Jim Smith (red shirt) enjoying a hike with his family during Thanksgiving break

The New Year is a crazy time of year for everybody, but that hasn’t stopped us from welcoming some new talents into our midst. Introducing Jim Smith, Harrington Group’s newest fire protection technician!

Jim grew up in Northern Virginia, and his plan after high school was to major in business. But a job he took during college at Grinnell Fire Protection, where his brother also worked, steered him in a different direction. He was immediately drawn to fire protection, decided that business classes weren’t for him, and pursued a career as a hands-on fire protection technician.

“I just liked the industry as a whole,” said Jim, reflecting on more than 30 years in fire protection. “It’s relatively small, and you feel like you’re saving lives.”

With family members working as engineers and architects he’d always had an interest in buildings, so it was a natural fit from the beginning. His background is in sprinkler and fire alarm design, and since starting with Harrington Group, he’s enjoyed learning about a very specific type of building that we specialize in: distribution warehouses.

When Jim started out in the late ’80s, he and his colleagues were just starting to do hydraulic calculations on computers with the giant floppy disk drives. The development of technology over the years has been both challenging and exciting, he said, and it has “really pushed the envelope on being able to create different types of systems for different applications.” 

Jim and his family have lived in the Atlanta area since 2001, and when he isn’t working he enjoys playing golf, hiking, and mountain biking with his wife and sons.