Warehouses key vertical for growth in Tyco fire segment

New director of fire sprinkler business also sees other growth opportunities
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LANSDALE, Pa.—Tyco Fire Protection Products’ new sales leader of the company’s sprinkler business in the Americas told Security Systems News that he sees positive growth opportunities in the sprinkler market in 2014 as the construction market comes back.

Also, Don Russell told SSN, the warehouse storage business is strong as companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon increasingly need space to store the goods their customers want to buy.

“Warehousing is big in the U.S. right now. It’s very robust, and we have a lot of products that apply to those applications,” Russell said, “And they keep building a lot of these warehouses higher and higher so they can have physical goods in locations throughout the country to be able to deliver them to an end user customer.”

Russell is now Tyco Fire Protection Products’ sales director, water products Americas. “I run the direct sales organization for all the U.S. and I have oversight on strategy for Latin America and Canada as well,” he told SSN.

He’s responsible for the sales leadership of fire sprinklers, resale items and valves and devices that use water to suppress or extinguish fires, the company said in a news release.

Tyco Fire Protection Products, whose worldwide headquarters are here, is a division of pure-play fire protection and security company Tyco.

Russell joined Tyco in 2004 as a regional manager for the Grinnell mechanical product segment. According to Tyco, “supported Tyco’s re-launch of the Grinnell brand into the U.S.”

He told SSN, “That was a big learning experience for me and probably prepared me for some of the larger roles that I have continued to take on within the organization.”

In January he took over Tyco Americas sprinkler system business. He explained that the company recently split up its products businesses from an internal management perspective so that each business is “able to get more focused and move a little bit faster and get aligned with customers.”

He said there has been strong demand for the company’s residential sprinklers, which go to market under the Rapid Response brand name. “Multifamily has been a really big segment for us the last couple of years. It has come back really strong so when you look at condos and multifamily type housing where code requires them to be sprinklered,” Russell said. “We’ve developed an entire brand around that that encompasses all the products you would need to go to market.”

The company also makes commercial sprinklers under the Tyco brand, he said. “Everything that Tyco manufactures from the sprinkler side of the business is branded with Tyco,” he said.

Russell told SSN, “It’s a very humbling experience to be promoted in the role I have today and have responsibility for a very large portion of the products business.” But he said he is proud to represent the company.

“Tyco has always been on the leading edge of innovation. We have invested heavily in our research and development and we have some great products in the marketplace that separate us from our competition,” he said.