Chubb Fire

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Chubb Fire & Security
Subsidiary of UTC
Industry Fire and Security
Founded 1818
Founder Charles & Jeremiah Chubb
Headquarters Middlesex, United Kingdom
Key people
Simon Quillish
Parent United Technologies Corporation

Chubb Fire & Security is a fire and security business. It is owned by United Technologies Corporation.


Read and Campbell Limited[edit]

Read and Campbell, the oldest company of those which came together to form Chubb Fire Security Limited. Their invention of the CO2 Cartridge to expel the contents of a fire extinguisher is still today the most common method in use. Read and Campbell are mainly remembered for their 'Waterloo' and 'Petrolex' brand extinguishers.

1881 Two Scottish engineers,Messrs Read and Campbell, who had been bridge building in Argentina formed a company, Aerators Ltd., to make carbon dioxide and gas cylinders. They formed the company Read and Campbell Ltd. in 1881 and registered a design in Great Britain in the same year to cover "the arrangement for piercing capsules" to expel water, carbon tetrachloride etc. by means of a CO2 cartridge. The patent was granted in 1909. The extinguisher worked on the principle of a pressurised CO2 cartridge being pierced, the pressure inside thus released expanding into the extinguisher body and expelling the contents under pressure. Other types of extinguishers worked by mixing sulphuric acid with a solution of bicarbonate and water - the soda-acid extinguisher.

1911 With the growth in motoring and the use of petrol engines there was a call for an extinguisher especially designed for fighting petrol fires. Read and Campbell took out patent rights in Argentina on their 'Petrolex' extinguisher. This was a carbon tetrachloride extinguisher operated by a CO2 cartridge. The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) conducted tests on the 'Petrolex' which passed with flying colours. 'Waterloo' extinguishers-water filled,were installed in many Royal residences and public buildings including 'Windsor Castle and all the Royal Palaces of England', The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the General Post Office (GPO). Royal cars were fitted with 'Petrolex' extinguishers.

1912-18 The North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Company carried out a series of stringent tests on the 'Petrolex' extinguisher and informed Read and Campbell that, 'I have never seen any fire extinguishing appliance that seemed as well suited and effective for dealing with fires in Electrical Stations'. Further patents were granted in France and Brazil during this period. In 1914 foam compound was registered in Great Britain. Read and Campbell introduced their 'Rocsuds' which was an early form of foam extinguisher. The contents were,amongst other things, saponin, derived from the roots of soapwort, sodium bicarbonate, extract of vegetable syrup from quillaia and liquorice. There was a great expansion of business during this period because of military requirements during the First World War. At this time the 'Waterloo' copper-bodied extinguisher was introduced - it was claimed that the copper did not discolour the water, and prevented staining of tapestries and oil painting in art galleries and Museums.

1927 The 'Tetra' and 'Roc-Tetra'carbon tetrachloride hand pump for vehicles was introduced and adopted by the RAC for use on vehicles in its Road Service fleet.

1928 An article in the Evening Chronicle stated that it was a legal necessity for motorists to have their garages equipped with fire extinguishers or to empty their petrol tanks each time they put their cars away.

1929 The Duke of York's household was protected by Read and Campbell extinguishers and precise instructions on fire drill procedure were printed.In the same year the Athenaeum Club, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum were equipped with Read and Campbell extinguishers.

1939-45 During the Second World War, Read and Campbell continued to manufacture extinguishers, both for civilian and military use.

1948 The company was awarded the contract for supplying extinguishers to London Transport. The Read and Campbell copper shell extinguisher was installed in the RAC club in London. This pure copper extinguisher was very popular where appearance was important.

1964 The business was acquired by Chubb and Sons but continued to operate from Horsham as Read and Campbell until the formation of Chubb Fire Security Limited in 1971.

Minimax Limited[edit]

Minimax, started in England in 1903, very soon became world-renowned for their conical extinguisher known as 'The Minimax'. Until they joined The Pyrene Company in 1955, their unique-shaped extinguishers were a familiar sight in most public buildings and offices.

1903 Minimax Limited opened their first office in England in Leadenhall Street, London with one traveller.

1905 They won the 'highest award' for extinguishers in a St.Louis exhibition for their already world-famous conical model.

1907 Minimax were suppliers to King Edward VII for protection of his motor car, and were exporting to countries such as Argentina, China, Siam, India and Tasmania. In England extinguishers had been supplied to Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Winchester Cathedral and Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

1911 A new factory was built at Feltham, Middlesex, at 'Minimax Corner', which became and used to be a famous landmark.

1913 One thousand extinguishers a month were being produced, the Czar of Russia had placed an order for extinguishers for his yacht Polar Star, and the Siberian Railway was supplied with Minimax extinguishers.

1914-18 Two hundred extinguishers a day were produced during the First World War, along with many thousands of aerial bombs. Between the wars many new developments were introduced, including CO2 extinguishers. Colliery protection with remote-controlled extinguishers became a speciality.

1939-45 Distillation plants for producing fresh water from salt water were made, with one order for six hundred from the Dutch Navy.

1955 Minimax was purchased by the Pyrene Company Limited.

Rampart Engineering[edit]

1910 Rampart Engineering Company was formed in 1910 by Leonard Jones to make fire extinguishers for the trade. Their first factory was in Walworth Road, London. Leonard Jones was the grandson of Samuel Jones, the founder of Samuel Jones and Co. Ltd. the famous paper converters and finishers.

1912 Rampart moved to Peckham Grove, London and became the engineering department of Samuel Jones and Co. Ltd., making tape-dispensing machines as well as fire extinguishers.

1918 Rampart took over a new factory in Peckham Grove and expanded throughout the first World War and after, continuing to make extinguishers for the trade, its customers including Pyrene and Minimax. Read and Campbell's famous copper-shell hand-rivetted extinguisher was also made by Rampart.

1926 Production of extinguishers had expanded to one thousand per week.

1929 Rampart changed its name to Samuel Jones and Co. (Engineering) Ltd., but for many years after was known by the locals as 'down the Rampart'. In the period between the wars the company became the largest manufacturer to the fire trade in the UK, producing an extremely wide range of extinguishers, hose reels, and trolley and trailer units.

1937 A new factory was built at Peckham Grove.

1939-45 During the second World War one million extinguishers, four hundred thousand Sten guns and vast quantities of other military equipment were produced as part of the war effort.

1968 Chubb and Sons Ltd. purchased Samuel Jones (Engineering) Ltd., and in 1973 the name reverted to the original Rampart Engineering Co. Ltd. In 1971 Rampart purchased Fireward Ltd., specialist manufacturers of plastic bodied fire extinguishers.

1981 Rampart was still operating from Peckham Grove manufacturing for the trade.

The Pyrene Company Limited[edit]

From their beginning until 1971, when they became Chubb Fire Security Limited, the Pyrene Company were among the world leaders in the manufacture of fire-fighting equipment. The name Pyrene was epitomised by their famous 'pump' extinguisher which was installed on public transport, commercial and private vehicles throughout the western world.

1907 A Scottish engineer unable to get backing in the UK took his idea for a fire extinguisher to the USA. He set up in New York and eventually became known as the Pyrene Company of Delaware.

1914 The Pyrene Company Limited began in the UK when Wallace B Phillips, an American set up in Great Queen Street, London, selling 'pump' extinguishers.

1918-20 The company moved to Grosvenor Gardens, London in 1918, and in 1920 a factory in Stoke Newington manufacturing soda-acid and foam fire extinguishers was established.

1924 The London General Omnibus Company awarded Pyrene the contract for fire extinguishers.

1927 A metal-finishing division was established, which developed the Parkerizing Process for metal rust-proofing.

1930 Pyrene moved to Brentford and established the concept of major fire demonstrations with the construction of a massive demonstration ground behind the Brentford factory, to simulate an oil storage depot.

1931 Pyrene Phomene installations were fitted to many ships, and the 'car bumper' division was well established-by 1960 it was producing one third of the car bumpers used in the UK motor industry. 1931 saw the protection of such events as Brooklands, RAF Pageant Hendon, and Tidworth and Aldershot Tattoos.

1933 The liner Queen Mary was protected by the installation of a Pyrene foam fire-fighting system.

1939-45 Pyrene designed and manufactured ARP equipment for ordnance factories, industry and power stations. Expansion was rapid with the war-time demand for fire-fighting equipment, and production of projectiles. A major contract was one from the Air Ministry to supply airfield crash trucks.

1950 A new factory was opened in Ferndale, South Wales for the manufacture of fire extinguishers.

1953-54 The Pyrene Manufacturing Company of Canada, the CO2 Equipment Company of Canada and the American Pyrene Company were all purchased.

1955 The now world-famous FB5X foam making branch pipe was introduced, and the Pyrene ED-HOL system in ships, which recycled the ship's own inert exhaust gases to fight fires in the hold, was developed. Over the years Pyrene systems have been installed in a number of the world's largest passenger liners including the Queen Elizabeth, Oriana and Empress of Britain. Minimax Limited were purchased by Pyrene.

1956-59 BBC Lime Grove was protected by a smoke detection system, Britannia aircraft had smoke detectors installed, British Rail diesel locomotives were fitted with a CO2 fire-fighting system, and Lloyd's of London were protected by detection and CO2 systems.

1959 Pyrene purchase the safety product business of Panorama Equipment, and traded as Pyrene Panorama.

1967 Pyrene was taken over by Chubb and Sons and operated under the name Pyrene until 1971 when Chubb Fire Security Limited was formed. In that same year a Britannia aircraft landed on a carpet of Pyrene foam at Manston piloted by Donald Chubb.

Panorama Equipment Limited[edit]

Pyrene Panorama Limited was established in 1959 when Pyrene purchased the business of Panorama Equipment Limited, which itself dated from 1941. This company was formed originally to manufacture an industrial wide-field vision safety goggle which gave rise to the name-"Panorama". Also in 1959 Pyrene acquired Roberts McClean who in 1931 introduced self-contained compressed air breathing apparatus to the UK and these two companies merged under the Pyrene Panorama flag. In 1976 Fireward Limited, manufacturers since 1964 of plastic-bodied portable dry-powder fire extinguishers also merged with Pyrene Panorama, to form the new Company, Chubb Panorama. A further addition to the Panorama Group came in 1976 when with the change from Pyrene Panorama to Chubb Panorama, Submarine and Safety Engineering Limited joined the team. Specialists in self-contained under-water breathing apparatus and diving equipment, their "Dominair" range added considerably to the company's comprehensive coverage of safety equipment.

Chubb Fire Security Limited[edit]

In 1971, the newly formed group of Companies under the Pyrene flag changed its name to Chubb Fire Security Limited and became recognised as part of the world-renowned Chubb Group of Companies which in themselves, in the sphere of locks, safes and intruder security, date back to 1804.

100 Years of Extinguisher Experience

The combined expertise of Pyrene, Minimax and Read and Campbell have contributed to today's production techniques and have simplified designs resulting in the modern extinguisher which is lighter in weight, easier to handle and of greater efficiency than before.

Chubb Fire Pathfinder airport crash tender of the 1970s

Seize & Squeeze 1975

In 1975 Chubb Fire launched their new range of extinguishers under the banner 'Seize and Squeeze'! These extinguishers, fitted with a new style of head, enabled them to be operated by simply withdrawing a pin and squeezing a lever-no matter which type of extinguisher in the Chubb range was being used. Previously, different operating methods were needed for different fire fighting media and the new concept ensured that training, especially where multi-purpose risks were involved, became extremely simplified, reducing the possible confusion at a critical time when immediate action is necessary to control a fire outbreak. Operating instructions were made clearer for instant response and colour codes ensured immediate identification of the right type of extinguisher for the appropriate risk. This range of extinguishers was launched at 'Interfire' exhibition in Olympia in July 1975 and in 1976 won the Design Council Award.

1981-The New Range of Chubb Fire Extinguishers

This year sees the launch of Chubb Fire's 'New Look' range of extinguishers. New proportions gave them greater stability and the 'single method of operation' head, whilst continuing to be the main feature of the new range has now incorporated a 'used' signal flag. Simplified, easier to service discharge mechanism on both cartridge and stored pressure models make for greater efficiency.

Chubb Fire & Security[edit]

2012- The all-new Chubb FX range – the most user friendly design of fire extinguisher this century

The range is a new generation of fire extinguisher designed in response to customer demand. Incorporating innovative features, this is the most user-friendly design of fire extinguishers released this century. With a new quick release mechanism and an ergonomically redesigned handle, lever and hose grip, the Chubb range is easier to use and many models offer improved fire ratings. In terms of the safety release mechanism, the traditional ‘pin’ that prevents the extinguisher from being discharged accidentally has been replaced with an Easy-Pull Clip with arrows to show a clear direction of ‘pull’ in order to activate the extinguisher. The photoluminescent version ensures the clip is visible even if the lights fail. When the clip is pulled, the word ‘USED’ then appears.

Chubb FX Specialist Handling Specialist Applications

The Specialist range ensures that even the most challenging fires including cooking oils, chemicals and metals can be quickly and safely extinguished in any environment, such as heavy industrial plants, vehicles, on-board ships or in kitchens – anywhere that a ‘specialist’ need exists.

January 2017 Chubb parent company indicate that they are to pull out of the extinguisher market in the UK within the next 5 years

See also[edit]


Ten Years Of Chubb Fire A Background From 1881

External links[edit]