BML Listing Application PowerPoint


Hello and thank you for joining us here for
this special presentation of our Building Material Listings Program and some of the
procedures that go into the program. Over the past year here at CalFire, Office
of the State Fire Marshal we have been working diligently to streamline our processes and
modernize some of our systems. We have heard a lot of feedback from those
of you looking to list your products and of the delays and struggles. We wanted to really spend some time and do
some educational opportunity to review some of the procedures, to help those of you who
have done this a hundred times or those of you who this is your first time listing a
product. How to help us help you. Again, our overall approach here is to see
what we can do to modernize this program. I will now pass it to David Castillo, who
is our Senior Mechanical Engineer and Program Manager for the Building Material Listings
Program. He will go into depth on exactly what you
need to do to get your product listed. This slide has the names, titles and contact
information for the two presenters. Thank you Chief Berlant for that introduction. Again, my name is Dave Castillo. I am going to be discussing with you the most
common errors that slow down the process for a BML application, product review and finalized
listing. So that being said, my contact information
is below, office and email. If you have any questions regarding this go
ahead and just send me an email or phone call. So, the purpose of the presentation is to
review the Building Material Listings Program listing process, so that manufacturers can
fill out the paperwork correctly; the approval process proceeds smoothly and efficiently;
products get listed with greater speed and accuracy. The BML workgroup was created by Berlant to
review, streamline and create ideals to improve the listing process. It’s made up of Daniel Berlant, Dave Castillo,
Ghanem Zureikat, Wendy Gifford, Jay Levy, Jon Potter and Leon Newsom. A little history about the BML program. The Building Material Listing program was
created by Health and Safety Code, section 13114A. It states “the State Fire Marshal, with
the advice of the State Board of Fire Services shall adopt regulations and standards as he
or she may determine to be necessary to control the quality and installation of fire alarm
systems, fire alarm devices, marketed, distributed, offered for sale, or sold in the state.” To summarize this, it basically means, if
you want to sell, if you want to install fire alarm systems and devices, those components
must be listed by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. One of the main purposes for that section
we just read is to regulate the quality and installation of fire alarm systems and fire
alarm devices in California. Products required to be listed are Fire Alarm
Systems and Devices; Smoke Alarms; Carbon Monoxide Devices; Roof Wood Shakes and Shingles;
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Detectors; Automatic High Pressure Shutoff Device; Burglar Bars
and Safety Release Mechanisms for Emergency Escape/Rescue Windows or Doors. Products not required to be listed are Wildland
Urban Interface Building Materials; Fire Sprinklers; Building Assemblies; Fire Dampers; and Fire
Doors and Windows, and I will add anything that is not in the list of required, is not
required to be listed. And most people get really confused so if
you have any questions, just give me a holler, shoot me an email and I will just point you
to the codes and so forth where you can go to get information. One of the main questions is, why are CSFM
listings required? They are required mainly by statute, Health
and Safety Code, which we just read, but more importantly they provide the building authorities,
architects, engineers, contractors, and the fire service with a reliable and readily available
source of information when they do not have the staff or expertise to assess the materials
themselves. A lot of times they don’t have the in-house
staff, personnel, expertise and they look to us to do that. Industry, NRTL’s and CSFM working together. Well the Office of the State Fire Marshal,
National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA), and Underwriters Labs all got together
trying to work together to make the BML process smoother and more efficient because it is taking, in the past, sometimes
several weeks, sometimes several months to get a listing through. The fast track program was created in November
2007. Its only for listings of fire alarm products. The test reports don’t need to be provided
at the time, but the tests have to have been done. The test report shall be submitted for evaluation
within 60 days from the time of listing. It’s a very short turn around time, typically
10 days, and you will submit the product without the test report, but you will have the application
filled out, you’ll let us know you are going for fast track, and then you will also have
the NRTL’s accreditation certification sheet. Some of the requirements for listings are
a completed application; the complete test report; manufacturer’s engineering drawings,
now on this one I get a lot of questions why do you want the engineering drawings? Well the reason why is because we look at
those drawings to see if they meet the typical UL standard. And then they are not subject to public review,
but we do keep a record in-house so that we know they were built, manufactured, installed
so forth to standards. We also want the manufacturer’s installation,
operation and maintenance manual. This is critical because Underwriters Lab
has somewhat control over that. The manufacturer cannot change their installation,
operation and maintenance manual without going through UL. This is critical for some of the smoke alarms,
fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and detectors, components, so forth. The NRTL’s follow up on inspection procedures
and then listing fees. Some of the difficulties in obtaining a BML
approval. Typically, it has been the OSFM side administrative
and technical hold up, which is due to personnel. We’ve only had one person, and in fact now
I am the only person reviewing BML reports, technical specs and so forth. And then we have one part time administrative
person assisting me. On the manufacturer’s side a lot of the
time the application is just not filled out correctly. And the contact that is on that application
is the only person we will talk to at first because we don’t know if someone else is
calling about your product. So on the manufacturer’s side we ask that
they fill out the application completely and correctly and we will go through that shortly. The contact information is available. That contact is our first phone call or email. If it’s a technical question and they can’t
answer it, then we are okay being forwarded to an engineer. But that does take time so it does hold up
the process. On the NRTL’s side the test reports are
sometimes not complete. And if they are going for a fast track, the
fast track letter is incorrect. Now, talking about the NRTL’s when we say that the test report is not complete,
what we are referring to is that they may have deemed it necessary to not have to test
to a certain part of a standard. They will say, “We don’t need to do this
part of the test because we feel it meets it because of…” Well those are engineering judgments and we
are okay with that. But we have to make sure we agree that the
engineering judgment meets current codes and standards in California. Some of the solutions to streamline BML approvals
have been developed and are continually being developed by this program to improve communications
between three involved parties. Also, to use technology to improve the listing
process. And an increased accountability to make applications
better reflect information in test reports. Updates to the BML approval process. A ten-day draft approval after email notification
of receipt. This only applies to fire alarm systems and
components. NTRL’s must use a standard format letter. And then a revised application. Those are the updates. The next four slides are pictures of the different
sections of the application. In the application itself, we are looking
for complete information to be filled out. Company name; that’s the name we want to
see on the test report as well as on the application. If they are different we don’t know if somebody
else is applying for that product. The CSFM assigned company number. That is a number we assign to you. If you already have a listing, it is the middle
four numbers of that twelve-digit number. If you don’t have a listing, and this is
your first time submitting to us, we will assign you a number. The primary contact. We want to know who the primary contact is
that we should be talking to or emailing to initially ask questions, when we have questions. It is imperative that person is somebody that
can at least get us to the right information so that the process is not held up. We’ve added a secondary contact to the application. This typically is only going to be used when
we cannot get ahold of the primary. Company address, we need to know the address
because that is also on the test report. And then the application fast track, if it
is a fast track please check that box and then use the pulldown menu for the NTRL agency. The only three agencies that have actually
been approved for fast track are Underwriter’s Lab, Intertek and Factory Mutual. This part of the application we want you to
figure out what type of listing you are going for. If you have questions, email or call. But for the most part, the very first box
is for a new listing only. The specific category from the category list,
click on the category list, the blue writing and you will be pointed to the PDF of all
the current listings we have. This is not exhaustive, we can always make
a new category for a new listing. Then below in red it says, “Provide the check/money
order for the fee amount, a complete copy of the test report, manufacturer’s data
sheets/specifications, installation instructions, operations manual, illustrations/drawings
and a completed application. That’s for a new listing. If you have all of those, it will really speed
up the process. Technical revision. This is a revision to an existing listing
only. Again, put the existing listing number. If we don’t have that there we don’t know
where to go to start. Then we have to make contact with the primary
contact. So again, provide the check for the listing
fee for a technical revision, a copy of the revised test report pages corroborating the
revisions, and the same stuff as before. Now a cross listing. A cross listing is when a company manufactures
a product, Markets it, sells it, distributes it in California, and you want to take a copy
of their product and put your name on it. Nothing wrong with that. This is how you do it, with cross listing. So you will check that box. Give us the existing listing number and then
you will provide again the fee, a copy of the testing laboratory correlation sheet,
which correlates the original manufacturer’s product to your product. Then a copy of the manufacturer’s data sheet/specifications
and a completed application. You can see we don’t need the full report
here mainly because the testing was done under the original manufacturers product. And then last is a non-technical revision. Please include the listing number. Check for the listee’s name or address change. Now if it is anything else it will be considered
a technical revision. Because if it is a non-technical, typically
it won’t even go to the engineer for review. It’s just a name change or an address change. Any questions, please email or call. Continuing on, this is probably one of the
most important parts of the application. A simple description of the product, make
and model and an explanation of action needed. It has to reflect the box you checked. If you say down here, “new product listing”,
but you checked technical revision up top, right away a red flag comes up, and vice versa. If you checked technical revision and then
you say you just want to do a name change, another red flag. And that is probably one of the more common
mistakes. Once you fill in simple description and explanation
we can use that to figure out what is needed. Certification below, we need the signature,
we need the printed name of the signee, the date and the title of the signee. Moving on, please mail the application to
the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and you can read right on the application the
address, the State, phone number and email. That’s where you want to send it to. For assistance on completing the application
there’s a link we have provided you that describes what we just talked about. If you call with questions, please have your application
in front of you and then we will guide you to how to finish it. Now an important part, if you look down is
the “Optional”. A lot of times the manufacturers and so forth
know their product better than anyone else. And I mean more than the sales reps or anything
else. It is important that they know that because
a lot of time they will give us a draft of how they would like it to look. They would just take a copy of one of the
listings for one of their current products and modify it and say we would like it to
look like this. That helps us quite a bit. Now if we have a disagreement that’s when
we get on the phone. If its administrative in nature, the administrative
personnel will call you and try to clarify. If it’s a technical the engineer will give
you a call and/or try to clarify. But that’s where it is important to have
good contacts for the primary and the secondary. Ok, thanks David for that. Ok this last section we want to talk about
the future of the Building Material Listings Program and where we go from here and how
we have been working to improve many of our business processes when it comes to the BML
program. So first off, earlier this year the legislature
actually appropriated additional positions for the BML program. We will be adding a Supervising Mechanical
Engineer, a second Mechanical Engineer, an Analyst position as well as office support. We are really going from what has been one
and a half positions supporting the BML program to now five positions. So that should help us significantly decrease
our turn-around times when it comes to listings. Of course following all the items that David
has provided throughout this presentation on how to make sure your application is submitted
completely. That obviously will help us as well. So additional staffing already in the process,
many positions being filled as we speak. The next thing we have been working specifically
on the last several years is the electronic application submission process and program. A couple years ago we launched a new program
called GovMotus Fire. GovMotus Fire for us, in our division is an
electronic application program for our licenses. We have been working to put the BML program
application into that system as well. To be honest with you, we have had some hurdles. We have had some items that just don’t fit
as cleanly as we would have liked when we first began this process. While we work to clean those issues out and
to fix them, we are holding off using the GovMotus system for the BML program. But once we get to that point, we think that
going to an electronic application process will be much faster. The other item that we have been working on
too that we hope to install fairly soon is an electronic fee payment. We do realize that it is very inconvenient
to write a check. And to be honest with you the check process,
depositing it and accounting for it really takes up a good portion of our time to actually
turn around a listing. Our business practices when it comes to depositing
checks here in this department, there is a lot of checks and balances that make paper checks a lengthy
process. So we are looking going towards being able
to accept electronic payment. And then lastly one thing that we want to
hit on is all these things that we mentioned that we are underway as far as staffing, as
we move to using more tools like electronic applications, electronic fees, that it does
come at a cost. So the reality is in order for us to really
meet the workload of today and use systems of today, our costs are going up. We did a full workload analysis to determine
how much time we spend on each of the renewals, listing, etc. So we have been able to work on what it will
cost us to work on to meet that workload. In the coming months we will be submitting
a new draft fee schedule. We will go through the regulatory process. There will be an opportunity for public comment. This is going to be a necessary step in order
for us to meet our 2020 abilities to truly support your companies and your products here
in California. This slide has a graphic of a large yellow
question mark. David Castillo is the speaker
That being said, that is the end of this. If you have any questions, please, you can
email or call us at the BML Program. At the beginning of the presentation, you
had my name, my email and my phone number, David Castillo, ME, FPE, 916-568-2939 and
[email protected] I hope this clarifies questions for speeding
up the process for submission of a BML product. Thank you and have a great day.

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