Tyco Introduces Rapid Response Home Fire Sprinkler Brand

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tyco Fire & Building Products (TFBP), a division of Tyco International Ltd., and a world leader in fire protection technology, today launched the industry's first branded fire sprinkler program designed specifically for homes. From the floor of the International Builders Show, the company unveiled its Rapid Response line of home fire sprinklers, kicking off a campaign to educate homeowners and homebuilders about the effectiveness of fire sprinklers and the ease and affordability of installing them in new homes.

Rapid Response is being launched as demand for fire sprinkler systems in homes is rising. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently revised its Life Safety Code (NFPA 101), which individual states and municipalities will begin adopting in the coming months and years. The 2006 edition of the NFPA Life Safety Code requires all new, single-family homes constructed in the U.S. to include a fire sprinkler system.

"Fire sprinklers save lives and protect property," said Carmine Schiavone, Vice President of Business Development and Communications at TFBP. "Approximately every 79 seconds, a home burns, and each year, nearly 3,000 Americans die in home fires. We believe that NFPA 101 is going to change that. By educating consumers about the availability of fire sprinklers and encouraging homebuilders to install them in new homes, we hope to drive those numbers down dramatically. Fire sprinklers can be to this decade what seatbelts were in the 1960s."

In a typical year, fire kills more people in the United States than all natural disasters combined. Currently, there are approximately 300,000 home fires per year, and eight out of every ten fire deaths in the U.S. occur in the home. The average monetary loss in a home with a fire sprinkler system is $2,200 vs. $45,000 in a home without sprinklers. With the use of fire sprinklers, the average homeowner can significantly reduce his or her risk of death or serious injury by fire, meaning hundreds, if not thousands, of lives could be saved each year.

With the launch of Rapid Response, Tyco hopes to educate every new home owner about the benefits of fire sprinklers. "I've personally been involved in either extinguishing or investigating several thousand fires during my more than 30 years in fire service," said Roy Marshall, former firefighter, retired Iowa state fire marshal and Director of the Residential Fire Safety Institute (RFSI). "Tragically, a great majority of those fires took place in someone's home."

Marshall continued, "I have never had to pull a lifeless body out of a home where fire sprinklers were installed. If there is one single message the firefighting community wants homeowners to hear, it's this: Don't build your next home without installing a fire sprinkler system. Your family's safety could depend on it."

Fire sprinkler systems work to suppress fires rapidly and effectively. Rapid Response fire sprinkler systems are built around a specially designed network of piping filled with water, allowing them to always be "on call." When a fire breaks out, the surrounding air temperature rises, causing the sprinkler closest to the fire to activate when the temperature reaches a point between 150 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The sprinkler then sprays water over the flames, either extinguishing them completely- or suppressing heat and minimizing the development of toxic smoke until the fire department arrives. It typically takes only one or two sprinklers to suppress a fire, resulting in immediate and effective control and far less damage.

Tyco is also reaching out to the homebuilder community. "By installing fire sprinkler systems, homebuilders can send a clear message that they are putting their customers first," Schiavone said. "Fire sprinklers increasingly are considered part of the state-of-the-art safety features now deemed integral to fully secured homes. Builders installing Tyco's Rapid Response line can also participate in customized builder programs, helping educate their customers about the value of buying a home with a fire sprinkler system."

The average new home can be sprinklered for roughly 1 to 1.5 percent of the total cost to build a home, or less than $2 per square foot. Adding a sprinkler system typically costs less than many decorating upgrades. In addition, property insurance savings enable residential fire sprinkler systems to pay for themselves over time.

Rapid Response fire sprinkler systems come with an exclusive, 10-year warranty, and are among the most advanced on the market today, with all piping hidden behind the walls or ceilings. Available in a wide range of finishes, the sprinklers easily blend into any decor or home design.

"There is no technology better than fire sprinklers in suppressing fires, saving lives and protecting property," said Schiavone. "For less than the cost of upgraded kitchen cabinets, a new homeowner can ensure the safety of their loved ones and the value of their home for years to come."

More information is online at www.tyco-rapidresponse.com.