Thanks for a great chapter meeting!

Thanks everyone for a great chapter meeting last night!
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We heard from lobbyist Tim Johnson who will be monitoring all legislative bills being introduced that could affect the Fire Sprinkler industry. He had great advice on how our association can gain more influence by meeting with our local representatives in our individual districts, putting together our legislative list of goals and priorities and the timeline on how quickly we need to act when reacting to a proposed bill or introducing a new one.
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We also nominated 3 individuals for the leadership positions of our chapter, Tracy Moore for Chairman, Myself for Vice Chair and Chris Russell for Secretary/Treasurer. Voting will commence at our April chapter meeting with the option to email in your votes if you can not attend (voting is restricted to members of our local chapter).
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Thirdly, I re-implemented our AFSA website by adding a Member Benefits, Next Gen & Social media page with more to come! Please email me if you have any suggestions or requests. Also if you have any photos of our industry please send them my way so I can put them on the site.
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Can’t wait to see everyone again in April!

February 2016 Meeting

Come join us at our February chapter meeting! If you would like to attend please RSVP with Ron Greenman (rongreenman@gmail.com). Tim Johnson of Northwest Policy Group will be speaking. Can’t wait to see you all there!

Claim Jumpers – Tukwila at 6:30pm

Winter 2011 Newsletter

Members present:

 

Bill McKay Advanced Fire

Chuck Bamford Bamford & Assoc.

Randy Knighton Knight Fire

Mark Hoyt Lubrizol

Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet

Steve Ike Talco Pump

John Klein Ferguson

Shelly Brown Ferguson

Tracy Kapusciarz Ferguson

Chuck Paradis Sprinx

Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire

Ken Sirak Victaulic

Dan Radloff Red Hawk Fire

Bill Cunnigham Plumbco

Jamie Vos Security Solutions

Bryce Beham Security Solutions

Ron Greenman Bates Technical College

 

Randy was caught in traffic so Ashton opened the meeting with self-introductions.

 

Bill McKay commented that he’s run into an interpretation where all workers, including fabricators, on State jobs are supposed to be paid prevailing wage. There was an extended discussion about prevailing wage. Bill is still pursuing the issue with the state where money from prevailing wage public jobs is being used as target money to subsidize private work.

 

Steel prices are going up again. 48% seems to be the likely amount.

 

Kevin showed everyone a sample of Viking Supplynet’s new line of grooved products. They come with pre-lubed gaskets listed for both wet and dry and are rated for 250 psi applications.

 

At some point Randy arrived and took over as chair. His first comments were about the still dismal state of the economy and the construction outlook. Bill mentioned he has seen a slight uptake in multi-family as had Ashton although he commented e’s seeing it more on the plumbing side of his business than the fire. Bill said the stuff he’s seeing is high-rise with studio units.

 

Ashton said the he was aware of 3000 planned HUD units in Seattle.

 

The discussion then turned to interest rates and the difficulty of getting money at any price.

 

Randy talked about Weyerhauser I-Joists and their particular and restricted requirements regarding sprinklers. He warned everyone to go to the Weyerhauser website and look at the Sprinkler Installers’ Guide to I-Joists. I did and I’ll verify that you need to be careful about what you do.

 

The meeting then turned into a collection of war stories until dinner was served.

 

The rat was all social time. So until next time:

 

6:30 PM on May 10 at the 13 Coins in SeaTac–

 

Over and out!

 

Summer 2010 Newsletter

Attendees:
Bryce Benham Security Solutions
Chris Russell Security Solutions
Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet
Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire & Plumbing
Randy Knighton Knight Fire
Roger White Knight Fire
Bill McKay Advanced Fire
Jim Stewart Advanced Fire
Mike Balsey Advanced Fire
Chuck Bamford Bamford, Inc.
Steve Ike Talco
Steve Muncy AFSA
Chuck Duffy WSFM
Ron Greenman Bates Technical College
Randy opened the meeting at 6:30.
Randy reported that insurance rates are rising.
He reported that fuel prices are also rising.
Bill commented that the number of private money jobs was still very low.
Ashton, on the other hand, says the plumbing side of his business is seeing private money for multi-family is up and that the contractors are typically using subs they are familiar and comfortable with. How this will translate to sprinklers remains to be seen.
Bill then talked about how he has set up his own in-company recovery (target money) funding with the cooperation of his fitters.
Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, discussed the card check issue and said that it looks dead as legislation although it may return as regulation. Steve went on to comment:
“The good news is that the economy has hit bottom.”
“The bad is that there‘s not much upturn.”
California is seeing a little upward movement in the residential market.
Not too many companies have failed. (Bill interjected that he thinks this is because companies are still working on the increased revenues from the preceding good years.)
AFSA is going to see a big deficit this year but was strategically placed with good reserves to weather it.
Webinaires are going to continue to be free to members until further notice.
AFSA has been partnering with NFSA and the Union in splitting the costs getting pro-sprinkler legislation passed.
The Convention is looking to be a big success. As of the meeting on 10 August there were only three vendor booths left.
Steve finished up talking about the high response to the AFSA scholarships. Both the traditional high school one and the newer “Second Chance” scholarship for students in higher educational institutes.
For more details on all of the above check out the AFSA website: http://www.firesprinkler.org
And I just wanted to remind you AHJs that you are welcome at our meetings and that we have a special flat rate of $25.00 for  any AHJs in attendance.
The following article link is a very positive statement from a fire marshal about the effectiveness of sprinklers:
Although unable to attend Chuck Paradis from Sprinx had some questions for Chuck Duffy, the new Washington State Fire Marshal. I stood in for Chuck P. SFM Duffy briefly answered the questions at the meeting  and then asked that I send him an email and he would answer them in more detail. I sent the following:
1. Fitter testing was scheduled to commence on August 1, 2010. What is
the current status of testing? What about existing temporary
certifications if testing is delayed?

2. There’s language in the WAC that requires Level 3 CoCs to be
present as supervisors on job sites. You answered this question
somewhat differently than Anjela (I had previously talked to Anjela St. John about this issue) although I believe you meant the same
thing. In her response she used the term “ignored” in reference to
enforcement of the WAC while your more detailed answer stated that the
”language was poor” and that your office would be “looking into
changing that language with input from the TAG” and that “enforcement
would be in abeyance until that work was completed.”
3. At the TAG the Union offered to move and man the sprinkler trailer
for venues where your office lacked sufficient manpower. You had
answered that, “there were lots of issues regarding liability and
appropriateness regarding State activities and private sector input.”
If you could would you phrase that better for me so I don’t publish my
interpretation that may not be what you meant.
This was the response:
1. The Journeyman and Residential Fitter test, Level U Test and Level 1 Test are available to be taken, they will need to schedule the exam with Mr. Humberto Rodriquez. Test scores from previously taken test are no longer valid and will require the candidate to retest.
2. The language in the WAC that requires Level 3 COC’s to be present as supervisors on job sites comes from WAC 212-80-043 which is titled: Qualifications for preparation of layout drawings, installations, inspections, testing, or maintenance.
“Only licensed fire protection sprinkler system contractors shall execute contracts for the design, installation, inspection, testing, or maintenance of fire protection sprinkler systems or any part of such a system in the state of Washington.”
Under the exemptions parts (6, 7, 8 and 9) it list the different type of Certificate Holder with the same clause “achieved State Level ___ certification shall supervise and/or certify…” the work to be done by the different type of COC.   The intent of this language was to require the sprinkler contractor to have a COC on staff and not one that is out of state doing the design work and not having the ability to readily available if there was a question about the installation or if a change to the installation would be needed.
The intent was never to have the COC at every job site supervising the work.  This language will be rewritten during the next update of the Fire Sprinkler WACS to reflect the intent of what the fire sprinkler was looking for.  Webster’s II Dictionary defines “supervise” as “to look over”, “to direct and watch over the work performance of” and “to direct and watch over the work and performance of others”.   We are going to look at this from the position of the COC provides a drawing for the installer to work from and upon completion of the installation receives confirmation that the work was approved by the local AHJ. Thus the COC did provide direction and has watched over the work performance.
3. The issue regarding the use of the sprinkler trailer at venues where the SFMO lacks sufficient manpower is being researched for options that will permit outside use, while still complying with our labor agreements and limiting our liability. We hope to have some options to consider on this issue by the first of the year, if it is possible.
Everyone ate well and the meeting was concluded unusually early. Next meeting will be November 9.
Hope to see you all in Providence in October.

Ron,
Attendees:
Bryce Benham Security Solutions Chris Russell Security Solutions Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire & Plumbing Randy Knighton Knight Fire Roger White Knight Fire Bill McKay Advanced Fire Jim Stewart Advanced Fire Mike Balsey Advanced Fire Chuck Bamford Bamford, Inc. Steve Ike Talco Steve Muncy AFSA Chuck Duffy WSFM Ron Greenman Bates Technical College
Randy opened the meeting at 6:30.
Randy reported that insurance rates are rising.He reported that fuel prices are also rising.Bill commented that the number of private money jobs was still very low.Ashton, on the other hand, says the plumbing side of his business is seeing private money for multi-family is up and that the contractors are typically using subs they are familiar and comfortable with. How this will translate to sprinklers remains to be seen.Bill then talked about how he has set up his own in-company recovery (target money) funding with the cooperation of his fitters.
Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, discussed the card check issue and said that it looks dead as legislation although it may return as regulation. Steve went on to comment:“The good news is that the economy has hit bottom.”“The bad is that there‘s not much upturn.”California is seeing a little upward movement in the residential market.Not too many companies have failed. (Bill interjected that he thinks this is because companies are still working on the increased revenues from the preceding good years.)AFSA is going to see a big deficit this year but was strategically placed with good reserves to weather it.Webinaires are going to continue to be free to members until further notice.AFSA has been partnering with NFSA and the Union in splitting the costs getting pro-sprinkler legislation passed.The Convention is looking to be a big success. As of the meeting on 10 August there were only three vendor booths left.Steve finished up talking about the high response to the AFSA scholarships. Both the traditional high school one and the newer “Second Chance” scholarship for students in higher educational institutes.
For more details on all of the above check out the AFSA website: http://www.firesprinkler.org
And I just wanted to remind you AHJs that you are welcome at our meetings and that we have a special flat rate of $25.00 for  any AHJs in attendance.

The following article link is a very positive statement from a fire marshal about the effectiveness of sprinklers:
http://www.c-dh.net/articles/2010/08/10/affiliate/advertisernews/news/12fire.txt
Although unable to attend Chuck Paradis from Sprinx had some questions for Chuck Duffy, the new Washington State Fire Marshal. I stood in for Chuck P. SFM Duffy briefly answered the questions at the meeting  and then asked that I send him an email and he would answer them in more detail. I sent the following:
1. Fitter testing was scheduled to commence on August 1, 2010. What is
the current status of testing? What about existing temporary
certifications if testing is delayed?

2. There’s language in the WAC that requires Level 3 CoCs to be
present as supervisors on job sites. You answered this question
somewhat differently than Anjela (I had previously talked to Anjela St. John about this issue) although I believe you meant the same
thing. In her response she used the term “ignored” in reference to
enforcement of the WAC while your more detailed answer stated that the
”language was poor” and that your office would be “looking into
changing that language with input from the TAG” and that “enforcement
would be in abeyance until that work was completed.”
3. At the TAG the Union offered to move and man the sprinkler trailer
for venues where your office lacked sufficient manpower. You had
answered that, “there were lots of issues regarding liability and
appropriateness regarding State activities and private sector input.”
If you could would you phrase that better for me so I don’t publish my
interpretation that may not be what you meant.
This was the response:
1. The Journeyman and Residential Fitter test, Level U Test and Level 1 Test are available to be taken, they will need to schedule the exam with Mr. Humberto Rodriquez. Test scores from previously taken test are no longer valid and will require the candidate to retest.
2. The language in the WAC that requires Level 3 COC’s to be present as supervisors on job sites comes from WAC 212-80-043 which is titled: Qualifications for preparation of layout drawings, installations, inspections, testing, or maintenance.
“Only licensed fire protection sprinkler system contractors shall execute contracts for the design, installation, inspection, testing, or maintenance of fire protection sprinkler systems or any part of such a system in the state of Washington.”
Under the exemptions parts (6, 7, 8 and 9) it list the different type of Certificate Holder with the same clause “achieved State Level ___ certification shall supervise and/or certify…” the work to be done by the different type of COC.   The intent of this language was to require the sprinkler contractor to have a COC on staff and not one that is out of state doing the design work and not having the ability to readily available if there was a question about the installation or if a change to the installation would be needed.
The intent was never to have the COC at every job site supervising the work.  This language will be rewritten during the next update of the Fire Sprinkler WACS to reflect the intent of what the fire sprinkler was looking for.  Webster’s II Dictionary defines “supervise” as “to look over”, “to direct and watch over the work performance of” and “to direct and watch over the work and performance of others”.   We are going to look at this from the position of the COC provides a drawing for the installer to work from and upon completion of the installation receives confirmation that the work was approved by the local AHJ. Thus the COC did provide direction and has watched over the work performance.
3. The issue regarding the use of the sprinkler trailer at venues where the SFMO lacks sufficient manpower is being researched for options that will permit outside use, while still complying with our labor agreements and limiting our liability. We hope to have some options to consider on this issue by the first of the year, if it is possible.
Everyone ate well and the meeting was concluded unusually early. Next meeting will be November 9.
Hope to see you all in Providence in October.

Spring 2010 Newsletter

Members present:

Bryce Benham Security Solutions

Chris Russell Security Solutions

Jeff Harrison Globe Sprinkler

Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet

Chris Lindstrom Tegris Industries

Scott Siderman Tegris Industries

Robert Lacy Rating Bureau

Jose Butriago Rating Bureau

Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire & Plumbing

Randy Knighton Knight Fire

Bill McKay Advanced Fire

Jim Stewart Advanced Fire

Mike Balsey Advanced Fire

Chuck Bamford Bamford, Inc.

Shelly Brown Ferguson

John Klein Ferguson

Mark Mannex FM Global

Ron Greenman Bates Technical College

We started a little late because the turn-out was large. This is the second meeting in a row that we’ve occupied both sides of curtain partitioned meeting room at 13 Coins. And this in bad times. Shows that the attending members recognize the value of their membership and networking opportunities it provides. More than once over the years and broom more than one party I’ve heard that exchanging ideas  has been a bigger boon to healthy competition and increased success than any amount of fearful secrecy.

Randy and Bill related a couple of disturbing stories, one involving a death, were related about how some employees were dealing with hard times, stress over what the future might bring, and temporary layoffs. Their advice was to be especially observant and sensitive to employee behaviors and comments. Also, to have a plan as to what you would do to help distraught employees get over emotional hardship. One of the strengths of merit shops is the family aspect of the work environment. Don’t forget that this applies to those employees you’ve had to let go despite your efforts to keep them employed, and perhaps even more to them. Randy and I will be attending the AFSA Leadership Conference in late May and certainly will be bringing this issue up.

All the contractors present agreed that one of the most important things you can do is have your liens in place. Not needing to execute a lien is what we all want but if you haven’t made your initial filings you may find yourself unable to execute a lien when you most need to. There was also a suggestion that you use the big guns of your materials suppliers to help when you run into that GC that’s reluctant to pay his bill.

The folks from Tegris gave a presentation on a new way of doing inspection paperwork and inspection reporting. Considering they have only been at the marketing phase of their new idea since the beginning of the year they have a pretty impressive list of interested and sold parties. If you’re the curious sort like me and think you might like to learn a little more you can get in touch with Scott Siderman at <scott.siderman@tegrisinc.com>.

Finally Mark Mannex from FM Global gave us a presentation about FM Global’s new approach to storage protection. There’s a few pages of text and two tables and all storage is covered. They’re also in the process of re-visiting their general sprinkle requirements with an intention of simplification. Too bad if you missed this but you can get the information, although not presented with the same showmanship Mark displayed, at the FM Global website. If you’re still unaware note that all FM Global data sheets are now available to anyone at the website. You need to register to get access but as Mark pointed out, it’s so you can be notified when changes occur, FM won’t be bugging you trying to get you to insure your house or car with them. On that little joke the meeting was adjourned.

Our next meeting will be at the 13 Coins in SeaTac, on Tuesday, 10 August 2010, at 6:30 PM. Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, will be pour guest.

Winter 2010 Meeting

Shelly Brown, Ferguson

Kevin Kane, Viking SupplyNet

Randy Knighton & Roger White, Knight Fire

Mike Balsey, Advanced Fire

Chuck Bamford, Bamford & Assoc.

Bill Cunningham, Plumbco

Ken Sirac, Victaulic

Steve Ike, Talco

Troy Whitbank, Tyco

Mark Hoyt, Lubrizol

Jeff Livaudais, AFSA

Jose Butriago, WSRB

Ron Greenman, Bates TC

Randy opened the meeting at the appointed time. His first comments were about a sprinkler save in Chehalis. The sprinklers were mentioned by the Fire Marshal and he was quoted in the paper. Not particularly news to any of you but there were the obligatory comments about the dismal economy.

There have been three increase in pipe prices since January totaling a rise of 33%. Plastic pipe has also gone up. Other materials have also risen or are projected to soon. Ferguson has an announcement page on their website where they post pending price increase letters from manufacturers as soon as they get them. Randy suggested using these letters as part of your request for change orders for price increases.

Randy posed a question: Why doesn’t the State suspend prevailing wage during the current economic climate?

Jeff Livaudais, National Membership Director from AFSA spoke next about AFSA’s Economic Relief Incentive. Webinairs will continue to be free for AFSA members forth rest of 2010. You will also receive a 10% rebate on your dues that can be applied to any AFSA materials including convention registration. The next convention will be in Providence, Rhode Island. Check with UPS if you’re involved in shipping any freight. They are offering up to 70% off to AFSA members. If you looking at your dues being too big a hit or a single month remember you can spread the cost out by making payments. Talk to Jeff at: jlivaudais@firesprinkler.org

Also available from AFSA is training on how to deal with the union.

Our other speaker was Steve Ike from Talco Fire, the pump guys down in North Oregon. He talked about Talco products and services.

The next meeting of the AFSA/PacNW Chapter will be Tuesday, May 11, 6:30 PM at the 13 Coins in SeaTac. Our speakers will be Mark Mannex from FM Global talking about FM’s new approach to storage, and Scott Siderman from Tegris who will be talking about their NFPA 25 reporting system.