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Member Monday: Oliver Fire Protection & Security Protects the Mid-Atlantic Region for over 60 Years!

By Michael Wilson posted Jul 12, 2021 11:45 AM

  

NFSA staff had the privilege of sitting down with Lawrence Mascera of Oliver Fire Protection & Security this week to discuss the company’s history, its services, and its place in the NFSA. 

Anyone who has worked in the fire protection industry in the Delaware Valley, or even the Mid-Atlantic states for that matter, knows of Oliver, but this reputation as a premier shop was hard won and took over 60 years and three generations to build. 

Leland Oliver founded Oliver Sprinkler Company in 1957 with a staff of six working out of his home. Leland’s sons, Bill, Dick, and Bob all joined the staff. When Leland suddenly passed away, his son Bill—who was 24 years old with just two years of experience at the time—stepped up to the plate as president of the company.  

In 1975 the company moved to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where it has been ever since. Bill served as president for 30 years and was succeeded by his brother Dick in 2000. Dick’s son Dave then assumed the role of president in 2005 and has been serving ever since. 

Notable Projects and Giving Back 

Oliver Fire Protection & Security has played a key role in protecting the Delaware Valley over the years. It was a fire sprinkler system installed by Oliver that eventually halted the fatal fire in the partially protected One Meridian Plaza. This demonstrated the value of fire sprinklers to Philadelphia’s Commissioners who would go on to require that all high-rises in the city be retrofitted. 

Additionally, Oliver retrofitted dozens of buildings at Six Flags after the Great Adventure fire. The company has also worked on several

notable Philadelphia buildings including the University of Penn, Suburban Station, the Franklin Institute, Christ Church, and, of course, the Philadelphia Art Museum. The company continues to handle complex projects, having recently finished work on Penn First Pavilion (pictured), a brand-new hospital downtown. Moreover, Oliver’s Security Department played a key role in protecting the Gallery at Market East, and its Fire Alarm Division has played a key role in upgrading the alarms at the Inn at Villanova as well as at Merck & Company. 

While handling all these large projects is a source of pride for the company, Oliver is also proud of the contributions it makes to the local community. The company looks to give back whenever and however it can and has worked closely with the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, the Breathing Room Foundation, and Jefferson Health, to name just a few. The company has also installed fire sprinklers for several fire departments. 

A more recent project was Casa Farnese (pictured), a high-rise apartment building in Philadelphia. Oliver was contracted to retrofit each apartment
with fire sprinklers. Doing so required the sprinkler fitters and project managers to be careful to not only minimize the impact of their project, but to demonstrate the value of fire sprinklers to the tenants whose apartments they had to enter. The project was a resounding success and proved that a retrofit of that scale can indeed be done. 

Oliver Fire Protection & Security and NFSA: Partners in Progress 

Since its inception Oliver has been an NFSA member, and several of its employees have worked closely with the NFSA. Leland and Bob are all in the NFSA Hall of Fame and Dave Oliver currently serves as the Area 2 Director. Dick Oliver will be inducted into the NFSA Sprinkler Hall of Fame this October at NFSA’s Annual Expo. Many of the company’s employees are present at NFSA chapter meetings in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Oliver’s design department speaks very highly of NFSA’s EOD service and uses it on a near daily basis. Additionally, several departments throughout the company continue their training with NFSA’s Tech Tuesdays. Most recently, employees have found much use in NFSA’s online community and are excited for the upcoming Expo. 

To learn more about Oliver Fire Protection and Security, visit their site at oliverfps.com. 

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