Companies spend a lot of money on fire protection systems, but unless this is coupled with proper installation and maintenance, the investment can easily go to waste. The question is, how do you choose the right contractor for the project?
No matter the age of your prospective company, all fire protection contractors have their own backgrounds that should be explored. Try to be as thorough as possible as you check. Do they have OHSA or EPA citations, or any outstanding claims or judgments within the past five years? Such information can help you decide more wisely whether you should go or not go with a specific company.
Interviewing a Fire Protection Contractor
These are important details for you to know before choosing a certain fire protection company:
> Number of qualified engineers and OHSA 10-hour certified workers on their team
> Number of technicians with NICET certification and what areas they specialize in
> Whether they usually come in or under budget
> Length of experience in the industry
> Frequency of training or seminars provided to workers
> Whether they are bonded and insured
> Whether a dedicated job manager will be provided for your project
On top of the technical background of a company, its “people background,” also known as its reputation, is equally crucial. Ask prospects for a list of references or companies they have done business with. Read online reviews as well, but to ensure credibility, don’t veer away from popular consumer websites such as Angie’s List or Yelp. Scan for details. What problems and complaints did they have? Just keep in mind that all companies will have both good and bad reviews. Focus on the total vibe that receive.
Knowing Your Team
Months or years could be involved when it comes to projects as big as a fire protection system installation. That means you and the contractor, together with the whole team, will be together for a while. Therefore, you have to be familiar with everybody, including knowing the right people to talk to when certain problems crop up. You need to know the personnel who will be able to help you in various situation, such as a piece of equipment going missing or an employee who is not working as expected.
Finally, another reason you should know the people who will be working on your project is that you want to gauge if your personalities will be a good mach. Again, you’ll be spending a significant amount of time with these people, so you better not regret choosing them. You should have a working relationship that is likely to flourish instead of bringing out the worst in you.