6 Questions To Ask A Fire Protection Consultant

Posted On: September 16th, 2020

Are you looking to hire a fire protection consultant? When reviewing your candidates, you need to ask the right questions. These questions will determine how experienced and qualified the protection consultant is, and what they can do to help you.

Here are some of the most important questions you should be asking.

1. Are You a Member of Fire Protection Organizations?

Ask if the fire protection consultant is a member of NFPA, NAFED, or FSSA. They don’t have to be a member of any of them if they’re going to offer fire protection help. However, being a member of at least one is going to be to your advantage.

When they’re a member, they’ll be able to stay up to date with all legislation around fire safety. That benefits you, as they’ll pass along the important knowledge.

It’s also worth asking about the work they do in the industry:

  • Are they publishing literature on safety standards, or presenting at conferences?
  • Do they offer training?

If they’re active in the industry and the community, then that’s a good sign that they can surely help you out.

2. What Services Do You Offer? 

When you’re hiring a fire safety consultant, you need them to be able to assist and cover all of your fire suppression systems. Some out there, though, only cover a small portion of them. For example, some will only inspect and maintain sprinkler systems and fire alarms, and others will only handle fire extinguishers and similar systems.

When talking to a consultant, ask what services they provide. Will they be able to help with everything? Ideally, you want them to have the expertise to handle all fire suppression materials, and to know when something needs to be repaired or replaced.

3. How Much Experience Do You Have?

This is an important question. When hiring a consultant, you want them to have enough experience to be able to fully help you out with your needs. Some choose not to focus too much on this, but it can be a gamble. A new company may still be good at what they do, but you don’t know that.

Instead, you want a company and consultant who have been in the business. A proven track record of keeping people’s businesses legal when it comes to fire protection is key. Now, if you’re just looking to get an inspection done so you can sell the building, that won’t matter so much. If you want to create a lasting partnership though, you’ll want to choose a consultant with experience and expertise.

6 Questions To Ask A Fire Protection Consultant - Fraker Fire

4. What Are Your Prices?

Obviously this is important. You need to be able to budget for fire safety. When given prices, remember that this is an area where you can’t cut corners. You may find someone who can give you cheaper prices, but are they going to give you good quality work, as others would? There are some consultants out there that would offer to sell you a ‘tag’, but that’s not going to keep you safe.

The cost of their services is going to depend on a few factors. For example, the size of your building, the age of the building, features to be tested, what you’re protecting, and more will all play a part in testing. That’s why it’s a good idea to get quotes from a few different consultants. See what they’re charging, and what they can do for that specific price.

In some cases, there may be additional charges that won’t be factored into the main price. Look out for charges regarding fuel, tags, testing equipment, and so on. Ask for these charges when you’re getting your quote, so you know what to look out for ahead of time.

5. How Do You Store and Track Records?

When your consultant inspects and maintains your fire suppression equipment, they’ll need to create documentation saying they’ve done so. You need to know how they create and store that documentation. You don’t know when you’ll need to produce it, as it’s proof you’re adhering to local fire codes.

When your consultant creates paperwork, are they creating a physical document, or using an app or virtual means? While paper systems are good for security, they’re not as up to date as virtual systems. They’re slow, easy to lose, and are easily destroyed. If the consultant is using virtual systems, it’s very easy to back up documents to the cloud and keep them safe.

Look out for a consultant that uses virtual methods to file paperwork, as this will benefit you in the long run.

6. What’s Your Customer Service Like?

If you use a consultancy service, how quickly can they respond to a call? In theory, the larger a business, the more consultants they have to hand. If you go with a larger one, you’ll see that it’s easier to get a hold of a consultant when you need them. The only problem is, they’ll probably have a lot of clients, and you may get lost in the mix. Will they give you the care and attention that you deserve?

Consider smaller businesses too. These may be better, as they’ll have less clients and thus, can focus more on you. However, as they’re smaller, they may not be able to come out to you 24/7, or otherwise be available when you need them.

You’ll need to compare a few in order to find out what you’ll exactly need from your consultant. Is a more readily available but less personal service better? On the other hand, would you prefer a more personal but less available consultancy?


When interviewing a fire safety consultant, make sure you’re asking these questions to them. Their answers will help you decide if you want to hire them or not. Remember, you want to find someone who will do everything they can to help you prevent fires. Keep interviewing until you find the one who suits you the best.

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