Cabinet Supply Company – Flammable Liquid Storage

A construction contractor (Client) requested that Harrington Group, Inc. (HGI) provide fire protection engineering and consulting services to develop appropriate, cost-effective fire protection solutions for a tenant space occupied by a cabinet supply company (Tenant).  The Client also requested that HGI negotiate the acceptance of the solutions with the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Tenant was a cabinet supplier to local builders in the Atlanta area.  Supplies include wood, facing, lacquer, and paint.  As a result, the Tenant was required to maintain a small flammable and liquid storage operation on the premises.  The Gwinnett County Fire Department conducted a walk through and cited that the existing storage operation did not comply with the Georgia fire code.  The Tenant was given 30 days to either correct the code or shut down its operations entirely.

The Tenant initially obtained the services of a large, well-known, and respected fire protection engineering firm to provide consulting services in this matter.  The firm provided a report that estimated $200,000 – $250,000 of construction costs in order to comply with the code.

The Tenant, unsatisfied with the cost of those solutions, then employed the services of yet another large, well-known, and respected fire protection engineering firm for a second consultation.  This firm was able to provide a less expensive solution; however, the solution was rejected by the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

The Client finally hired Harrington Group to develop solutions for the Tenant and negotiate acceptance with the fire department.  Harrington Group’s analysis revealed that the previous fire protection engineers did not apply the Georgia fire code correctly.  Ultimately, these firms over-specified the code.  They also requested that the Tenant install additional fire protection systems that were unnecessary.

HGI developed a cost-effective solution and gained the fire department’s approval, resulting in a total construction costs of less than $150,000, saving the Tenant between $50,000 to $100,000.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.