FSCI Winter 2016 Third-party plan review newsletter

President’s Message

An FSCI update from Keith Frangiamore, FSCI President

2016 – A Notable Year
First and foremost, FSCI exists today through the vision of James “Jimbo” Schifiliti who 33 years ago saw the need for third-party, fire plan reviews to assist municipalities.  The values that guide us every day are the same values Jimbo instilled in each employee, exceptional client service, work cooperatively with local code officials, and value all customers involved in the plan review process.  Having trained thousands of professionals on fire safety, codes, and standards, Jimbo is a leader in the fire protection industry.  He is an active member of IFSTA, has served as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University (Jimbo’s alma mater) in Fire Technologies, and worked with many private companies on consulting projects.

Jimbo announced his retirement recently, and I know he is proud to see the municipalities around the country that FSCI helps each day.  He will continue to be our biggest champion and resource for us as we continue to provide the highest quality third-party services.  Please join me in wishing him the very best as we celebrate all that he has accomplished.

2016 – 30 Years Serving our Michigan Clients and Customers!
It’s hard to believe that FSCI has been providing the highest quality third-party fire protection plan reviews, building plan review, training and consulting services in Michigan for 30 years. FSCI has served over 55 municipal clients, as well as many private clients, in the past 30 years. FSCI is the largest, most experienced third-party plan review and inspection company in Michigan. Looking back over the past 30 years, Jimbo recalled the early days working with our first two clients in Michigan, Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills. Both remain our clients to this day.

At the FSCI Michigan Regional Office we’ve made some great staff changes to help deliver great plan review and other services.

1. David Morris rejoined FSCI as Regional Manager, he left the area during the recession, but returned to Michigan in 2015.

2. Lisa Tyner joined the FSCI team as the regional administrative assistant.

3. Angie Dayfield remains as our primary plan reviewer and inspector. Brent Gooden remains active in Michigan as liaison to the Michigan Regional Office after three years as the Michigan Regional Manager.

What Can Third-Party Services do for You?

Fire Safety Consultants, Inc. (FSCI) provides plan review, as well as building and fire inspections, for more than 200 jurisdictions in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Montana. What makes the clients of FSCI decide to send building, life safety and fire protection system plans to a third party for review, and why use FSCI for third-party inspections?

It is news to no one in the industry that many building departments and fire prevention bureaus are staffed at levels which are far less, in many cases, than existed prior to the recession. Municipal and fire district leaders have been leery of returning staffing to the levels that existed during better days. This is clearly understandable given the costs associated with training new people, whether full or part-time, and providing vacation and benefit time off, health insurance, and pension benefits. The fear also exists in the minds of many public, and private sector, employers that another recession could lead to further layoffs of the very employees recently hired resulting in unemployment penalties.

So what can third-party plan review and inspection services do for building departments and fire prevention bureaus?

FSCI does not support the feelings of other third-party review/inspection companies which is that the governmental agency can and should eliminate their current staff and bring in a third-party to manage the entire operation of the building department of fire prevention bureau. Having staff employed by the governmental agency provides for a level of continuity within the operations of the department and maintains a knowledge level of the community, its citizens and businesses.

Still, with reduced staffing, and an increase in the number of permits being issued for building and fire protection projects, a reduced staff is often unable to meet the time demands of projects requiring plan review approval thus pushing permit issuance farther back in the construction year. The same reduced staffing issue can impact the timely completion of necessary rough and final inspections. Again, this can delay construction progress.

FSCI, as a major third-party plan review and inspection provider, can address these situations. FSCI clients currently use our services to supplement existing staff and services. On the plan review side of the issue, FSCI receives plans and specifications for technical plan review of building and fire protection systems of all sizes. Depending on the needs of a jurisdiction’s staff, FSCI may review a complete or an individual portion of a plan submittal. Jurisdictions may submit plans for a single large project such as a hospital or a small project such as a tenant buildout.

FSCI also provides expert consulting services to our governmental and private sector clients. Many projects require in-depth code analysis to determine which and how codes and standards should be applied to a specific project or occupancy condition. FSCI provides our clients with the necessary technical reports outlining how to comply with applicable code and standard requirements.
The bottom line is FSCI can provide the level of professional plan review service that best fits the jurisdiction’s needs. The expense of these plan reviews is often “no-cost” to the jurisdiction. Model building and fire codes allow for jurisdictions to utilize outside service to evaluate that construction plans other documents meet the adopted codes and standards of the jurisdiction. The majority of FSCI’s clients use our available service of collecting the cost of plan review (and inspections if applicable) directly from the applicant for the project thereby eliminating the need for a jurisdiction to annually budget for the unknown factor of how many plan reviews (or inspections) might occur in a budget year.

Our clients and contractors appreciate that FSCI has a single charge for our plan review services. The single fee includes the initial and subsequent plan reviews necessary to reach our approval recommendations.

Contact FSCI with any questions on our services or fees and see how we FSCI, and our nationally certified staff, can assist your jurisdiction with your plan review and inspectional needs and responsibilities.

Warren E. Olsen, Vice President Building and Life Safety

Employee Spotlight

Warren Olsen

Fire Safety Consultant’s Vice-President of Building and Life Safety is Warren Olsen. Warren has spent 41 years in fire protection beginning more than 30 years with the Hoffman Estates Fire Department, and now since his retirement, more than 10 years with FSCI managing the building and life safety, training and marketing divisions. Warren oversees building, life safety and MEP plan reviews that are received by FSCI from our clients. Warren is a partner with the firm.

During his time with the fire department Warren held several ranks which included firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, lieutenant, and captain before holding the rank of battalion chief which he held for more than 10 years before retiring. His major duties included shift commander, and division head of fire prevention, fire investigations, and fire department communications. He also worked on ISO grading evaluations of the department and the department’s accreditation project.

Currently Warren is a member of several NFPA technical committees including NFPA 72, 3, and 4. He teaches seminars on the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code nationally for the NFPA and other seminars for FSCI across the country. Warren has two grown children. His son Scott is a career lieutenant/paramedic on the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, and his daughter Lindsey works with the sports staff at Southern Methodist University. Warren holds a Fire Service Administration Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Illinois University, and is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist and a Certified Building Code Official.

Carrie Huber

Fire Safety Consultant’s HR and Officer Supervisor is Carrie Huber. Previous to her current position, Carrie was a Lead Administrative Assistant for FSCI. Carrie is one of the longest tenured employees with FSCI having started in February 2002.

Carrie’s current responsibility is to oversee the daily office operations and activities which includes ensuring that in-coming and out-going plans, specifications and reports occurs in an efficient manner. Carrie also works extensively with FSCI’s consulting division’s activities speaking with clients, preparing reports and invoicing. Carrie’s Human Resources Division responsibilities include payroll, employee insurance and benefits, and assisting in the hiring of qualified staff.

Carrie’s background includes 18 years of office and purchasing manager related work. She is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and an Illinois Notary Public. Carrie currently holds certificates as a Compensation Administrator, Fair Labor Standards Act, MS office Programs and HR Management.

Outside of work Carrie enjoys cooking nutritional gourmet meals, early morning nature walks with her family, date night with her husband Steve, and spending time with her two sons which includes riding horses which was Carrie’s passion for 18 years.

Little Known Facts

NFPA 13 – 2016 Edition – Air Venting Required

New to the 2016 Edition of NFPA 13 is section 7.1.5. This section reads “A single air vent with a connection conforming to 8.16.6 shall be provided on each wet pipe system utilizing metallic pipe.”

This is one of the biggest changes to Chapter 7 for the 2016 edition. This section has added the venting requirements into the body of the standard instead of providing the information in the annex. The purpose of the air venting valve is to exhaust as much trapped oxygen as possible from a single location every time the system is filled thus reducing possible corrosion and microbial activity. It is neither the intent nor practical to exhaust all trapped air from a single location on a wet pipe sprinkler system, however more than one vent can be used on a system at the designer’s discretion.

The air venting valve should be located where it will be most effective. System piping layout will guide the designer in choosing an effective location for venting. In order to effectively accomplish venting, it is necessary to choose a location where the greatest volume of trapped air is vented during the first fill and each subsequent drain and fill event.
Matt Davis, Senior Fire Protection Consultant

NPFA 17A – 2013 Edition, Chapter 5 – Commercial Cooking: Hood Plenum Protection

Behind the filters of a newly installed commercial cooking range hood and duct assembly you will see: detection and extinguishing components of the fire extinguishing system.

Model codes require these exhaust control systems and fire extinguishing in cooking systems that produce “smoke or grease-laden vapors.” The space in the hood and duct system behind the filters is called the “plenum.” All expelled smoke and grease vapors from the cooking processes collect in this area before being discharged through the exhaust duct.

Within the plenum area is a tensioned cable that connects to the fire suppression system control head. A fusible link is installed in this grease flow path to operate the system in the event of a fire in the plenum. The suppression system distribution pipe carries the extinguishing fluid from the tank to the nozzles.

Plenum nozzles are installed behind the filters to suppress fires in the plenum. Additionally, nozzles are placed upright at the plenum’s connection to the duct system to suppress fire traveling into the exhaust duct.
Rosie Simarano – Fire Protection Consultant

NFPA 72 – 2016 Edition – Limitations to SLC Circuits

The requirements for Section 23.6.1 have been expanded in the code. In the previous edition (2013) a loss of no more than 50 devices could occur with a single fault. The 2016 edition changed the requirement by requiring that not more than a single SLC (signal line circuit) zone may be lost due to a single short, or fault on the pathway. An SLC zone can be a floor within a building, or a section of a floor that has been subdivided into multiple zones by fire or smoke barriers. This is beneficial when a system pathway is compromised. SLCs supporting large numbers of initiating devices must now be designed so that the entire pathway will not be compromised. Two exceptions do exist, one being the use of isolation modules, and the other being cable connecting control equipment.
Harrison Bradstreet – Fire Protection Consultant


Stay up to date on the latest Fire, Building and Life Safety code changes and equipment by attending one of our seminars. FSCI is teaching seminars throughout the United States, led by our experienced staff of Matt Davis, Keith Frangiamore, Brent Gooden, George Michehl & Warren Olsen.

Whether you are a Contractor, Architect, Technician, Engineer or an Authority Having Jurisdiction, each seminar is full of practical insights and first-hand experiences to help you comply with applicable codes and standards. FSCI can also provide custom seminars at your location. Be sure to check out our schedule of upcoming seminars on our website. Contact us to learn more by emailing info@firesafetyfsci.com or by calling our office at (847) 697-1300.

Upcoming Seminars:
March 15, 2016 – IFIA – Inspector I – George Michehl

March 22-23, 2016 – City of Milwaukee – Fire Extinguishers/IBC 2015 – Warren Olsen

March 29-31, 2016 – MT Building Code Bureau – Significant Changes to the 2010 Ed of NFPA 13 – Matt Davis

April 22, 2016 – PACO – General Storage & ESFR Sprinkler Requirements – Brent Gooden

Stay up to date on the full schedule