Passive Fire Protection Experts
FireSafe Systems protects South Florida construction projects with state-of-the-art solutions for all passive firestopping, fireproofing and fire wrapping requirements
The story of FireSafe Systems US (FireSafe) begins with Mike Blanco, its Owner and General Manager. In 2005, Mike, an experienced contractor, incorporated Capital Investments & Associates, LLC in South Florida, initially as a commercial property investment group aligning high-wealth individuals to purchase, rehab and hold or sell income-producing commercial and residential properties.
In the meantime, Capital Investments developed a very active construction building material exporting division for sales throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
Mike continued to grow that business, eventually creating a construction division that specialized in the installation of air conditioning, granite counters, kitchen cabinets, porcelain floors and LED lighting.
By 2016, Mike recognized there was an underserved niche in the Florida market. The company added the installation of the highest quality firestopping products, and later fireproofing and fire wrapping for the construction industry…forming FireSafe Systems US.
With an expertly trained team ready to tackle any challenge, FireSafe offers consistent, reputable, and quality work regardless of the job size or budget. “The majority of our work is commercial construction, particularly high-rise buildings. Our services include consulting with architects, engineers and inspectors to provide the best solution for your passive fire protection needs,” Mike says. “And, we’ll fulfill your job requirements using cutting-edge equipment and application techniques.”
Customers include plumbing, electrical, mechanical and sprinkler contractors, but the company’s goal is to negotiate the firestopping and fireproofing with the general contractor to do the complete project from conception to Certificate of Occupancy Mike adds, “Project supervisors and city inspectors appreciate the convenience and efficiency of addressing all firestop and fireproofing issues with one experienced contractor.”
Three Passive Barriers
FireSafe’s products include three types of passive barriers designed to react to fire and smoke. As a specialty contractor certified to apply fire barriers from industry leaders, including 3M, Hilti, STI and Carboline, the company’s role is to apply these three services: firestopping, fireproofing and fire wrapping. Each can play a vital role in keeping people and properties safe.
The first is firestopping, which uses material to cover penetrations that are on firewalls or fire-rated floors. Mike explains, “Plumbers, the air conditioning guys, the sprinkler guys—they all have to have penetrations to allow their piping to go through the slab or walls. We protect that pipe by putting packing material around it and applying fire-resistant sealants. These sealants and silicones are designed to keeps the smoke, gases or fire from going from one property to another for a minimum of an hour and up to four hours after the fire, adding critical time for evacuation and first responders to do their jobs.“
Next is fireproofing, in which structural steel is protected from fire by either coating it with sprayed-on intumescent paint or cementitious fireproofing material. “What we do here is protect the structural steel, the columns, the beams or the deck of a building in case of a fire. Fireproofing also protects the integrity of the structural steel for one hour and up to two hours,” Mike says.
Last is protective fire wrapping, the third passive application. “Here,” says Mike, “flexible inorganic fiber blankets are designed to reduce flame and smoke spread ratings by encapsulating air and grease ducts, and return air plenum PVC pipes. And, with endothermic mats, we can protect electronic components and BDA antenna pathways.”
Experienced Professionals with CBE/SBE/MBE Advantage
With management’s extensive experience providing critical fire protection services and its talented staff of installers and office staff, Mike proudly reveals that the company has never had any issues with fulfilling contracts. “We have always completed our responsibilities. We have no bad press,” he says.
Not only that, but with vital state and local certifications, FireSafe Systems US is poised to step in where others cannot. The company is a Broward County Certified Business Enterprise (CBE), an important distinction because the local government requires that certain jobs done for the county must have a minimum of 30% completed with a CBE contractor. This means, too, that in many cases, larger contractors would hire FireSafe to help them reach that 30% threshold. Additionally, FireSafe is certified as both a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in the state of Florida. For any government or county work, SBE/MBEs get an opportunity to do the job or be subcontracted by a larger contractor that would not qualify as a small or minority business on its own.
“Having these three certifications really separates us from a lot of other businesses in the region.” Mike adds, “Another thing that separates us from other smaller companies is that we trained our employees with a significant safety program. Plus, we carry all liability and workers’ comp insurances required for construction projects. We are bondable and insurable.”
Supporting Customers’ Needs
According to Mike, FireSafe’s business model is to always bring their A-game so that repeat business will follow. The company’s clientele is mainly comprised of high-end general contractors working on multiple properties and multistory properties. Aside from providing top-quality service, FireSafe also finds ways to make life easier for its customers by offering payment programs like AIA Forms and the web-based Textura program.
As a business that is greatly affected by construction trends, FireSafe is poised to continue expanding. Mike explains, “South Florida has been one of the major areas of the country that has not only seen incredible growth in the last five to 10 years, but is expected to continue that way for the next five or 10 years. And gradually, that growth is going to migrate north to the central part of Florida, and we will be following that migration.”