A New Generation in Fire Protection
Texas Fire Protection Consulting (TFPC), LLC provides top-notch customer service
If you are a Texas business in need of help complying with fire code requirements, Texas Fire Protection Consulting (TFPC), LLC has you covered. Begun in 2012 as Texas FirePros Inc., the Houston-based company rebranded itself in January 2018 as TFPC. Through hard work and unrivaled dedication to customer service, TFPC has quickly become one of the premier full-service fire protection companies in Houston and, increasingly, throughout Texas.
With 13 employees and 60 years of combined experience among its three partners, TFPC is positioned to meet all the fire-related needs of its clients, according to Bill Harvey, President of TFPC. “Our typical customer is any retail or commercial operation open for business in the state of Texas that is required to have fire extinguishers, fire alarms or fire sprinklers, or needs fire protection for certain special hazards, such as large computer rooms.”
The company sells, installs and services fire alarms, fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers. “We also perform construction on hotels and other large buildings that need fire alarms, fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, kitchen hood systems or fire pumps,” Harvey adds. Other facilities for which TFPC provides these services include large high-rises, doctor’s offices and day care facilities.
TFPC is prepared to address client needs no matter the time of day or night. “We’re on call 24/7 for emergencies throughout Texas,” Harvey says.
Customer Service Takes Priority
Harvey, along with his partners Michael Hernandez, Fire Alarm Division Leader, and Jeff Frisbee, Fire Sprinkler Division Leader, make customer service their top priority. In fact, Harvey formed TFPC because of what he viewed as inadequate customer service on the part of larger fire protection companies. “I especially disliked the feeling that customers, even those who had been eagerly sought out, were treated as just a number,” Harvey says. “I have worked too hard and too long to have customers who I have made friends with, who are real people who have businesses with the same type of growth issues and budgetary constraints as we do, be regarded as ‘just a number,’” he adds.
Among TFPC’s accomplishments, the most important is customer retention, according to Harvey. “It’s important to us. The relationships we build will never be about just the dollar. We build trust and prove time and time again that we care for our customers and their businesses. We work with customers to meet their needs and not our own. We will customize a plan that accommodates their budget and their business model.”
Harvey points to a recent situation in which one of TFPC’s technicians paid a visit to a Houston-area sports bar that had been “extremely neglected” by another fire protection company. “Our technician found that portions of the fire protection system had been disabled or disconnected, leaving the bar at risk of mass liability in the event of a fire.”
The response of most fire protection companies, says Harvey, would be to walk away immediately to avoid the risk of any potential liability. However, the fire marshal was threatening to shut down the business, so TFPC agreed to help the owner and provided a consultation. Knowing that the owner had limited funds for making the necessary repairs, TFPC agreed to let the customer initially pay to cover the company’s costs on the repairs that it performed, with the understanding that she would make payments on the remaining balance in the future. “I don’t know anybody else in our area who does that,” Harvey says.
Meeting the Needs of Fellow Vendors
This same level of concern for the needs of others extends to TFPC’s commercial associates as well. “General contractors and other trade partners, many of whom we’ve worked with for many years, are no different,” Harvey says. “These vendors know that we are just as interested in their growth and success as we are in our own,” he notes.
“Everyone is hungry for work, so we strive to make ourselves a partner that fits into their business model,” Harvey says. “When we are asked to bid on projects, our contractors know that they can count on getting the lowest prices in the fire business.” For example, TFPC once teamed up with one of its contractor partners to bid on a project, but the overall bid was not selected. When the partnering contractor informed Harvey of the bad news, he mentioned that he had gotten a call from the company that had issued the requisition, noting that the fire protection portion of the bid was the lowest line item among all the bids, Harvey says. “Though the overall bid was rejected, in teaming with us, our contractor partner knew that we provided the lowest price possible,” he says.
Fixers of Impossible Situations
Another key element of TFPC’s customer service involves the company’s unwavering dedication to solving problems that have long vexed clients, sometimes for a considerable time. Armadillo Glass Inc., a Houston company that installs glass, curtain walls, and architectural glass and aluminum supports, turned to TFPC after seven other fire protection companies failed to finish a fire alarm project at its 22-story facility. “Where they failed, we succeeded,” Harvey says. “Five years’ worth of problems were fixed in three months,” he notes.
This sort of resourcefulness and can-do attitude has brought much-deserved attention to TFPC in recent years. “We are becoming well-known in our trade as fixers of impossible situations,” Harvey says.
From Vendor to Partner
As someone who has worked with TFPC as a vendor and now works directly for the company, Hernandez has a unique perspective on TFPC. Hernandez grew up working for his father’s security and fire alarm business, joining the company full time when he was 18 years old. At the age of 28, he opened his own fire alarm company, which worked hand in hand with TFPC on projects. About three years later, his company merged with TFPC, because both parties realized that it made sense to join forces. “That way we could spread the workload,” Hernandez says.
Hernandez appreciates the measured approach taken by TFPC as it seeks to expand. “We’ve grown gradually in the market,” he says. “We didn’t want to outgrow our britches,” Hernandez adds. “To achieve our goals for growth, we try to improve as a whole across the entire company, rather than building up one service line at the expense of the others. Everybody’s on the same page with the same goal,” he says.
Hernandez also values TFPC’s commitment to treating its employees well. “We’ve got a great group of guys,” he says. “It’s really the employees who make things work so smoothly. Happy employees make for happy customers. If employees are not treated right, they won’t have the right attitude, and they’re not going to treat the customers the way we want them to,” Hernandez notes.
They Train Their Own
Unlike other companies in the fire protection industry, TFPC refuses to poach technicians from other firms, Harvey says. “It’s absurd that companies in our industry continue this practice of stealing each other’s technicians.”
Instead, TFPC “seeks individuals who are new to our trade and can be trained our way,” Harvey says. Only in this way, he notes, is TFPC able to live up to its slogan, the “New Generation in Fire Protection.”