Sprinkler recall deadline passes

Tyco's six-year effort to replace sprinklers is coming to an end
SSN Staff  - 
Saturday, September 1, 2007

LANSDALE, Pa.--With the Aug. 31 deadline for applications passed, Tyco is now focusing on wrapping up a six-year effort to recall and replace [a specific brand] of Tyco sprinklers.
Tyco and the Consumer Product Safety Commission first announced the deadline in April.
"The rationale for deciding to bring this to a close is that we've had a very successful response rate, with slightly more than 60 percent of the sprinklers located and replaced or in line for replacement," said Anne Buchanan, spokeswoman for Tyco.
Tyco began the voluntary recall in 2001 after laboratory testers discovered that 20-to-45 percent of rubber O-rings in certain sprinkler valves could corrode and prevent the flow of water. At that time, roughly 35 million sprinkler heads with this perceived defect were already installed. The sprinkler heads were manufactured by three brands--Central, Star and Gem--all now owned by Tyco. The possible failure of the sprinkler heads is not a system-wide problem, however. If there is a failure, it is generally one sprinkler head that fails to open, Buchanan said.
Earlier this year, Tyco vice president of business development and communications Carmine Schiavone said Tyco has spent "a few $100 million on the recall." The company maintains an informational Web site on the recall at www.sprinklerreplacement.com.
"The number of claims that have come in has declined significantly in the past several years," Buchanan said. Research indicates, she said, that issuing a deadline will "spur people to take action."
Indeed, Tyco experienced an "uptick in calls" after the Aug. 31 deadline was announced.Buchanan said it will "probably take another year or two to fulfill all replacements."