What happens when you ignite your passion and it becomes your livelihood? In 1995, this conversion became reality for Jit Sangha while working for BC Ferries. With a Diploma in Marine Engineering and a construction boom, Sangha decided that making repairs and designing ship propulsion facilities was not his dream and enabled him to realize that opening his own company would be one of his best decisions in life. Thus, Active Fire Solutions was created and has evolved from a small operation to an organization that has over 48 employees and internal divisions.
Budget Friendly Service Contractors – Honesty, Hard Work and Pride
Active Fire Solutions installs and maintains all re-type equipment such as sprinkler, extinguishers, back flow prevention systems, kitchen suppression systems, and fire hydrants. “We have grown a lot in the last 14 years. Our growth is because of how we operate the business. We are accurate in design and billing, we have the manpower. We typically come under budget and provide timely results,” says Sangha. “We are full service contractors, we don’t have sub contractors. Our success has resulted from working hard, being honest, and taking pride in our work.”
Jit Sangha, President’s Family Plays Key Roles – Manager of Operations and Accounting
Built on strong family values, Active Fire and Safety Services is a business you can trust and depend on.
Sangha thrives from the challenges of owning his business. “I enjoy the issues that come up on a daily basis, all the complications and all the problem solving. My Dad is the operational manager and I think I can say he is proud of me and the company. My wife’s help has made it easy for me over the years. She is the one I thank the most for supporting me, working hard whether it has been within the company as the accountant or raising our two sons. Without her, Active Fire would not have grown and I would not have become the person I am today. I must thank my sons Ryan and Riley as well. They put up with me always talking about the company at home,” laughs Sangha
Giving Back to the Community – Free Fire Safety Installation for Khalsa School
Sangha, who was born in Singapore and immigrated to Canada in 1994 speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Malay, and English. His multilingual skills have helped to garner customers, especially those who speak Chinese and Punjabi. When he is not working, Sangha is a volunteer coach for his son’s soccer teams in North Delta. “It is important to volunteer and give back to the community. Recently Active Fire Solutions spent time designing and installing fire-type equipment at the Khalsa School on Old Yale Road,” states Sangha.
Flexible Project Sizes and Active Fire Solutions has no size requirements for their projects. “We work on small and large projects, whether it is industrial, commercial, or multi residential. In fact the largest project we have had thus far was 2 years ago and was $4 million in fire protection,” says Sangha. Active Fire Solutions currently focuses on projects in the Lower Mainland, Abbotsford, and Squamish, but are open to expanding. “The farthest location we have completed was the Canadian Tire in Merritt,” states Sangha.
The company’s track record of being on the cutting edge, being under budget for contracts and their positive word of mouth enabled big growth in 1998 and was the company’s breakthrough. “It was an exciting year, we generated good revenues, but most importantly it was the relationships with some local developers that helped a lot. We continue to work with these same developers. They are some of our biggest repeat customers,” affirms Sangha.
Active Fire Solutions offer full package solutions. In the early stages of a project, architects fully design what the project will entail. This is done to ensure costs will be accurate from the get-go and this type of planning funnels down stages ranging from electricians, sprinkler fitters, to the service level. “This may be why we have no real competition — we help save customers money,” asserts Sangha
The economy may be slowing down for new construction; however, for Sangha some projects were halted last year, but have quickly resumed. We don’t have the same issues as our competitors; we are a full service business, we also work maintaining fire-type equipment. We are still doing lots of business. Because of the BC Fire Code it is mandatory for inspections to be done annually. We are respected by the Surrey Fire Department; we have become experts in the field. The company has lots of repeat business; we work with big and small developers.
Overall, Sangha feels lucky, he has had small challenges; instead it has been smooth sailing. Sangha states, “If your business is something you love to do and it is your passion, it gives you energy and momentum. Active Fire Solutions is all this for me. It is my baby.” Sangha’s advice for new entrepreneurs is simple. Don’t give up, become an expert in the field, be passionate, and prepare to work very hard.