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Chip's Tips - A Firestop Sleeve Hole Cover is Just a Hole Cover, or Is It?


Safety on a construction site is of utmost importance. Safety regulatory bodies, such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in the US, require that holes in a floor be covered, to protect against workers tripping and falling through openings in floors. OSHA guidelines lay out requirements for hole covers, such as how much weight they need to withstand, etc.

HoldRite HydroFlame firestop sleeves come with an OSHA compliant Safety Hole Cover/Safety Cap that meets this criterion. Many other manufactured sleeve devices also come with protective caps of some sort. Are there important differences between these caps? Absolutely.


Be sure to verify that the manufacturer has documentation proving their caps meet the strength requirements of OSHA, or other applicable authority. Some caps on the market appear suspect in this regard. HoldRite HydroFlame sleeves caps meet this criterion.

HydroFlame Cap


Removing the safety cap:

When the time comes to remove the safety cap from the sleeve, so that a pipe, conduit, etc. can be inserted through the sleeve, you will find there can be a dramatic difference between the ease of this task, depending on which sleeve you have installed. Most manufactured sleeves have a cap that attaches to the outside of the sleeve. The problem with this is that the cap gets trapped in the concrete and is impossible to remove without very destructive methods, such as smashing it with a hammer and crow bar. This is a laborious task that can be hazardous to the worker and can create a mess on the job site. It can also result in the cap’s debris getting caught in the sleeve’s interior.

Sleeve Cap

HydroFlame Pro Series standard telescoping sleeves have a cap that attaches with threads inside the sleeve, making it simple to remove by unscrewing it with a Cap Wrench. One wrench fits all sleeve sizes.

Cap with whiskers


Locating the sleeve after the concrete pour:

Most manufactured sleeves on the market have a cap with a flat top and are often black in color. Both features make it difficult to locate the sleeve after the concrete is poured. Is there a better way? Yes. The HydroFlame Pro Safety Cap is always red, for enhanced visibility. It also has a unique feature that aids in its detection after the concrete is poured. Each cap comes with a Locator Whisker that snaps into the top center of the cap and withstands the activity of the concrete finishers. When the concrete slab is poured it is easy to locate the sleeves, even if they are buried down in the concrete, because these flexible whiskers stick up above the slab and are very visible. This is a time-saving feature!

Whiskers through slab


Water-tight concrete slab:

During the construction of a multi-story building one of the things that can be a real irritant to all the trades on site is when water runs through the floor openings when it rains. Wet floors also contribute to slip-and-fall hazards, as well as potential electrocution when damaged cords sit on the floor. This problem is usually related to what is often hundreds of sleeves penetrating the floor. Steel sleeves, sheet metal sleeves, plastic crete sleeves and most manufactured firestop sleeves contribute to this situation. How? Their design and common usage simply fail to address the problem. HydroFlame Pro Series sleeves address this situation. The sleeves have safety caps that thread into the top of the sleeve and can be sealed with pipe dope or other sealant, thus keeping water from running though the sleeve prior to the cap’s removal.

Who knew a safety hole cover could do so much?

Click here for more information about the innovative and UL-Listed HoldRite HydroFlame Pro Series firestop sleeving system, with its wide array of features and benefits.