Three year wait over for firm

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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

CHICAGO-- - For Jeff Gibson, regional sales manager at BlazeMaster, who worked several years to see non-metallic sprinkler pipe permitted in fire retrofits in the city, the revised ordinance that allows non-metal pipes in the city here marks the end of a journey.

Gibson spent three years convincing officials within the government here to consider changing their position on the material. One of these individuals was Alderman Bernard L. Stone, who is the buildings committee chairman for the city.

“I was able to finally get him persuaded to change his opinion 180 degrees. He’s a major supporter of our battle now,” said Gibson about Alderman Stone’s support. In addition to government officials, he worked to discuss the benefits of the material with contractors and engineers.

He also retained the services of lobbyist Paul Colgan from Colgan Public Affairs.

BlazeMaster is a CPVC fire sprinkler system that includes pipes and fittings from Noveon, a producer and marketer of specialty chemicals for consumer and industrial applications.

The BlazeMaster product is now being used in the first retrofit using non-metal materials in a high rise in Chicago. Talbot Hotel is installing CPVC at its 16-story property. Superior Mechanical Systems is handling the complete retrofit.

“Chicago really was one of the last major cities in the U.S. to allow it, which is a breakthrough for us,” said Gibson. “This is the result of a long campaign.”