Underwriters Laboratories, Sean DeCrane

Welcome back to The Burn, Beyond Firestop. I’m your host. John’s Zalepka. Our show, if you’re not aware is focused on life safety, 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 also contribute to the promotion of life safety of whatever is being built.

Our show is brought to you by Specified Technologies, also known as STI Firestop. 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. Our guest today is very knowledgeable on such topics.

Sean DeCrane retired as a 25 plus year veteran of the Cleveland Fire Department. He also served in various roles such as Director of Training & Chief of Operations. He retired as Battalion Chief covering Cleveland’s West side, and he’s currently the manager of industry relations for Underwriters Laboratories, building life safety, security technologies division.

Key Takeaways

Sean’s Background

  • Wanted to be a firefighter early on as Fire Service is in the Family.
  • While playing Rugby, his team mates in the Cleveland FD got him involved

Getting into Fire & Life Safety

  • Free Beer and a Dare
  • Went to International Fire Stop Council meeting
  • Went to code hearing in Ohio & a Code technology meeting in Chicago.
  • Wrote letter to IFF on why fire fighters should be involved in Codes and regulations.

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute

  • Incident in Green Bay let to modify building codes to prevent collapse.
  • Formulated Firefighter Safety Research Group. Still one of the advisory board members.

Changes over the years

  • Sometimes it takes disaster to lead to change.
  • Codes are living documents, constantly open for modifications.
  • Working on 2024 changes to codes both residential and building & fire codes.


  • Global independent safety science company.
  • Reached a point looking for a new challenge. Wanted to be involved on an international level.
  • Create safer living and work environment.
  • (19:58) US standards compared to around the world.

Testing & Research

  • Researching emerging technologies.
  • Working with various industries that don’t involve humans.
  • Upcoming projects and initiatives
  • Mass Timber Contruction

About Sean:

Sean DeCrane retired as a 25+ year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Fire. He served in various roles including the Director of Training and Chief of Operations. He retired as a Battalion Chief covering Cleveland’s Westside. Sean is currently the Manager of Industry Relations for the Underwriters Laboratories Building Life Safety, Security and Technologies Division.

Sean has been very involved in the research at Underwriters Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He serves on the UL Fire Council and is a member of the UL Fire Fighter Safety Research Institute’s Advisory Board.

Chief DeCrane also represented the International Association of Fire Fighters in the International Code Council process and has served on the 2009, 2012, 2105 and 2018 Fire Code Developing Committee and as Chair for 2015 and 2018. Sean served on the NFPA 1 Technical Advisory Panel, NFPA Research Foundation on Tall Wood Buildings and is serving as the Chair of the Fire Test Work Group for the ICC Tall Wood Building Ad Hoc Committee.

Sean on LinkedIn


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.