Koffel Associates, Bill Koffel

The Burn: Beyond Firestop

Hosted by John Zalepka


Welcome to The Burn, Beyond Fire Stop. Our show is dedicated to life safety and code compliance in the built environment, which puts me on a mission to find the most interesting people in this space to get their unique perspective. Our hope is that our listening audience walks away with an understanding of how our guests and their businesses and organizations contribute to the promotion of life safety of whatever is being built. Our show is brought to you by Specified Technologies, Inc. Also known as STI Fire Stop. And since 1990 STI has been a leading global provider of innovative fire protective solutions that help stop the spread of fire, smoke and hot gases.

My guest today is Bill Koffel, President of Koffel Associates. Bill established a fire protection engineering firm and is recognized as an expert in fire protection codes and standards.

Key Takeaways

  • Bill’s Background
    • Father was volunteer firefighter
    • Became a volunteer firefighter when he was of age
    • Fire Chief introduced him to program at University of Maryland
    • Turned hobby into a profession
  • NFPA 101
    • Life Safety code differs from Building code or Fire Code
    • Fire code is generic
    • Building code addresses new construction
    • Life Safety Code addresses new and existing construction and goes into greater detail
    • Life Safety Code is occupancy specific
  • 1991 Edition of the Life Safety Code
    • Prior to that, the code gave options of building with or without sprinkler protection.
    • Bill worked with American Hospital Association and worked to change the code to require sprinklers in all new healthcare occupancies
  • Chapter 43
    • Added in 2006, deals with rehabilitation of existing buildings.
    • Changes old requirements
    • Bring old buildings as close to new building requirements as possible. 
  • International Existing Building Code Essentials 
    • Authored book along with Clay Aler
    • Serves as a handbook of why codes do the things they do.
    • History of how codes are developed and why.
  • Koffel Associates 
    • General Practice Fire Protection Engineering Firm
    • Design fire protection systems.
    • Work with architects for new building design from a fire safety standpoint.
    • Rehab of existing buildings.
    • Survey work
  • Work in Healthcare Community 
    • Changed the survey process for the healthcare community.
    • Have facilities self identify problems
    • Set up management and maintenance programs to help facilities.
  • Covid Affects
    • Pushed remote inspections to the forefront
    • Emergency plans were not set up
    • Barrier management programs were set up

About Bill

William “Bill” Koffel is President and founder of Koffel Associates, Inc.  He is recognized as an expert in the fire protection and life safety aspects of codes and standards.

Mr. Koffel graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland; earned his Professional Engineering license in the specialty of fire protection engineering in 1983; and worked in private industry as well as in the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s office.  Totally committed to the fire protection and life safety industry with its governing codes, standards and design guidelines, he is Past President of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, serves on numerous National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committees, past member of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee on Structural Safety Issues, and is one of a handful of approved NFPA instructors teaching various code-related seminars, nationally and internationally.  He has co-authored manuals, including the “Fire Warning and Safety Systems” American Hospital Association manual which is the industry’s guide to selecting, testing, and maintaining fire suppression, fire alarm, and smoke control systems; and has contributed to, or currently serves on, various panels and committees including those for Underwriters Laboratory and the International Code Council (ICC).

In 1986, he founded Koffel Associates and has presided over its national and international growth to its current staff of 40 people with offices in Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Bill on LinkedIn

About Koffel Associates

We are recognized experts in fire protection codes and standards.

While meeting your needs with focus and innovation, we also meet the challenge of advancing the fire protection industry through our extensive, hands-on involvement in codes and standards development and training. We employ and are led by some of the industry’s best, including registered engineers, authorized trainers for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and International Code Council (ICC), and two worldwide instructors in Life Safety Code® for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

About STI Firestop

Since 1990 Specified Technologies, Inc. (STI) is a global leader in the firestopping industry. The company manufactures a wide array of products and technologies to provide passive fire protection. Headquartered in Somerville, NJ, STI has sales offices all over the globe. STI Marine is a Division of STI that specializes in marine fire protection in the cruise line, offshore oil and gas, and general maritime industry. STI Marine’s product line consists of a full range of products used for penetration seals and cable transits in fire-rated bulkheads and decks, including water-tight firestop sealants, firestop collars for plastic piping, and an innovative cable transit device. All products comply with the IMO FTP Code and are subject to various Type Approvals include MED, DNV GL, Lloyds Register, ABS, USCG, BV, RINA and more…