In 1998 Chad Connor was working for a company selling and recharging fire extinguishers. He liked the job. Going door to door, meeting new people and selling them a product they genuinely needed gave Connor a sense of pride in his work. Connor’s new-found passion for fire safety and an independent streak convinced him to start Affordable Fire and Safety in Phoenix Arizona.
‘I really enjoyed selling fire extinguishers, but I have never really enjoyed having a boss,’ Connor said. ‘It made sense to start my own fire-safety business. I liked the work and no one could tell me what to do.’
It was just Connor in his truck selling fire extinguishers at the start of Affordable Fire and Safety and the company has seen significant growth since then. Today Affordable Fire and Safety has 40 full-time employees.
Connor said the growth in his fire-safety company began when he realized that successful companies in his industry do more than just sell fire extinguishers.
‘I started seeing from my own personal experience and conversations with others that fire-equipment companies that just did extinguisher sales and recharges didn’t really grow past three employees,’ Connor said. ‘I had to expand because I saw other companies growing and that meant we had to do fire alarms, sprinklers and backflow. We had to do the whole bit.’
The growth began quickly when Affordable Fire and safety began expanding their services. They needed people who know fire-sprinkler systems and people who knew about backflow prevention.
‘We grew really quickly because we had to,’ Connor said. ‘Customers in our industry want a fire-safety company that does it all so we needed to hire people that could do that skill set.’
Connor said he enjoys the process of expanding his business because it has allowed him to work with clients in new industries and take on new challenges to meet their fire-safety needs.
‘The fact that we get to solve peoples’ problems and keep people safe are the best parts of this job,’ Connor said. ‘Every type of building needs fire protection so we get to work with so many interesting industries that have different fire-safety needs. One day we could be in a dental office and the next week we could be working with an aerospace firm with a cleanroom. It gives us the opportunity to respond to so many different challenges.’
Affordable Fire and Safety’s mission is simple but clear. They want to provide great customer service in the fire-protection space. This means having salespeople visit a client’s property and conduct a walkthrough before giving a quote. This also means keeping a schedule of when properties need to be serviced and reminding the client.
‘Our business is about making fire inspections safe and easy,’ Connor said. ‘It is a great feeling being able to help people as we do.’
For more information, go to www.affordablefireaz.com/