Sonitrol of Northern Ohio handles installation at fireworks store

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

WARREN, Ohio - When it comes to fire safety, nothing tops installing a fire system in a fireworks facility. So when Phantom Fireworks needed a system that was as brilliant as a grand finale, they called Sonitrol of Northern Ohio.
Phantom Fireworks, working with a network of Sonitrol installers, outfitted six new retail stores throughout the country, including a 15,000-square-foot facility in Youngstown, Ohio.

The company required a system that featured fire suppression, sprinklers, fire and burglar sensors, smoke evacuation and remote monitoring, according to William Weimer, vice president at Phantom.

Phantom is the largest retail provider of consumer fireworks in the country. During the 2004 fireworks season, it operated 41 retail stores in 12 states and 1,200 temporary locations in 17 states, as well.

Weimer said the company faces the problem of compliance to fire laws that vary from state to state, even county to county. Therefore, the company has its own policy on how to handle fire and intrusion systems.

“We try to take that extra mile of safety,” said Weimer. “It lets us sleep at night and we’re not constantly looking over our shoulder.”

Some of the things the company does to make sure their locations are safe is the construction of above ground water tanks. These are found where there is no access to local water and sometimes as a precautionary measure.

Considering the nature of working on a fire system at a fireworks store, the installation required some special attention.

“It was one of the few times we went out and had to bring in a smoke machine,” according Les Zatko, president of Sonitrol of Northern Ohio, who worked on the Youngstown installation. The smoke machine was used to show the effectiveness of the air handling system to the fire marshal.

Sonitrol of Northern Ohio, which also does business as YPS Integrated Systems, worked with other Sonitrol installers on the design and installation of the fire system. Sonitrol dealers outside of Ohio have also handled installation work for Phantom Fireworks.

Building relationships with strong, local companies is a business model Zatko likes to follow. Before working on this expansive project, Zatko had handled smaller jobs for the company in the past.

“We target businesses that have the ability to buy from us every year,” said Zatko.