Mission Critical Fire Protection Podcast powered by ORR Protection

Episode 5 - Fire Protection Projects with Charlie Monk

November 16, 2020 ORR Protection Systems Season 1 Episode 5
Mission Critical Fire Protection Podcast powered by ORR Protection
Episode 5 - Fire Protection Projects with Charlie Monk
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In Episode 5 of The Mission Critical Fire Protection Podcast, Lee Kaiser sits down with ORR's Charlie Monk. Charlie tells some of his favorite stories from his tenure in the fire protection industry, and they discuss the future of mission critical fire protection.

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Thanks for joining us. To learn more about mission critical fire protection, visit MCFPexperts.com.

Intro (00:07):

Welcome to MCFP: Meet the experts where ORR Protections' VP of engineering, Lee Kaiser, interviews industry insiders on all things mission critical fire protection.

Lee Kaiser (00:19):

I'm here with Charlie Monk. Charlie, thanks for joining me today. Charlie's an account manager in Denver, Colorado and for our mountain region. We're really excited to have you on the team with us. So Charlie, tell me, how did you get into fire protection and what brought you into this industry?

Charlie Monk (00:35):

It it's kind of crazy. I have to blame my wife actually. Sherry went to work for a company that sold, actually, firetrucks, firetruck apparatus, and they happened to have an engineering systems group and I'm an electrician by trade, an electrical contractor. So they were having some issues getting installations done. They asked me to come in and help them and assist as far as installations were concerned. And then they came to me about a year later because we were doing all of their installations and asked me if I wanted to become the manager for the engineered systems division. So I told them they couldn't afford me and I was wrong.

Lee Kaiser (01:32):

Good answer.

Charlie Monk (01:34):

As it turns out, I became the manager for engineered systems for this company in New Mexico. And the rest was history. This was in the eighties and I have enjoyed being a part of this industry ever since.

Lee Kaiser (01:55):

Yeah. It's not big but there's some really nice people in it.

Charlie Monk (01:58):

Oh, absolutely. A great opportunity to meet a lot of people in this industry.

Lee Kaiser (02:05):

So yeah. That's a nice story. So I'm sure, you know, through your time in the industry, you've had a lot of different projects that you've done. You know, can you think of one of your favorite projects and tell us about that?

Charlie Monk (02:21):

Yes. The great thing about our industry is that we protect a lot of things. You know, we talk about mission critical, but when it comes to antiquities and taking care of things that are really delicate, we had an opportunity to work with a museum in New Mexico. It was an Indian museum and not only did they have pottery, that's what people think of, or jewelry, but they actually had Indian head dresses. They had textiles, all kinds of things like that, that if they were ever destroyed, they were priceless, never could be replaced by. I worked with a museum and a manufacturer and collectively we actually put the system in. And it was an FM 200 suppression system, but they didn't want it to look like a suppression system. So we literally used early warning smoke detection and we used the piping, but they encased it in wood and it looked just like part of the museum. It was fantastic. And then they put the agent storage containers in large cabinets. So when people came through, it was right in plain sight and it looked, or they never knew that it was protected.

Lee Kaiser (03:58):

Wow. That's amazing story. That's really neat. Boy, that's probably a one in a million fire protection story, especially for a gaseous system.

Charlie Monk (04:07):

Oh, absolutely. It was, it was fun. It took about three years to go from start to finish but when we were through, it's still there today.

Lee Kaiser (04:18):

Oh, that's great. Well that, one's going to be hard to top, but I want to ask. So is there any type of project that you've never done that you want to? Do you have like a dream project?

Charlie Monk (04:27):

Actually, yes. And it is a water mist system. There was an opportunity, and we're still looking at that, with the Air Force. But it was actually a small stadium that actually President Trump is supposed to dedicate and they just built the stadium. So we're hoping that we get the opportunity to actually install a water mist system because they had to be is one of those that is the air type tent, type of stadium. And we're using, again, water mist because it takes very small piping and actually get a chance to do a small stadium.

Lee Kaiser (05:22):

Oh, that's really neat.

Charlie Monk (05:23):

With a running track.

Lee Kaiser (05:24):

Yeah. More fun special hazards opportunities there. So you talked about a few different technologies. Are there any different fire protection technologies you feel like you are an expert at?

Charlie Monk (05:38):

I would say that I've had a great opportunity to work with a lot of different manufacturers. I have some real subject matter expertise in protecting, for instance, the lab facilities for secure areas. I used a number of technologies, including specialty detection, linear heat detection and also suppression for those types of facilities. So yeah.

Lee Kaiser (06:24):

You've seen it all. You've seen it all, Charlie. So last question. In the next, you know, five to ten years looking down the road, are there any changes that you expect, changes in fire protection that we might be able to see from your prediction?

Charlie Monk (06:44):

I would say definitely the detection systems are going to get smarter, in particular on both the fire alarm and fire suppression side. The technology that I see happening there is a technology that will not rely so much on the wiring but we'll see some wireless equipment. We'll also see probably some changes in the suppression, gas suppression industry. There are a few agents out there that are yet to come.

Lee Kaiser (07:23):

Things being tested right now.

Charlie Monk (07:25):

That's being tested, right. Yeah, absolutely.

Lee Kaiser (07:27):

Well, again, Charlie Monk, account manager in Denver and our mountain region. Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. Have a great day.

Charlie Monk (07:35):

Thank you.

Outro (07:37):

Thanks for joining us. To learn more about mission critical fire protection, visit MCFPexperts.com.

Interview w/ Charlie Monk