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Clearwater fire protection services firm acquired by Chicago company

Fortis Fire & Safety’s purchase of Piper Fire Protection comes on the heels of buying a similar business in Boyton Beach.

  • By Brian Hartz
  • | 11:45 a.m. March 14, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Piper Fire Protection's executive team, including Founder Terry Johnson, third from right, and President Chris Johnson, third from left.
Piper Fire Protection's executive team, including Founder Terry Johnson, third from right, and President Chris Johnson, third from left.
Courtesy photo
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Fortis Fire & Safety, a fast-growing fire protection service company headquartered in Chicago, has acquired Clearwater-based Piper Fire Protection, a family-owned business, founded in 1986, that also has offices in Sarasota and Tampa.

The purchase, according to a news release, further strengthens Fortis’s position in Florida as it follows the acquisition of LifeSafety Management in Boynton Beach.

"Fortis is honored to welcome the Piper team into the Fortis family," Fortis CEO Rich Ennis states in the release. "As an industry leader, Piper will enable us to bolster our competitive presence and significantly grow our business in Florida. Piper's advocacy for life safety in the communities where they live, work and serve, and commitment to delivering superior customer experience, fits right into the Fortis model."

With more than 200 employees, Piper Fire Protection provides a wide range of products and services related to fire prevention and safety, including inspections and design and installation of fire alarm and sprinkler systems.

"I could not be prouder of the company that our Piper family has built from my modest beginnings,” Founder Terry Johnson states in the release. “I stand in awe at how our fire sprinkler service company has grown into an industry leader."

Piper Fire Protection President Chris Johnson will join Fortis as a member of the company’s owners’ advisory council. Other terms of the deal, including acquisition cost, were not disclosed in the release.

“The decision to sell our business was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made,” Chris Johnson states in the release. “Over the years, we have been solicited by numerous companies and once we started conversations with Fortis, we knew our values, people-first philosophy, passion for training and commitment to our community was aligned and would set us up for future growth. I am excited this partnership will provide career growth opportunities to our Piper family."



Brian Hartz

Brian Hartz holds a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and has been a St. Petersburg resident since 2013. He has also worked for newspapers and magazines in Indiana, Canada and New Zealand.

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