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Rapid Response Home Fire Sprinkler System Provides Peace of Mind for Iraq War Veteran


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. ― In 2005, an ambush left Iraq veteran Sergeant Kevin Downs as the sole survivor of his platoon when an improvised explosive device hit their Humvee. Suffering burns on 60 percent of his body and losing both his legs, Downs has undergone intense physical and occupational therapy for the past three years learning how to live independently.

Now, thanks to a community of volunteers who recognized his needs, Downs will have a home that can afford him the protection from fire that he needs.

Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products (TFS&BP) donated a Rapid Response™ Home Fire Sprinkler System to the custom home built for Downs in Nashville. In the event of a fire, the system will work to quickly contain fire and poisonous gases, providing an in-home life-safety system.

“Given his condition, Kevin would have trouble escaping a fire in his new home,” said Joe Downs, Kevin’s father. “We knew a sprinkler system would be the best thing to ensure Kevin’s safety. I hope the sprinklers never have to be used, but if they do, they would save his life.”

Fire Team USA, an organization dedicated to creating partnerships in the community in an effort to improve public policy on fire protection, spearheaded the fire sprinkler installation. The organization utilized previous involvement in Downs’ recovery to work fire sprinklers in the final home plan.

“After what he had suffered in Iraq, we didn’t want Kevin to have another fearful moment of seeing flames and not being able to escape,” said Vickie Pritchett, Project Manager at Fire Team USA. “We knew that fire sprinklers had to be an essential element of Kevin’s home.”

The Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Association then took the initiative to provide volunteers to install the donated Rapid Response Home Fire Sprinkler System. Donating their time were, Jim Plummer from Thorpe Design; Chris Johnson and Dustin Luckshis from Nashville Sprinkler; Russell Parrish and Monty Edwards from Tennessee Kentucky Sprinkler; and Daniel Moore, Neal Clement and Mark Lankford from Grand Fire Protection.

“It was great to see Fire Team USA and the contractors volunteer their valuable time to help give a wounded veteran peace of mind in his own home,” said Dennis Phillips, the local TFS&BP representative. “This is one thing that Kevin will not have to worry about, knowing that a fire sprinkler system can control or extinguish any fire that breaks out.”

Statistics show that 80 percent of all fire-related deaths occur in the home. Home fire sprinkler systems are specifically designed to contain fire in its early stage to give time for the occupants to escape. In addition, studies show that when a sprinkler system is installed in a home, fire and water damage are reduced by 95 percent. A fire sprinkler system’s effectiveness can be attributed to its design; it operates automatically only in the area of fire origin, preventing the fire from growing.

About Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products
Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products is a strategically aligned business unit with globally recognized products sold under leading brands including ANSUL, GRINNELL MECHANICAL, HYGOOD, PYRO-CHEM, QUELL, RAPID RESPONSE, SKUM, and TYCO FIRE & BUILDING PRODUCTS. Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products produces fire protection and ancillary building construction solutions for commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, and residential customers. Heavy emphasis is placed on research and development resulting in innovations and global approvals covering specialized chemical and water-based fire technologies. Key products include manual firefighting equipment, detection/suppression systems, extinguishing agents, sprinkler systems, valves, piping products, and fittings.

About Tyco International
Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) is a diversified, global company that provides vital products and services to customers in more than 60 countries. Tyco is a leading provider of security products and services, fire protection and detection products and services, valves and controls, and other industrial products. Tyco completed the spin-off of its healthcare and electronics businesses on June 29, 2007 and today has annual revenues of more than $18 billion and 110,000 employees. More information on Tyco can be found at http://www.tyco.com.

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