Tyco Donates Home Fire Sprinkler System To Habitat For Humanity House

Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products (TFSBP) partnered with the Capital District Habitat for Humanity last fall and donated a Rapid Response Home Fire Sprinkler System to “The Ted Abriel House,” a home that received its namesake from an Albany-area (New York) fallen firefighter. Its completion in October marks the first time the Capital District Habitat for Humanity utilized a residential fire sprinkler system to protect a home and its future residents.

Driving the movement behind the sprinkler installation was Anthony “Chick” Granito, a volunteer coordinator with Capital District Habitat for Humanity. Having worked with residential sprinklers since the 1970s as the director of research for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Granito helped design some of the first residential fire sprinkler systems. Understanding that they save lives and protect property, Granito has been a longtime advocate of their installation in homes.

“We want this house to be used as a model for other home builders in the area,” Granito said. “Residential fire sprinklers are extremely important in any home, and we’re really hoping this creates a trend in the community.”

Every new home in the Albany area may soon feature this life-saving technology. Last September, the leading building code-making body in the United States, the International Code Council, overwhelmingly approved residential fire sprinkler requirements for single-family homes. The vote passed mostly due to the support of the fire service, including many from the state of New York. It sets groundwork for cities to adopt requirements, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

The Rapid Response system is always on call, working to suppress fires rapidly and effectively. The system responds during a threatening fire when surrounding air temperature rises and the sprinkler closest to the fire activates. The sprinkler then sprays water over the flames, either extinguishing them completely or suppressing heat and toxic smoke until the fire department arrives. These systems have more than 20 years of proven, reliable performance in the field.

Albany Fire Protection Inc. donated the labor to install the fire sprinklers. On the home’s task force was owner Tom Kelly, as well as John Legault, Peter Libertucci, Paul Winaroski, Tony Caiozzo and Lou Horan.

In January 2007, Ted Abriel, acting lieutenant of the Albany Fire Department (AFD), was fighting a fire in the upper stories of a high-rise apartment building when he suffered a fatal, massive heart attack. His brother, also a firefighter, believes this is a very appropriate way to commemorate his brother after his 15 years of service.

“I think this is a great way to honor Ted, as well as all the firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty,” said Warren Abriel, executive deputy chief for the AFD and Ted’s brother. “I’m glad Capital District Habitat for Humanity decided to protect a family in need in my brother’s name.”

According to the NFPA, more firefighter deaths occur at residential fires than at any other type of structure fire. In 2007, 102 firefighters died in the line of duty. Nearly half of those deaths occurred in residential properties. In addition, 68 percent of all firefighter injuries occur in residential properties. Residential fire sprinklers are specifically designed to contain fire in its early stages, greatly reducing the risk posed to occupants, as well as firefighters arriving on the scene.

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