Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Fire Protection Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

A homeowner changes the battery in his smoke detector.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a fire protection company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified fire protection contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated fire protection company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Santa Clara County – Fire Protection CATEGORY

Harris Ginyard is manager of marketing and advertising at STATCOMM Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2006. She can be reached at (650) 988-9508 or by email.

Harris Ginyard

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Harris Ginyard: A Second Livelihood

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MOUNTAIN VIEW – After 30 years in property management, Harris Ginyard was ready to settle into retirement, but after a conversation with a colleague, he found himself embarking on a second livelihood. “Back when I was a community association manager, I became friends with Kent Rily, the founder of STATCOMM Inc., and started using his company for the life safety needs of the properties I managed,” he remembers. “When Rich, the current president, took over, I maintained that professional relationship. Right about the time I was planning to retire, I made the mistake of going to lunch with Rich, who convinced me to come work for him in the company’s marketing department. He must’ve known I’d be bored in retirement.”

Today, as manager of marketing and advertising for STATCOMM, Harris says his favorite part of his job is human relations. “I’m a people person, so I enjoy interacting with others. It’s the same thing I liked about working in property management, so it’s neat to see that element carry over into my second career.”

Originally from North Carolina, Harris moved to the Bay Area in 1977 and resides today in Mountain View with his wife, Laura. When asked his favorite part about Bay Area life, Harris refers to the temperate climate. “On the East Coast, I was shoveling snow a lot in the winter, but I don’t have to do that here. Plus, the weather is conducive to an active lifestyle. Anything you like to do, you can do it most of the year. You can’t play golf during the winter back East because you can’t see the ball in the snow!”

Outside of work, Harris engages in activities that keep him both physically and socially active. “I’m an avid golf and tennis player, and I play one of them almost every day,” he affirms. “Also, my wife and I love music: she sings and I’m a drummer. Recently, I’ve taken up the piano, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years.” In addition to sports and music, Harris enjoys socializing with friends and family. “Besides having a large group of friends, I’m a grandfather of eight, so we do a lot of gatherings, parties and barbeques at our house.”

In his life and career, Harris espouses the power of positivity in the workplace. “I believe in relating to others in a positive and constructive way,” he explains. “At STATCOMM, I work hard to create an atmosphere where everybody is important and nobody is made to feel less than the next person because of their title. I find this leads to a culture where people take pride in what they do and find more fulfillment in their work.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Harris says he’d take his favorite pastime to a foreign destination. “I’d be on a plane headed to some exclusive golf resort in a tropical setting—maybe the Bahamas.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Who’s your favorite golfer?
A: Tiger Woods.

Q: Who’s your favorite tennis player?
A: Roger Federer.

Q: Did you play any high school sports?
A: I played basketball and football.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Golf clubs.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: I usually get pretty revved up in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m still like a little kid in that respect.

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How to Optimize Fire Safety

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MOUNTAIN VIEW — When it comes to fire safety, staying compliant with code requirements isn’t always as simple as it seems. Here are three tips to help you optimize fire safety in your home or office and avoid costly liability/compliance issues.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Fire Code Compliance for Commercial Buildings

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Complete Video Transcription:

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you own or manage a commercial building, in order to avoid a fine, you’ll need to know some critical aspects of… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

Viking Fire Protection
3M Fire Protection Products
Amerex Fire Extinguishers
Kidde Fire Protection
Niedner Fire Protection
Wildfire Fire Suppression
Simplex Grinnell Fire Protection
ABC Fire Extinguishers
Ansul Fire Protection
Tyco Fire Sprinklers
NDC Fire Prevention
Hygood Fire Suppression Products
Macron Foam Fire Protection
SKUM Foam Fire Extinguishers
Central Fire Protection
Halon Fire Protection
Notifier Fire Alarms

foam fire extinguishers
fire alarm maintenance
marine fire extinguishers
CO2 fire extinguishers
fire sprinkler systems
fire alarm panels
fire protection products & supplies
commercial fire protection systems
portable fire extinguishers
disposable fire extinguishers
fire extinguisher recharging
water fire extinguishers
automatic fire sprinklers
fire sprinkler design & installation
home fire extinguishers
residential fire sprinkler systems

Alviso
Blossom Valley
Campbell
Coyote
Cupertino
East Palo Alto
Gilroy
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Milpitas
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Permanente
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara
Saratoga
Stanford
Sunnyvale

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The following fire protection associations may be able to offer additional information about home sprinkler systems, commercial fire protection systems or hiring good fire prevention companies in your area.
 
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) (www.nfpa.org)
American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) (www.firesprinkler.org)
California Fire Prevention Officers Association (CFPOA) (www.firepreventionofficers.org)
Know What You Want
Consider Your Fire Protection Needs Before Calling Local Companies

When hiring Santa Clara County fire protection services, including those in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto District, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill, your best chance of getting a good end result is by starting strong.

This includes getting a good feel for what you want and need in terms of equipment, products and services. Start by making a list of your needs and expectations so that you have a clear idea of what you're looking for and the type of fire protection contractor that can best fit your ideal.

Sample questions to ask yourself are listed below and will get you started.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified fire protection company in Santa Clara County or near my home or business that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. What are my biggest concerns for my home or building: safety of residents and visitors, minimizing fire-related injuries and deaths, reducing damage to the building or building contents, minimizing business closure and loss of revenue, loss of equipment, etc.?
  3. What fire protection services do I need (fire sprinklers, fire sprinkler repairs, fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, fire alarm monitoring, home fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler design services, fire sprinkler system installation, etc.)?
  4. What is my budget for my home or business fire protection equipment installation or repairs?
  5. Are there any job specifics that I or the fire protection contractors will need to take into account when planning the installation, repairs or service? (i.e. old fire sprinkler system in place, commercial fire sprinkler installation in an operating business with customers or employees present during working hours, specific fire codes, etc.)
  6. What are my home's or businesses' physical limitations that may impact my fire protection system installation? (Examples include potential fire hazards, existing building constraints or defects, environmental concerns, location of the building, amount of valuable equipment, proximity to fire department or fire fighting emergency services.)
  7. What professional qualities and characteristics do I want in Santa Clara County fire protection providers? These may include timeliness, cleanliness, good communication skills, knowledge base, experience, techniques, equipment and products offered, and follow-up service.)
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask Fire Protection Service Representatives Face-to-Face

Your telephone interviews of Santa Clara County fire protection services should give you a good idea of which companies can provide the fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems and equipment you need, and the customer service you want.

So you should be able to winnow down your list to a few of the best companies in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Milpitas and beyond.

Once you've done that, it's smart to meet with the fire protection contractors that stand out. This will give them a chance to see the building that needs to have a fire protection system installed or repaired, and will give you a chance to ask specific questions and get an estimate for your job.

Some questions you may want to ask are listed below. Add to them more questions that are specific to the work you need done.

  1. What types of fire protection systems or equipment do you recommend for my building and needs? (These may include fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire system monitoring equipment, fire extinguishers, fire alarm panels, fire alarm inspection services, etc.)
  2. Can you provide all of the services I need, or will you subcontract out some work or require me to hire a second company for some of the services?
  3. How long will the fire protection system installation or repairs take?
  4. Will I need to evacuate the building for the duration of the work, or can I remain in my home or business while the work is in progress?
  5. Is it possible to schedule commercial fire protection services on weekends or during times when the office/store/building is closed to the public and employees?
  6. Have you completed similar fire protection work in my area of Santa Clara County?
  7. Do you have a list of recent customer references that I can call that had work similar to what I'm hiring for?
  8. Do you provide finish work after installing new fire sprinklers or fire protection systems that require construction? Will you return my home or business to the condition it was in, or will I need to hire a building contractor to repair walls and painting?
  9. Will you provide services to Stanford, San Martin, Coyote, Los Altos Hills, Holy City, Monte Sereno or my area?
  10. Will you provide fire alarm inspection or fire sprinkler inspection services to ensure that my system is in good working order?
  11. How will I handle fire protection system service issues or repairs? Will you be responsible for warranty work if there’s a problem with my new fire protection system?
  12. What can I do to make this process easier and smoother?
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  • What To Ask References
    Clients of Santa Clara County Fire Protection Companies Can Tell You More

    Why should you choose a Diamond Certified fire protection company? Because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass.

    If you want quality from Santa Clara County fire protection companies, including those in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Campbell, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies in all service industries. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified fire protection company in Gilroy, Cupertino, Campbell, Palo Alto, Milpitas or within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own.

    Start by calling some references provided by your Santa Clara County fire protection company. When talking to references, you should keep in mind that company names provided to you by fire protection company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers.

    If you do call references, ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers that had work done within the same parameters as you are considering (commercial or industrial fire protection services, residential fire sprinkler installation, fire alarm inspection or installation, fire extinguisher installation, etc.). This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    Sample questions to ask include the following:

    1. Were you satisfied with the service from _(Santa Clara County fire protection company name)_?
    2. What was the type and scope of job they did for you (emergency fire protection services, fire alarm installation, fire alarm inspections, fire extinguisher installation, fire protection supplies, fire sprinkler system installation, fire sprinkler monitoring, exterior fire protection systems, etc.)?
    3. Were the fire protection contractors and company employees prompt and personable?
    4. Did the fire protection company keep you informed about the status of the work?
    5. Did they complete the fire alarm installation or fire protection services on time?
    6. Were there unexpected costs associated with the job? If so, what were they for and were they avoidable?
    7. Did the fire protection company charge extra to travel to your home or business if it's located in a smaller Santa Clara County town including East Palo Alto, Blossom Valley, Los Gatos, Gilroy, Los Altos Hills, Mt Hamilton, Permanente or outside of their immediate city?
    8. Did the fire protection contractors clean up after finishing the job?
    9. Were you pleased with the way they treated your home or building during the work?
    10. Would you recommend their services to friends or family?
    11. Will you hire this company again for fire alarm/fire sprinkler inspections or additional fire protection work?
    12. What was the best thing about working with this Santa Clara County fire protection specialist?
    13. Is there anything you wish you'd known about fire protection services or about this company before hiring them?
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  • Review Your Options
    Looking Over Your Choices for Fire Protection Services and New Fire Sprinkler Systems

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Before deciding on the best fire protection company in Santa Clara County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    1. Is there one Santa Clara County fire protection company on your list that best meets your needs for fire protection services, supplies, materials, fire alarm or fire sprinkler installation or fire system repair requirements?
    2. Were the fire suppression contractors you'd talked to knowledgeable about the work and services you need? Can they easily explain to you which products and brands best fit your needs?
    3. Is the contractor sensitive to your budget? Can they give you varying bids that address your needs and are within your financial resources?
    4. Do the fire protection services guarantee their work and offer warranties on their smoke alarms, fire sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and fire protection products?

    Reviewing your notes and thinking about the details of every company before signing a service contract can help you make a smarter decision on the best company for you. Be honest with yourself about which company can best meet your needs, which was most personable, and which you think will give you the best value for your money.

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  • How To Work With
    Hire Smart When Looking for a Good Fire Protection Contractor in Santa Clara County

    There are a few things you can do to prove to local fire protection services that you are serious about hiring a quality company to provide trustworthy services.

    Why is this important?

    Many homeowners and business owners start the search for contractors, including fire sprinkler installers and fire protection companies, by asking about price. But that's not the best way to find the most qualified companies for your job, whether you're seeking a fire protection service in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto District, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill or another area.

    Instead, ask the right questions and bring the right attitude to your interviews in order to gain the respect of local fire protection companies who may well be looking to do work for smart consumers who prefer value over cheap work.

    Suggestions are listed below:

    • Prove your interest in getting a good value on your fire protection system, not just the lowest bid. Many people start their discussion with contractors by asking simply about price, not value. You can show your interest in quality by asking questions about fire alarms and fire protection products, fire alarm system repair methods, fire sprinkler installation techniques, warranty coverage and lasting value rather than price alone.
    • Be upfront with the Santa Clara County fire protection contractors if you’re accepting multiple bids. But only shop among carefully-selected local companies that offer quality work and don’t accept more than three bids.
    • Tell your fire protection contractor exactly what you want done and every specific direction or request you have. This will allow them to give you the most accurate bid possible and gives them insight into exactly what you want. If they can’t provide the systems or services you need or want, it’s better to find out before you’ve gone through the entire bidding process.
    • Interview and choose local fire protection companies in Santa Clara County. Most fire alarm contractors prefer to work within a smaller radius, as this allows them to provide faster service and reliable emergency repairs.

    Moving Forward with Santa Clara County Fire Prevention Companies
    After interviewing fire protection services in Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Gilroy and near your home or business, narrow down your choice to the best local company that meets your needs and move forward by signing a contract.

    Good contracts will protect your interests and those of your fire protection service. The written contract should include details about the scope of the fire protection work, all materials and equipment to be used, the terms of payment, the expected time line for the job. You should also get in writing all warranties and guarantees that will cover the workmanship and the equipment, whether they are from the fire protection services themselves or the product manufacturers.

    Read through the contract and any documents you sign and ask all questions and get clarification before you sign it. This agreement protects you, your property and the contractor, so it’s important that you understand all terms and exclusions and that you never sign an incomplete or blank estimate or contract. As contracts are legal documents, you will be responsible for all terms you sign to, whether you understand them or not. So be sure you are completely sure you agree with all terms and limitations of the contract.

    Some clients and companies make verbal agreements during the bidding process. If this is true for your job, write in those terms to the contract so they are part of your written agreement. These verbal-to-written agreements may include but are not limited to expectations and instructions for the job at hand, start and end dates, stipulations for job completion, and bonuses for early completion of the work.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Fire Protection Company Customer?

    It's your fire suppression company's responsibility to install quality fire protection equipment, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire extinguishers using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your new fire protection products and equipment, too.

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring Santa Clara County fire protection and prevention companies in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Campbell, Gilroy, Morgan Hill and beyond.

    • Be clear and upfront with the fire protection company. Let them know what you want from your fire protection company, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a fire protection company in Santa Clara County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the fire protection company representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local fire protection company occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your fire protection contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re installing your fire alarms, fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers or fire protection equipment. The work will move along more smoothly if your fire protection company can reach you for necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the fire protection company on schedule.
    • Pay for the fire protection company work promptly.

     

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Fire protection companies in Santa Clara County, including those in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto District, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with.

    If you and your contractor approach the job and your working relationship with a positive outlook and a cooperative spirit, you may create an environment conducive to a better contractor-client relationship. And in turn, the job may very well go smoother and any disagreements between you may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Compare Your Invoice to the Fire Protection Installations

When the work is completed, ask your Santa Clara County fire protection contractor to walk through the job with you and show you what was done.

This gives you a chance to see the work and ensure that everything you hired the fire protection company for has been done. It also allows you to ask questions about the system, components, how it works, required maintenance, and other questions you may have.

A complete invoice from your fire protection company should include the following:

  • The fire protection company contractor's name, physical address and state license number.
  • A complete list of all work and services performed.
  • An itemized list of all materials used during the installation process.
  • The total cost for the fire protection services, including the itemized amount charged for labor and installation.
  • A written explanation of any warranties or guarantees provided by the product manufacturers and the fire protection contractors.
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Written Warranties
Get All Fire Protection System Warranties in Writing

Protect yourself by asking that all warranties and guarantees offered by the fire protection system manufacturers and installers be provided to you in writing.

This will ensure that you completely understand the warranty terms and that you and your Santa Clara County fire protection service are on the same page in terms of warranties offered, items covered and the process of making warranty claims.

The following items should be included in any written guarantee document:

  1. The Santa Clara County fire protection contractor's name, physical address and state license number.
  2. A description of what exactly the warranty covers. This should include whether the fire protection company will repair or replace any faulty materials or workmanship.
  3. Any exclusions to the warranty coverage or guarantees must be explicitly stated.
  4. Your responsibility in the case of a problem with your fire sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, fire alarm or fire monitoring system, and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  5. How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or is prorated.
  6. If the warranty coverage is transferable to the new owner if you sell your home or commercial building in which the fire protection system was installed.
  7. Any actions on your part that may invalidate the warranty on your fire protection system. This may include having it serviced by an unqualified company, failing to provide regular maintenance, or willful damage or abuse of the system or components.
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Top 10 Requests
Fire Protection Equipment and Services Available in Santa Clara County and the Bay Area

Talk with the Santa Clara County fire protection services in Gilroy, Cupertino, Campbell, Palo Alto, Milpitas or near you to determine exactly which options are available to you. To give you an idea of what you can expect, the most common services requested of fire sprinkler companies and fire alarm services include the following.

Fire Alarms Installation and Inspection Services
Fire alarm installation and fire alarm system inspections are very common services offered by fire protection companies in Santa Clara County and the Greater Bay Area. Most local codes require that fire alarm installation services must be performed by a licensed and certified company. Likewise, fire alarm system inspections should only be performed by qualified professionals who can spot problems, weaknesses and system failures.

Fire Sprinkler Systems
Fire sprinkler systems for homes, commercial buildings, government buildings and industrial facilities vary depending on the type of construction and the way the buildings are used. Fire sprinkler systems include wet fire sprinkler systems, dry fire sprinkler systems, deluge fire sprinklers and pre-action fire sprinkler systems. Each is suited to a different type of building, climate, and installation technique. Talk with your Santa Clara County fire protection company about which type of fire sprinkler installation is best for your building's needs.

Fire Sprinkler Design and Installation in Santa Clara County
For the best results and safest installations, consider hiring a licensed and certified fire protection contractor in Santa Clara County to design your fire sprinkler installation. This design will take into account the building you're installing the system in, how the building is used and what it is built out of. It will ensure that the fire sprinklers are appropriately placed for the fastest response and most thorough fire suppression in case of a fire.

Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems
Residential fire sprinklers systems are those that are specially built and calibrated for use in residential settings, including single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums, apartment buildings and mixed use buildings with live-in tenants.

Commercial Fire Protection Systems
Fire protection systems for commercial buildings in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Milpitas and beyond may include smoke alarms, ceiling-mounted sprinklers, fire alarm monitoring systems for immediate reporting of smoke and flame. These systems are custom built to make commercial buildings including schools, stores, shopping centers, office buildings, and others safer for employees and customers.

Fire Alarm Maintenance Services in Santa Clara County
All fire alarm systems require regular maintenance to ensure they are in good working order. To protect your warranty and the integrity of your fire alarm system, you should only have a qualified and authorized fire alarm maintenance company service your system.

Automatic Fire Sprinklers
Automatic fire sprinklers are those that automatically turn on in the event of smoke or flame. Automatic fire sprinklers are usually built to only go off when fire is present, which almost eliminates the chance of an accidental discharge. Automatic fire sprinklers are popular with residential home owners, apartment building owners, commercial buildings and industrial settings.

Fire Extinguisher Recharging
Fire extinguishers need refilling (also known as “recharging”) after they've sat unused for long periods of time or after being used. Fire extinguisher recharging services are usually much less expensive than replacing old fire extinguishers, and they are more eco-friendly.

Fire Protection Products and Supplies
From new fire extinguishers and smoke alarms to complete fire sprinkler systems, Santa Clara County fire protection product suppliers can provide you with needed parts and entire systems to repair or replace current components.

Fire Alarm Monitoring
Fire alarm systems can be monitored by external parties that are notified in the event of an alarm trigger. These companies can in turn alert tenants, building owners or caretakers, and local authorities for fast response times. Fire alarm monitoring services are a wise investment for many, since they can alert local fire stations for fast response time in the event of a fire even if no one is home or calls in the emergency. This can mean faster response and, potentially, less damage to homes or commercial buildings.

 

Common Brands of Fire Protection Equipment and Systems
Fire sprinkler system contractors in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto District, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill and the rest of Santa Clara County can provide fire protection systems built by some of the best names in the business, including the following.

  • Viking Fire Protection
  • Ansul Fire Systems
  • Tyco Fire Sprinklers
  • Kidde Fire Protection
  • Central Fire Protection
  • Halon
  • Simplex Grinnell
  • ABC Fire Extinguishers
  • Hygood Fire Suppression
  • Macron Foam Fire Protection
  • NDC Fire Prevention
  • Niedner
  • Wildfire Fire Suppression Systems
  • SKUM Foam Fire Extinguishers
  • 3M Fire Protection
  • Amerex Fire Extinguishers
  • Notifier Fire Alarms
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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Pertaining to Fire Protection Systems

The following terms and definitions are just some that are used by fire protection professionals in the Bay Area and across the country. They will help you better communicate with your fire system installation contractor and your fire monitoring system service.

As a consumer, you deserve to completely understand the terms of your agreement and your fire protection system. Be sure to ask your fire protection company personnel for an explanation or definitions of terms, ideas or equipment you don't understand.

active fire protection
Fire sprinkler systems, fire alarms and other manual or automatic systems that detect and fight fires to protect properties and lives.

Also known as: AFP

arson
The act of purposely and maliciously setting fire to property.

Also known as: malicious fire-setting, home arson, business arson, felony arson

carbon monoxide
A toxic gas that is odorless and colorless, and that is created when substances are not completely burned.

Also known as: CO2

civil fire protection services
Civil fire protection is for civil buildings and public buildings including government buildings, schools, and other public buildings. These services may include smoke detectors, fire detectors, fire extinguisher refilling and certification, fire sprinklers, fire monitoring, fire emergency response and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fire should it break out.

Also known as: civil building fire protection, government building fire sprinklers, school fire protection services

combustible
A solid, liquid or gas that can burn if ignited.

Also known as: combustible liquid, combustible materials, fire-prone materials

commercial fire protection services
Commercial fire protection services are those for commercial buildings including businesses, business parks, office buildings, public buildings, stores, shopping centers and other commercial buildings. Fire protection services for commercial buildings may include fire detectors, fire extinguisher, fire sprinklers, fire monitoring, and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fire.

Also known as: fire protection for office buildings, business fire protection, fire sprinklers for stores, commercial fire extinguishers, business fire prevention services

conduction
Conduction is the transfer of heat within and item or object or between items and objects by direct contact.

Also known as: heat conduction, fire conduction

convection
Convection is the transfer of heat by circulation in a liquid or gas.

Also known as: heat convection

egress
An exit or opening in a building in which individuals can exit.

Also known as: exit, fire escape

fire code
A legal set of rules or regulations that are in place to prevent fires in homes and buildings and save lives and property in the event of a fire.

Also known as: fire protection code, local fire codes, city fire codes

first responder
The first person or persons to arrive at the scene of a fire or other emergency that is trained to provide initial assistance, such as medical or fire protection personnel.

Also known as: emergency responders, fire responders, firefighters

flameover
The fast spread of flames and fire over surfaces in a home, building or outside.

Also known as: flame rollover

flashover
When all surfaces and objects in a home, building or outside are heated to their flash point and the surfaces all catch fire at once.

Also known as: flashpoint ignition

flash point
The temperature at which solid surfaces, liquids and gasses ignite and catch fire.

Also known as: flashpoint, flash-point, ignition point

fire alarms
Fire alarms are single alarm boxes or integrated systems that sense flames or smoke and set of an audible alarm, warning occupants to exit the premises. Codes in most cities require fire alarms or smoke alarms in every residence and business where people spend time.

Also known as: fire alarm systems, smoke alarms

fire extinguishers
A canister of fire retardant and flame retardant that can be sprayed directly onto a fire or flame to put out or stop a fire before it spreads. Local codes usually require all residential and commercial buildings to have fire extinguishers present and in easy-to-reach places in the event of a fire.

Also known as: hand-held fire extinguishers

fire protection
The science of avoiding and mitigating the damage from fires in homes, buildings and outdoor areas.

Also known as: fire protection services

fire protection engineering
Building engineering that takes fire protection and planning into account to make buildings safer for residents and occupants. 

Also known as: engineering for fire protection

head of the fire
The outside edge of a fire. The head of the fire is the main part of the fire that spreads the fastest.

Also known as: the leading edge of the fire

ignition point
The lowest temperature at which a substance or surface will burn.

Also known as: flashpoint, flash point, fire point, ignition temperature

ignition temperature
The lowest temperature at which a substance, surface or gas will ignite and continue to burn.

Also known as: ignition point

incendiary device
A device used to intentionally set a fire. Incendiary devices may include matches, triggers, lighters or other devices.

Also known as: incendiary fire

industrial fire protection services
Industrial fire protection services include smoke and fire detectors, fire extinguisher services, fire sprinkler systems, fire monitoring, and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fires in industrial buildings including factories, manufacturing facilities, and other industrial plant buildings.

Also known as: industrial plant fire protection

life safety code
A code set by the National Fire Protection Association that describes structures, equipment and actions that will help save and protect life in the event of a fire. This code includes directions for exit locations and sizes, fire drills, safety information and other information to help protect life.

Also known as: life preservation code, code for safety, emergency safety code

life safety rope
A rope used to support and move people during emergency operations, including firefighting, rescue or other emergency situations.

Also known as: safety rope, emergency rope, rescue rope

monitored fire alarm system
Monitored fire alarm systems are fire alarms that are connected to an external facility that monitors the fire alarms for activation. These fire alarm monitoring services will often contact the fire department and emergency response authorities if your fire alarm is triggered.

Also known as: fire alarm monitoring services, monitored smoke alarms

National Fire Incident Reporting System
A computerized system in which fire departments enter, catalog and track fire incidents.

Also known as: NFIRS, NFIR System

oxidation
A chemical reaction in which an element combines with oxygen. Fire is a form of oxidation, as an element combines with oxygen to create and maintain heat and flames.

Also known as: oxidized surfaces, oxidation danger

passive fire protection
Passive fire protection is using special building materials such as walls and floors that form fire compartments to help stop the spread of fires, high temperatures and fire gasses within a small area to aid in the extinguishing of fires.

Also known as: PFP

residential fire protection services
Residential fire protection services are those for residential buildings including individual homes, apartment buildings, condos and other buildings where people live. This may include smoke detectors, fire detectors, fire extinguisher refilling and certification, fire sprinklers, fire monitoring, and other services to reduce the risk of fire danger or eliminate the spread of fire should it break out.

Also known as: home fire protection services, fire protection services for apartments

response time
The amount of time it takes an emergency alert system, firefighters or rescue personnel to respond to a fire or fire alarm.

Also known as: reaction time

sprinkler systems
Systems of water pipes and sprinkler heads, usually mounted in walls and ceilings, that activate when heat or flame is detected and put out flames or fires before they spread.

Also known as: fire protection sprinkler systems

thermal imaging device
A device that can detect the difference in temperature between objects and surfaces. Thermal imaging devices often use infrared technology to create an image of hot spots.

Also known as: thermal imaging software, thermal imaging technology, heat seeking devices, heat seeking technology, infrared imaging

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Protection Services

The following questions are those often asked by homeowners and business owners trying to choose a fire protection system and the company that will do the best job installing it.

While the answers you receive from fire sprinkler system installers may vary depending on the nature of your job, the companies you talk with and the specific system you're seeking, the answers below will help you discern your options and make smart choices.

Q: Why choose Diamond Certified fire protection company?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a local fire protection company with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only fire protection services rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase of a new sprinkler system, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, exit lights or fire protection monitoring is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified fire protection company.

Q: How effective are fire sprinklers?
A: Fire sprinklers for commercial and residential buildings have proven to be very effective in minimizing death and destruction due to fire. Studies show that sprinklers can reduce the chance of dying and the cost of property loss to a fire by one-half to two-thirds in any building where they are installed and working properly.

Q: What are the chances that my fire sprinklers will go off accidentally?
A: Quality fire sprinklers that are correctly installed and maintained have a very low possibility of accidentally discharging. In fact, studies show that the odds of sprinklers going off accidentally due to manufacturer defect are one in 16 million. Likewise, while sprinkler piping can leak or break due to accidental damage or intentional tampering, it is no more likely to leak than similar-quality plumbing piping.

Q: Will a sprinkler system cause more damage than a fire?
A: No. Sprinklers are designed to stop and control fires in the early stages, so less water is used. Most systems are designed to activate only a few needed sprinklers in the direct area of the fire, so other areas of the home or business will not be impacted by the sprinklers, nor will they sustain water damage from the sprinkler system. Fire hoses used by fire departments use more than eight times the water flow of sprinkler systems, so homes and businesses with sprinkler systems often sustain less damage and cost less to repair than those that rely on the fire department to stop fires before they spread.

Q: Are sprinkler systems expensive to install?
A: The exact cost of sprinkler systems or fire protection systems depends on the system you choose, the installation requirements and the type of building and area in which they're being installed. For example, systems installed in warmer climates, in buildings with good water pressure, and areas with a dependable water supply will be less expensive than those in cold climates with low pressure and unreliable water supplies. Most fire sprinkler systems in new construction will cost $1 to $2 per square foot. Building retrofits to install fire sprinklers in existing buildings can be more expensive. Call a local fire protection contractor near you for a detailed estimate for your buildings and particular situation. When figuring out the cost of a new sprinkler system, be sure to factor in savings you may incur from your insurance company, as many offer discounts for customers who have fire protection systems in place.

Q: Are fire sprinklers required in all high rise buildings, hotels and public buildings?
A: That depends on the area in which they are located. Some cities and states require sprinkler systems in certain buildings, while others exempt existing buildings from having to be fitted with sprinkler systems even though new buildings may be required to have fire prevention systems installed. Talk to your fire protection service about the code requirements for your area.

Q: I'm handy with tools. Can I install a fire sprinkler system in my own home or business?
A: Probably not. Fire sprinklers require very specific installation procedures and must comply with national and local codes and ordinances. In addition, fire prevention systems can have very complicated designs and layouts required to ensure they run correctly in the event of an emergency. Local laws and codes may even prevent anyone who isn't a licensed fire protection contractor from installing fire sprinkler systems.

Q: How do fire sprinkler systems work?
A: Most fire sprinklers include sprinkler heads that are outfitted with liquid-filled bulbs.  These bulbs prevent water from leaving the sprinkler unless the liquid inside is released by the heat of a fire. The bulbs come in a variety of colors, from orange to black, with each color acting as a key to the specific temperature (usually between 135 and 440 degrees) required to break the bulb and activate the sprinkler. This ensures that only the sprinklers in the direct area of a fire will be activated, so there is no accidental activation.

Q: Do I need to maintain my fire sprinkler system?
A: It is wise to keep your fire sprinkler system in good working order. This maximizes your investment and helps protect your property from fire. It is recommended that you have your fire protection system inspected by a professional fire protection contractor once a year or any time you suspect a problem with sprinklers, water lines, the monitoring system, or the entire sprinkler system. Most fire protection systems have test valves; you should test your system every month. You should also have your system checked for possible upgrades to keep it in the best working order. Never paint your fire sprinklers, hang items from the pipes, cover the sprinklers or intentionally tamper with or damage the system. Call your fire protection service immediately if you are concerned about damage or the possibility of tampering.

Q: Should I have fire extinguishers in my building?
A: Every home and work place should have working fire extinguishers in easy-to-access places. Most homes should have one on every level of the home and one in the garage. The number of fire extinguishers for multi-unit residential buildings such as apartments, and commercial buildings varies and is subject to code requirements. The general rule of thumb is to have no more than 75 feet between fire extinguishers.

Q: Should I consider installing a fire alarm system even if I have a fire sprinkler system?
A: Yes, you should. Fire sprinklers are very effective, but they only work once a fire has started and reached a certain temperature. Fire alarm systems can detect fires before there are flames, and they will alert building occupants to evacuate. Some fire alarm systems will automatically contact the fire department, which can get the authorities to your building faster and help save your home or office from serious damage.

Q: What type of fire alarms do I have to choose among?
A: The most popular types of fire alarms are ionization fire alarms and photoelectric fire alarms. Ionization alarms detect flames and fast-moving fires, including those in trash cans, furniture, curtains, carpeting and other soft materials that can spread quickly. Photoelectric fire alarms detect smoky, smoldering fires including electrical fires. The best fire alarms can detect both types of fires for complete fire protection.

Q: What are the advantages of fire alarm monitoring?
A: Fire alarm monitoring watches your building for the threat of fire constantly. In the event that a fire alarm is active, the fire alarm monitoring company will alert the fire department. This is good for people who aren't in their homes or offices 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as it can offer a greater level of protection.

Q: What types of automatic fire sprinkler systems are available?
A: Automatic fire sprinklers come in four basic types: wet, dry, pre-action and deluge fire sprinklers.

  • Wet fire sprinklers are constantly charged with pressurized water that automatically activated by a fire. These are usually installed in locations where the air temperature is above freezing do eliminate the chances of frozen and burst water pipes.
  • Dry sprinkler systems are used in areas that may frost or freeze. This system is always charged with compressed air. When a fire is detected, the valves open and water flows into the system and onto the fire.
  • Pre-action fire sprinklers are electrical-mechanical systems that only fill the sprinkler pipes with water upon electrical detection of a fire to avoid accidental water discharge and water damage. These systems are usually installed in data processing facilities, high-tech areas, or warehouses.
  • Deluge fire sprinklers are open systems that do not have pressurized pipes. In the event of a fire, water rushes through the system and out all of the sprinkler heads. Systems like these are usually installed in high-risk fire areas such as power plants, aircraft storage hangars, chemical plants, processing facilities and other similar buildings.
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