Cautious Optimism for 2021

Industry Members Share Predictions for the New Year

The year 2020 was one of ups and downs: COVID-19 landed on U.S. soil, and a pending recession hovering was countered by stimulus packages and vaccines. With most businesses shutting down in the early stages of the pandemic, it was a welcome reprieve when the construction industry was deemed an “essential business,” which got most AFSA members back to work. As members rode the wave of uncertainty throughout most of the year, it seemed that things were back on a potential upswing as the year drew to a close and 2021 approached, according to construction industry experts and members of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA).

Dodge Data & Analytics’ forecast predicts that total U.S. construction starts will show a decrease of 14 percent in 2020 and a small increase of 4 percent in 2021, to $771 billion. Other experts have a more cautious outlook. The Portland Cement Association (PCA) expects total construction put-in-place to decrease by 1.5 percent in 2020 and predicts a slight 0.6 percent growth for 2021. FMI Corp. has the least optimistic outlook, with total construction put-in-place decreasing 0.2 percent in 2020 and further decreasing 8.7 percent in 2021. Approximately 1,000 people listened in on Construction Executive magazine’s webinar, “2021 Construction Economic Forecast,” on December 16, 2020, and polls taken then showed that about 57 percent of listeners thought the construction industry would stabilize to the prior level of construction spending in 2022. Sixteen percent said 2021, and 21 percent said 2023 or beyond. For more details from ABC’s webinar, visit constructionexec.com.

According to the annual construction report published by Engineering News-Record (ENR), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) expects total housing starts to increase 4 percent in 2020, followed by a drop of 3 percent in 2021. NAHB expects single-family housing starts to jump 6 percent in 2020 and further increase by 3 percent in 2021. For multi-family housing starts, NAHB predicts a 2-percent decrease in 2020 and a 15-percent increase in 2021.

Read forecast reports throughout this issue of Sprinkler Age, including Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and Dodge Data & Analytics. Sprinkler Age has also surveyed members throughout the country to find out how business was in 2020 and what’s expected for 2021.

Members from all of AFSA’s seven regions responded to the 2020 industry review and 2021 outlook survey.

Region 1

Michael Carlsen with Fire Safety Supply, Inc. in Santa Rosa, California, reports that business was down a bit in 2020 but that it was “not bad.” He expects business for 2021 to depend on the virus reaction. “Legislation, overhead, and material cost increases” are problem areas for the new year in Carlsen’s area, and retrofit work has been static.

Also in Santa Rose is Brent Mone, Inspection Service and Fire Protection, Inc., who reports, “COVID-19 had a huge effect on my business. Business for 2021 does not look good so far.” He also says that all retrofit work has decreased. 

Bill Wood with Statcomm, Inc. in Mountain View, California, says, “We perform a lot of repairs and maintenance, so our volume was similar [as 2019]. We did fall behind on some scheduled work because of employees being out due to COVID.” He states that business looks “ok” for 2021.

Workforce shortages are always a problem in California, according to Wood. “The new fitter licensing requirements are making continuing operations more difficult,” he says.

Statcomm also performs retrofit work, and Woods reports that “work requiring access to residential units has been difficult. Also, scheduling, in general, has been a bit more challenging. We’ve had to put special precautions in place to protect our staff during COVID.”

There was a “big dip on work that was prescheduled for 2020 that had to be canceled or postponed,” according to Erik Rheinisch with Alpha Fire in San Luis Obispo, California. However, “residential construction work was still very active.”

Rheinisch says 2021 “looks promising. There seems to be a good potential for work.”

Potential problems for Rheinisch’s area include “an emboldened union that will be tougher to counter.”

He notes that retrofit work stayed fairly consistent through 2020 and that the company did “lots of NFPA 13D work and we have lots of new NFPA 13D projects coming up, along with lots more being bid on.”

Rheinisch also says that residential sprinkler activity has been consistently growing in the area since 2016, and 2020 “didn’t negatively affect it.”

Finally, Rheinisch notes there hasn’t been any new legislation, but the “older requirements related to NFPA 13R&D for new construction and retrofits have still been good for business.”

“Business in 2020 was good,” in Orange, California, according to Jim Miller with VFS Fire and Security Services, but “COVID-19 definitely slowed things down. When the pandemic hit, current projects were sped up in case of a complete shutdown. Because of shutdowns, some new projects like museums were put on hold because of money. So far, 2021 looks to be good.”

The company performs retrofit work, and Miller notes that it has stayed very busy. “There are rumors more cities in California are going to force the retrofit of all buildings.” 

In Thousand Palms, California, Linda Winesburg with Shasta Fire Protection, Inc. saw “slow but steady” business in 2020. She expects 2021 to be “slow with private work, and busy with public work.”

Winesburg saw a decrease in retrofit work and NFPA 13D installations in her area in 2020. “We appreciate AFSA’s apprentice training program—it’s solid,” Wineburg adds.

Region 2

In Region 2, Joseph Faulkner with Sprinx Fire Protection, Inc. in Gig Harbor, Washington, reports that the company “was shutdown initially for about three weeks. After construction was identified as ‘essential,’ business was sluggish but steady.”

“We have just about a year’s worth of work booked already,” comments Faulkner. “Business looks to be strong. Some projects are having financing issues, having to refinance. Prices of lumber may impact some of the wood-framed apartment complexes. Permitting is much slower than normal due to city employees working remotely.”

While the amount of retrofit work stayed the same in 2020 for Sprinx, its single-family division increased, and single-family and multi-family residential activity grew.

He concludes: “I expect the economy to be strong in 2021 but retract slightly in 2022.”

Things were “a little slow some due to projects having problems getting permits,” for H2O Fire Protection, Inc. in Commerce City, Colorado, according to Mike Eggleston. “Things are looking good for 2021. I think we will be up about 10 percent from 2019.”

“We install mainly NFPA 13R and NFPA 13 apartment buildings, and there has been an increase of projects to bid,” he says. “Overall, I feel things will be up for 2021.”

Potential problems that Eggleston sees in his area for the year include having enough workforce to man projects.

“Business in 2020 was down 20 percent,” says Ireke Cooper, Cooper Fire Protection, Inc., Farmington, New Mexico. “A spike in service occurred after the shutdowns since we encouraged clients to take advantage of unoccupied space correct deficiencies. As the shutdowns extended, we saw a sharp decline in those willing to conduct inspections due to dismal incoming revenues. We are uncertain about business in 2021, save for a few secured contracts.”

Cooper notes that the state’s fossil fuel energy economy is struggling, and it is a major economic engine. “We are impacted particularly hard in northwest New Mexico with the closing or downsizing of two large coal-fired power plants coupled with low natural gas prices.”

Cooper Fire Protection performs both retrofit work and NFPA 13D installations, and both decreased in 2020. There was some residential sprinkler activity in 2019 in the area, but not nearly as much in 2020.

Region 3

In Quincy, Illinois, “Business considerably slowed with the first wave of shutdowns and COVID spread in early spring,” notes Eric Kasparie with M.E. Mechanical, Inc. “After that, it slowly regained and has been busy since. Next year seems to be slowing rapidly on new projects to bid on in our area. As of now, it appears it could be slow in our area in 2021. Typically, we have several sizable contracts, but the projects are not around our areas to bid.”

Kasparie’s concerns include training, legislation, and particularly retaining employees. “Maintaining a workforce is always a major concern in my mind; we are a small company.”

Joseph Kuerzi, Jr. with Certified Protection Service LLC in Corydon, Indiana, notes, “We had four restaurant projects canceled, and the pandemic slowed down the progress of several projects where staff members were infected. But overall, our sales remained the same as in previous years.”

He says, “[2021 is] questionable. We do not have the number of projects contracted out for the future as in past years. I have concerns about the labor union strength increasing, which could affect my labor force.”

While Kuerzi says retrofit and NFPA 13D projects have stayed about the same, he has seen increases in NFPA 13R construction in his area.

David Listermann with Concord Fire Protection, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, responded that 2020 was “average” for business. “COVID disrupted our office mostly. Engineers worked remotely from March to early summer, but we lost production through this period. We implemented stringent guidelines in the office in March. COVID infected three people in the office, but with procedures in place, we beat it.”

Listermann says, “2021 appears to look good, but we tend to be cautious at this moment.”

Problem areas for the new year in the Cincinnati area include “finding good field personnel, designers, and engineers.”

Listermann has seen about a 15-20 percent increase in residential sprinkler activity in the area.

“Everything was shut down for a while, and it was rough with the laws and regulations on what was allowed to be open and when, especially when it came to schools, restaurants, and similar types,” notes Taylor Ulrich with Cascade Sprinkler in Parma, Michigan. “We are hopeful that things will slip back into a more ‘normal’ feel and that we will be able to keep all technicians busy. 2021 should be smooth sailing. I don’t see any problem areas.”

Region 4

In Region 4 of AFSA, Randy Huffman with Essential Fire Protection in El Paso, Texas, says, “Thank God we were all designated as an ‘essential business’ [in Texas]. Consequently, we were able to stay open and operate normally for the most part in 2020. Any speed bumps were manageable.”

For 2021, Huffman is “hoping we will all be back to normal sometime during the year. We really don’t see anything on the horizon that might make 2021 less successful than 2020.”

“COVID devastated our service, but our new construction remained strong in 2020,” says David Stone with American Fire Systems, Inc. in Houston. “We have a good outlook for 2021 on the new construction side.”

One area Stone sees as potentially problematic is anything that requires in-person attendance. “Training is always a concern, and without in-person, hands-on interaction, this will be a challenge in 2021.”

Business in 2020 was good for Performance Fire Protection in Dallas, reports Earl Gregory. “We did not seem to be affected.” He notes the company does perform retrofit work, and it increased 30 percent in 2020.

“The outlook for 2021 is good with more business coming in, but there is no doubt that we are in uncertain times,” Gregory says. “We are thankful that God has seen fit to sustain us through them. We can look forward to a new year of challenges in our industry, including finding qualified personnel, but we must also realize that we will have new opportunities to grow. COVID-19 cannot stop us unless we let it. We choose to press forward in spite of it.”

“In 2020, construction started strong for the year but dropped off as the pandemic had an effect,” comments David Rudd, Rudd Fire Protection, Inc. in Tyler, Texas. “Our service sector grew about nine percent, but because of the drop in construction, we saw an overall decline in sales by about 13 percent.”

He continues: “The odd thing is that we quoted more work in 2020 than we have ever estimated. We still have several of those quotes out as open.”

Rudd reports he is “unsure” about 2021. “We are hoping that the outstanding jobs that we have quoted in 2020 will get awarded in the new year.”

Rudd also notes the sudden decision by several of their local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) to begin enforcing five-year investigations. “We saw a real increase in them for 2020, and it helped us.”

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Scott Frazier with Frazier Fire LLC comments that business was “fine” for 2020, and he expects “a decline in 2021 due to lack of opportunities due to COVID.”

Frazier Fire performs retrofit work, and it remained the same in 2020 as in 2019. They also do NFPA 13D installations, which increased, and he notes residential apartments are on the rise in his area.

“Maintaining a workforce with the decline in backlog is a problem area for 2021,” notes Frazier.

“I think this worldwide pandemic affected just about everyone,” comments AFSA Second Vice Chair Linda Biernacki, Fire Tech Systems, Inc. in Shreveport, Louisiana. “When entire cities shut down, we can’t access buildings to perform inspections, repairs, or renovations. April, May, and November 2020 were particularly difficult for us. I’m hoping the economic experts who are interviewed on TV daily are right; that 2021 looks like a boom year.”

Fire Tech Systems performs retrofit work, and the company had an uptick in projects in 2020. Biernacki notes that while Louisiana doesn’t require fire sprinklers in homes, they had an increase in NFPA 13D projects and residential activity in its East Texas market.

“I’m thankful to AFSA and its Engineering and Technical Services Department headed by John Denhardt for keeping our employees trained throughout this pandemic with constant communications on up-to-date changes to codes, designer and apprenticeship webinars, and, of course, responding quickly to informal interpretations,” Biernacki says. “It’s a great value to our membership.”

It’s been a “really good year” for Rick Reddout with Fireline in Tupelo, Mississippi. “We had 25 percent of our backlog put on hold in March 2020, mostly hotels and assisted living facilities. All came back within two to three months. One state military job has been on hold since and has not returned. Most service work was put on hold for about six weeks, but all have returned. We have a good, solid backlog going into the new year.”

Region 5

Business was good at Alliance Fire Protection Services, Inc. in Loganville, Georgia, and the company had its “second-best revenue year in 2020,” reports John Jordan and Ronda Parks. “We initially saw a few jobsite shutdowns due to COVID that affected our installation division. In addition, many medical and education facilities postponed ITM services until safety protocols could be put in place.”

“We are trying to be optimistic about 2021,” says Parks, “but the uncertainty is not good for any of us. Our current problems are skilled labor shortage and material price increases that never stop. We have absorbed all of the labor and material cost increases but have not been able to increase rates.”

But the Atlanta market is still going strong, adds Jordan. “We anticipate a steady flow of tenant interior and ITM work in 2021.” He also reports that retrofit work has been “fairly steady” in the area, and numerous new construction multi-family residential projects have been on the bid market.

They both comment that workforce participation and training are always challenges. Jordan says, “We have a large ITM customer base, so we do worry about how the remote workforce will impact property management companies. And building maintenance budgets may defer repairs depending on rent revenues.” Parks adds it’s hard maintaining a workforce and then getting those employees to “pursue certifications, such as NICET.” 

In Jordan’s opinion, one positive thing he has seen is “many local AHJs beginning to adopt online submission of inspection reports and deficiency/repair completion letters.”

“Business was very good in 2020 with over 60 real contracts and bunches of service orders,” comments Walter Lewis with Lewis Fire Protection, Inc. in Villa Rica, Georgia. “It was the largest money-producing year we’ve had in our 37-year history and my 58 years in the industry. The COVID-19 virus did affect the inspection department since we were unable to get into some businesses due to them being closed and our staff not on duty.”

Lewis is “not sure” about 2021 and comments that the workforce is a problem.

Jack France with JMC Fire Protection in Margate, Florida, performs 100 percent inspections and emergency service. He saw “business in 2020 was 30 percent slower.”

He notes, “the corporate tax increase may affect business in 2021 if the rates go up” and that “if Florida shuts down as with California, I would have to contemplate restructuring my company in 2021.”

AFSA At-Large Director Christopher Johnson with Piper Fire Protection, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida, saw “a slowing of our service and inspection department at the end of March through May 2020. Construction remained steady. Things in service and inspection are mostly back to normal, but construction is slowing somewhat now, and we have had a slight shrink in our backlog from the same time in 2019.”

Potential problems for 2021 that Johnson foresees include National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions with the new administration as well as Department of Labor rulings that could be “tougher than we have seen in a while.”

He reports that “retrofit work has decreased slightly, NFPA 13D installations have stayed about the same, and residential sprinkler activity is still very busy.”

On the legislative front, Johnson notes that there are “some incentives with regards to land use and home spacing benefits, as well as fire-rated windows and wall requirements in new developments, that sprinklers can really help with.”

Business has been good, for the most part, for American Fire Protection, Inc., in Greenville, South Carolina. “We had a few jobs put on hold in the spring of 2020 but had other work,” comments Jill Sutton. “We’re used to having almost too much work, but that wasn’t always the case in 2020. Business for 2021 looks very good.”

“COVID slowed work down in 2020,” reports Kevin Wilson with Johnson Controls in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “But so far, 2021 looks good.”

Chris Stason, chair of AFSA’s Manufacturers/Suppliers (M/S) Council, with the Victaulic Company in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, reports they experienced “Slight growth in 2020—five percent. Seeing customers, engineers, and owners of commercial property was difficult with COVID, which made influencing projects harder.” He predicts that 2021 will be “a tough start” but that they are “looking at a strong second half.”

What potential problems does Stason see for 2021? “New regulations could stifle some growth and make companies less apt to open their wallets for capital expenditures.”

He also notes that residential activity has been increasing, “especially with the flight of the major urban cities.”

Business turned out to be “decent” for 2020 at Carolina Fire Protection, Inc. in Dunn, North Carolina, according to Jeffrey Dunn. “The pandemic did have an immediate impact on our service and inspection work, primarily due to shutdowns. Some contract projects were  canceled or placed on hold through the summer, but most started back up in the fourth quarter.”

Dunn is “optimistic” that business will still be steady in 2021 with no particular increases year over year. “The lingering pandemic definitely could have an impact on our forecasting. Renewed shutdowns will greatly affect service and inspection work as it did in 2020. We just have to prepare to deal with the ups and downs during this time.”

When asked about problem areas for the new year, Dunn notes that training via virtual means is going to be challenging for their inspectors, especially where they are used to hands-on training. “We will figure it out, though, because it will be the new normal for a while. I feel skilled labor needs will remain a top priority for 2021 and beyond.”

For Carolina Fire Protection, the retrofit market tightened up during the last half of 2020. “There were not as many opportunities for us in that area of work, but we expect that to improve with the new year.”

For the residential sprinkler market, Dunn saw it stay steady in 2020. “It was pretty much the same as 2019 for us. It does seem that the bid opportunities for newly developed residential projects reduced a bit as we got later into 2020. Hopefully, that will bounce back once we cross into 2021.”

Tom McKinnon with Crawford Sprinkler Company in Hickory, North Carolina, reports, “COVID decreased our business in new work and also inspections, but 2021 looks pretty good so far.” He says they see the “usual issues including not enough field workforce” as a potential problem area for 2021.

Region 6

Jay Zollars with Castle Sprinkler and Alarm, Inc. in College Park, Maryland, reports that business was “good” in 2020. “We learned that distance working (telework) or working from home could work and not affect business. The backlog of work for 2021 looks good so far.”

He also notes an increase in residential sprinkler activity in 2020 and that so far, all legislation in the state has been positive.

“Manpower is a problem area,” says Zollars.

Overall, business has been steady for Daniel Merkle with Colonial Fire Protection Systems, Inc. in Rochester, New York. “We had a small slowdown in May/June due to the pandemic, but currently, we are better than we were pre-COVID. And business for 2021 is looking as good as ever.”

Merkle also notes retrofit work has been significantly less than in past years, while NFPA 13D installations and residential sprinkler activity saw increases in 2020.

Andrew Edwards with Armor Construction in Falconer, New York, reports, “As our company performs NFPA 13, 13D, 13R, and retrofit installations, 2020 has indeed brought on some new challenges. Layoffs and a decrease in revenue for the first time in our ten years of business, to name a few. But being an essential business has allowed us to keep our doors open and press forward. After only seven or eight weeks, we had all of our staff back to work. Moving forward to 2021, we are close to having a backlog of work equal to our entire work completed in 2020. We count our blessings every day and thank the good Lord for his continuous grace and provision. We are excited to see what 2021 and beyond have for our staff and customers.”

Joseph Riccadonna with Allstate Fire Tech, Inc. in Newark, New Jersey, says, “2020 was a bit slower than in 2019, and 2021 looks to be a bit slower as well.”

There has been a small amount of NFPA 13D projects, and retrofit work has decreased in his area.

“Business was very good in terms of volume,” reports David Anderson with Anderson Fire Protection in Elkridge, Maryland. “Profitability was good as well; however, not without its COVID challenges and its associated cost. Not only was it challenging in terms of making the office and job sites safe places, but we had several occurrences where employees had COVID, and we had multiple people who had to quarantine.”

For 2021, Anderson notes, “backlog for us is the highest it has been with an increase in approximately 15 percent more than 2020. We anticipate this will translate to a 10 to 15 percent growth.”

Anderson foresees COVID as a “non-issue past the first quarter” of 2021, but he does see hiring as a potential problem. “We have a very good core of people; however, we will need to hire another designer due to field application demands. Whether it is hiring a beginner or an experienced designer, it is always a challenge.”

Retrofit or change-of-use work represented approximately 20 percent of Anderson Fire Protection’s work in 2020, is expected to continue in 2021.

Region 7

For Hampshire Fire Protection, LLC in Westfield, Massachusetts, COVID did not have a huge impact on business, other than three projects being put on hold (and hopefully starting in 2021), according to William Rhodes. “Construction was considered essential, so most projects were able to maintain their original schedule. We are going into 2021 with a lighter backlog than we would like, but we are hopeful that the projects we are bidding on now will move forward in the new year.”

When considering potential problems during the next year, Rhodes comments that labor issues are always a challenge. “As we grow, finding a trained workforce is almost impossible. Any contractor that doesn’t utilize apprentices and the AFSA Contren Apprentice Training program is missing the boat. Success relies on training from within.”

“Most retrofit work involves working in occupied buildings,” notes Rhodes when asked about those types of projects. “Due to COVID restrictions, this type of work slowed down or even stopped in 2020, so we did significantly less in 2020.”

Chad Dubuc with Rustic Fire Protection, Inc. in Norton, Massachusetts, reports that during 2020, “we have to be much more careful about the cleanliness of our employees and the site they work on, in the way of PPE and clean up. Also, COVID-related paperwork has added work. If there is a positive COVID result from a technician, it affects scheduled work and all who worked around them, and testing must be one on all who worked around them.”

He also notes that: “2021 looks good with plenty to bid and a six-month backlog.”

Dubuc says finding younger people who want to be sprinkler fitter apprentices is difficult and “will affect the number of licensed technicians in the future, which will limit the amount of work that can be done.”

“2020 was forecasted to be our best year in 10 years,” comments Stacey Fantauzzi with North East Fire Protection Systems, Inc., Ballston, New York. “The coronavirus lockdown and the fear of the unknown caused a 40-percent decline in our construction division revenue. Our inspections and service department remained steady. We chose our people over profits, using this time to cross-train employees, work on capital improvement projects on our property, and participate in AFSA’s webinars when we traditionally would not have had the time. We experienced diminished margins, but we retained our top talent, and our people made a point to let my dad, Jimmy, and I know that the team understood our choice and were appreciative. We are so grateful for their loyalty.”

Fantauzzi continues: “We are cautiously optimistic that the projects delayed until 2021 will remain in our pipeline.”

Fantauzzi notes one potential problem for 2021 is legislation remaining a viable threat to merit shop fire sprinkler contractors throughout the state of New York. “We are facing negative legislation in terms of fitter licensing returning as we are in a new legislative cycle. We had a team looking to craft responsible contractor licensing, but that has taken a back seat to the state focusing on the coronavirus. Also, we small business owners, regardless of the services we provide, have faced a mandatory increase in paid time off from three days to five days as well as attempts to further make employing people burdensome.”

Regarding retrofit work, Fantauzzi says their “retrofit line of business has remained steady. Most of this work is being driven by a strong economy as well as code enforcement officials.”

Fantauzzi has also seen strong growth in the NFPA 13D market sector. “There is a migration from the major metropolitan areas downstate to our market.”

Steve Raccomandato with Titan Fire Sprinklers, Inc. in West Babylon, New York, reports, “the COVID pandemic posed some challenges for 2020. Fortunately, as an essential business, we were able to provide continued services and assistance to all our existing clients as well as some newly acquired clients.”

He continues: “As long as we continue to keep everyone at Titan Fire Sprinklers safe and healthy, 2021 looks to be a banner year with a couple of big contracts in place for work to begin at the start of the new year.”

Raccomandato is optimistic that the new year will not bring any obstacles that could slow things down. “We’ve implanted in-house training, and we are working closely with local government on any new legislation that might affect us. This way, we can prepare for any potential downturn that could affect our employees.”

He also notes that maintenance and repairs have gone up this past year in his area. “I believe the industry as a whole is more conscious of keeping clean records and upkeep on properties to avoid any unforeseen issues that could potentially affect daily operations.”

NFPA 13D installations are 70 percent of Titan Fire Sprinkler’s workload, and they’ve not seen “any slowdown in single- and double-family construction.”

Raccomandato notes that residential sprinkler installations “seem to be the one constant thing keeping construction moving here. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be another residential development going up.”

Stay the Course in 2021

Johnson is encouraged with the rollout of the vaccine and the forecasts from the health care community. “I expect that we will be very close to a near-normal business environment by mid-2021. From what I understand, there will be pent-up demand for some types of construction, and I am confident that AFSA will continue to be one of my main sources for guidance on the industry and the overall economy.” 

Dunn notes that “we need the pandemic to slow its spread so we can get back to some version of the old normal. No one knows what to expect in 2021. I think we prepare for the worst and pray for the best!”

Fantauzzi recognizes AFSA for remaining strong as an association in comparison to other organizations. “We have newly named leadership in Mr. [Bob] Caputo, a person at the helm who is passionate about fire sprinkler contracting. We must remain vigilant in defending merit shop contracting and letting our members understand why and how we became AFSA.”

Johnson is also excited about AFSA’s new leadership and the coming year. ‘I am very excited to see how AFSA is continuing to lead our industry into the future. Our new President Bob Caputo has boundless energy and more innovative ideas than any person I have ever met. We are well situated organizationally for tremendous growth and improvement. Frankly, the resources available to our contractor members are priceless, and our technical department is without peer.”

To learn how AFSA can help your business succeed in 2021, visit firesprinkler.org to discover education and training programs and technical resources available to members.

Johnson concludes: “I could not be more excited to watch this organization grow and prosper while helping our members do the same in 2021. We are well positioned as an organization and an industry to react to the changes in the post-COVID economy quickly!”


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