Fire sprinkler team to introduce new practices

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Thursday, September 1, 2005

BOCA RATON, Fla.--SimplexGrinnell created a sprinkler business development team in August, as a way to reinforce the company's position within the fire market and improve internal efficiencies.
Daniel Casteel has been promoted to vice president of sprinkler development and will oversee the new venture. Casteel has already assembled a team of 13 fire protection professionals and is working to implement a series of changes at the company.
Among these are streamlining management roles, requiring all designers to complete at least NICET Level III training and implementing best practices from corporate headquarters to local offices throughout the country.
"Many of the processes we are putting in place are being emulated around the globe," said Casteel. "We have the top management's attention on a global basis." Previously, he served as vice president of fire protection operations.
Driving these changes is a series of events within the industry that have put a greater emphasis on the equipment and services the company provides. These include high-profile fires that have led to measures to require sprinklers in dormitories, nursing homes and nightclubs.
Fires covered by the national press in 2003 include nursing home fires in Hartford, Conn. and Nashville, Tenn., that contributed to the deaths of 31 people and The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island also in 2003 that resulted in the death of 100.
Additionally, people involved in the project felt a need to emphasize the sprinkler products that originate from the Grinnell side of the house.
SimplexGrinnell, a provider and installer of fire systems that is a business unit of Tyco Fire & Security, was formed in April 2001, when Tyco International merged its existing Grinnell Fire Protection division with the January 2001 acquisition of Simplex Time Recorder, a manufacturer of fire and security products that included control panels, detection devices and system software. Tyco acquired Grinnell, a provider of fire suppression systems, in 1976.
By purchasing Simplex, Tyco was able to bring the electronic aspect of a fire suppression system in-house. But some close to the company feel the fire sprinkler division has not had adequate attention since that deal closed.
"SimplexGrinnell is the same company, but Grinnell Fire Protection is an integral part of Tyco and still is," said Frank Monikowski, fire sprinkler marketing manager.