A struggling American economy forced businesses into a less than desired approach to fire protection inspections, potentially putting the safety of themselves and the public at risk. F.E. Moran, Inc. Fire Protection liberated these malls and shopping centers from their reluctant inaction toward fire protection solution maintenance with the Very Important Partners (VIP) program.
The Great Recession
According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession began in December, 2007. Since then, many malls found it infeasible to maintain their fire sprinkler inspection schedule. One mall, located in Chicago Ridge, IL was among the malls striving to continue their proper fire sprinkler inspection schedule. Since 1981, this mall has been providing a home for over 120 retailers in the Midwest. While malls and shopping centers throughout Illinois were faced with diminishing fire protection budgets, this retailer hub chose to partner with F.E. Moran Fire Protection for an innovative solution.
Mall Fire Protection Budgets Slashed
Beginning in 2008, shoppers were disappearing. The once bustling malls of America were now sparse. Malls and shopping centers were cash strapped. This caused a snowball effect; proper fire protection inspection schedules were no longer feasible. Proper quarterly inspections became once every six months or even once every year. Issues found during the rare inspections were improperly remedied instead of rehabilitated by a professional.
Ignoring or patching a fire sprinkler issue can lead to failure. In June, 2012, a Napa Valley shopping center went up in flames, destroying six businesses. The fire began in a restaurant without working fire sprinklers. It was noted that no businesses within the shopping center had working fire protection equipment at the time of the fire. If this building had fire suppression equipment and fire walls to prevent the fire from spreading business to business, this tragedy would not have happened.
Another issue malls and shopping centers were facing was a bombardment of contractors. When it came time for a mall or shopping center to build out or replace their fire protection system, they were confronted by 5-10 sprinkler contractors who were unfamiliar with the facility. In the event of a build out, the still cash-poor malls would choose the lowest bid general contractor. In turn, the general contractor would choose the lowest bid sprinkler contractor, whether they were qualified or not.
F.E. Moran Fire Protection's VIP Facilities
In 2009, F.E. Moran Fire Protection found the solution: The Very Important Partners (VIP) program. The VIP program offers free inspections; ensuring malls and shopping centers are code compliant. In exchange for free inspections, malls and shopping centers utilize F.E. Moran Fire Protection as their required fire sprinkler contractor.
One of the first malls to take advantage of this innovative solution was a Chicago Ridge, IL mall. They experienced enormous benefits from the VIP program. Not only were they guaranteed timely sprinkler and fire pump inspections, they no longer had to concern themselves with numerous sprinkler contractors. Without knowledge of the fire sprinkler contractors' expertise or reputation, facilities only had price to determine their course of action. With the VIP program, general contractors no longer need to wade through quotes, and malls and shopping centers have the peace of mind knowing that their sprinkler contractor has in-depth knowledge of their facility and are invested in ensuring superior fire protection systems.
Satisfied Facilities and General Contractors
The VIP Program has now been in effect for three years and has a 100% rate of contract renewal from malls and shopping centers. Facilities have seen the benefits of having a relationship with F.E. Moran Fire Protection; they know that they have one, trustworthy fire sprinkler company to work with. Through the inspection process, F.E. Moran Fire Protection becomes an expert on the individual site's standards, and relationships are built with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Facilities save an average of $10,000 a year on inspections. Additionally, general contractors appreciate that they no longer need to analyze 5-10 bids for fire sprinkler contractors; now they have one fire protection contractor who is invested in the facility. F.E. Moran Fire Protection's personal investment in their VIP program facilities provides assurance to the general contractor that they will have a seamless working experience.
F.E. Moran Fire Protection has been providing fire protection services to the retail, residential, commercial, manufacturing, storage occupancy, education, and healthcare facility markets since 1970. With over forty years of experience, F.E. Moran Fire Protection has the expertise to provide paramount fire protection and customer service.