Wiginton Fire Systems, formerly known as Wiginton Fire Sprinklers, was founded and established in 1967 in Orlando, Florida by Joe Wiginton. When Joe started the company, his sons Don Wiginton, now Chairman/CEO, and Alan Wiginton, now President/COO, were in elementary school in a “sleepy town” known as Orlando. This before the arrival of Disney World and before the adoption of mandatory fire sprinklers in the building codes as a mandatory safety provision.
Joe Wiginton was a visionary leader within the industry as evidenced by his receiving the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s Golden Sprinkler Award (1995) and being inducted into the Fire Sprinkler Hall of Fame (2009). After being denied skilled union craftsmen to install his systems, Joe had no choice but to hire and train his own elite field forces. Highly-skilled and dedicated merit shop craftsman have always provided Wiginton a competitive edge over other national players. In 1972, Joe Wiginton and a handful of other local contractors founded the Central Florida Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and developed an apprenticeship program in collaboration with other independent merit shop contractors. After a failed attempt to receive training for merit shop contractors from the National Fire Sprinkler Association to assist Joe and several other merit shop contractors with their training needs, contractors around the country formed the American Fire Sprinkler Association (1981), who now both compete for members and a shared positive influence.
Wiginton soon began expanding in Florida opening branches in West Palm Beach (1985), Tampa (1985), Jacksonville (1985) and eventually Miami (1986). In 1987, Joe converted his fabrication shop into an independent distributor and fabricator: Quality Fabrication and Supply. The intent was to achieve better pricing from manufacturers as a stocking distributor and still have control over scheduling as the contractor. Quality Fabrication and Supply has achieved Joe’s vision, currently representing the premier manufacturers in our industry including Tyco Fire Products, Victaulic, Allied Pipe and Conduit, Wheatland Tube, Anvil, Potter Roemer, Ansul, United Brass, Vulcan and Erico to just name a few. Quality Fabrication currently serves Wiginton and other fire sprinkler contractors throughout the country.
Throughout their youth (in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s) Don Wiginton and Alan Wiginton both worked their way up the ranks from the bottom and were fulfilling their tours of duty (1985-1990) as Tampa and Miami Branch Managers respectively. Don eventually began cultivating and developing business outside the borders of Florida particularly in the Public Refrigerated Warehousing industry. Today, Wiginton is licensed in a majority of the 50 states and participates an active associate member of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehousers (IARW). Wiginton is a Tyco Fire Products QUELL licensee and has designed and installed or retrofitted more of these special application systems than anyone else in the world.
In 1990 an unplanned succession to the second generation began as several of the top leaders of the company resigned to start new separate competing companies, leaving Don and Alan to grow up quick. By 1992, Wiginton was healed and growing again. In the next few years, Wiginton fostered and grew a strong culture of unity and teamwork, spending a good bit of energy on effective leadership traits and personal development, supported by an incentive compensation plan, still in place today which balances the rewards of individual results with team results. This philosophy is what makes becoming a 100% employee owned company (2007) so magical. In 1994, Quality Fabrication and Supply opened their Pompano Beach Fabrication Shop which today exports miles of pipe and supplies to The Bahamas and Caribbean Islands, South America, and a vibrant South Florida market.
Wiginton Fire Protection Engineering was formed in 1997, currently staffed with talented Fire Protection Engineers to insure our clients receive the highest technical support. In 1998 Wiginton embarked upon developing an ISO 9000 Quality Management System and completed the certification process. Today, we still follow the model and maintain documented policies, processes, work instructions and internal audits.
In 1999, Wiginton began developing additional capabilities in fire alarms, fire extinguishers, pre-engineered systems, non-water based suppression, backflow prevention testing and emergency lighting testing. Today, Wiginton has cross-trained their super-techs to inspect, test and maintain all these various disciplines under one contract and one invoice. Wiginton manages its business using JD Edwards, ERP software (1999-2003). In 2006, Wiginton relocated corporate headquarters to our current location in Sanford, Florida.