• High Rise Fire Safety
    Is your high-rise building protected with a fire sprinkler system?

    It just might save your life!
  • Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices
    Local 281 of the Chicagoland Area

Training Center

Proper and uniform training for persons who desire to become skilled journeymen through an orderly method of improving the mechanical skill and technical knowledge of apprentices in this industry.

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High-Rise Safety

Is your High-Rise building protected from potential death and destruction with a fire sprinkler system? Learn about the benefits of these property and life saving systems today!

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Health & Welfare

For active participants, retired participants and families, our site houses answers to frequently asked questions, a library of all the documents you need to manage your employee benefits, and more.

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Members Only

Please log in to access the Members Only sections. If you do not have a UA Card Number please contact the UA Local 281 Union Office and they will provide you with your temporary password.

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Sprinker System Saves Lives in Orland Park Retirement Home - (4/7/2016)

A sprinkler system installed at the Lexington Health Care assisted and independent living retirement home, 14601 John Humphrey Drive, is being credited with saving lives and helping to significantly minimize damage that could have been caused by a small fire there this morning.

The fire started in the basement maintenance area of the assisted living home just after 8 am on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Investigators identified the cause as a coffee maker that was located on a shelf above a desk.

The fire quickly spread to objects on and around the desk, and up the wall of the room when the fire sprinkler system activated and suppressed the fire instantly.

The Orland Fire Protection District was alerted and responded to a fire alarm activation due to the sprinkler system operating. The initial crews reported a water flow alarm and investigated to find smoke in the basement with water flowing from a sprinkler head.

A fire extinguisher was used to completely extinguish the smoldering material. The smoke that was confined to the basement and workshop area was removed by firefighters using power fans.

Because the fire was controlled quickly no residents had to be moved or evacuated and normal operations were maintained throughout the incident. All floors were evaluated for hazards and deemed safe. Fire damage was limited to the desk and items on the shelves above.

“Every year at our Open House, we demonstrate how important fire sprinkler systems can be for businesses, properties like assisted living centers and even in private homes in saving lives, and fighting and preventing damage caused by fires,” Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schofield said.

“This was a perfect example of how the sprinkler system quickly prevented the fire from spreading throughout the property, and minimized the intrusion on the lives of the residents in the home. We didn’t have to evacuate the property or disrupt the healthcare services there. We made the property safe and completely extinguished what could have been a far worse fire.”

Schofield also credited the fast response of the District’s fire fighting teams.

Orland Fire personnel were assisted by a fire truck and team from neighboring Tinley Park. 

Please see photo in our gallery.


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Welcome to Sprinkler Fitters Local 281

At the United Association of Sprinkler Fitters, Local 281, we are responsible for protecting businesses, schools, homes, and, more importantly, precious lives, from the devastation of fire. It is no wonder we take our jobs so seriously.

Too many cut corners by not installing reliable automatic sprinkler systems. In the event of a fire, these shortcuts can lead to immeasurable damage. Statistics show that buildings with proper fire protection systems suffer twenty-four percent less damage and fire loss than unsprinkled properties.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 1983 to 1987, damage from hotel fires was seventy-eight percent less in buildings with sprinkler systems, than those without. The water damage from automatic sprinkler systems is considerably less than from a fire department's hose stream because sprinkler systems require a minimal amount of water to operate. Oftentimes, a fire is brought under control by only three sprinkler heads, sometimes even fewer.

With so much riding on the skills of our Sprinkler Fitters, it is critical that our journeymen receive the best training available. In addition to a rigorous apprenticeship program, many U.A. Sprinkler Fitters choose to expand their skills by voluntarily participating in advanced training programs.  Some even go on to become instructors through the United Association International Instructor Training Program.

The members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 are committed to providing quality installation, service and repair to the piping and fixtures used in sprinkler systems.  They know that when human lives are at stake, there is no room for error, and there might not be a second chance to get it done right. That is why the Sprinkler Fitters of Local 281 do the job right, the first time, every time.

Promotional Videos

For more information on High-Rise Fire Safety, please click here.  Below is a Playlist of videos related to Fire Sprinkler Systems.  Click 'Play All' to view all the videos.

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, the parent Union of Local #281 in Chicago, has a long and proud history that goes back more than 100 years.
Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 are pipefitting specialists in fire protection. Our members install, repair and maintain all types of fire extinguishing systems. Please browse our new website to learn more about our members, new merchandise, and to receive up-to-date information about our organization.

Included on our website is our contractor list or you can contact us direct at Local 281 for your important fire protection needs!

Our Skills

  • New Installations
  • Retrofits or Maintenance
  • Professional Inspection
  • Testing and Service