“Fire protection”, what is it? A short description of what fire sprinklers do.
Fire protection is a catch-all phrase for fire sprinklers, fire alarms, & fire extinguishers. The layperson doesn’t know about fire protection contractors, probably because most of our work is commercial and unless you own a commercial building, you are not likely to have your “fire protection guy” in your smartphone. We are specialized construction contractors who install equipment into buildings just like plumbers or carpenters. However, plumbers, electricians, insulators, and HVAC companies all install a much broader array of systems than we do. The systems they install control everything from comfort to efficiency, to hygiene. The systems we install only have one purpose: to save lives in the even of a fire. It’s an interesting business because of the ongoing relationship we have with the maintenance with each of the systems we install. Unlike other contractors, we are required to inspect our systems annually (sometimes more) with the goal of making sure they perform when they need to save lives. Fire protection systems are federally mandated to be installed so that in the event of a fire, the inhabitants of the building can get to safety. Personally, I once thought that the systems were put in to keep the building from burning down- but in reality the fire alarms and sprinklers are set up to point the inhabitants to the exits and give them enough time to get there before it is impossible to do so. Fire protection sometimes makes people tense because the word “fire” tends to make people emotional. My clients ask me about fire sprinklers with the same tension they would have if they were pointing at a beehive. I always reassure them that the systems are as simple as their purpose. The day to day business of fire protection is equally as simple and ordinary. It’s a lot like being a specialized plumber. Most of my workers are plumber-type guys who handle pipes and wires all day. They spend a lot of time doing the mandatory annual fire protection inspections too. Our lingo is different from the plumbing industry and so are the systems- but the tools and materials are the same. We design and install fire protection systems into buildings all over New Hampshire and I continually get to meet nice people in the business of real estate, education, restaurant, condominium, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing. I plan on blogging on this page about fire protection form a couple of different directions. I plan to blog about the industry, the projects, the clients, and what it’s like running a company like this.