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  Marketing & Communications  
   

AQUINAS COLLEGE STUDENTS DEVELOP PROTOTYPE OF UNIQUE EMERGENCY EVACUATION SYSTEM

December 7, 2006 - Grand Rapids, Mich. (December 8, 2006) – A unique fire evacuation device to be unveiled today has the potential to save hundreds, even thousands of lives from major structure fires nationwide each year. The NaviLife system was developed by a team at Aquinas College with the help of professional firefighters.

The Aquinas Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team will demonstrate its working prototype on the College campus before a group of architects, building contractors, hospital personnel, school board members and insurance agents. The demonstration will take place following a brief presentation on the device on Friday, December 8, 2006, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Board Room (Room 106) of the Jarecki-Lacks Center at 159 Woodward Lane (between East Fulton and Robinson Road SE).

The SIFE team first presented the NaviLife system last spring at regional SIFE competition in Chicago and soon after unveiled the concept publicly at Aquinas in April.

The NaviLife system uses a string of light-emitting diode (LED) lights affixed in the flexible baseboards of building hallways that guide occupants to the safest, not necessarily the nearest, exit. The system’s developers believe that the system will provide an additional safety net for those who must be evacuated from large buildings as well as firefighters who are entering smoke-filled buildings.

The NaviLife system is also being positioned to reduce liability for building owners, reducing insurance rates and may be included as part of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. Further, the newly revised Universal Fire Code (2003) strongly recommends devices, such as the NaviLife System, which, in the future, may be mandated as part of the fire code for large buildings.