Just how reliable are traditional fire extinguishers? Who would know better than an owner of a fire extinguisher service business. Randy Rousseau who heads his family’s service business, La Sierra Fire, would tell you, “not very.”
Rousseau has more than thirty years of experience servicing extinguishers. While working in the field, he noted with increasing concern that there were far too many extinguishers that were unlikely to work when needed or were themselves hazardous. He concluded that the industry was actually putting lives in danger, property at risk, and in the process, dislocating families and businesses and that something really needed to be done.
Rousseau and his father together resolved to invent a reliable fire extinguisher. They began their efforts in 2001 by putting together a list of extinguisher issues. It turned out to be a very long list which included the risks inherent with stored pressure cylinders; the integrity of the metal canister itself, faulty gauges; compacting and contamination of the dry chemical, and most of all concerns about third-party service industry abuses. They also noted major design flaws which make the traditional extinguishers awkward and inefficient to use, in particular during an emergency when panic is likely to set in.
Well aware that their invention could end their family’s business, the father and son nevertheless persisted in their resolve to invent a brand new extinguisher that would address every one of the problems on the list. Ultimately, they came up with a revolutionary design concept that did eliminate the problems, including the need for and cost of third-party servicing. They patented their invention, calling it by two names: “the Eliminator®” in recognition of their success in eliminating all issues and the “DIY Fire Extinguisher™” to highlight the fact that their extinguisher could be fully serviced and recharged by a layperson.”
A great patented design concept is one thing. Developing a certified, commercial product in a highly regulated field like fire extinguishers is quite another. Meeting the rigorous tests mandated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), in particular the tests required for a 3-A: 40-B: C rating, and securing the California Building Material Listing (BML) were particular challenges. The Rousseaus turned to Rusoh®, Inc. for assistance, licensing their intellectual property to the company. With the assistance of Rusoh's talented engineers, their vision has become a reality. On April 27, 2017, the UL certified and BML listed Rusoh® Eliminator® extinguisher was introduced to the public in Indianapolis at the FDIC Show.
When asked to comment on the invention, Randy Rousseau said, “My dad and I began our invention more than sixteen years ago. It was a very long sixteen years, but in the end the struggle has been worth every minute. The Rusoh® Eliminator® is the first major innovation in fire extinguisher technology in over sixty years. It eliminates every issue in the industry of which we are aware. Not only will users enjoy savings through the elimination of third-party servicing costs, but more importantly, our invention will save lives as well as protect property. Our family couldn’t be more pleased or proud.”