One of the most important decisions that building owners and property managers have to make is choosing the right fire protection partner. While far from most facilities’ biggest spend category, it can affect the safety of both your building’s occupants and assets.
While it’s tempting for most building owners and managers to simply shop based on price, it’s important to understand what services your supplier will be providing in return. A comprehensive inspection, meeting all requirements of applicable codes and standards, will ensure your building is protected and your obligations are met.
Most building owners and property managers do not cut corners on their fire protection systems intentionally. But without sufficient knowledge, you are relying on your fire protection partner to fulfill all requirements.
Choosing the right fire protection partner means doing a bit of homework. Be sure to check if they are members of appropriate organizations, such as the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association, Canadian Fire Alarm Association or the National Fire Protection Association.
Compliance with health and safety and insurance requirements is also key. Look for memberships or accreditations from organizations such as ContractorCheck or Complyworks.
Experience is important – so make sure the company you choose has been in business for a substantial period of time. Longevity can be a testament to the quality of work.
Finally, you have the right to ask for referrals and references from prospective fire protection partners. Other’s experiences are a great indication of what you can expect in the future.
As a building owner or property manager, you should have the proper insight and ask the right questions to thoroughly evaluate fire protection service providers. Making a smart choice at the beginning will definitely save you trouble in the future.