By Colleen Repplier, President, Tyco Fire Protection Products
In 1915, the first coast-to-coast telephone call was placed, Babe Ruth hit his first career home run, Albert Einstein formulated his theory of general relativity, and in Marinette, Wisconsin, a small business opened its doors for the first time as the Ansul Chemical Company.
As we celebrate the one hundredth year of the the ANSUL brand, we’ve been looking closely at just how much has changed in that century – even as our core values and commitment to excellence have stayed the same. As an industry, fire protection has grown in importance, pushed forward major innovations and cemented itself as a key pillar of our safety and security landscape.
We wanted to share just how much progress this industry has made and how much innovation it has pioneered, so as part of our 100th year celebrations Tyco has launched an online ANSUL museum highlighting the successes achieved, the lessons learned and the strides we’ve made as a company and an industry since our founding. We hope you will take a moment to visit it because it’s not simply about the legacy of the ANSUL name, it’s about our entire industry and the journey we’ve taken across a century of change and innovation.
Over the last hundred years, the fire protection industry has grown and developed to keep pace with the ever-growing number of fire hazards that can instantly affect our families, our homes, our businesses and our lives. And while the changes we’ve driven have been significant, the one thing that remains a constant is this industry’s continued passion for fire protection. For all of us who support ANSUL products and across the fire protection industry, we’re not just focused on fire safety, but on life safety.
Our passion for fire protection began as we introduced the first ANSUL cartridge-operated fire extinguisher in 1939 and shortly after as we founded the ANSUL Fire School, which has opened its doors to high-risk industries like aviation, mining and oil and gas. Since then, we’ve trained tens of thousands of firefighters, keeping them up-to-date with the very latest technologies and techniques. Over the past century, ANSUL innovators introduced the first dry chemical fire trucks; developed complex, automatic systems guarding critical industrial facilities; pioneered restaurant-kitchen fire solutions and introduced better, more environment-friendly agents and fire-suppression equipment.
But we haven’t been alone – we’ve been part of an exciting ecosystem of competitors and partners who are constantly driving this industry forward with their shared passion for protection. As an industry, we’ve innovated and iterated on technology that’s helped secure homes and businesses and given first responders the tools they need to save lives. We’ve taken advantage of breakthroughs in chemistry, computing and manufacturing to build better, safer fire protection systems. We’ve developed better standards and training that continue to help ensure the safety and security that means so much for so many.
The fire protection industry has globalized and each of us now helps protect people and businesses around the world. And with this huge growth has come new challenges – from the rigorous and varied testing and standards across nations and states to the need to protect a greater variety of sites than ever before. And with this growth, our industry finds itself in an exciting place where our innovative spirit and passionate commitment is needed more than ever. Fire remains a leading cause of property loss and damage in the United States – in 2013, 1.2 million fires were reported in the US alone, leaving behind $11.5 billion in property damage and over 3200 deaths. This number remains too high – and yet, without the fire protection industry, these numbers would be far larger and the loss of life and property more devastating.
Each of us who is involved in fire protection – from first responders to engineers to customer service representatives – are committed to the idea that we can always be safer, that the things that matter most can always be better protected. And it’s for this reason that we constantly strive to introduce more effective and more accessible fire protection technology across our industry. While we may be competitors, we all share the same values of honor, pride and passion.
And as we look forward into the next 100 years, we’re confident that the fire protection industry will continue to evolve, innovate and build on its commitment to protect people and property. As a company, Tyco is confident that we will continue to innovate and inspire, to develop new and better ways of protecting against fire hazards and to work closely with the industry to ensure that individuals and businesses embrace the latest and best fire protection standards.
In 1915, few in the fire protection industry could have predicted where we would be a century later as our products are called upon to protect high tech data centers, busy automated factories, aviation and mining facilities and more. They could not have seen the ways that the fire protection industry would invest and innovate, driving the discovery of new suppressing agents, the development of better sensors and the training of first responders. But what they might have been able to see – what has always been at the core of our business and our industry – is the passion for fire protection that drives these innovations forward and will continue to do so well into the 21st century and beyond.