Florida Building Commission

Fire Technical Advisory Committee

Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2014


Meeting Location:  Teleconference Meeting from Tallahassee, Florida


TAC/POC Members and Objectives

TAC Members Present Via Teleconference: Hamid Bahadori, Chair;  Joe Holland, Brad Schiffer;  Tony Apfelbeck; Jeffery Gross, James R. Schock;

TAC Members not Present: Joe Belcher; Robert Hamburger; Peter T. Schwab; Charlie Frank

Staff Present: Mo Madani,  Jim Hammers, Marlita Peters, Robert Benbow, Norman Bellamy, Joe Bigelow, Zubeyde Benici;

Facilitator: Robert Benbow

Guests: Steve Walsh, Dwight Wilkes

Objectives: To accept final report on the draft-stopping research project and to discuss potential future research projects.


Meeting Minutes


Discussion of objectives included the following: 



01:30 PM Welcome and Opening, Roll Call.  A quorum was not originally present. Joe Holland joined the teleconference and a quorum was reached.


2) and 3)

Agenda and Meeting minutes. The Agenda for today’s meeting and the meeting minutes for the June 4, 2014 Fire TAC meeting were approved unanimously by the committee members.


The final report on the draft-stopping research project was presented by Mr. Steve Walsh. At the conclusion of the Literature Review portion of the presentation Mr. Walsh fielded questions from the Fire TAC members and public. The TAC felt the report satisfied the contractual agreement on research projects. The question of those specific materials that are utilized for draft-stopping purposes was raised and in response Mr. Walsh made the TAC members aware that there is no basis for why these materials were selected as draft-stopping materials. Another question raised was that if there was any movement to require the joints to be sealed and in response Mr. Walsh made the TAC aware that draft-stopping does not have to be listed as a system. Staff raised the question of why there has not been an effort in the past to improve draft-stopping requirements through code changes and updates. In response, Mr. Walsh stated that in his opinion that would be because that draft-stopping materials are common materials and that it would be easier for the contractor find and install these materials. He also stated that fires in attic are a rare occurrence. At the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Walsh answered questions and entertained comments by the Fire TAC Members. A comment was noted that the purpose of draft-stopping from a fire-fighter’s perspective is that it would be able to contain the fire until the fire department could arrive to extinguish the fire and that it is not used for smoke containment. It was also stated that any material used for draft-stopping should have a twenty minute calculated fire resistance. It was also mentioned that draft-stopping not be classified as assembly and at least require a more robust material that allows the fire department more time to respond to the fire. The question was raised that using compounds to seal cracks and joints of drywall may be the best form of draft-stopping but this method was not advocated because of cost impacts. Mr. Welsh responded that gypsum is cost mutual. Staff noted that this study is broken down into two phases an assessment phase and a follow-up phase is needed to do more assessment. Staff also asked if a follow-up phase for this research project was necessary.  The presenter noted that this would be a difficult question to answer because the code history is so long on it and that they are common materials and that it would be really hard to propose full scale testing because of project costs and is this a significant enough topic to conduct full scale testing. It was recommended that additional costs of construction based on the twenty minute calculated fire resistance time and the research project recommendation be included in the final report. A motion was made by Tony Apfelbeck to accept the report with request that Koffel included cost issues with respect to the cost of installing a sprinkler system in the attic and a materials change of to a minimum twenty minute calculated fire resistant material. This motion was seconded by Brad Schiffer. The motion passed with a 5 to 1 vote.


To discuss and recommend potential research topics for consideration by the Commission. Tony Apfelbeck recommended a research project on sprinklers in one and two family dwellings. He recommended conducting a study on incentives to encourage the installation of sprinkler systems in one and two family dwellings. He also wanted know how feasible it would be to create a scenario to address some of the cost issues associated with installation of these systems. The motion was presented by Schiffer and was seconded by Mr. Apfelbeck. The motion passed unianiously.


Other TAC Business. Having no other TAC business, the meeting was closed after a Motion and a Second to Adjourn.


Staff Contacts: Robert Benbow Planning Analyst (850) 717-1837 Robert.benbow@myfloridalicense.com or Mo Madani, Manager mo.madani@dbpr.state.fl.us (850) 717-1825