The year 2016 has been a stellar one for Building Protection Systems (NI) Ltd, as it celebrates 35 years of success in business as an independent specialist.
During those years, BPS has grown to become the largest independently-owned specialist electronic fire and security services company in Northern Ireland.
“We’re a local independent, offering a personal service,” said Managing Director, Calvin Adams. “Providing both new build solutions and maintenance contracts for companies throughout the UK and Ireland, we can procure and deliver on projects of any size, from £200 up to £2million, supplying everything from fire detection systems to specialist electronic protection devices, such as pool drown alarms.
“We offer design assistance to consulting engineers, design and build project teams, and PFI consortia. Plus, we currently provide supply and installation services to most notable M&E contractors in the SME and multi-national project marketplace, as well as providing aftercare service and maintenance.
“We are fully accredited and have worked with all the major contractors in Northern Ireland across a broad spectrum of work, but with particular specialism in the healthcare sector,” continued Calvin. “We’re the ‘go-to’ people – customers come for one-stop provision of fire and security solutions and we are proud of the fact that a lot of our business comes through word of mouth recommendation.
“Without a quality, experienced, and dedicated workforce, we couldn’t provide that high level of service expected by our customers. Their continued dedication, and commitment to the success of BPS is greatly appreciated, as is the continued loyalty of our many customers over the years.”
Building Protection Systems was established in 1981 by Philip Cunningham and David McCombe as a fire alarm service organisation. In 1985, BPS was appointed Zettler UK Fire Systems’ agent for the island of Ireland, which remained the case until Zettler was purchased by Tyco in 1996. This was the start of the BPS specialism within the health sector, as Zettler Fire Systems was successful in providing new fire systems for a number of Northern Ireland hospitals.
As a supplier, commissioner, and maintainer of fire detection and alarm systems, BPS was successful in developing many long-term customers, a number of whom are still customers today. As a ‘go-to’ choice of fire alarm specialist for major project works and large service contracts, BPS became the preference of many customers in Northern Ireland. Helen Stone and Linda Riddell joined BPS in 1989, and are still contributing greatly some 27 years later.In late 1999, Calvin Adams joined the company as Sales Director, after spending 16 years as an M&E consulting engineer with some of the most respected M&E practices in the province.
Coinciding with Calvin’s appointment, BPS recognised that a more sustainable approach for expansion was to diversify into the associated field of security systems.
“This, together with our proven strength in fire systems, was a strategy which was to signal our growth to becoming one of very few specialists capable of undertaking some of the most significant new projects in the field of fire and security systems in Northern Ireland,” said Calvin. “Together with our continuing success in securing and retaining significant service customers, it contributed to our successful journey in growing to what we are today.”
After ‘buying in’ to take aminority shareholding in BPS in 2000, Mark Gillespie and Calvin completed a management buy-out of BPS in 2002, with Philip and David retiring from the company. BPS had at that time 22 employees. Clive Kinnear joined BPS in 2001, strengthening the company’s ability to design and sell new integrated security systems, together with the design of fire systems already catered for. BPS has continued to grow, becoming a company with a peak employee number of 50 team members. Mark retired in April 2015, leaving Calvin in sole ownership of the company.
“We remain an independent company, privately owned but with the buying power of a multi-national, and with most of our competitors’ being multi-national organisations – this is a fact we are hugely proud of,” said Calvin. “We have a desire to be the best at what we do, and I believe we are currently the best F&S specialist in NorthernIreland, always striving to remain competitive whilst embracing new technologies, and providing a service ahead of others.
“We do not rest on our laurels, but constantly seek continual improvement, an ethos we are now extending into the UK mainland, recently taking an address in Hertfordshire as a launch pad for the next step in BPS’s growth. We have already secured significant projects in London, Nottingham, Bristol, and Aberdeen – not forgetting our continuing success within our core market in Northern Ireland.
“As well as Morley IAS Fire Systems by Honeywell, other key distributorships were secured over the intervening period, such as Inner Range Integrated Access Control and Intrusion System, and Honeywell Security and Video Systems. These, combined with last year becoming a Gent by Honeywell Systems Integrator have cemented our position as market leader in the fire and security marketplace.”