Companies spend so much on fire protection systems, but with improper installation and maintenance, this investment can quickly go to waste. Question is, how does one choose a good contractor for the job when there are so many of them today?
Whether a fire protection contractor is one or ten years old, each company has a unique background. Be as thorough as possible when checking. Look for OHSA or EPA citations, or outstanding judgments or claims over the last five years. This kind of information can be crucial as you decide to go or not to go with a particular contractor.
Interviewing a Prospective Contractor
To help you decide when choosing a fire protection company, make sure you know the following:
> Number of qualified engineers and OHSA 10-hour certified workers on their team
> Number of NICET-certified technicians and specific fields of specialty
> Whether they typically meet or overshoot the budget
> Number of years in the industry
> How often workers are given ongoing trainings/seminars
> Whether they are insured as well as bonded
> Whether a dedicated job manager will be provided for your project
Besides a company’s technical background, their “people background” – their reputation – is just as crucial. Ask your prospect to give you a list of references and businesses that have hired them previously. Go over online reviews too, but to make sure you’re reading credible testimonials, stay with trusted consumer sites like Yelp or Angie’s list. Scan for details. What particular problems or complaints were mentioned? Just keep in mind that all companies will have both good and bad reviews. Focus on the general vibe that you get.
Knowing Your Team
A fire protection system installation is a big project that can take months or even years to finish. That means you will be working with your contractor and the entire team for quite a while. Therefore, you have to be familiar with everybody, including knowing the right people to talk to when certain problems crop up. You have to know the personnel who can help you handle various situations, such as an employee who isn’t working as they should, or a piece of office equipment that has been accidentally damaged.
Lastly, another thing you should consider when choosing a contractor is whether you get along. Again, you will be spending quite some time with these people, and you don’t want that feeling of being stuck when you realize midway through the project that they are very unprofessional or arrogant. It should be a working relationship that you think will flourish.