Court Denies Restaurant Owner Insurance Coverage – Failed to Maintain Fire Suppression Systems

January 11, 2021


By Judy Greenwald
Business Insurance

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of a Markel Corp. unit, stating restaurant owners were not entitled to coverage for a fire at their Seattle restaurant because of false statements they had made in their policy application.

Markel Corp. unit United Specialty Insurance Co. issued a policy covering Michelle and Scott Simpson’s family business, the Roosevelt Ale House, according to Wednesday’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in United Specialty Insurance Co. v. Shot Shakers Inc.; Scott Simpson; Michelle Simpson.

The policy included a “Concealment, Misrepresentation or Fraud” condition that voided coverage in any case of fraud relating to coverage, the covered property, interest in the covered property or a claim, according to the ruling.

Following a fire at the restaurant, United Special denied coverage based on this condition in the policy.

The restaurant and Simpsons filed suit in U.S. District Court in Seattle, which ruled in the insurer’s favor, and was upheld by a unanimous three-judge appeals court panel.

The Simpsons had represented in their insurance application that their fire extinguishing system covered all cooking surfaces and deep fryers and that their hoods, ducts and filters were cleaned at least every six months or more frequently.

“However, appellants were aware that these statements were false,” the 9th Circuit ruling said. “Their hoods, ducts, and filters were not cleaned at least every six months, and their system did not protect all cooking areas and deep fryers,” it said.

United Specialty also denied coverage under a “protective safeguards” policy endorsement that required the insureds to maintain an automatic sprinkler system and fire alarm in conformity with a defined schedule.

This in turn required a fully functional fire extinguishing system over the entire cooking area with an automatic shut-off, the ruling said.

“Appellant failed to raise a material issue of fact regarding coverage denial under this exclusion because the fire suppression system did not cover the broiler that was the source of the fire,” the ruling said.

“In addition, Appellants had ample notice through inspection reports to make the necessary adjustments to the fire suppression system,” the ruling said, in affirming the lower court’s decision.

Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.

The original story can be found here:

News Release Regarding Globe Sprinkler Corporation

December 29, 2020

Airport Fire Protection – Are We Facing a False Sense of Security?

December 29, 2020


Boeing 777 burned out after 16 hours at Dubai airport, 3 August 2016
Credit: YouTube/TheFlightChannel – no copyright infringement is intended

By Mike Willson, Fire Protection Consultant
International Airport Review

How well are we being protected when we travel? Are we facing a false ‘sense of security’ from approval standards which may not seem focused on addressing worst-case scenarios? Could a post-COVID-19 world encourage more transparency, with approval modifications to improve fire safety, by addressing these issues?

Fear of continuing PFAS contamination seems unjustified

Regulatory pressures and fear of historic Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) contamination principally derived from legacy long-chain C8 foams discharged during repeated extensive firefighter training at specific locations, seem to be driving a change. Even though firefighter training is now generally tightly controlled, it often uses Fluorine Free Foams (F3s) with all discharges normally regulated to be contained, collected, treated and disposed of safely. It seems primarily designed to prevent environmental discharges, not necessarily to prevent life loss. Are we driving these decisions down a specific F3 path, despite concerns it may not be in the long-term safety interests of travelers, flight crews, firefighters, airlines, airport reputations, or indeed regulators themselves? International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Level B and C fire tests were extended from 60 seconds to 120 seconds extinguishment in 2014. But why? When every second counts in saving lives.

Evidence is building to suggest more caution may be necessary to better protect lives, critical infrastructure and our environment from potential unintentional harm, as significant differences are being highlighted between F3s and C6 foams by extensive comparative research testing and major incidents. Testing is focused at small-scale, not the large-scale verification fire tests essential to validate fire performance under more challenging and realistic conditions. Could this prevent substitution regrets from hasty changes away from proven C6 reliability? Perhaps major incidents are exposing weaknesses not seen since before aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) development.

Surprising outcomes from two major incidents

A dramatic contrast was evident after a major 2016 Boeing 777 engine detachment fire in Dubai under severe 48°C wind shear conditions. The air crash investigation report confirmed F3 was used but gave no explanation why the plane burned for 16 hours.

Remarkably all 282 passengers were evacuated six minutes after the crash. Three minutes later a fuel tank exploded tragically killing a brave firefighter. Seconds count to save lives, but this could so easily have been a much greater tragedy.

Might faster C6 fluorinated foams have saved this life? Absence of PFAS in the foam also seems to have failed to prevent aircraft destruction and significant PFAS escaping to the environment from seating, carpets, screens, computer systems etc. as the plane burnt out.

In Singapore six weeks earlier a Boeing 777 with major engine and wing fire, crashed in typical 32°C heat and was fully extinguished within five minutes – not 16 hours. All 241 passengers and crew disembarked the aircraft 15 minutes later and the plane was repairable. Only fluorinated foams were used. Isn’t that more sustainable and environmentally acceptable? Countless full-scale major incidents validate proven performances of fluorinated foams, seemingly not F3s as other major incidents similarly testify.

Rigorous research helps explain these outcomes

2019 U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) testing recognized “the unique properties of these AFFF surfactants (low surface tension, hydrophobicity, oleophobicity, thermal stability) enable their formulations to form aqueous films and foams that spread very rapidly on burning hydrocarbon fuel surfaces, function as a very stable and excellent barrier to permeating hydrocarbon fuel vapours and thermally insulate the fuel surface from the combustion above.” NRL identified aromatic components in gasoline also found in Jet A1 at lower quantities, attacked F3 alternatives, but not C6 fluorinated foams.

In January 2020, the NFPA Research Foundation (NFPA-RF) reported fire testing had confirmed lower F3 expansion ratios of 3-4:1 (more typical of airport crash truck turrets and handlines) failed their gasoline testing. To pass required 25 to 50 per cent more F3 usage than at 7-8:1 expansion (more typical of approval test nozzles), which also required double the C6AFFF application rate. Such significant extra foam capacity is not available on aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) trucks. Expansion ratios of 7-8:1 represent approval fire test nozzles used in ICAO Level B and C, EN1568‑3, and other firefighting foam standards, which may not adequately qualify products for real‑life fire challenges. Why do ICAO fire tests not better represent tough ‘real-life’ conditions? US Mil Spec (Military Specification PRF-24385F [SH] Amendment 4, April 2020) seems to. Overall F3s failed 76 per cent of these burnback tests during NFPA‑RF independently conducted fire testing. C6 fluorinated foams worked equally effectively across all foam quality ranges, within established flows and safety factors.

EN1568‑3, UL162, FM5130, ISO 7203-1, Lastfire, IMO Marine specifications all use heptane as a claimed “viable alternative” to gasoline that is probably amongst the most commonly used fuels including in parking lots in and around most airports. Fluorinated foams are similarly effective on Jet A1, heptane and gasoline, but not F3s.

Extensive comparative evidence from NFPA-RF testing confirmed F3s require three to four times more on gasoline fires and six to seven times more on E10 (gasoline with 10 per cent Ethanol added), than C6AFFF. Heptane required two to three times more F3 than C6AFFF. These tests also confirmed “the baseline C6 AR-AFFF included in this assessment demonstrated superior firefighting capabilities through the entire test program under all test conditions. AR-AFFF was also least affected by the range in variables included in this assessment.”

NRL research confirmed extinguishing MilSpec gasoline pool fires in 60 secs required 2.5 times more F3 than C6AFFF from the best F3 tested. Second-best F3 required 3.75 times more foam, third-best F3 required five times more and the least effective F3 required 6.25 times more foam agent than C6 AFFF-3 to extinguish this gasoline pool fire. These differences increased further with faster extinguishment requirements.

How could foam users accommodate such significant extra requirements in real fire incidents? Might over-reliance on small scale approval test certificates be part of this problem? Perhaps suggesting a false sense of security with F3s, which really isn’t there?

High ambient temperatures expose Fluorine Free Foams

Testing under best-case conditions, i.e. best quality foam, low ambient, fuel and foam solution temperatures of 15-20°C (59-68°F) evident in most approval tests including ICAO Level B and C, benefits no one. It ignores more severe conditions frequently experienced during summer, routinely a factor at many airports and usually faced during emergency fire incidents.

Some countries like Australia have a single government-owned agency responsible for 11 per cent of world airspace and operates ARFF services across all 27 busiest airports around the country. Including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, each capable of handling the largest commercial Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, commonly used by most airlines. Yet 2019 temperatures ranged from -4 to +47°C (24.8 to 116.6°F) across these 27 Australian airports. All are using the same F3 irrespective of prevailing conditions. Could it be effective in another major summer incident, like Dubai?

The Australian government’s November 2019 Report accepted the majority of its Senate Inquiry recommendations into the Provision of Rescue, Firefighting and Emergency Response at Australian airports (ARFF), including recommendation three on firefighting foams. “The committee was alarmed by the evidence regarding firefighting foams, and the fact that the foams in use at Australian airports may not have been tested to Australian standards.”

The government’s response concluded the need to “…include a full range of performance tests which will better simulate Australian conditions, due to the varied environmental conditions that may exceed the minimum test criteria specified by ICAO.” ICAO’s fire tests are routinely conducted at 15°C (59°F), which does not reflect summer temperatures in Australia, nor most places, yet no action seems to have been taken or planned. A detailed evidence-based dossier raising these issues and possible solutions to fix ICAO’s Level B and C approval test standard was presented to ICAO’s Director of Safety and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority CEO but there has been no response. While the fire performance of all firefighting foams decreases at high temperatures, increasing data reveals that F3 performance is especially diminished.

2019 comparative fire test results became sharply differentiated when F3s were tested against the ICAO Level B fire test. All five F3s and an AR-F3 failed to extinguish the ICAO Level B fire test at both these relatively low (26-31°C [79-88°F]) and high (35-40°C [95-104°F]) ambient temperatures. This was not the case with C6AFFFs.

Are we facing two-tier fire protection at airports?

This provokes a big question: are we facing a two‑tier fire protection system between airports? Is this being masked by current approval fire test standards requiring ICAO extinction in 120 seconds, instead of the more rigorous pre-2014 60 second extinguishment, or MilSpec’s 30 seconds. Why allow inferior AFFFs to now pass ICAO, when previously they failed? Is this in the public interest?

Flight crews, passengers and emergency responders within the U.S. appear to receive superior MilSpec fire protection in the event of a major fire incident occurring. Canada like the U.S. required compliance with the MilSpec standard for all military and civil aviation, until recently. The U.S. is also under pressure to change but no equivalent product has been found, despite massive investments in targeted research. To date, the U.S. is standing firm that performance cannot be sacrificed. NRL’s key firefighting foam researcher confirmed: “Fluorinated foams outperform fluorine-free foams (F3) by a factor of four to five, by containing a fire and suppressing vapours that can reignite. Fluorine‑free foams are stable for three minutes, while the fluorosurfactant kind can last 30 minutes.”

Canada has recently accepted alternative ICAO Level C fire approval testing as somehow ‘equivalent’ to MilSpec, seemingly based only on similarity of application rates. The ICAO Level C standard falls far short of the rigorous requirements defined in MilSpec across many areas1.

Outside the U.S., most other countries’ ARFF Services are regulated under the less demanding ICAO Level B fire approval (occasionally more challenging Level C), excluding China and Russia (which have their own specific aviation firefighting foam standards). Both ICAO Level B and C are less onerous and therefore probably offer less fire protection for flight crews, passengers, emergency responders, airlines and insurers, than airports using MilSpec qualified C6 foams.

This has become particularly relevant as more airports, some major ones like Dubai, London Heathrow/Gatwick, Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle/Orly, Copenhagen and others seem to be bending to environmental regulatory pressures by choosing F3s. Perhaps they aim to avoid potentially punitive penalties from some jurisdictions, should PFAS-based foams be dispersed across the airport either from use in an emergency fire incident, or from accidental discharge in an aircraft hangar fixed foam system overflow, for example. Perhaps some are claiming more environmentally sustainable practices, but F3s may be unintentionally undermining that intention, as Dubai’s Boeing 777 incident demonstrated.

Regulators and users alike seem unable to see past the fire approval as a key “piece of paper”, rather than a realistic proven ability to control and extinguish likely fire scenarios, ensuring protection of lives, aircraft, airlines’ and airports’ reputations, under worst-case conditions. Just because F3s are being used, does not mean that PFAS is absent from aviation firewater run-off entering the environment, as witnessed in Dubai. So, what’s the point?

Are we unintentionally increasing fire risks?

Most airports are transitioning from C8AFFFs to more environmentally benign C6AFFF or F3 alternatives. C8 and C6 foams have similar fire performance functionality but have very different legacy and environmental impacts. This justifies different regulatory treatments. But what about F3s passing current approval standards with seeming “equivalency” perhaps reinforcing that false “sense of security”?

Persistence and mobility are intrinsic properties but not intrinsic hazards, so do not by themselves imply adverse effects. Bioaccumulation, toxicity and fuel pick-up are intrinsic hazards which can and do create adverse effects.

C8AFFFs are persistent, mobile, bio accumulative and toxic with a half-life in humans of many years, potential build up with increased exposure, therefore able to create adverse effects, in some cases severe. C8s are therefore worthy of severe restriction and phase out – but there is a viable alternative – C6 foams.

C6AFFFs are persistent and mobile, categorised not bio accumulative, not toxic, with a human half‑life averaging 32 days excreted via urine without build-up in the body. So it has limited ability to create adverse effects, therefore is of much lower concern. This creates a fundamental distinction – a basis upon which restriction and phase out of C8AFFF is justified, but probably not justified for C6AFFFs, particularly without viable alternatives or ‘drop-in’ replacements for major flammable fuel fires.

Many talk of “essential use”. The concept derived from products with unique and specific functionality delivering performance benefits, often becoming practically “essential” in specific applications because of their value in-use. They often deliver irreplaceable characteristics and abilities including speed, effectiveness, efficiency and reliability.

Restriction to essential use for C6 is justified where F3 alternatives can be effective for training, testing and smaller fires. But there are no proven viable alternatives that could similarly protect life safety, critical infrastructure and our environment from major fires effectively, while also minimising adverse impacts to life, society’s values and our environment. Current comparative testing and incidents confirm that.

Fast action limits fire incident growth, minimises smoke and noxious breakdown products, preventing more environmental harm, than would otherwise result from destruction – evidenced in Dubai. Is this a future we want to embrace? Or do we see speed as a continuing essential intervention, minimising adverse impacts from major aircraft fire incidents as the UK Environment Agency recommended in 2017?

Allowing the continued responsible use of high purity short-chain C6 foams on large aviation fires, with all reasonable and practicable measures taken to minimise environmental harm is probably essential to achieving society’s goals of moving towards safer foam choices. It protects life safety, prevents fuel pick-up, decreases environmental harm and reduces public health risks due to minimal firefighting foam use. Surely these are key objectives of most passengers, flight crews, emergency responders, airlines, airports, insurers, and aviation regulators even including ICAO?

Reference: International Airport Review, Volume 22, Issue 6, December 2018.

The original article can be found here.

Fire Protection Company Hit With $500K Fine for HFC Imports

December 15, 2020


By Sandra Rossi

The largest fine ever issued under Australia’s strict ozone protection laws has been handed down to a Victorian-based fire protection company for the unlawful importation of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC).

Following a civil prosecution from the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, this week the Federal Court of Australia, found ACN 089 171 415 Pty Ltd, formerly known as Fire Protection Technologies Pty Ltd, to be in contravention of section 13(1) of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

The company has been ordered to pay a civil penalty of $500,000.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Department’s prosecution against the company commenced in July 2019 after an investigation into the importing of bulk HFC without a controlled substances licence.

“During our investigation, department officers seized several one-tonne capacity cylinders containing HFC-227ea, a widely used extinguishing agent, from the company’s premises in Melbourne and Perth,” Ley said.

“This amount of HFC had the potential to create emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 6600 cars or 2300 households.

“The company was aware of their obligations and import licensing requirements but proceeded to import a significant quantity of HFC-227ea anyway.

“The work of the Department in pursuing this issue and the Federal Court ruling demonstrate that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and the significant penalty imposed should send a clear message to any company thinking about working outside their obligations under the Act.”

Importing HFC without a licence is a breach of the Act and the maximum penalty for each contravention of unlicensed importation is $2,100,000. The court noted that the company has also undertaken to pay clean-up costs for the remaining amount of HFC-227ea.

HFC is a type of synthetic greenhouse gas which traps heat in the atmosphere and is measured by its global warming potential. HFC-227ea is the fifth most potent of the 18 scheduled HFCs under the Act, and the most potent HFC that is commonly imported into Australia.

A priority compliance focus for the department is to reduce emissions of synthetic greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances.

The original story can be found here:

API Group Scores Major Acquisition in Worldwide Fire Protection Market

November 29, 2020
API Group’s headquarters (ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Star Tribune)


By Patrick Kennedy
Star Tribune

APi Group is making four acquisitions worth $300 million that will extend its reach in both the U.S. and Europe.

The largest purchase is the SK FireSafety Group, a Netherlands-based company that provides fire and life safety services to a variety of industries in northern Europe.

New Brighton-based APi Group provides safety, specialty and industrial services through 40 different businesses that have more than 200 locations, mostly in North America.

The acquisition of SK FireSafety adds a complementary business to APi and establishes an operational base for further expansion in Europe. Since 2011, SK FireSafety has made 25 acquisitions of its own to build its presence in northern and western Europe.

“These acquisitions help expand our geographical reach in the important U.S. market and establish a beach head for expansion on the continent in Europe,” said APi’s president and chief executive, Russ Becker, in a news release.

SK FireSafety Group operates in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. It has annual revenue of about $146 million and about 650 employees. SK FireSafety Group had been owned by a Paris-based private-equity group, APAX Partners, since 2014.

The three other companies being acquired are two safety-service companies, in Georgia and Massachusetts, and a specialty-services company in Wisconsin.

Names of those companies were not disclosed, and those three deals are expected to close by the end of the year.

The four new companies have healthy profit margins, APi said, and combined are expected to contribute nearly $200 million to APi’s annual revenue in 2021.

Analysts covering APi Group expect the company to reach annual revenue of $3.5 billion this year.

APi Group last year was acquired by a “blank check” investment company for $2.9 billion and in April its shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal gave the company more ability to make acquisitions and in an investor presentation earlier this summer APi said it would seek opportunistic investments that added to its bottom line.

The company said in its news release that it is paying for its recent acquisitions with available cash on hand and indicated more deals are likely.

“Our pipeline of incremental M&A opportunities is robust, and we expect to continue to explore opportunistic acquisitions as we move through the balance of the year and into 2021,” Becker said.

The company said it would discuss its acquisitions in more detail at a third-quarter earnings conference call scheduled for Nov. 11.

Shares of APi closed at $14.85 per share, up 4% in trading Monday. Share are up more than 40% this year.

The original article can be read here.

Explosion at Kidde-Fenwal Facility in Ashland – Ruptured CO2 Line to Blame

September 21, 2020

A carbon dioxide pipe rupture at the Kidde-Fenwal location in Ashland. (Neal McNamara/Patch)


By Neal McNamara, Patch Staff

ASHLAND, MA — Police and firefighters were responding to a reported explosion at a manufacturing facility in Ashland.

According to town officials, “some type of industrial explosion” occurred at the Kidde-Fenwal building along Main Street, just south of the downtown area.

The fire department reported a ruptured carbon dioxide supply line. A state Department of Fire Services hazmat team was responding to the site.


There were no immediate reports of injuries, but Ashland firefighters evacuated several streets near the building. The carbon dioxide line was “venting freely,” firefighters said. Carbon dioxide is not flammable, and is sometimes used in special fire extinguishers in liquid form.

Kidde-Fenwal manufactures fire protection systems and is owned by the Carrier company.

The original article can be found here.

UNCENSORED: An Interview With Diane Pein, President of Approved Fire Protection and Board Chair of the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors

September 3, 2020

Diane Pein

1. What is your role at Approved Fire Protection?

At AFP, I am the President.


2. Tell us about your family.

My family is my everything; I have been blessed with a smart, friendly, funny and loving 18-year-old son who is busy experiencing his sophomore year in college as I write this. I am married to my best bud now for 28 years and counting. I love keeping busy playing, working, or growing. I consider my dear friends to be an extension of my family and love spending time with them as well. I prefer spending time with my family (and friends) outdoors as much as possible, sharing the beauty in the world around us, bike riding, hiking, skiing, boating or just sitting about enjoy the space we are sharing.


3. What was your dream job growing up?

Research chemist; and was granted the opportunity to be one for a decade or so.


4. What was your first job?

Baking pies (in a great bakery in NJ) and simultaneously a steel cutter/finisher in a Steel company in Perth Amboy, NJ


5. Describe how you got into the fire protection industry and your first job within the industry.

My Dad and Grandmother begged and I caved. I started as a fire extinguisher technician. On my very first job, I managed to lock myself on a roof of a 4-story building and I had to shimmy down a steel pipe to the bushes below; all the while I was being watched on the security cams (for more on that story you will need to buy me a beer).


6. Over your career, what has been the biggest change you have seen in the industry?

More women involved in leadership roles in the industry


7. What do you love most about your job? Least?

I most love my team. They are some of the hardest working and generous leaders I have ever had the pleasure to share dreams with. I least love Mondays.


8. Favorite movie?

No judgement here please: “Pulp Fiction”


9. What is the best piece of advice that you were ever given?

Do not ever let someone rent space in your mind.


10. Who inspires you?

There are 2 great souls who inspire me: My dearest friend, John Demeter, rolls with the tide and never lets it throw him off his stride, and every person who walks out of the rubble with a smile on their face and continues to move forward.


11. Who gave you your first break?

Anil Agarwal, my first manager in my career, advised me to leave his department when he saw the writing on the wall of an aggressive acquisition. He moved me to a parallel department, which allowed me to rapidly grow in my career as a research chemist.


12. Ocean, mountain or lake vacation?

Ocean in the summer, lake in the fall, and mountain in the winter – hard to choose!


13. If you had one “Do Over,” how would you use it?

OOOH TOUGH ONE! I probably would not have stolen that sign off the building in Chinatown, NYC.


14. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Spending time helping to improve someone else’s life


15. What is your greatest fear?

Not having enough time


16. What is the trait you most dislike in yourself?

I have difficulty showing empathy for folks that give up too easily (at least in my opinion)


17. What is the trait you most dislike in others?



18. Which living person do you most admire?

Condoleezza Rice


19. What is your greatest extravagance?

Shoes, shoes and more shoes


20. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

It is a tie between “awesome” and “brilliant”


21. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My son, Corey – no one will ever own more of my heart and soul, ever…


22. When and where were you happiest?

Right here and right now, and tomorrow it will be the same answer


23. Which talent would you most like to have?

Mind reading, but seriously playing the guitar


24. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Oh so many here…controlling my anger


25. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Any one of my pets


26. Where would you most like to live?

Not so much where, but with whom – anywhere with my husband and son (and my friends)


27. What is your most treasured possession?

My grandmother’s engagement ring is tied with my DNA


28. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Giving up


29. What do you most value in your friends?

Their time


30. Who are your favorite writers?

Agatha Christie and George Orwell


31. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Winston Churchill, mostly due to his ability to appreciate his weaknesses and love himself despite them.


32. Who are your heroes in real life?

All those who give of their time and lives to protect me, my family, and friends (police, fire fighters, military, etc.)


33. What are your favorite names?

Girl: Missy, Boy: Joshua


34. What is your motto?

Life is too short to not live strong and love wild (or vice versa)

Communicating During Challenging Times by Diane Pein

September 3, 2020

From Clean Agent Suppression to Sprinkler and Back to Clean Agent Just In Time – An Encore Success Story

August 4, 2020

This story can also be read in PDF format: Encore FPS Article – FM200 system 7-11-2020 A.

In Remembrance of Tom Euson

August 2, 2020

FSSA regrets to inform you of the passing of Tom Euson, 73, on May 5, 2020, due to complications of throat cancer and heart failure. Tom was born on June 28, 1946 to George and Mary Euson. The oldest of four children, he has two sisters, Marikay and Maureen, and a brother, George. He wrestled and played football at St. Louis U High School.

At age 18, he married his high school sweetheart, Linda, and they had a son, David; who gave Tom his first two grandchildren, Thomas and Courtney. They later divorced and he eventually married Cindy and had two more children, Matt and Aimee; who gave him four more grandchildren, Charlie, JT, Nyden and Oliver. He dated his girlfriend Thuy for many of his final years, and they often traveled together.

Tom Euson
June 28, 1946 – May 5, 2020

In the early 1970’s, Tom started his career working at Detrex Chemical. He later moved to Indianapolis, IN to take a sales position with Ransburg. When he was passed over for the position of National Sales Manager, he left and started his own Sales Representative Company, Finishing Systems. Systecon was one of the companies that was represented by Finishing Systems. In 1986, Systecon notified Tom that the company was exiting the fire detection and controls business, and asked if he was interested in purchasing their inventory. Fire detection and controls had grown into a large portion of this sales business and so, in 1987, he recruited a partner and founded Systecon Suppression Systems. The partnership lasted two years before he bought out his partner and changed the name of the business to 3S. During that time, Tom patented Fyr-Optic, a fiber optic flame detection device used for detecting flame in enclosed moving equipment; it became the standard for detection in overhead bell painting equipment in the automotive industry. Because of his time at Detrex and Ransburg, Tom was recognized as the foremost expert on the protection of automatic, electrostatic painting equipment.

He loved working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the people on his committees. Becoming Chairman of NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials, a few years ago was his crowning achievement, He was also a committee member of NFPA 770, Standard on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems.

Tom worked at 3S until the day of his death, a total of 33 years. 3S was Tom’s life. It served as his social circle, gave him purpose and allowed him to work with his two sons. Tom loved Indiana University basketball, Notre Dame and Indianapolis Colts football and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He never missed his grandchildren’s sporting events. He will be remembered for his willingness to help anyone and his contribution to the fire protection industry.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you follow in Tom’s footsteps and get involved by participating as a representative on a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee or support a research project through NFPA Foundation. Information can be found at