SimplexGrinnell forms industry group

Thursday, July 1, 2004

BOCA RATON, Fla. - SimplexGrinnell has created an organization that brings together architectural and engineering firms to address fire code compliance and related issues for commercial construction, upgrades and retrofits.

Named the SimplexGrinnell A&E Partnership, the group comprises of members of architectural and engineering firms as well as individuals from within the company. In the works for about seven months, the fire installation firm launched the partnership at the NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition in Salt Lake City, in May.

SimplexGrinnell, a business unit of Tyco Fire & Security, appointed Steve Rawson, director of sales engineering, to lead the initiative. Rawson, who is based at the company’s Westminster, Mass. office, is one of 12 business managers from across the country to work on the project. The company expects to increase the number of employees working on the project in the coming months.

For years, the fire-protection and life-safety company has offered the industry its knowledge of local fire and safety codes through-out the U.S., where it maintains 160 offices. However this initiative formalizes that offering.

Architects and engineers can call on SimplexGrinnell personnel to research new and existing fire codes as well as discuss emerging technologies.

Members of the SimplexGrinnell A&E Partnership are not required to pay any fees to access information from the company. However, the program does help attract attention to Simplex-Grinnell and bring potential customers to its doorstep.

“There is certainly a business aspect to this,” said Chris Woodcock, director of marketing and communications.” “But at the same time it is offering a service and filling a need that we saw in the industry. I think the architects and engineers would agree that they are pleased to have this type of support,” he continued.

Woodcock said one of the leading issues being discussed at this time is intelligible voice notification systems. These systems provide a method to send specific messages to building occupants during an emergency. Alerts can be created to announce the location of a fire or best evacuation route, for example.

“The ability to work with someone who understands the local code requirements and national requirements I think is a great benefit to the architects and engineers,” concluded Woodcock.