Grand Lake property owner invents sprinkler system that also protects against wildfire |

Grand Lake property owner invents sprinkler system that also protects against wildfire

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

An inventor 30 years in the irrigation business has redefined a home sprinkler system that can apply fire retardant and fire suppressants on homes and property.

Dean Cohen with son David, owners of Dean’s Sprinkler Service in Engelwood, are launching Fire-Away Technologies, a patent-pending multipurpose sprinkler system claimed to be the only such product in Colorado.

“It could save lives and it definitely could save your home,” said Cohen, who owns Shadow Mountain Reservoir property.

About seven years ago, the sprinkler-system installer began exploring his idea of creating an added benefit in sophisticated landscape sprinkler systems. The advent of the beetle epidemic furthered his drive to perfect the idea, he said.

In his invention, ready to be marketed, an underground vault holds tanks with fire retardant and suppressant to be released upon the system’s ability to sense an abrupt shift in humidity and heat, indicating that fire is near. The exterior system can be controlled manually or automatically and is backed up by a propane generator upon power outage. The system can be triggered remotely by cell phone, according to Cohen, making it ideal for out-of-town, second-home owners concerned about their Grand County properties being threatened by wildfire. As back-up, the system would draw water from an available source if retardants and suppressants were drained.

“I’m doing this because this idea would be very beneficial to people. I would put this in my own home in the mountains. I trust it that much and I believe in it that much,” Cohen said.

The system, he said, would allow homeowners to safely escape fire-threatened properties without the need to stay and hose down house or spot fires.

Cohen said he’s spent about $200,000 developing the product and has met with industry leaders in golf-course sprinkler system technology. He is now seeing interest from leading companies such as Rain Bird to build the system’s pump station, he said.

Estimated to be priced around $60,000 to $100,000, the multi-purpose sprinkler technology can be applied from ground to rooftops, depending on where heads are located such as mounted to trees, according to Fire-Away literature.

The system is superior to other external fire protection systems, Cohen said, in that it can switch from landscape irrigation ” it’s normal function ” to fire retardants and suppressants in rare instances when needed.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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