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Fire Protection Starts at Home

Kris Johnson discusses protecting your home from fire and other safety hazards.

Kris Johnson, founder of Johnson Consulting Specialists, LLC, is passionate about helping his clients stay safe and compliant with fire protection codes and other building safety codes. Kris started Johnson Consulting because he "was working for big companies where people weren't appreciated," says Kris. "I decided to branch out and start my own business. That was 10 years ago."

The first step in protecting a building from fire is knowing the fire code. "In every jurisdiction, the codes are different. Every state has their own code, for the most part, all based off one original code," says Kris. "Knowing the code is key. We have an extensive library of all the codes."

Kris encourages people to stay ahead of the codes and to be proactive with their fire protection. He believes that common sense and experience are important when it comes to fire protection design, and if he could add content to the fire code, it would be just that: a section for common sense design principles.

"We've done designs for buildings where the code has a gray area," says Kris. "Coming up with innovative fire-protection designs to protect these unique buildings is a wonderful achievement for us, one that the buildings have been recognized for. The architects come up with incredible designs that are ahead of the code. They're more progressive than the code is able to keep up with."

The staff at Johnson Consulting Specialists, LLC, are "some of the best fire protection engineers in the industry," says Kris. "I consult with them. We go to conferences together."

In addition, Kris himself is always current with the latest fire-protection information. "I have to take or teach multiple classes every year to maintain my certification," he says. "I'm also a voting member of the National Fire Protection Association. I've been a member with them for 25 years now."

The importance of safety in the home cannot be understated, but there's another meaningful aspect to the job, too: Kris gets to help people feel comfortable in their homes. "Safety is not something you want to have to worry about. Codes and standards are often reactive. When a disaster happens, things change, but we don't want to wait for that to happen," says Kris. He and his team pride themselves on being proactive.

"It's important to stay ahead of disasters to make people feel safe," Kris says. "I wouldn't want somebody to go shopping in a grocery store and have to worry, 'Is this place safe? Am I going to be able to get out of here?' There are some buildings that don't entirely make me comfortable to be in, and that can really degrade your experience in those facilities. You want to feel safe."

Kris enjoys helping his clients save money and time, and he finds it rewarding to know that he is helping people stay safe. He has a special place in his heart for the city of Eagan, where he lived for almost 10 years. 

Kris has a few words of advice to share: "Change your smoke detector battery every October, and remember that the smoke detectors in your home don't last forever. If it's more than 10 years old, replace it," he says. "Fire protection starts at home. It starts with each and every one of us."

To learn more about Johnson Consulting Specialists, LLC, visit johnsonconsultingspecialists.com.

“Change your smoke detector battery every October, and remember that the smoke detectors in your home don't last forever. If it's more than 10 years old, replace it."