American Fire Technologies

Preventing and protecting with comprehensive fire safety and suppression solutions
Written by: 
Sara Drew
Produced by: 
Victor Martins

American Fire Technologies (AFT) has been providing life safety for people and the protection of assets from unanticipated occurrences for 22 years. “Our responsive, solution-oriented approach protects critical environments for public energy and utilities companies,” states Paul Hayes, CEO of North Carolina-based AFT.

“AFT is a niche market company offering turnkey fire protection for some of the largest construction firms in the world, including Alstom Power, Shaw Group, Siemens, TIC, Black and Veatch, Bechtel, AMEC, Kiewit and many others,” cites Hayes.

AFT serves some of the major power and utility industries in the U.S., including TVA with service and inspections along with turnkey systems, including Duke Energy, Florida Power and Light, Georgia Power and Light, Southern Companies, Calpine, Basin Electric and Nebraska Public Utility.

AFT was founded in 1992 by Carl Busian, president. The company specializes in providing cost-effective solutions as the single point of responsibility for critical systems, allowing clients to focus on their main responsibility: their business. The privately held company offers design, equipment, installation and field services by providing fire protection and detection design with experts in fire and special hazard systems and life-safety codes and the energy compliance requirements of local, state and federal governments.

Based in Wilmington, N.C., AFT spans four locations across the southern U.S. with 65 employees. AFT has people based at sites both internationally and across the United States with project-specific offices doing regional work and serving clients, some contracts in excess of 15 years.

Major clients and state-of-the-art systems

AFT’s main market is the industrial sector, but the company has also served numerous commercial, educational, government and medical facilities, as well as nuclear plants in South Carolina. With more than 300 power plant designs in the last 15 years, AFT has built relationships with the top 20 engineering firms associated with industrial power in the U.S.

AFT’s utilizing microprocessor-based technology with intelligent addressable fire detection devices offers state-of-the-art systems providing improved performance requiring low maintenance and testing. AFT also replaces and upgrades outdated systems or interfaces with existing systems that can be used for phased operation without lost time to the utility facility.

AFT’s systems can be networked to cover large plants and interconnect with many other types of fire detection and suppression systems, including voice evacuation. The company offers a complete line of fire suppression equipment for any special hazard application.

“We design low and high pressure carbon dioxide systems, water mist and foam systems, dry chemicals, along with various Halon alternatives,” notes Hayes. For explosive environments AFT delivers explosion suppression systems and devices. AFT’s staff is well versed in the design of special hazard application and integration with fire protection.

Real-time, life-saving information

 AFT delivers real-time information backed by advanced systems in a world where information travels at an amazing rate of speed. “We’re in the process of assisting Southern Company in developing an emergency mass notification system associated with not only fire but also hurricanes, tornadoes and even terrorist attack,” states Hayes. “The system will help set the standard for the Southern Company facilities, informing people in real-time emergencies.”

Hayes goes on to note that one of the company’s most impressive projects has been the Shemya Island Missile defense project. The Shemya Island U.S. Air Force Missile Defense Base is isolated at the end of the chain of Aleutian Islands, Alaska. AFT’s turnkey $2.2 million contract included refurbishing the fire detection, suppression and fire pump systems for the power plant. The severe Alaskan winters required exact scheduling and coordination for material delivery. All equipment shipments were from the U.S. by barge in the short summer months. Startup and construction also had a precise schedule to avoid the severe weather conditions.

The company also provides suppression systems protection for Mitsubishi and Siemens turbines with release to the end user, many of those being international situations. The company strives to remain at the cutting edge of industry technologies by maintaining liaisons with manufactures to offer clients the latest systems and best available products. AFT is a distributor for over 30 product lines that are part of the fire protection market.

Fast approaching its 25-year anniversary, American Fire Technologies continues to uphold its mission of creating cost-effective value and maintaining lasting customer relationships and services to meet requirements for high-end asset protection.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Mann & Watters