www.ushalonbank.com   1.800.433.1751                                         January 2016 - Vol 2, Issue 48
By The Numbers
Nuclear Plant Contractors Faked 10 Months of Fire Inspection Records
UAE Fire Safety Codes Under Review After Fire
Beware of Pitfalls in Doing Fire Alarm System Upgrades
Passenger Plane Catches Fire in Ft. Lauderdale
FAA Orders Inspection of 777 After Las Vegas Runway Fire
Scientists Invent New Lithium Ion Battery - Less Likely to Explode
Most Popular Stories from December 2015
Companies in the News
Video of the Month
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johnsonJohnson Controls, Tyco to Merge in Inversion Deal
Johnson Controls has moved to
shed auto-parts units that
accounted for more than two-thirds
of revenue. Photo: Peter Steffen/European Presssphoto Agency


By Bob Tita and Dana Mattioli
The Wall Street Journal

Merger will place combined companies' headquarters in Ireland, Tyco's home

Johnson Controls Inc. and Tyco International PLC agreed to merge in a $14 billion deal that creates a new giant provider of commercial-building systems and reflects a growing push by some executives and shareholders toward companies that are bigger but more focused.

The deal, announced Monday, would combine Johnson Controls' business selling heating and air-conditioning equipment for skyscrapers, schools, hospitals and other structures with Tyco's lines of security and fire-suppression gear into a company with more than $30 billion a year in sales.

Click here to read the entire article.

Hillary Clinton in Iowa on Monday:
"I have a detailed and targeted plan
to immediately put a stop to
inversions and invest in the U.S." Photo credit: Bloomberg
hillaryHillary Clinton Slams Tyco/Johnson Inversion


Automotive News

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) -- Hillary Clinton called the planned inversion by Johnson Controls and Ireland-based Tyco "outrageous," and said as president she would block such moves using an "exit tax."

"These efforts to shirk U.S. tax obligations leave American taxpayers holding the bag while corporations juice more revenues and profits ," Clinton said in a statement.

"I have a detailed and targeted plan to immediately put a stop to inversions and invest in the U.S., block deals like Johnson Controls and Tyco, and place an 'exit tax' on corporations that leave the country to lower their tax bill."

Click here to read the rest of the story.

detailsDetails of Merger


Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Cork, Ireland -- Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Tyco (NYSE: TYC) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will combine with Tyco, a global fire and security provider, to create the leader in building products and technology, integrated solutions and energy storage.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by both companies' Boards of Directors, Johnson Controls shareholders will own approximately 56 percent of the equity of the combined company and receive aggregate cash consideration of approximately $3.9 billion. Current Tyco shareholders will own approximately 44 percent of the equity of the combined company.

"The proposed combination of Johnson Controls and Tyco represents the next phase of our transformation to become a leading global multi-industrial company," stated Alex Molinaroli, chairman and chief executive officer, Johnson Controls. "With its world-class fire and security businesses, Tyco aligns with and enhances the Johnson Controls buildings platform and further positions all of our businesses for global growth. Through this transaction, we will also expand our ability to further invest globally, develop new innovative solutions for customers and return capital to shareholders."

Read all of the details here.

By The Numbers

Percent annual decline in production of F-Gases in Europe vs 2014 (4th straight year of decline)
Percent annual increase of F-Gas exports out of Europe (5th straight year of increase)
Percent increase of F-Gas bulk imports into Europe
Percent increase of HFC bulk imports into Europe
Percent increase of HFCs being placed on the market in Europe

*F-Gases include HFC134a, HFC143a, HFC32, HFC227ea, HFC23, Plus (4) PFCs  and SF6

Click here to read the Annual Report on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases.

Nuclear Plant Contractors Faked 10 Months of Fire Inspection Records

The Waterford 3 nuclear power plant in Killona was photographed in September 2010. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has informed Entergy,
owner of the plant, that it faces possible penalties because contractors failed to conduct hourly fire watch inspections
within the plant for about 15 months.
(Brett Duke, NOLA.com,
Times-Picayune archives)

By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com
The Times-Picayune

Contractors at Entergy's Waterford 3 nuclear power plant on the west bank of St. Charles Parish failed to conduct required hourly fire inspections and falsified records for 10 months to show the inspections occurred, according to the results of a 15-month-long investigation announced Wednesday (Dec. 23) by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In a Dec. 14 letter notifying Entergy of its findings, the commission's regulatory staff also said an Entergy Operations Inc. supervisor "deliberately failed to identify and take corrective actions upon being provided with information of suspected wrongdoing by contract fire watch individuals."

Further, the agency found that a manager for the contracting firm providing the fire inspection workers "deliberately provided incomplete and inaccurate information to an access authorization reviewing official regarding the trustworthiness and reliability of a contract fire watch individual." Entergy identified the company that provided the fire watch workers as GCA Contractors.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

UAE Fire Safety Codes Under Review After Fire


By Ramola Talwar Badam
The National

DUBAI -- Manufacturers who sell building materials not approved by civil defence and municipalities will for the first time face prosecution once a new fire safety code is issued.

A database of buildings will be created by April, listing at-risk structures as part of a large-scale federal exercise following civil defence inspections. It will also be based on reports from developers and rechecked by teams comprising municipality and civil defence officials.

Building owners will have to annually renew no-objection certificates (NOC) from civil defence to ensure structures remain fire safe. This contrasts with the current one-time completion certificate issued after construction and will ensure all subsequent alterations are cleared.

Click here to read the entire story.

Dubai building on fire near Burj Khalifa
Dubai building on fire near Burj Khalifa

Beware of Pitfalls in Doing Fire Alarm System Upgrades

January 2016

By Angela Maas

First of a 3-part article on how to plan, prepare, and hire for fire system upgrades

It used to be that fire alarm systems could be counted on to last for decades "as long as regular routine maintenance was kept up," says Dana Glenn Peterson, associate university architect at the University of New Hampshire. "In recent years, though, it has become increasingly harder to find parts to keep older fire alarm systems running, sometimes forcing building owners into complete replacements well before the systems should have exhausted their useful life. I have some on my campus that have been force upgraded after only 10 to 15 years of service." Whether an upgrade is triggered by a lack of spare parts, a desire to tap the capabilities of newer technology, or simply code requirements because a space is being renovated, facility managers should be aware of pitfalls that can derail upgrades.

"In general, the starting point is who you're working with," says Gary Keith, vice president and engineering standards manager for FM Global. Designers and contractors work on different sizes of projects, so one size does not fit all in this case. An unqualified project team also can result from going with simply the lowest bidders for a project, not the most qualified, says Jim Carrigan, associate partner fire/life safety for Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. And an "unrealistic" construction budget also can hamstring a project.

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

Passenger Plane Catches Fire in Ft. Lauderdale


By Linda Trischitta, Ken Kaye, Rebeca Piccardo and Wayne K. Roustan, Contact Reporters
Sun Sentinel

Panicked passengers shoved their way down the aisle and escaped on emergency chutes Thursday as flames engulfed one side of a jetliner before takeoff, sending black clouds of billowing smoke skyward.

A taxiing engine had burst into flames on Dynamic International Airways' flight 405 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. About 21 travelers suffered mostly minor injuries; none was burned.

The rest of the story can be read here.

FAA Orders Inspection of 777 After Las Vegas Runway Fire

Passengers on landing planes grabbed dramatic photos of a
fire that engulfed a British Airways Boeing 777 at
McCarran International Airport
in Las Vegas on September 8, 2015.


The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the inspection of several engines used on the Boeing 777 after passengers evacuated a fire-engulfed plane in Las Vegas in September.

The inspection, as reported in an FAA document Monday, involves three metal discs inside the GE-90 engines.

Passengers on landing planes grabbed dramatic photos of a fire that engulfed a British Airways Boeing 777 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on September 8, 2015.

A metal disk in the engine of the plane reportedly broke apart on the takeoff, igniting the fire, according to the Seattle Times.

See the rest of the article here.

Scientists Invent New Lithium Ion Battery - Less Likely to Explode


By Michael D. Regan, Staff
The Christian Science Monitor

Researchers at Stanford University have created a lithium-ion battery that won't catch fire, following a rash of incidents involving devices powered by the rechargeable batteries.

The batteries are made to turn off before they can reach temperatures causing them to overheat, according to an announcement made by the university on Monday. The study appeared in the journal Nature Energy.

The invention may mitigate the drumbeat of recalls of products that run on lithium-ion batteries, which are used in an array of electronic contraptions from vehicles and airplanes to computers and so-called hoverboards.

Read the rest of the article here.

tycoTyco Stock Downgraded to 'Sector Perform'


By Amanda Gomez

NEW YORK -- Tyco International stock is declining 2.67% to $30.57 in early morning trading on Wednesday after the security systems company was downgraded to "sector perform" from "outperform" at RBC Capital Markets. The firm also lowered its price target to $34 from $41.

Tyco stock is falling along with global markets after the Chinese currency weakened, North Korea allegedly tested a hydrogen bomb and tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran increased, Reuters reports.

Shares of Tyco, which serves several industries including retail, energy and mining, declined 27% in 2015 as oil prices plummeted, RBC said in an analysts note.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

chemoursDeep Cuts at Chemours


By Sandra van Dijk

Refrigerant manufacturer, the Chemours Company, is set to lay off more workers worldwide in a bid to save $350 million through to 2017.

Chemours CEO, Mark Vergnano, said the company is on track to achieving $100 million in savings in the second half of 2015 and that the cost cutting will continue.

In December the company said it would lay off around 400 workers worldwide or an estimated five per cent of its global workforce in the wake of losses totalling $45 million in its fourth quarter.

Click here to read the full story.


cintasCintas Acquires White Fire Extinguisher (PA)


By PR Newswire

DALLAS -- Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately-held, middle-market businesses, is pleased to announce the acquisition of its client, White Fire Extinguisher Inc. (WFE), headquartered in Mercer, Pennsylvania, by Cintas Corporation No. 2 (dba Cintas Fire Protection - aka, Cintas), headquartered in Mason, Ohio.  The acquisition closed on March 31, 2015.

Since 1954, WFE has operated as a full-service fire safety company selling and servicing fire extinguishers, emergency lights, first aid, and fire sprinkler services. WFE caters to industrial accounts, commercial, churches, and other industries throughout the Mid-Atlantic and surrounding regions. To learn more, visit www.whitefireext.com.

Click here to read the full article.

utcUTC Appoints New Pratt Whitney Pres


The Wall Street Transcript

FARMINGTON, Conn. -- United Technologies Corp. announced the appointment of Robert Leducas President of Pratt & Whitney. Leduc, who most recently served UTC as President of Sikorsky Aircraft prior to its sale, succeeds Paul R. Adams, who is retiring at the end of February. Adams and Leduc will work over the next weeks to assure a smooth transition. Leduc will report to UTC President and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Hayes.

'It is a great pleasure to welcome Bob back to Pratt & Whitney as its President,' Hayes said. 'Bob's leadership was instrumental in the successful sale of Sikorsky Aircraft last year. His vision and experience in the aerospace industry, his proven leadership skills and his track record of executing complex development programs make him the right choice to lead Pratt & Whitney as we ramp up production of our exciting new PurePower Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine.'

Read the rest of the article here.

isdISD (UK) Gears for Growth


By SecurityNewsDesk

After increasing 2015 turnover by 40%, security systems integration specialist ISD Tech has expanded its senior team to meet growing UK and global demand for its fully integrated fire detection and security solutions.

The company attributes its growth surge to an agile partnership approach that enables a painless transition from costly, cumbersome old security models to flexible next-generation web-hosted security services that deliver reduced costs, scalability and ease of use.

ISD Tech has seen strong growth across many of its core sectors such as renewable energy, IT services, education and property development. Recent highlights include installations for world-leading fashion brands in London's premium retail districts and an innovative abseil-enabled installation of a VESDA very early warning aspirating smoke detection system at Imperial College London.

Click here to read more about this.

midstateFeature Company - Mid State Fire (NY)

Ellie and Bill Johnson have owned and operated Mid State
Fire Equipment, Inc., in Lake Placid since 1990, offering
fire extinguisher and pre-engineered fire systems sales
and servicing. DOROTHY L. HARRIS


By Dorothy Harris
Highlands Today

SEBRING - Bill Johnson grew up a farm boy in Glava, Illinois, later working for 84 Lumber. "I eventually settled in Griffin, Georgia and built homes as a general contractor. I wanted to own my own business, so I asked my in-laws, who lived in Lake Placid, to keep an eye out for opportunities. In 1990, my wife Ellie and I moved here, purchasing this fire extinguisher servicing company."

Mid State Fire Equipment, Inc. offers sales and servicing of fire extinguishers, restaurant hoods, fans, industrial fire suppression systems and performs hydrostatic testing. "We also sell systems for computer rooms and paint booths, as well as install extinguishing systems for off road equipment such as dozers and front-end loaders," said Johnson. "I sell Amerex extinguishers, which are made in the U.S.A. by a company recognized worldwide as a superior manufacturer for over 40 years." Johnson adds. Mid State Fire Equipment offers multi-purpose as well as specific application extinguishers such as water-mist for electrical needs. The business is 90% commercial, but also sell extinguishers to homeowners and will service them at the office.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

hfcsIs Time Running Out for HFCs?

Environmental regulations are a key consideration in choosing fire suppression systems.

By Kurt Werner
Gulf Fire

A look at the regulatory landscape in fire suppression and drivers for sustainable alternatives. As our collective understanding of the impacts of climate change increases, the use of high global warming potential (GWP) substances is coming under increasing scrutiny, with international negotiations seeking global agreement to address the issue.

Environmental regulations that banned halons due to their ozone depletion characteristics, are now targeting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), for their high global warming potentials (GWPs). HFCs emerged as an alternative to halon when the latter was phased out and now find themselves the subject of negotiations aimed at phasing down their production.

The rest of the article can be read here.

congressCongress Must Act on Lithium Batteries


By Capt. Tim Canoll
The Hill

Airlines have been making news lately for imposing restrictions on certain items aboard aircraft. An all-out ban on hoverboards and limitations on e-cigarettes in checked luggage are among the latest items to be restricted on passenger flights due to safety concerns. While these two items might sound dramatically different, the reality is that they pose the same problem in-flight: the potential for their lithium battery power source to self-ignite. These batteries pose a safety threat to our aircraft and must be properly regulated.

Many passenger airlines have voluntarily banned bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries because of the dangers they pose, and we fully support these actions. A single defective battery in the cargo compartment can overheat and cause a runaway fire that becomes too hot for standard fire suppression systems to quell. FAA testing has also shown that these batteries quickly produce tremendous heat and emit thick smoke and flammable gas which can fill an entire plane - including the cockpit - in less than eight minutes. Under pressure, the gasses released in a lithium-battery fire can explode. The voluntary ban does not include bulk shipments of electronic equipment with lithium-ion batteries installed.

Read the full article here.

expertFire Expert Testimony Can Make or Break a Case


By Denise Johnson
Claims Journal

Understanding why fire expert testimony is accepted or rejected during litigation can save adjusters time and money, according to experts who presented on the subject during a live streaming session held by the National Association of Subrogation Professionals.

"Fire Experts in Today's Courts: A Dramatization Legal Update", was presented last month during NASP's annual conference held in Reno, Nevada. The panelists included subrogation attorneys Ken Levine, Michael Munger and Raymond Mack, all with de Luca Levine and David Klitsch, the owner of Technical Fire Analysis.

The experts cautioned against receiving a written report too early in a claim in that it could hinder subrogation efforts later.

Click here to read the entire story.

barrBob Barr - Fire Engineer - Passes

Fire Engineering

Robert (Bob) Barr, a fire safety pioneer and employee of the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department, passed away suddenly at the age of 77 in Scottsdale, Arizona, on January 3. Barr is survived by two daughters, several grandchildren, and extended family.

Barr was born in Lick Creek, Iowa on January 31, 1938, the son of Clarence Thompson Barr and Helen Craig Barr. He grew up in Meridian, California, and graduated from Sutter Union High School in the class of 1955. Bob worked for Pacific Telephone Co as a Lineman until he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

He served in the U.S. Army as an electronics instructor at Fort Bliss, Texas, and then took degrees, first at Yuba College and then in the Fire Science program at Oklahoma State University. He was head of the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program at Rowan Technical Institute in Salisbury, North Carolina, from 1967 to 1971 before assuming the position of Fire Marshall in Prince William County, Virginia.

In 1974, he went to work for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in Boston, where he was director of the Public Protection Division and a pioneer in fire service training.  He was instrumental in developing the National Professional Qualifications System and served as its first executive secretary and also as executive secretary of the Fire Marshall's Association of North America.

Read the rest of the obituary here.

videoVideo of the Month

Plane catches fire on runway at Fort Lauderdale airport

Plane catches fire on runway at Fort Lauderdale airport


Most Popular Stories from December 2015  



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