The 'DIIM' of Firestop for Fire and Life Safety

Bill McHugh ~ Rich Walke

Firestop Level 1, 'The ‘DIIM’ of Firestop for Fire and Life Safety’, is the entry point for the FCIA Certificate of Achievement Education Program (FCAEP).

In the Firestop Level 1 course, participants master content covering the elements of the proper ‘DIIM’ – ‘D’esign, ‘I’nstallation, ‘I’nspection and ‘M’aintaining Protection – of Firestopping to lay the foundation for the next section.

  • ‘D’- Design, tested and listed systems and construction documents.
  • ‘I’- Installation in accordance with systems and manufacturers installation instructions by a Specialty Firestop Installation Contractor with processes that result in properly installed firestop systems.
  • ‘I’- Inspected in accordance with ASTM E2174, E2393 by competent, independent Firestop Special Inspection Agencies with proper equipment, competent personnel, and experience, adding an integral quality-check of the firestop installation process.
  • ‘M’- Maintaining Protection of existing fire-resistance-rated and smoke-resistant assemblies, using Barrier Management Systems for fire-resistance-rated and smoke resistant assemblies and firestopping.

The proper ‘DIIM’ of Firestopping results in a safer building and improved fire and life safety systems in buildings. Good luck with the education and quizzes/exams. You are on your way to a FCIA FCAEP Level 1 Certificate!


Bill McHugh has been the Executive Director of the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) since 1999. He has been in the construction industry for 40 years specializing in fire-resistance, roofing, and waterproofing.

Bill participates in the Code Development processes at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), International Code Council (ICC), State of Illinois and City of Chicago. He has served on the ICC’s ‘Fire Safety’ Code Development Committee, serves on the Fire Protection Features Committee at NFPA, and is a past member of the International Accreditation Services (IAS) Board of Directors. At the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), he serves as organizer and moderator for the ASHE/TJC/FCIA/UL Barrier Management Symposiums. He is also a past Institute Director, Chapter, and Region President at the Construction Specifications Institute.

At FCIA, Bill produces Life Safety Digest, the Magazine of Effective Compartmentation, is principal author of the FCIA Firestop Manual of Practice, organizes and speaks at FCIA’s conferences, webinars, and symposiums, and liaisons with many other associations.

Rich Walke is the Technical Director of Creative Technology Inc., which provides consulting for the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA).

Previously, Rich had been employed by UL for 43 years, focusing on fire-resistance-rated construction and the protection of breaches in those assemblies.  During that time, Rich was involved in testing, standards development, code development, and providing technical assistance and training to architects, engineers, contractors, and code officials.


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