Safety Out of Sight

Though you may not always see the fruits of their labor, VFP Fire Systems works hard on fire protection systems for buildings big and small.
Jan 4, 2019
Heather Herron
Steve Vorderman

Step in to Parkview Field and you’ll see a field full of baseball players, stands packed with fans and traditional fare like hot dogs and cold beer. What you might not notice are all of the measures in place to keep visitors safe. 

That includes a comprehensive fire protection system designed and installed by the team at VFP Fire Systems. 

Whether it’s new construction or retrofitting an existing building, VFP can tackle projects large and small, residential or commercial. 

The company offers a wide range of services, including safety evaluations, engineering and design, installations, repair and maintenance, and inspections. It recently joined forces with Koehlinger Kruse Security Systems to better serve customers in the alarm, detection and monitoring business.

“As our customer base expands, we try our best to stay in front of the curve with our expertise, capabilities and service offerings,” says VFP area manager Chris Evans. “We were founded primarily as a fire sprinkler and suppression company, but today we’ve expanded to include fire extinguishers, fire alarm/detection and monitoring. We want our customers to be able to make one phone call when it comes to their life safety systems. Dennis Kruse and the Koehlinger Kruse team bring many years of experience and expertise to the team. We share the same core values and dedication to customer service, which makes the transition easy.”

VFP Fire Systems and Viking Automatic Sprinkler Co. are subsidiaries of APi Group, Inc. VFP (formerly Viking Fire Protection) was founded in 1927 and has 14 branches nationwide. The Fort Wayne office opened in 1977, with an emphasis on serving customers in a 200-mile radius, with satellite offices in Marion, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio.

Being part of the APi Group gives VFP more buying power and resources, but Evans insists that his employees focus on what’s best for customers here in our region. He says they have been fortunate to be involved in much of the momentum happening downtown, working on facilities like the Grand Wayne Center, the Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel, Parkview Field, Skyline Tower, the Saint Francis Performing Arts Center and Phase 1 of riverfront development.

“We are very proud and honored to be part of this community. Most of our team members live in Fort Wayne and surrounding communities and we’re excited to see how much the community has grown,” Evans says. “When our leadership team visits from other cities and states, they always request to stay at the hotels downtown, and they always comment that they’re impressed to see all the development happening there.”

Because VFP and Viking offer such a wide range of services, employees depend on each other to make sure a job is done right from start to finish. Whether it’s installing a complete system in an industrial complex, a multi-family apartment building or someone’s home, the goal is the same: prevent fire tragedies. 

“We’ve seen our industry grow steadily over the years as the benefits of fire protection systems and services become more publicized. Unfortunately, many of those aren’t realized until after a tragedy or horrific loss,” Evans says. “For instance, prior to the Station nightclub fire in 2003 in Rhode Island, in which 100 people were killed and 230 were injured, most restaurants, clubs and entertainment venues didn’t require automatic fire sprinkler systems. Today the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires venues with capacities over 100 be equipped with a fire sprinkler system.”

While those commercial buildings are required to have systems in place, even private homeowners are now understanding the value of installing more than just smoke detectors.

Evans takes pride in the work his team does, no matter the size, saying each job is important and deserves the same attention to detail.

“Our projects range anywhere from $75 to a couple million dollars. We probably do 50 large-scale construction projects annually. We may do up to 2,000 service jobs a year plus over 1,000 life safety system inspections a year.”

In the end, Evans says it’s not just about fire protection systems, but about putting people and their safety first. 

VFP Fire Systems

Address: 6926 A Trafalgar Street Fort Wayne, Indiana 46803

Phone: (260) 493-0843

Website: vfpfire.com

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