Fail Safe Footer System

By Robert Robillard on Decks And Porches

Fail-Safe footer systemFail-Safe Form Footer System

When at the 2010 Remodeling Show in Baltimore I came across a booth that had a pretty cool footing system called the Fail-Safe Form Footer. The Fail-Safe Form Footer was invented to reduce the risk of footer failure in the building and deck industry.

Designed to conform to the I.R.C. 2006 Building Codes for  Piers the  Fail-Safe Form Footer is the of the only footer systems on the market that conforms to the new code requirements regarding Vertical Rebar for Uplift, nor Horizontal Rebar for Lateral Load. Other options available are products that require alot of time and labor with inconsistent results.

The Fail-Safe Form Footer is a complete system for building piers and footings. The self-aligning system is designed to snap / lock together, is stackable to a depth of 54″ and is easy adapted to accept rebar.   The base is  25” diameter and narrows to 10” high at the top.

The Fail-Safe products are bright orange plastic for easy inspection even in deep excavations.

The Fail-Safe Form Footer looks like a convenient, durable, and easy to use system and I am hoping to use it on a project sometime soon.  I’ve said this before time saved is money earned and this innovative product promises to save time with superior results.

Specifications:Deck Footings

  • Easy snap together assembly.
  • Stack-able for frost depth up to 54”.
    Self aligning snap lock mechanism.
  • Integrated wire tie holes for added protection.
  • Factory Tolerances create a reliable product that will perform consistently in all types of construction conditions.
  • Integrated horizontal rebar holders that will secure (6) pieces of rebar securely in place every time.
  • Creates lateral load.
  • Creates horizontal load.
  • Creates seismic load.
  • Diameter Height Bags of Redimix Weight (Pounds) Area (SF) Total Allowable Load (Pounds) # Rebar and Size
    25” 10” 6 360 3.41 5,111 (6)#4 Rebar

Suggested uses for the Fail-Safe Form Footer:

  • Decks
  • Retaining walls
  • Bridges
  • Post and beam foundations
  • Temporary fencing
  • Flag pole base
  • Mail boxes
  • Commercial and residential Carports
  • Observatories
  • Gas station canopies
  • Pavilions
  • Scaffolding
  • Mobile home foundations
  • Additions
  • Communication antennas
  • Playground, equipment
  • Fencing
  • Greenhouses
  • Pergolas
  • Porches
  • Large art projects i.e. sculptures and statues
  • Billboards
  • Patio and sun rooms
  • Canopies
  • Basketball hoops
  • Portable office trailers
  • Portable school classrooms

Installation Process for the  Fail-Safe Form Footer System:

  1. Layout project to determine footer locations.
  2. Excavate/dig footer holes.
  3. Call for footing inspection per your local code requirements.
  4. Place gravel at bottom of excavated footer hole as required by governing building code. This will assist in the final leveling process and drainage.
  5. Layout parts for assembly of the Fail-Safe Form Footer.
  6. Place the horizontal rebar into base section of the Fail-Safe Form Footer.
  7. Insert the vertical rebar into rebar guides in the reducer.
  8. Place the reducer on the base footer and attach by applying downward pressure to the outer edge of the reducer. Make sure that all snap lock mechanisms are tightly engaged.
  9. Place tower over rebar and attach the tower to reducer by applying downward pressure to the outer edge.
  10. Slide collar over rebar and attach to tower by applying downward pressure to the outer edge. Snap rebar into collar.
  11. .If more than one tower is needed to reach grade you can just snap one tower to another and then snap the collar to the top. Vertical rebar should be flush with the rebar snap-lock mechanism in the top collar. ***Ensure rebar does not extend past the top of the snap-lock mechanism.
  12. Lower assembled tower system(s) into excavated footer hole(s).
  13. Level the form as required by code on to the previously placed gravel.
  14. Mix concrete per manufacturer’s specifications and local code requirements.
  15. Before filling with concrete back fill around the  Fail-Safe Form Footer at least to the middle of the first tower.
  16. A reducer can be used as a funnel at the top of the Fail-Safe Form Footer system to aid in the placing of the concrete.
  17. Fill base and reducer with concrete and rod 5-6 times.
  18. Fill the rest of system with concrete and rod 5-6 times to ensure proper concrete placement.
  19. Level and smooth concrete at the top of the Fail-Safe Form Footer .
  20. Install post connectors per your approved building plans.


Is Your Deck Safe?

Installing Deck Footings

Cutting A Door Through A Concrete Wall

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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