Terms of the Voluntary Recall Program
According to the terms of the recently announced replacement program, free parts
and labor will be provided to replace 35 million Central fire sprinklers with
O-ring seals. The program also includes a limited number of O-ring models sold
by Gem Sprinkler Co. and Star Sprinkler Inc., totaling about 167,000 sprinkler
heads. Central initiated this action because it discovered the performance of
these O-ring sprinklers can degrade over time.
Of special interest to building owners and managers, Central will provide,
free of charge, replacement sprinkler heads manufactured by Central and the
labor needed to replace the sprinklers. Central will arrange for the installation
by using either its own Central Field Service crews or by contracting with "approved"
professional sprinkler contractors. This replacement program includes two kinds
of sprinklers, "wet" and "dry."
Property professionals should check their fire sprinklers (see list below)
immediately to see if they are part of this voluntary replacement program. For
more information on how to identify sprinklers subject to this program and to
learn how to participate in this program, call the Notice Packet Request Line
at (800) 871-3492, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or access the program's website
After reviewing the details of the voluntary recall, BOMA International has
some serious concerns. These concerns include the potential waiting period,
which may leave building owners and managers vulnerable; the suitability and
durability of the replacement sprinkler; and the general operations of the claims
program. BOMA and its counsel have sent a proposal to Central/Tyco suggesting
improvements and modifications to the voluntary program. BOMA's end goal is
to ensure that claims are handled in a timely and professional manner and that
all specific needs of property professionals are addressed.
For more information concerning the issues mentioned in this column, log on
to (www.boma.org) or email