County continues investigation into fire sprinklers, voluntary recall

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comOctober 13, 2013 

Beaufort County officials are still investigating whether fire sprinklers in the Hilton Head Island library or any other county buildings had components that were recalled more than a decade ago.

County staff will issue a report of its findings by Friday and will eventually present the report to the Beaufort County Council, according to county attorney Josh Gruber.

The county is working with a fire-sprinkler contractor to determine whether the broken sprinkler that doused the Friends of the Library bookshop last month was included of a voluntary recall program by manufacturer Central Sprinkler Co.

The report this week will address that question, recommend whether the sprinkler system at the Hilton Head library should be replaced, and identify any other county government buildings where models included in the recall are installed, Gruber said.

County administrator Gary Kubic said he hasn't been involved in the investigation and couldn't comment until the report is issued.

The 1997 ELOC concealed-pendant sprinkler is one of nearly 50 types of sprinkler heads recalled by the Central Sprinkler Co. in July 2001. A photo of one of the sprinkler heads in the Hilton Head library's Friends of the Library bookshop, taken Sept. 26 by The Island Packet, indicated that model was still in use there.

The recall involved 33 million systems that use pipes filled with pressurized water and that were manufactured between 1989 and 2000. Under the recall, sprinkler heads were replaced at the manufacturer's expense with ones containing a more reliable rubber seal.

Fire-sprinkler systems in county buildings are inspected twice a year, county spokeswoman Joy Nelson said.

On Sept. 26, an inspection tag from Sentry Sprinklers Inc. was seen hanging on the system in the sprinkler room of the Hilton Head library. The tag is dated April 26, 2013.

Follow reporter Zach Murdock at

Related content: Sprinkler that doused Hilton Head library being investigated for possible recall, Sept. 28, 2013

Insurance to pay for Hilton Head library damage from broken fire sprinkler, Sept. 24, 2013

Fire sprinkler breaks, ruins books at Hilton Head library, Sept. 17, 2013

CPSC, Central Sprinkler Company Announce Voluntary Recall to Replace O-Ring Fire Sprinklers, July 19, 2001

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