FIRE EQUIPMENT HISTORY
On June 30, 2016, Fire Equipment Inc. acquired Fire and Safety Engineering (FSE), which was located in Holden, Massachusetts. FSE is a leading fire suppression systems company serving the power generation industry and also the central Massachusetts region since 1992. The team at FSE has joined with Fire Equipment Inc. to grow our business in these core markets. November 1, 2016 saw Fire Equipment Inc. merge with New England Fire and Security (NEFS). Located in West Springfield Massachusetts. NEFS is a leader in the fire alarm industry in Western Massachusetts and is a strategic partner with Edwards (EST) fire alarms. The team at New England Fire and Security and the current office location will remain in place and continue to operate under the NEFS brand. In 2017, the full range of Fire Equipment Inc. products and services are being introduced through the NEFS operations. NEFS will serve the Western Massachusetts and Connecticut regions as a full service fire protection operation. Please visit our services page to see our latest line of EST products.
In 2007, Brian,the first member of the third generation joined the company. Shortly after, Douglas and Kerryn became part of the family business, each bringing a variety of experiences which has changed the culture of the company. We are now more than ever a “family” company. The next generation brings higher education to the business as we continue to increase sales and service. Due to the introduction of technology and the recent implementation of a new operational infrastructure the day to day operations are more efficient than ever. In 2013, we moved to 20 Hall Street in Medford which is over 15,000 square feet and designed specifically to meet our needs. As a family we continue to value and maintain the fact that are employees are the key to our success.
R. William became president of the company, working closely with his father to assist in the transition of the company to the 2nd generation. During this time, FEI’s growth was sustained through diversifying product lines as well as hiring extremely talented people both in sales, engineering and technical service. When R. William became president, there were 20 employees and now we have over 50 Employees.
We outgrew the space at 57 Hicks Avenue and moved our office around the corner to 88 Hicks Avenue; the shop remained at 57 Hicks Avenue. In the late 80’s, manufacturing of our main fire suppression agent, Halon 1301, came to a screeching halt when Halon was listed as an agent causing depletion of the ozone layer. This put the industry in chaos and fire suppression system manufacturers were scrambling to find new agents to suppress fires. The clean agent fire suppression market declined for about a year and a half until the new environmentally friendly clean agents hit the market. Throughout this period, sales of clean agent fire suppression systems slipped not only due to the Halon change but also due to the downfall of manufacturing and high tech industries in New England. We needed to find other products and services to continue our growth so we added sprinkler and fire alarm sales to our portfolio.
R. William Murphy joined Fire Equipment as a shop technician, recharging and servicing fire extinguishers. With the introduction of Halon, both sales and service grew rapidly throughout New England and competition was very limited. R. William Murphy worked in the shop for about 2 years before he began installing and servicing Halon and CO2 systems throughout New England. Bill then spent 18 years as service manager working days, nights and weekends to keep up with the demand for Halon systems and resulting service. FEI was installing an average of 200 plus systems annually throughout the New England area. This was a pinnacle point in FEI’s history.
Russ moved the company from Cambridge to his hometown of Medford and opened a new facility at 57 Hicks Avenue. FEI took advantage of the growing high-tech industry in New England by continuously diversifying new sales markets and products, and specializing in the latest fire protection technology and services. During this time, FEI was one of the first to enter the Halon 1301 clean agent market with a system designed to protect computer rooms and high-value equipment. FEI also entered into the restaurant fire suppression system market with the introduction of a new liquid agent manufactured by Range Guard. This was first liquid agent that protected restaurant hoods.
Russell A. Murphy (1st generation) was a manufactures representative for the FyrFyter Company, selling fire extinguishers to distributors throughout New England. He knew all the players in the industry and came upon a management ownership opportunity at Fire Equipment Inc in Cambridge. Russ was a seasoned sales professional and business savvy executive. He met with the Deveers’ and negotiated the sale of 50% of the business. Russ would run the company as president allowing Jack to do what he did best: selling foam and CO2 systems. The business slowly grew through service and sales of industrial CO2 systems and portable fire extinguishers. Redevelopment in Cambridge forced FEI out of the building at 82 Broadway, Cambridge in the early 70’s leading to the move to Medford, MA.
We became incorporated in 1946 when The Lux Fire Equipment Company changed its name and became Fire Equipment Inc. At the time, there was a high demand for industrial fire suppression systems in the region due to the increase in local manufacturing & the growth in the high tech industry. FEI’s business continued to grow when we began servicing fire systems. The company outgrew the Park Square location and opened a shop and office at 82 Broadway in Cambridge. Jack Deever took over for his aging father, and he was an expert in foam fire suppression systems. He was in need of business partner to run the day to day operations of a small business while he continued sales and this is where the first generation of the Murphy Family entered the business, Russ.
Entrepreneur Harold Deever founded Lux Fire Equipment in 1928 after noticing a demand for fire extinguisher sales in the Boston area. He opened a sales office in Boston at the Park Square building downtown. The business grew exponentially during WWII with the introduction of CO2 suppression systems for fire protection on Navy war vessels. Over 100 employees were hired during this period. After WWII, the need for CO2 shipboard fire suppression systems dropped drastically but continued for local manufacturing companies. The company continued to sell CO2 fire suppression systems and portable fire extinguishers on a smaller scale for many years.