S&S weathers Isaac, focuses on ‘doing it right’

Alabama-based fire company says AFSA Quality Contractor recognition helps it stand out
 - 
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

MOBILE, Ala.—S&S Sprinkler Co. shut down its main office here for a day and also another office in Baton Rouge, La., for more than two days as Hurricane Isaac approached the Gulf Coast in late August, said business manager Jeff McCurley.

But S&S, a fire protection company that does much of its work for the petrochemical industry, made sure its customers had phone numbers to reach the company in case of emergency, McCurley said.

Fortunately, the storm weakened to a tropical depression as it came inland and S&S came out unscathed. “It wasn’t too bad. We’ve had worse,” McCurley told Security Systems News. “There was a lot of flooding over in Louisiana and Mississippi but we’re lucky we didn’t get any of that.”

S&S has been in business for more than four decades and its website says the company prides itself on “doing a job right.” And the company is proud of its designation by the American Fire Sprinkler Association as a Quality Contractor, McCurley said.

The AFSA wrote about S&S and other companies that are part of its Quality Contractor program in the August edition of the organization’s Sprinkler Age magazine.

McCurley said being recognized as a Quality Contractor “is another feather in our hat” for the 200-employee company, which he said started out doing sprinklers but has since expanded to include fire alarms and detection, fire suppression, and integrated security systems. “We do all facets,” McCurley said.

McCurley said S&S, a Silent Knight Farenhyt distributor that also has offices in Lake Charles, La., and Beaumont, Texas, was one of the first companies recognized in the Quality Contractor program, which the AFSA launched in 2010. Companies gaining the recognition must meet standards for safety, training, quality of life (employee benefits) and industry and community relations, according to the AFSA.

McCurley said S&S went through a rigorous six-month review before gaining the designation in July 2010. The AFSA scrutinized the company’s safety program and quality control program among other things, he said. “They really gave us an in-depth look,” he said.

Two years later, he said, the company has benefited from the recognition in two ways.

First, he said, it confirms the company is meeting the high standards it sets for itself. “We used it to make sure we’re doing it right, and we are doing it right, according to the American Fire Sprinkler Association,” McCurley said.

Also, he said, the company is able to promote itself by putting the Quality Contractor logo on its website, brochures and other marketing materials. “We’ve been asked a few times what that meant,” McCurley said. “We say we’ve been certified by the American Fire Sprinkler Association as a Quality Contractor—which a lot of our competition hasn’t. That helps.”

Companies with the designation also can use it in bid contracts and as a recruiting tool in job advertisements, the AFSA said.