Metro Fire enjoys building boom

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

BLOOMFIELD, N.J.--The gentrification of the New Jersey waterfront in Northern New Jersey, from Hoboken to Asbury Park, has enabled Metro Fire and Communication Systems to enjoy steady growth over the past several years.
"We've experienced roughly 12 percent growth annually, steadily over the past five years," said Dennis DeCarlo, vice president of Metro Fire and Communications Systems.
"This is new construction along the waterfront where they've taken down old piers or old warehousing," he said.
In business since 1988, Metro Fire does sales, service and installation of fire systems. It also does some CCTV and access control. Metro has 10 employees who cover sales, service and installation.
Much of Metro's work is with property management companies and large contractors, particularly those involved with new construction in Northern New Jersey and farther south along the New Jersey Shore.
An ongoing project is a 35-building luxury high-rise waterfront development in Hoboken. The buildings range from 15 to 40 stories tall. "Most of [the work in these buildings] is high end systems with audio voice evacuation," DeCarlo said.
While Metro Fire does do installations, on this project and other larger projects, the installation is provided by the contractors' union workers.
Metro Fire, which is a Notifier distributor, supplies the systems and programming and often "works with the engineers when the job is still on paper to decide what type of system should be in the building," said DeCarlo. They also provide hookup, warranties and assume the service contract for the systems.DeCarlo said Metro's workers are now, or are in the process of becoming, NICET certified.
Active membership in the local American Fire Alarm Association helps keep his workers up-to-date on the latest codes and training, he said.
"I've been a board member for the last nine years for the New Jersey AFAA chapter. We're a very active chapter," he said. DeCarlo is the program director for the local chapter and is in charge of bringing in speakers to talk to members about four times a year.