Firestopping FAQ: Destructive Inspections

Since the adoption of 9th Edition of 780 CMR in January of 2018, our industry has been adapting to the requirement for a Third-Party Firestopping Inspector within high-rise or risk category II or IV buildings. Code Red Consultants has highlighted these requirements in blogs such as Firestopping Frequently Asked Questions and Firestopping Special Inspections: More Than Just a Spot Check. As enforcement of this provision continues it is important to understand when a destructive inspection is regard and how such inspections are required to be documented.

When are destructive inspections required?

A common question that we see from our clients is how destructive inspections are documented. Before answering that question, it is important to recognize that both ASTM E2174 and ASTM E2393 provide options for either witnessing installation of systems or performing post-installation destructive inspection on installed systems.

ASTM E2174 allows two different inspection methods for each penetration fire stop systems:

  1. The inspector shall be on site during installation and randomly witness a minimum of 10% of each type of fire stop being installed, or (ASTM E2173 10.12.1);
  2. The inspector shall conduct a post-installation inspection, which shall require destructive type verification of the fire stop and repair of the fire stop. A minimum of 2%, but not less than one penetration, of each type of fire stop shall be inspected per 10,000 ftinspection area (ASTM E2173 10.12.2)

Similarly, ASTM E2393 allows two different inspection methods for fire resistive joint systems:

  1. The inspector shall be on site during installation and randomly witness a minimum of 5% of total linear feet of each type of fire resistive joint system installed or (ASTM E 2393 10.12.1);
  2. The inspector shall conduct a post-installation inspection, which shall require destructive type verification of the fire stop and repair of the fire stop. A minimum of one sampling per type of joint system shall be inspected per 500 linear feet (ASTM E 10.12.2.2).

It must be clarified that witnessed installations include actively observing all portions of the identified firestopping assembly being installed and the witnessed installation requirement cannot be satisfied by means of post-installation visual inspections.

How are destructive inspections documented?

Per ASTM E2174 and ASTM E2393, “An inspection form shall be written and clearly describe the results of the inspection and any deficiencies.” This documentation includes both visually observed deficiencies as well as the results of either the destructive or witnessed inspections per the requirements outlined above. Deficiencies are required to be documented on the inspection form including physically identifying the location where the required firestop or fire resistive joint did not conform with the provided fire stop assembly submittal through visual or destructive inspection. Additionally, each inspection form is required by the applicable standards to be submitted within one working day of the inspection.

Have any other questions related to Firestopping Special Inspections or need Firestopping Special Inspection performed on your project? Feel free to reach out to info@crcfire.com for additional information and see the following link for more information about required frequently asked questions (Firestopping Frequently Asked Questions)