New HQ for Safeguard Fire in Ala.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

CHILDERSBURG, Ala.--Safeguard Fire and Alarm Equipment, an installer of fire alarm, suppression and security systems, will double the size of its headquarters this summer when it moves into a new office in nearby Oak Grove.

The 13-employee company broke ground on the new 6,000-square-foot headquarters on March 10.

The move, the fifth in 31 years, is necessary because of growth in the business. Safeguard was founded in 1978 by James and Sandra Carpenter; The Carpenters’ four children became the owners in 2008.

“We haven’t moved in 15 years, but this is going to be permanent,” said Sheila Hatchett, Safeguard, vice president of sales, and one of the owners.

The current building is leased. The Carpenters will own the new building.

Hatchett said 70 percent of the company’s revenue comes from extinguisher sales and 30 percent is from fire and security alarm installation. Of that 30 percent, half of the revenue comes from service, she said.

Hatchett said the company has “been really fortunate” to keep growing despite the economic down turn.

She acknowledged that, “a lot of the things we offer are required by law,” but noted that there is still a lot of competition for business.

She credited Safeguard’s success to “the products we offer. They’re the best … and our customer service - it helps us stand apart from our competition.”