United we stand
UNION, N.J.--United Fire Protection carved out a niche for itself since its launch in 1998 as a provider of services in the high asset fire protection arena, which has paved the way for the company to work on such projects as the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Hall and Ellis Island.
The company, which is a one-stop provider for fire protection and records $10 million in revenue per year, completed its work on the Statue of Liberty last year.
"We had a contract to furnish and install a Fenwal AnaLaser II. The AnaLaser is a highly sensitive aspirating smoke detection system 1,000 times more sensitive than conventional smoke detectors," said Frank Savino, president of the company.
The installation called for the company to engineer a network of piping going to the top of the crown of the statue and, due to the spiral staircases inside the structure, installers had to complete a portion of the work from the outside.
"Glenn Phillippi, who was the field foreman on the project, hung on the interior of the statue in a Boatswain's chair suspended from the crown," said Joe Savino, vice president of the company.
Phillippi, United Fire Protection's foreman on the project, said the electricians on the project used the chair for their work as well.
"That made it very unique from an installation standpoint," he said.
Jerry Brunello, the company's salesperson on the project, said that the team also had to be careful to not damage the structure's copper skin.
But projects like this one, which took four weeks to complete, have become part of United Fire Protection's business plan.
"Our main focus is high asset, value protected areas," Frank Savino said. "We also work with a lot of financial institutions, banks and Fortune 500 companies."
Right now, the firm is working on installing a linear heat detection system in a facility on Ellis Island. That project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The company, which works throughout New Jersey as well as the New York metropolitan area and employs 60 people, has also worked on fire projects in the control room of the George Washington Bridge.
Frank Savino noted that the fire protection industry has become more competitive.
"Like any environment, some competitors fade while at the same time a new crop is born that are hungrier and work hard to take away your customers," he said.
Even so, United Fire Protection continues to grab its share of the market.
"I think we stay competitive by constantly learning," Savino said. "Training is one of our mantras that helps us to be more than just a hardware supplier. We add value by being the technology leader in what we do. We are not just pushing hardware out the door."