Photo of fire protection contractor installing a sprinkler in a structure with "top 10" label

Let’s face it: A project not backed by top-of-the-line fire protection and sprinkler professionals has extraordinary risks. Without proper safety practices, contractors and clients could find themselves in dangerous situations. And the lack of these protocols could only add fuel to the fire.

According to Engineering News Record‘s 2022 data, the following fire protection and sprinkler firms are the highest-earning and performing companies in their field. Let’s take a look at what separates them from the rest.

RankCompanyRevenuePrevious Rank
1API Group$1.69 billion1 (-)
2EMCOR Group$990.4 million2 (-)
3J.F. Ahern Co.$170.9 million3 (-)
4Sentinel Safety & Security Group LLC$65 million4 (-)
5Wachter Inc.$51.9 millionNot previously ranked
6MDU Construction Services Group Inc.$41 million8 (+2)
7Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler$38.6 million6 (-1)
8John E. Green Co.$36.1 million13 (+5)
9McKinstry$36 million9 (-)
10Power Design$35 millionNot previously ranked

1. API Group Inc.

Total revenue: $1,694.2 million

Previous year’s rank: 1

API Group Inc. has held its #1 spot again this year as the highest-earning fire protection and sprinkler firm in the U.S. While the company’s success in America is monumental, API also has locations across the globe, reaching cities like Hong Kong, Sydney, Paris, London, and more.

With expertise in fire protection, HVAC and entry system design and installation, fabrication, transmission, and inspection services, API Group boasts an extensive list of company values that define its mission. The group prides itself in safety, health and well-being, and collaborative relationships with clients, offering “small company agilities with large company advantages.”

Some of API’s primary focuses include backflow devices, emergency fire suppression systems, emergency and exit lighting, fire pumps, security and surveillance systems, standby systems, and fire alarm systems.

2. EMCOR Group Inc.

Total revenue: $990.4 million

Previous year’s rank: 2

EMCOR Group Inc. is a contractor headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, with a large national reach and a substantial list of services. In addition to providing “life-safety systems–including fire detection and suppression–and the most advanced security technology available today,” EMCOR offers mechanical construction, electrical construction, indoor air quality, and mission-critical data center work.

EMCOR has locations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. One of the company’s major focuses is sustainability, and it offers a comprehensive sustainability report webpage. It even holds a Carbon Offset Certificate, a credential given to companies that have reduced large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions.

The group has partnered with many construction, electrical, mechanical, life safety, and energy associations, some of which include the National Fire Protection Association and the LEED-certified United States Green Building Council.

Despite having no reported incidents of slow payment in the last year, the company has received quite a few negative reviews. Other contractors have given several one-star ratings.

3. J.F. Ahern Co.

Total revenue: $170.9 million

Previous year’s rank: 3

Another firm holding steady in the rankings this year is J.F. Ahern Co., a Wisconsin-based contractor specializing in fire protection and life safety, preconstruction, HVAC, plumbing, and building control systems, among others. The company opened its doors in 1880 and has continued to expand its reach, officially starting its fire protection firm in 1981.

J.F. Ahern’s portfolio is huge, showing off its work providing fire extinguishers, kitchen systems, dry chemical systems, emergency lighting, fire/smoke damper and alarm testing as well as inspections for over 24,900 facilities.

Some of the group’s most notable projects include the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, and the Chula Vista Resort & Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. 

4. Sentinel Safety & Security Group LLC

Total revenue: $65 million

Previous year’s rank: 4

Sentinel Safety & Security Group LLC is a “leading regional provider of fire protection systems,” mainly offering services in the commercial, retail, large residential, and industrial markets. It is headquartered in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

The company advertises its focus on fabrication, design, installation, computer-aided design, and hydraulic calculation as well as its desire to cut back on waste and provide clients with top-tier services.

An expert in sprinkler systems, Sentinel utilizes six types of systems, including wet pipe and standpipe, and operates in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association as well as several other leading associations.

5. Wachter Inc. 

Total revenue: $51.9 million

Previous year’s rank: Not previously ranked

Wachter Inc. is a subcontractor providing services for the healthcare, education, financial, retail, hospitality, mining, transportation, logistics, industrial, and manufacturing sectors. With three main locations in Kansas, Arizona, and New Jersey, the company has a large reach consisting of 14 additional Local Business Units (LBUs), which are smaller offices expanding Wachter’s scope.

Some of the group’s major project types include EV charging stations, conference room technology, security alarms, and digital signage. 

6. MDU Construction Services Group Inc.

Total revenue: $41 million

Previous year’s rank: 8

Moving up two rungs on this year’s top fire protection and sprinkler contractors ladder is MDU Construction Services Group Inc., a specialty contractor with expertise in electrical, mechanical, and fire suppression, as well as distribution, transmission, substation, and excavation. MDU is stationed in Bismarck, North Dakota, but is part of a family of companies that serve the United States. A few of its sister businesses are Bombard Electric and Rocky Mountain Contractors

MDU has a decent Levelset payment score, earning 75 out of 100 points, or a C. The company has no reported incidents of slow payment in the last 12 months.

MDU Construction Services has an extensive portfolio of projects, including:

7. Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler

Total revenue: $38.6 million

Previous year’s rank: 6

Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler (Pasco) is a West Columbia, South Carolina-based subcontractor with experience serving the education, industrial, residential, and military sectors. Proclaiming itself as the “Southeast’s Leader in Automatic Sprinklers and Fire Suppression Systems,” Palmetto has completed over 3,000 projects. 

Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler’s Levelset payment score is 82 points out of 100, a B, which lands the company in the top 45% of medium companies. There have been no reported cases of slow payment in the last year.

With locations in South Carolina and Georgia, the company has racked up a plethora of satisfied customer reviews. One client notes: “As an organization we think this type of professionalism and commitment to the highest level of customer’s satisfaction must be acknowledged.” 

8. John E. Green Co.

Total revenue: $36.1 million

Previous year’s rank: 13

John E. Green Co. has moved up a whopping five spots in ENR’s ranking this year, no doubt due to its consistent dedication to ensuring the “safety and longevity of any structure” and further developing its Fire Protection Services department.

With corporate headquarters in Highland Park, Michigan, John E. Green covers and is also licensed in South Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and North Carolina. The company mostly performs work in the healthcare, industrial, automotive, entertainment, and municipal markets

John E. Green’s specialties include fire pumps, underground fire protection, water storage, dry pipe and water-based systems, and fire protection inspection testing and maintenance.

9. McKinstry

Total revenue: $36 million

Previous year’s rank: 9

McKinstry has held steady to its ranking this year, continuing to provide “well-designed and properly maintained fire and life safety systems.” The company works in the healthcare, data centers, education, warehouses, commercial, industrial, and residential sectors.

With locations in 15 states, McKinstry has a huge reach and works with local market clients all over the United States.

A few major projects and partners in McKinstry’s archives include:

10. Power Design

Total revenue: $35 million

Previous year’s rank: Not previously ranked

Power Design is a multi-trade contractor based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Its mission is to “deliver unmatched performance” while building “relationships that last.” Though headquartered in Florida, Power Design works on structures all over the United States.

Power Design has also accumulated several major awards, including the 2020 STEP Platinum Award and Top Workplaces USA 2022.

A few of its most notable projects include: