Companies spend a lot to purchase fire protection systems, but if these are not properly installed and maintained, their investment can easily go down the drain. The question is, how do you choose the right contractor for the project?
Whether you’re considering a company that has been around for one or ten years, each contractor has its own background story. Be as thorough as possible when checking. Any OHSA or EPA citations, or outstanding judgments or claims in the past five-year period? Such information can help you decide more wisely whether you should go or not go with a specific company.
Interviewing a Fire Protection Company
To help you decide when choosing a fire protection company, make sure you know the following:
> Number of qualified engineers and other workers with OHSA 10-hour certification
> Number of technicians with NICET certification and what areas they specialize in
> Whether they are usually on or over budget
> Length of experience in the industry
> Frequency of ongoing training/seminars for all workers
> Whether they are bonded and insured
> Whether your project will be assigned a dedicated job manager
Besides a company’s technical background, their “people background” – their reputation – is just as crucial. Ask prospects for a list of references or companies they have done business with. Read online reviews, but for credibility, stick to reputable consumer websites like Yelp or Angie’s List. Search for details. What particular problems or complaints were mentioned? But remember that all contractors will get both positive and negative reviews anytime. Focus on the general vibe that you get.
Knowing Your Team
Installing a fire protection system is a huge undertaking that can take up to months or years to complete. That means you and the contractor, together with the whole team, will be together for a while. Thus, it is important that you are familiar with everyone, including knowing whom to approach for certain issues that may arise from time to time. You should know the personnel who can help you with a variety of scenarios, like your equipment being accidentally damaged or an employee who doesn’t seem to be doing their job well.
Lastly, another thing you should consider when choosing a contractor is whether you get along. Again, you will be spending quite some time with these people, and you don’t want that feeling of being stuck when you realize midway through the project that they are very unprofessional or arrogant. It should be a business relationship that you are positive will flourish.