• 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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Sprinklers Save Business Park Warehouse - (6/1/2016)

Fire engulfed a truck trailer filled with cleaning and restaurant supplies parked at the loading dock of a warehouse in Elk Grove Village last night (Wednesday). Firefighters spent about two hours battling the blaze and clearing the area of smoke after the flames were extinguished.

Elk Grove Village Fire Chief Richard Mikel said flames became so intense inside the trailer, it burned through the roof sending large amounts of smoke billowing into the air and throughout the entire warehouse at 2301 Lunt Ave.  Mikel estimated the warehouse to be several hundred thousand square feet in size.Heat from the trailer fire melted glass caps on sprinkler heads above the loading dock, activating sprinklers and saving the building from fire damage. Mikel said he is scheduled to meet with building owners to assess the extent of significant smoke damage. Mikel said water damage to the building was minimal.Firefighters were alerted by witnesses from across the street who saw smoke rising at about 10 p.m., Mikel said. Firefighters had the fire out and smoke vented by about midnight.

Mikel said there were no injuries and he did not believe anyone was in the building when the fire began.

Firefighters arriving on scene saw the entire building engulfed in smoke and called for an upgraded Code 4 alarm. That alarm brought nearly 30 firefighters from Des Plaines, Elk Grove Township, Itasca, Wood Dale and Bensenville to assist Elk Grove Village.

Crews used a special Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) truck equipped with a giant fan to clear the building of smoke after the trailer was extinguished and towed away from the loading dock.

Mikel said had the building not been equipped with a sprinkler system, the building itself would have likely caught fire causing a vastly larger blaze. He also said the trailer did not have a semi tractor attached to it when it caught fire. He said that would have also made the fire worse.


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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