Honeywell acquires Fire Sentry

Acquisition adds flame detection to Honeywell’s leading gas detection business
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.—Honeywell has acquired Fire Sentry, a manufacturer of fire detection and control products for a broad range of industrial markets.

The acquisition adds flame detection to Honeywell’s gas detection business, Honeywell Analytics, a global company with its U.S. headquarters here, and furthers that business’s extremely rapid growth, according to Patrick Hogan, VP of marketing for Honeywell Analytics Americas.

Honeywell Analytics works closely with its sister fire systems companies that are also part of the Honeywell Life Safety group, including Notifier, Fire-Lite Alarms and Gamewell-FCI. Fire Sentry is being integrated into Honeywell Life Safety, so the acquisition will benefit fire dealers/installers, Hogan said.

“It actually gives them a bigger portfolio and more opportunity to grow their own prospects with their customers,” he told Security Systems News.

Before 2005, he said, “Honeywell had a zero footprint in the gas detection business.” Now, he said, Honeywell Analytics is “the biggest [gas detection] company in the world.”

It has all been through organic growth and acquisitions, starting with the acquisition of Zellweger Analytics in 2005, a group of independent gas detection companies operating under one name, Hogan said.

Still, he said, “one gap we had was in the detection of flame.” He said Honeywell Analytics was unable to develop its own technologies in that complex, specialized area, “so we were very lucky to work with Fire Sentry,” a privately held company in Yorba Linda, Calif.

Hogan said Honeywell Analytics worked with Fire Sentry for more than 15 years as a distributor of Fire Sentry’s products. “Over time,” he said, “the relationship was just right for us to make an acquisition play to bring their technology and their portfolio into the Honeywell Analytics family, and now we can provide … both fire and gas detection capabilities.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed in the Jan. 5 announcement.

While flame and gas detection technology is commonly used in petrochemical, semiconductor and automobile paint-finishing plants, Hogan said there are “many other applications” where it could be vital, such as in a supermarket where a lot of combustible material like cardboard is stored.

“So there’s lots of exciting applications they [dealers/installers] can serve with the extra security that comes from having a flame detector hook into their legacy systems or into their new network for a building,” he said. Also, because the additional sensor is from Honeywell, Hogan said, customers “know it’s validated and trusted by the same company that supplied the fire or security system.”

Fire Sentry products include electro-optical flame detectors, portable test lamps and dedicated control panels. The products detect hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon fires within a single device. More than 100,000 Fire Sentry units are installed worldwide, according to Honeywell.