Sprinkler system firm relocates to larger facility

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Friday, August 1, 2003

WATERBURY, Conn. - Superior Fire Protection, a 5-year-old fire sprinkler system company, was scheduled to move to larger headquarters this month in a 16,500-square-foot building in Naugatuck, Conn.

Lori Uszakiewicz, founder and owner of the firm, said Superior Fire will occupy about 10,000 square feet, with the remaining space devoted to a gymnasium for her other business, Cheer Force, a cheerleading academy.

According to a report in the Waterbury Republican-American, the building is the former site of Karo Manufacturing, a metal stamping company that went out of business in early 1999. Uszakiewicz has a long-term lease with an option to buy the building.

Superior Fire, which handles design and installation of fire sprinkler systems, receives about 95 percent of its business from commercial clients, Uszakiewicz said, with the remainder being residential.

She said the additional space will accommodate the company’s plumbing division. “We just outgrew the old space,” she said.

Uszakiewicz, who operates Superior Fire with her husband, Michael, said Connecticut’s mandatory sprinkler requirements for buildings such as schools, hotels and commercial and public operations “is a good thing for us.”

The state recently attempted to pass a law making an automatic fire extinguishing system mandatory for all nursing homes, as well as requiring contractors of new homes to discuss fire sprinkler system installation with buyers. (See related story on page 24.)

Neither the state nor many municipalities, she noted, have implemented mandatory sprinklers for residential use. But even if Connecticut did take that step, “our focus is on the commercial side,” she explained.

Superior Fire currently employs 82 people, Uszakiewicz said, and “in the near future, we could be adding more.”