Rock Ministries is now protected, thanks to the efforts of the NFSA PenJerDel Chapter and Sprinkler Fitters Union Local 692.
“This is huge for us,” said Pastor Buddy Osborn, as he leaned against the ropes of the boxing ring at Rock Ministries. “Thanks to this sprinkler system, we’re not going nowhere.”
This newly installed fire sprinkler system was donated by the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) PenJerDel Chapter. King of Prussia-based Oliver Fire Protection & Security worked on behalf of the National Fire Sprinkler Association to design and provide materials for the system, which was then installed by the Sprinkler Fitters Union Local 692.
Many in Philadelphia and the surrounding area are aware of the troubles Kensington has faced in recent years. While gentrification has helped business owners and renters immensely, many locals are as isolated and disenfranchised as ever. “Going to this neighborhood was completely eye-opening,” said David Oliver, president of Oliver Fire Protection & Security, “it’s hard to believe this area has been so forgotten, seeing how close it is to everything.” Consequently, this neglect has caused the opioid crisis to hit Kensington hard, leaving many—including children— at risk of addiction or a life of crime.
In the midst of these troubling times, many faith groups have opened their doors to offer healing to those in Kensington. Rock Ministries, located on the 2000 block of Kensington Avenue, is one such ministry.
Purchased by pastor and former boxer Mark “Buddy” Osborn in 2003, the building for Rock Ministries was an abandoned storefront occupied only by rats and squatters—a common fixture in neighborhoods like Kensington. The ministry started as a community outreach for neighborhood children but has grown from its humble beginnings to include a gym, a boys’ shelter, and a women’s shelter. The ministry now includes 12 buildings and is expanding quickly against the tide of gentrification.
With fast growth such as this, safety can often fall to the wayside, particularly fire safety. This is something that should not be neglected, especially in a neighborhood like Kensington, where fires are prevalent. This became more apparent to Pastor Osborn after he had a commercial kitchen installed in one of his buildings. Recognizing the hazard this posed, Pastor Osborn stated that he wanted to “bring everything to code and make it right.” He reached out to Pearce Keating of Daniel J. Keating Construction Co., who then directed him to Oliver Fire Protection, an NFSA PenJerDel contractor.
Luckily for Buddy, the NFSA PenJerDel Chapter and Sprinkler Fitters Union Local 692 were more than willing to design and install a sprinkler system in the basement, as well as the first, second and third floors of the building. The system protects the ministry itself, the gym, a daycare upstairs for newborns and toddlers, and even a room where interns sleep.
While the inclusion of a fire suppression system is wise in any building, commercial or residential, it is especially important in a building with a commercial kitchen. Last year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that cooking fires “caused an average of 480 civilian fire deaths, 5,540 civilian fire injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage” (Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment, NFPA).
While many business owners have reservations about these systems, many of them are unfounded. The chief concern many owners have, especially restaurant owners, is that any excessive smoke will set the system off. This is not true; sprinklers react to heat, not smoke. Furthermore, not all sprinklers go off at once, but rather the one closest to the source of the heat. Sadly, it is these misconceptions that wind up costing business owners thousands each year when their buildings catch fire.
“We were blessed,” says Pastor Osborn as he looked over his ever-growing ministry, “this sprinkler system will truly allow us to grow to the next level.”
For more information on the life-saving qualities of fire sprinklers, or to have a system installed in your home or business, contact the National Fire Sprinkler Association PenJerDel Chapter online at Saveandprotect.org or call 866-226-6006 for more information.
Article reprinted from PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) MAY 04, 2018