Costly Sprinkler Repairs at High School Could Have Been Free

Posted: 12/16/2016

Costly fire sprinkler repairs could have been free through recall

Vernon Hills, IL -- Vernon Hills High School is spending $201,000 to replace fire sprinkler heads that could have been replaced for free.

The fire sprinkler heads were part of a product recall from Tyco Fire Protection Products.  Tyco recalled 35 million sprinkler heads made with O-ring seals.  The recall happened in July 2001 when it was discovered that the minerals and other contaminants in water could damage the seal over time.  "These factors could cause the sprinkler heads not to activate in a fire," said the recall announcement.

However, this recall was in July, 2001.  The recall expired in 2007.  Vernon Hills High School began replacing the 1,700 sprinkler heads in 2015 with a 2017 expected end date.

Libertyville's financial watchdog Tim Anderson said, "For fifteen years, you were out of compliance.  The assets and the equipment were put into peril needlessly for fifteen years.  That is unconscionable."  His comments were recorded at a District 128 board meeting.

District 128 claims they never received recall notices, or, if they did, there was a break down in communication causing the recall to be overlooked.

Read the full story here. 

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