Information Bulletin 02-5
Recalled Sprinkler Heads
In July 1999, the Minnesota Department of Health published Information Bulletin 99-17 regarding the recall of several "Star" brand fire sprinkler models manufactured between 1961 and 1976. This Bulletin notifies health care providers of a recall involving additional models of fire sprinklers.
Central Sprinkler Company, an affiliate of Tyco Fire Products LP of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, has agreed to replace 35 million of their fire sprinklers. Gem Sprinkler Company and Star Sprinkler, Inc. have agreed to replace about 167,000 of their sprinklers. There will be no charge to health care providers for the replacement.
All health care providers subject to the Life Safety Code must determine if their sprinkler heads are part of the Voluntary Replacement Program. This can be accomplished by examining sprinkler heads in widely different areas of the building. The sprinkler heads in question have the words "CENTRAL" or "STAR", the letters "CSC", the letter "G", or a star-shaped logo stamped on either the metal sprinkler frame or on the deflector. The model designation and date may also be stamped on the frame or deflector. This information is needed to determine if the sprinkler head is involved in the program and, if so, to complete the Proof of Claim Form. An Identification Brochure that contains detailed information, pictures, and diagrams to assist in the identification process, along with other program documents, may be requested by calling (800) 871-3492. An interactive version of the Identification Brochure is accessible at the Central Sprinkler Voluntary Replacement Program website, http://www.SprinklerReplacement.com. For additional assistance, health care providers can call Centrals' toll-free Customer Service Hotline at 1-866-505-8553, from 8:15 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. EST.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission press release, laboratory tests found that most sprinkler heads would function during fires, however, "certain tested heads required higher water pressure to activate than may be available in particular buildings." The replacements will be phased in according to priority determined by the age of the sprinklers, their condition, and the population affected. Nursing homes and hospitals, for example, will be given priority. Please note that Central Sprinkler Company is NOT notifying hospitals and nursing homes of the recall.
States and health care providers have until the end of 2002 to identify recalled sprinkler heads. Providers that have not made good progress in identifying recalled sprinkler heads will be cited on their next annual survey (beginning in January 2003) under tag K062 for failure to maintain their sprinkler system. Generally, "good progress" would include documentation from Central, Star, or Gem that the company has been notified that the facility has the recalled heads and that a letter of commitment to place the facility on the list to be fitted with new sprinkler heads has been issued by Central, Star, or Gem and received by the facility.
Questions regarding this issue should be directed to Mr. James P. Loveland, P.E., Program Manager, Engineering Services Section, at (651) 201-3710, or Mr. Patrick Sheehan, Fire Safety Supervisor, at (651) 201-7205.