How could fire protection engineers possibly be like doctors? Well, have you ever had a radiating pain and were unsure of what was causing it? Many of us don’t like to go to doctors, but after delaying the inevitable, when you can’t take the pain any longer, the doctor is your only hope.

But, which doctor is the right one? Who should you choose?

When you pick a doctor, the assumption is that you’ll receive an accurate diagnosis and receive the right treatment. We also assume the treatment will eliminate the pain with minimum expense and discomfort. After all, a doctor who recommends a full body cast for a fractured elbow would be crazy.

Visiting a doctor who always has the right treatments makes perfect sense to us. Yet, most of us don’t realize that fire protection engineers also have specialties just like doctors. Their treatments can vary from the absurd, like a body cast for an elbow fracture, to the more reasonable, like physical therapy and medication. In extreme examples, hiring the wrong fire engineer could result in the fire solution equivalent of an eye exam for a fractured elbow. You could pay thousands, or even millions, more than what may be necessary. You should be able to expect an accurate diagnosis and treatment from your fire protection engineer. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

The Case Of Mysterious Pipe Corrosion

For our pharmaceutical client, we succeeded where the other fire protection consultants failed. Our successful diagnosis eliminated the actual cause of the problem and very likely resulted in a future cost avoidance of at least $30,000. The other expert recommended a treatment that would have done nothing to eliminate the actual cause and would have created recurring additional O&M costs with no benefits.

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