Preface: How I Stumbled Into Fire Protection Engineering is a series of blog posts tracing the roots of my current career. From stumbling upon fire protection as a college student through starting Harrington Group as an entrepreneur, I hope you enjoy the story of my journey into Fire Protection Engineering. This week focuses on pioneering property loss control consulting. I would also like to encourage you to post comments of the moments in which you realized your calling. Thank you for reading and sharing.

Most large companies feel like they are in a delicate position with their property loss insurance company. These companies are under the impression that in order to have insurance there is no choice but to do whatever the insurance company tells them. If they don’t comply, the arrangement can be jeopardized. With an independent fire safety engineer, there is a choice. The problem is that these large companies don’t realize that somebody like Harrington Group exists. Somebody that can advocate for them and maintain the relationship with their insurance company.

There is a good reason they don’t realize it’s possible to have a more affordable fire safety solution: that kind of service did not exist when I started. I’m not the first person to apply engineering principles in order to find optimized solutions for fire protection problems. But, I didn’t know of anyone who was providing insurance consulting or property loss consulting back when I started. It’s still unique to be an independent party within the insurance arena. Since I’ve started, other independent fire safety engineers that used to work for insurance companies started to do things similar to Harrington Group. What’s unique about Harrington Group is our track record and the many years of experience doing this.

Through Harrington Group, companies with large exposures can be insured by large insurance companies like Factory Mutual at a much more affordable rate. In return, they have to agree to manage their facility safely, let the insurance company engineers come through their facility every year, review their recommendations, and give them consideration.

Fire Code Consulting

More commonly, fire safety engineers do code consulting. In every jurisdiction in the country, there are different prescriptive building codes and fire codes. Companies have to comply with them or they won’t receive a building permit. Since these codes are prescriptive and rigid, building projects benefit from our fire engineering and training in codes. Harrington Group can come in and advocate for the building owner or work for the architect.

Many fire safety engineering firms have been doing this since the beginning. Code prescriptions are what most firms do as a specialty. In Harrington Group’s case, our specialty has been in the insurance arena and the insurance prescription requirements, as well as building codes. I’m a practicing fire protection engineer. I do code consulting, I do sprinkler system design, and gaseous suppression design. Basically, Harrington Group is a full service fire protection engineering agency with a unique specialty.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.