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April 2015: COUNTERFEIT SPRINKLER HEADS

Counterfeit equipment and materials, no matter whether it is currency, watches or medicine, affect the reliability of the end user's systems as well as the reputation of the authentic manufacturers. Automatic sprinkler heads are no exception.

The two internationally recognized approval agencies, Underwriter's Laboratories and FM Approvals, constantly look for counterfeit equipment and materials that have their Listed/Approval mark on them. Counterfeit materials and equipment do not have to undergo these agencies' standards of manufacturing, operation and reliability. Therefore, it is unknown if these products will actually work as defined by these agencies and by the various installation standards, such as NFPA 13 and FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 2-0.

Most of these counterfeit items for automatic sprinklers occur in Asia, Middle East and Europe, though they can be found worldwide. The following are current examples of well-known automatic sprinkler manufacturers and their authentic models that have been counterfeited:

In addition, there are heads out there of unknown manufacturer and model, being marked as UL Listed and/or FM Approved.

Differences between authentic and counterfeit automatic sprinklers vary between manufacturers and their model(s). Please contact Risk Logic Inc. if you suspect that your fire protection system(s) has counterfeit equipment and need further help identifying those components that are authentic from those that are counterfeit.