environment, the sealant will draw moisture in and this can prolong the drying. Conversely, in an arid environment, the sealant will dry very quickly and the sealant may actually achieve its ultimate profile faster. Adding to the complexity of the appearance of the sealant, the geometry of the opening may induce more apparent shrinkage such as sealant applied across a larger span. In some cases, this is actually designed into the sealant. How can this be? The most optimal sealant profile to accommodate movement is an hourglass profile. In the past, installers might use a tooling knife to induce this concavity. However, some sealants will actually dry to be thicker towards the adhesion points (e.g. penetrant interface and barrier interface) and thinner towards the center.

So if a concave profile is ideal, why does it become an issue with some inspectors? The trouble with destructive testing is that often times a dry sealant application is being dissected and compared to a UL Certified System that reports a wet depth! When UL Systems are developed, the test lab measures the wet depth of the applied sealant and the resultant listings report the wet depth. It does not consider the shrinkage and the dried sealant profile. However, UL does reference the percentage of anticipated shrinkage according to ASTM C1241 and reports it (optionally) for the various latex based sealants. They also make a note in both the XHEZ and XHBN Guide Information that sealants may be prone to some degree of shrinkage and the systems report a wet depth unless otherwise indicated. According to ASTM C1241 testing, some sealants may shrink 20 to 25%. What does this mean? Well, if the installed depth was 1”, then it is possible to measure a dry sealant membrane that is almost a ¼” thinner. The listings cannot list a wet and dry depth because variations in annular space, opening shape, and penetrant size may produce a variety of different dry sealant profiles. One of the problems is variations in how inspectors perform cut tests on applied sealants. There is not always consistency. The IFC published a recommendation on how to perform cut tests. The IFC recommends measuring sealants at the adhesion points rather than towards the middle of the sealant to provide a better indicator of the original applied sealant thickness.

What can you do if you are flagged during an inspection and suspect that the sealant has shrunk? First, point the inspector to the UL Guide Information statements on sealant shrinkage. Next, provide the sealant listing card with the ASTM C1241 test results. Finally, verify if the inspector is following the IFC Recommendations when performing destructive testing. Please do not hesitate to contact STI Technical Services to enlist our help.

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Spotlight on Action


We took some ACTION and got involved in the NJSA golf committee…

Thank you to Matt from GAR our gracious host at his facility in South Plainfield they specialize in servicing the aerial work platform needs of contractors, sub-contractors, and industrial firms… so if you need to get high, call Matt…

He also is the Golf Ball Sponsor – GAR Equipment …

Giveaway Sponsor – Genie …
Cocktail Sponsor – JLG …
Lunch Sponsor – Skyjack …

Hole In One Sponsor – True & Associates… we saw Logan True… a young professional getting involved… I love it! …

And we didn’t get him on camera, but we have to mention Greg from GEM… he puts on a lot of great events, but none more important than FCCF … Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation…

What’s really cool about getting involved in the committee is that it gives me ACTION to take other than just selling firestop… I have some contractors and distributors to call where I will be selling the idea of the importance of having a strong industry trade organization… not pushing product… see the difference?

Anyway, I firmly believe if you are a subcontractor, or even a general contractor, supplier or manufacturer (except if you’re Hilti or 3M, firestop is covered) and your business in or does work in New Jersey you should be a part of the NJSA in some take some ACTION and get involved.

A quick stop at HQ/corporate to finalize Toastmasters 2.0… and we walk out with 4 new sign-ups bringing us up to 16 new members… essentially doubling our club size. We had an issue with the meeting times being in the evening we took some ACTION, moved the meetings to lunch time and BANG! …we’re back in business! We could have let it fizzle out, but we took ACTION… now the test is getting everyone up to speed before our next meeting… but that’s why they call it the burn.

We had lunch with Marc from Thermal Materials / Tri-City… a very long-standing distribution relationship. We share some ideas and contractor targets that we are going to go after. We are going to take some ACTION and do a mailer to a select targeted group of mechanical/plumbing contractors. Going to work so more from Marc in an upcoming episode I’m certain…

Finally we went to Allied another great distribution partner of ours over the years… I saw Tom yesterday who said to come see him so we didn’t wait we took immediate ACTION… so we can turn yesterday’s social/business golf event into immediate business while it is still fresh in everyone’s head…

So there it is ACTION… take some

The burn

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Spotlight on Engineering

Rainy Friday addition of The Burn… we have to get on the road and go help our good friend Richie Jenkins from JLE with an engineering judgment…  we’re on our way buddy!

OK… we’re at on location again, in the rain, with Richie Jenkins going to have more coming later going to fix some stuff right now because that’s what we do firestop, firestop!

After an in-depth review of the current conditions, we found that we are going to need some additional engineering judgments that we were able to do on over lunch. I love when I’m able to get my paperwork done on the road, on the fly. And because we did, we were able to get the details back BEFORE the end of the day.

Then we headed down to corporate HQ to pick up some samples of our re-engineered top track gasket that Steve Moore in customer service prepared for us…

STI Firestop’s warehouse crew is the best in the business… shout out to Barry DeWitte, Kenny Weeks and everybody else that makes things happen on a day-to-day basis, getting orders ready for our customers to pick up and ship worldwide… after all, STI Firestop is a true global company.

The Post Burn:

It took me a little while to come up with the word of the day, but I figured it out… engineering, that’s right ENGINEERING. When I thought back to yesterday, I started to think about what we really did yesterday. We hooked up with Richie Jenkins, a specialty firestop contractor (thanks again for being such a good sport there), but that’s why it’s so important to get a specialty contractor involved, someone who understands UL systems and the engineering judgment process… someone experienced in engineering firestop solutions.  So a shout out to Richie for getting us out there, even on a rainy Friday afternoon no less so… And by the way as of this taping and because of the time zone difference in Tulsa, Oklahoma… our engineering team out there was able to deliver the engineering details in less than six hours. So a special shout out to our Tulsa team (Jonathan Matthews, CFPS; Gary Mason, CFPS; Clay Hensley, CFPS; and Joe Potts, CFPS)… combined with our New Jersey team, we have the best EJ turnaround time in the industry.

Thanks again to Kenny Weeks for always liking my stuff on LinkedIn, for three weeks straight now… shout out to him, I’m glad we got him in the video. And of course Barry and his warehouse / shipping / receiving team engineering global shipping solutions… because we’re a worldwide company, what do you know… STI, check us out, firestop is all we do!

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Spotlight on Location – The Burn / 014

Bang, getting started early… 5:55 AM Grover Cleveland rest area New Jersey Turnpike with STI Firestop, multi media specialist, Jason Nappi…

The Burn Cover Daily

We’re getting started early, creeping while Hilti is sleeping!!!

Jobsite Jhonny on location, 111 Murray St. with our good friends from ICI TruTeam…

In this episode we’re going to see a curtainwall firestop demonstration with proper mineral wool orientation & compression, spray machine cleaning tip, and of course… Starring… FastTack All-Weather Spray…

Shout out to:

Permasteelisa for all of this beautiful glass on this project…

ICI for all your firestopping needs…

STI for all of your firestopping…

And a special shout out & thank you to Brian Ortiz and his whole team for allowing us get some footage on location.

I know Eastman Cooke cares about safety we’re here to present during #SafetyWeek …

STI firestop is a New Jersey-based firestop company. All of our products are Made in the USA, locally, which means that on LEED projects, in the NYC metropolitan area you receive additional credit just for partnering with STI Firestop.

One more shout out & special thanks to Gabe Colon from Inline Distributing for setting the #SafetyWeek training up… they are a large stocking distributor of the entire STI Firestop product line…

At STI, firestop is all we do… we don’t make tools… and we don’t make sticky notes…

The Post Burn:

The word of the day is location, location, location. It’s been said that location, location, location are the three most important factors in business. However, sometimes location is not a physical place, it’s the mental mind-share of your client or prospect. THINK about your best customer right now… you need to continually work on that relationship… because never forget, your BEST customer is your competition’s BEST prospect.

Thank you to Eastman Cooke for allowing us the opportunity to present on site to the different trades and subcontractors. We made some new friends and we hope to work with you in the future.

Final word:

Don’t get discouraged when you lose to the competition, it’s going to happen… instead… Learn from them. Piggyback what they’ve already learned, such as a great location, a lot of the research and legwork may be right in front of your face… you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

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Spotlight on Non-Compliant Overfilled Cable Sleeves

Restore Compliance to Non-Compliant Overfilled Cable Sleeves with Specified Technologies, Inc.’s New EZ-Path® Retrofit Device


SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY (Jan. 23, 2017) – Specified Technologies, Inc. (STI), an innovative leader in the firestop industry, announces a new addition to the EZ-Path® family of fire-rated and smoke-rated cable pathway devices with the EZ-Path® Retrofit Device. This newly designed and innovative concept can instantly convert existing deficient, overfilled cable sleeves to 100 percent code-compliant sleeves in seconds. By simply clamping onto the end of the steel sleeve, this two-piece device incorporates intumescent technology to expand and close off the path for fire.

With its complementary square shape, blending into the look and feel of the EZ-Path® family, the new EZ-Path® Retrofit Device plays a functional role permitting cables to spill out of the sleeve and travel in any direction – an important function for existing buildings with cables traveling in various directions. Each device is fitted with additional smoke-sealing foam to provide very low L Rating values to minimize smoke leakage, and the devices are able to accommodate bushings snapped or screwed onto the ends of the sleeves.

“The EZ-Path® Retrofit Device can accommodate cable fills up to 100 percent visual fill and immediately places the cable sleeves in full compliance, eliminating citations, and can quickly remedy the deficiencies found during a survey,” said James P. Stahl Jr., CFPS, CDT, Vice President & General Manager, Engineering and Emerging Businesses for STI. “Not only is the system UL® Certified, but it provides up to two-hour fire ratings in all common constructions. The EZ-Path® Retrofit Device is a quick, economical and sustainable solution.”

Making its industry debut at this month’s BICSI Winter Conference, the EZ-Path® Retrofit Device will be available for purchase from all authorized STI distributors thereafter. For more information about STI, including new product launches and more, please visit

About STI Firestop
Specified Technologies Inc. (STI) is an industry leader in developing innovative firestop solutions that help stop the spread of fire, smoke and hot gasses. Offering a full range of product categories designed to address almost any application and backed with over 1,400 UL® Certified Systems, STI offers digital tools and resources, including Submittal Builder™, System Search and a free clash management plugin to complement a complete library of BIM objects. Headquartered in Somerville, NJ, with offices in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia and China, with worldwide representation, STI is a global firestop manufacturer.

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Spotlight on Fire Protection for Underslab Curtain Wall Anchors

Curtain wall connections or anchor points located beneath the floor slab can be subjected to direct fire exposure that can compromise their integrity. The UL Guide Information for Category XHDG, Perimeter Fire-Containment Systems has included general specifications for the protection of exposed curtain wall anchor points. Due to the lack of specific test data, the protection recommendations were somewhat vague leaving interpretation to
project decision makers and/or local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ)…until now.

A whole new XHDI category has been created by UL® to more clearly define what constitutes an acceptable level of anchor protection. In turn, STI Firestop has developed an entirely new category of accessories for use in perimeter fire-containment systems to protect underslab anchors. The creation of CP1OO represents another industry first and is now the Only UL® Certified System for protecting underslab curtain wall connections.


  • Eliminates Jobsite Application Variables
  • Provides Measurable Anchor Protection
  • Simplifies Passing Inspections
  • Helps Ensure Code Compliance
  • Installs in Minutes with Concrete Fasteners
  • Works with Multiple Anchor Designs
  • Encapsulates Framing Connections
  • Offers Superior Heat Resistance
  • Its patented design withstands 2 hours of fire exposure without breaking down, protecting and insulating the aluminum anchor to maintain the integrity of the connection.

The Only UL® Certified System for Protecting Underslab Curtain Wall Connections

CP1OO delivers visual protection with compliance you can see, taking the guesswork out of application and inspection. Eliminate headaches, delays and uncertainty from improperly installed firestop materials. Ensure measurable performance and a predictable outcome with the failsafe installation of the only UL® Certified system for protecting underslab anchors.

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Spotlight on Made in the USA

No matter what your political views are, we can all agree that today, January 20, 2017 (#DayOne) we get a new President, and with him comes an increased focus on Made in the USA. grungeflag_madeinusa

At STI Firestop, we take Made in the USA very seriously.  Not only are all of our products manufactured in the United States, they are manufactured out of materials also manufactured in the USA.

It doesn’t get more Made in the USA than that.

When you get asked for Made in the USA, you can trust that our products are actually manufactured in the USA. Don’t settle for “assembled in” or “packaged in” when you can have MANUFACTURED IN the USA.

Please give us a call to discuss any upcoming projects you have that you could use help with the firestopping… because FIRESTOP is all we do.  You have enough problems on the job… with STI, FIRESTOP is no longer one of them!

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At STI Firestop, we are always looking for ways to better communicate with you, our firestop customers and provide you with the best experience possible.

As if Access STI and our new submittal builder wasn’t enough… we’ve done it again… we now have a LIVE CHAT feature available on our website.

LIVE CHAT is available on every page of our website and will give you the ability to interact directly with our engineers to resolve your technical questions quickly.

Our technology is completely mobile optimized, giving you the ability to ask questions while in the field on any mobile device. You can upload documents or photos straight from your phone or tablet to our engineers, getting you an answer while you’re still in the field, minimizing “come backs”.

So GO LIVE with STI now… click here with your most urgent firestop questions… LIVE CHAT is at the bottom right in the (EZ-Path) orange box.

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