Few people think about getting fire suppression contractors until it's too late. Nobody wants to experience a devastating fire. But fire suppression contractors and fire safety equipment can do a lot to save lives and protect personal property.
Fire protection services could play a vital role in protecting your commercial or residential property.
These fire suppression contractors could install, inspect, maintain, and test fire suppression systems. And regular servicing of fire systems guarantees that they will function as they should when an emergency strikes.
But choosing the right fire suppression contractors is vital. You do not want to trust the safety of your property or those you care for to just anyone. There are some vital considerations when choosing a reputable fire protection contractor. Crucial factors include:
Experience & Credentials
The best way to make sure that you get the best fire suppression contractors is by asking about their experience. Experience can ensure that you'll have an agent who knows the exact type of fire suppression system you require. They will know all the elements inside and out and know how to repair and maintain them when needed.
You can look to their track record and customer reviews to determine how long their business operates. It is also worth checking if they're OSHA-compliant. Any violations might be a red flag.
You could also request information related to certifications. It's a standard to search for (NICET) or National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technology credentials. This certification is a nationwide indicator of knowledge, competency, and experience. Numerous skilled fire protection contractors are also members of industry associations, like:
- The (NFPA) or National Fire Protection Association
- The (NAFED) or National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors
- The (AFSA) or American Fire Sprinkler Association
- The (FSSA) or Fire Suppression Systems Association
These associations inform their members of changes to equipment, codes, practices, and compliance. You can also look for someone who follows the standards of the National Fire Protection Association:
- NFPA 25: This standard includes the testing, inspection, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems.
- NFPA 13: This standard defines the installation of fire sprinkler services and systems.
- NFPA 13R: NFPA 13R indicates installing sprinkler systems in low-rise residential properties.
- NFPA 14: This standard guides the installation of hose systems and standpipes.
Understanding these standards is vital for installing fire suppression systems or providing fire suppression services. Fire suppression contractors with updated membership in industry associations are most likely to have the knowledge and skills required.
Local Knowledge & Licensure
Aside from the national standards and certification, there might be local considerations. Some municipalities and states require licensure for fire suppression contractors. For instance, some states require all personnel that works on or services fire equipment to be licensed via the state fire marshal and have a current C of R card when doing their job. If this is required where you are situated, you must have a contractor with the proper license.
You'll also want to look for a person well-versed in state and city regulations. The exact requirements differ from state to state and sometimes even from every city. They will also differ depending upon the structure type.
Manufacturer Specific Qualifications
Fire suppression systems could require many elements, including but not limited to:
- Monitoring equipment
- Alarms & alarm systems
- Extinguishers (possibly several classes in a single building)
- Sprinkler systems
- Emergency Lighting
- Other fire notification or suppression devices
And in case of a fire, you will want all of these systems coordinated and working to deliver the best possible outcome. With the variety of elements of a fire protection system, there are numerous equipment manufacturers.
Some equipment, like those that require software programming, requires manufacturer certifications. If you are thinking of getting a complex fire suppression system, request data on any required manufacturer certifications. You'll want to select fire suppression contractors who could work with the manufacturer of the chosen equipment.
Fires could be devastating. They can destroy buildings and take lives. Nobody wishes to take cost-cutting measures when choosing fire suppression contractors. But the reality is that all businesses or homes run on a budget. Your company needs to stay profitable to keep operating.
Reputable fire suppression contractors know this. They charge a premium for their experience, skills, and knowledge. But they can generally work with their customers to find a price point that'll maximize safety within a certain budget.
Customer service should always be the main consideration when fire suppression contractors. First, you should ensure that you choose a company that can deliver the full range of services you're seeking.
As an establishment owner, you know that in some instances, tenants may not even tell you about a problem until it starts to interrupt their workflow. But, of course, you will be expected to fix it promptly.
To ensure you can do this, you should hire fire suppression contractors that possess the capacity to get to your property instantly. That's a person with both the area of service and fleet size extensive enough to respond effectively no matter where you're located. Test the water with a phone call to your chosen contractor and ask them a few of these questions directly.
Speed of response is vital. If you have a problem, it has to be solved at the first available opportunity. Aside from the tenants being pleased by a speedy repair, sprinkler system issues could pose hazards if they go untreated or undiagnosed. It's like a health concern – the longer the property's symptoms go unaddressed, the worse the condition will get.
There are often only a few fire suppression contractors that can install, inspect, and repair all types of fire protection systems. And some still that could do it well. But working with a single company means you'll have experts intimately familiar with your whole system. They will have the history and knowledge to understand intricacies and past issues. And they'll likely maintain detailed records of all repairs and installations. This type of service ensures that your system works in all emergencies.
We at Texas Fire & Safety Equipment are full-service fire protection contractors. Call our professionals today for more information about how we could design, inspect, install, or service your fire protection system.