Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Introduction to Passive Fire Protection

Here is a list of current blog posts and resources concerning passive fire protection systems.

A Prevention Primer - post provides an overview of how passive fire protection systems fit into a balanced approach to fire protection

Firestop Training On-line - Free and comprehensive inspection training from the International Firestop Council

Fire Doors. Whats the big deal? - code requirements and visual demonstration of the importance of fire doors

Proper Fire Door Installation - UK based video series demonstrates proper fire door installation requirements

How to Conduct NFPA 80 Inspections - a step-by-step guide on proper inspection of fire doors as outlined in NFPA 80


Monday, May 19, 2014

Significant Leadership

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Studies show that the only thing people fear more than death is, public speaking.  Seinfeld says that people would rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy.  However, it is my belief that what people really fear is insignificance. Fear that when one reaches the end of their life, they will look back on unmet goals, unfulfilled ambitions, and regrets. Fear, that their life has not mattered, or made a difference, to anyone or anything.  

It is from this fear that I have implemented seven strategies into my life to ensure that no goal goes unmet, or ambition is unfulfilled.  That I will look back and see and life lived without regret and that has impacted the world around me.  

It is these seven principals that I lead my team with, in order to ensure that we are making a lasting difference in our company, our clients, and our personal lives.

Strategy #1:  Take Action

Start now, start where you are.  Do not wait until you are great to begin.  Untold numbers of people never start because they are afraid they cannot make it go.  Others never start because they do not see ahead to the reward, and others never get started because they are waiting to be compensated for their services.

To succeed is but the natural way to live.  To fail is contrary to nature.
If you don't start, you can't fail.  It sounds ridiculous when you say it that way.  But of course, it is ridiculous.  It's (quite possibly) the reason you're stalling.  On the other hand, there's no doubt that, "If you don't start, you will fail."  Not starting and failing lead to precisely the same outcome, with different names.  - Seth Godin

Strategy #2: Define Success

What does success look like for your organization/client/self?  

Success means much more than pure profit; it means that you have conquered; you have self-satisfaction; you know that you have a place in the world.  Success means a greater personality, a greater usefulness, the realization of one's homes, and a legacy to leave to the world which will encourage future generations. 

It is important to have a clear definition of success so that you can adequately determine your priorities, and envision the reward at the end of the journey.

Strategy #3:  Always Be Producing

Leave no time wasted.  We are given eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, and eight hours for recreation, the improvement or our minds, and the social amenities of life.  How many are there who can put their finger on the last eight hours and tell where they have gone?  The man who has wasted the precious hours of life's seed-time finds that he cannot reap a harvest in life's autumn.  

I prioritize and utilize my work time in these three ways: (1) What can I do that will be most beneficial for my team and organization?  (2) What can I do that will be most beneficial for my customer/client?  (3) What can I do that will be most beneficial for my own professional growth?

Anything outside of these does not need to occupy my work day.

Strategy #4:  Stay the Course

Once you have defined what success means for you, your organization, and your clients, and have charted a course to get there, do not deviate.  Many distractions will come, but only acknowledge the things that move you closer to your destination (this means sometimes saying, 'no' to seemingly good opportunities).

Strategy #5:  Make Decisions

Do not be paralyzed by indecisiveness.  Lack of making decisions can derail an organization, a team, a life, faster than almost anything else.  Refusal to make a decision is a decision.  It is a decision to be taken wherever others want to go.  This will derail you from your goals and defined success path.  

If you are a leader, you are paid to make decisions.  Do the job you are expected to do.

Strategy #6:  Focus on Others

Pour yourself into the lives of your team.  Help them achieve their goals, and you will achieve yours.  Cultivate the art of seeing possibilities in others.  We live by radiation, not absorption.

Strategy #7:  Seek Results

The men who make history are the men who get what they go after - the men who get results.  To get the results you need and expect requires initiative, it requires doing the extra work, it requires resolve.  Initiative to do the thing that must be done.  Doing the extra work to achieve the results that only you can.  Resolve to see the project through to completion.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting the Best Value from Vegas


Are you ready for the 2014 NFPA Conference and Expo?  This years conference is in Las Vegas, from June 9-12.  Besides all the great presentations conferences are great for building relationships.  However, these relationships do not happen naturally.  Creating these opportunities has to happen strategically.

Sally Hogshead, from Team Fascinate gives 5 tips for making a conference introduction that will last.

1. Find one way to add value to the conversation.

What problem does your listener have? How can you help? What new process/resource are you utilizing?

2. Ask real questions.

Asking good (real) questions, requires being a good listener.  Skip the questions on geography (“Where are you from?”), and ask deeper questions (“What is the main thing you want to get out of this conference?”)

3. Find out how the world sees you.

What makes you valuable to others?  What is unique about your personality that will impress or influence someone else?

4. Consider what people will already be thinking and talking about.

What is all the buzz going to be about?  Check out the conference schedule in advance, plan your sessions to attend.  This should give you an idea of what will be on the peoples mind that you want to connect with.

5. Commit to a strong start.

You start the conversation.  Don’t wait for somebody else to.  Maintain eye contact with the person your connecting with.  Start your introduction with your valuable statement or real question.

Apply these techniques, make some new friends, cultivate valuable relationships.  See you in Vegas!






Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Firestop Training On-line

The 2012 International Building Code requires special inspection of firestopping for certain structures.  The International Firestop Council has created an in-depth on-line training course for third party firestop inspectors.  The on-line course is free (requires 40-60 hours of time), upon completion of the course a certification test is offered ($250 now, $500 after July 31, 2014).

Link to the program --> http://www.firestop.org/inspection.html

The below article announcing the program was recently released on Fire Engineering.

IFC INTRODUCES CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRYS MOST 
COMPREHENSIVE ONLINE FIRESTOP TRAINING PROGRAM

The construction industry's most comprehensive online firestop inspection training and education program has been developed by the International Firestop Council (IFC) for code officials, inspectors and all building trades professionals associated with commercial building firestopping from design through installation.
The IFC Recommended Training and Education for Third-Party Firestop Inspectors program is a free 40 to 60-hour, firestopping self-study program that educates via recommended outsourced videos, PowerPoint® presentations and documents all available via 22 Internet website links from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), International Code Council(ICC)Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), the IFC and other industry-leading sites.  
The IFC created the program, because the industry's one-day classes and other training and education programs were either limited in depth, or not conveniently structured as online programs where applicants learn at a self-study pace on a computer, smartphone or printouts of public domain material.
The program is also important, because the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) requires special inspection of firestopping for buildings over 75-feet-high and for Risk Category III and IV facilities in compliance with ASTM E 2174 and E 2393 standards. The IFC program is the only curriculum currently available that provides third-party inspectors with the high training and competency level required to conduct such inspections. The program's syllabus is available as an interactive webpage or downloadable nine-page document at www.firestop.org/inspection.
While there is no charge for the program's self-study portion, registrants can opt for a two-hour, $250 ($500 after July 31, 2014) IFC-sponsored online, post-training certification test, which requires a minimum passing grade of 80-percent.
The exam's comprehensiveness is illustrated in recent IFC beta test results of several veteran firestop industry experts who did not achieve optimal exam grades. "Even firestop experts would find this test challenging if they donĂ¢€™t go through the self-study curriculum," said test co-author, Pat Tesche, Firestop Inspectors Committee chair of the IFC, which is a Washington-based not-for-profit trade association of manufacturers, distributors, installers and inspectors of passivefire protection materials and systems in North America. "So spending the hours needed to study the entire online curriculum will allow any dedicated student to succeed in the exam, whether they are starting from a low or high level."
Passing students will receive a certificate from the IFC and a free listing at the www.firestop.org website. A free enhanced website listing is also available for students opting for two-hour, hands-on product training from four or more participating firestop manufacturers. "The theory and reading is very effective when combined with hands-on training, and will enable the IFC to offer firestop inspection competence and excellence to the construction industry," said John Valiulis, IFC's Code Action Committee chair.
The program's other features include:
a Study Skills refresher posted by Athabasca University for registrants that haven't taken educational courses recently.
A free pre-exam practice test can be taken online to evaluate full exam readiness.the test consists of 85 questions with multiple choice answers.
The test consists of 85 questions with multiple choice answers.
"Ultimately, well-trained, knowledgeable firestop inspectors will help reduce property loss as well as save lives during a fire," said James P. Stahl Jr., CFPS, president of IFC.
"The construction industry and building officials should accept nothing less than special inspectors who have completed this program."