1.800.265.1914
Call Now1.800.265.1914

Firestopping 101

April 21, 2022

Firestopping: what it is, why it's important and what to look for in a good system installer.

When commercial or multi-tenant buildings are constructed, they have built-in fire compartments – a series of “boxes” that keep fire and smoke from spreading. If one unit catches fire, it offers protection to the others, giving occupants enough time to call the fire department and get out safely.

“As a fire rages, smoke travels, and you can't outrun smoke,” says Barclay Myers, Firestop Group at Great Northern Insulation. “Those walls keep people alive. Ever looked at a row of townhouses and noticed a bump on the roof of each unit? That's the fire-rated wall. It has to go past the building envelope, which is why it sticks out. If one side catches fire, that wall is what slows down the spread.”

When electrical and plumbing components are installed in fire separations, however, the holes they create diminish that protective ability. That’s where firestopping systems come in: high-tech filler materials are installed to maintain the integrity of those walls. Anywhere there are pipes, cables, wiring or joints, those materials seal the gaps. And firestopping doesn't cost a lot if you do it right. But if you don't, it can cost a great deal – in retrofit expenses, fines, damage, and in the worst-case scenario, human life.

What should you look for in a firestopping provider?

Expertise. Firestopping is one of the smallest expenses in construction, but it can wind up being the biggest obstacle. If it's not done properly from the outset, it can keep you from passing occupancy. If you’re forced to redo it after a building is complete, the cost can be astronomical. You want it done right the first time.

“Having a qualified team that really knows their stuff can mean the difference between passing and failing an inspection – and between life and death,” says Barclay. “Since firestopping isn’t a recognized trade, anyone can do it, but not everyone is an expert. If you don’t have that, it can really cost you down the line.”

Materials knowledge. How well do the installers understand the materials they’re working with? Do they have the right materials on hand? When there’s such a wide selection of options for different applications, it can get complicated. “It’s pretty easy to squirt goop in the hole,” says Barclay, “But understanding why you’re using a certain material can make an important difference. GNI’s firestopping team is factory-trained and authorized by major materials manufacturers, so you get the best possible solution.”

Comprehensive service offerings. A general contractor may be able to install the materials, but working with a bigger company that specializes in firestopping can make the process a lot smoother and more turnkey – especially if they have made an investment in digital capabilities and experience working with inspectors and other trades.

GNI delivers on all aspects of fireproofing

The core firestopping team has 100+ years of experience between them, with unparalleled knowledge smaller players don’t have. The proof is in their pass rate: they have never failed an inspection. Their one-stop-shop offering includes:

  • Firestopping system selection
  • Engineering judgments
  • Total materials procurement
  • Professional installation
  • Coordination with other trades and local authorities
  • Talking with building inspectors
  • Fully insured and bondable
  • Digital process controls like electronic estimating and field documentation
  • Service for all industrial commercial and institutional sectors

“Instead of going with a generalist contractor, there’s a lot of value in going with a specialist team,” says Barclay. “Especially when you think of what the consequences of getting it wrong can be”

Learn more about GNI firestopping systems – and get it right the first time.

Having a qualified team that really knows firestopping can mean the difference between passing and failing an inspection.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Southwestern Ontario

7035 Industrial Drive
Comber, Ontario
Canada N0P 1J0

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA & South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Sarnia/Lambton

259 Campbell Street
Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

6260 Don Murie St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0B4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

BBB

Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Homestars

Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

HomeStars 2018

Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

Homestars Best of 2019 Award

Best of 2019

For the third year in a row, HomeStars ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2020 Award

Best of 2020

For four years now, HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.

Lowes

GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.

3M

3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Baeumler

Baeumler ApprovedTM
Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes

 

Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.

Enbridge

Enbridge Incentives

The Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.

Renomark

Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.

eRenovate

We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

Please, enter a valid value

Incorrect values!