• 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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Top News

Manpower Needed - (7/25/2016)

From the Business Manager to all Members: 

In the past few weeks I have received numerous calls from Signatory Contractors to discuss their future manpower needs. In these conversations they have expressed their concerns that because of their projections they will need more manpower than what is currently available. In June of this year the Department of Labor cancelled our list of future Apprentices (list compiled in 2006) which means we cannot bring in Apprentices until we have a new test (no plans for that currently). According to the "Man Hours" reports submitted to the Union by the Contractors, I feel it is fair to say most Members working now are working full 40-hour weeks with many working overtime. I am aware  that many of our Members have struggled for a long time, and are concerned about committing to returning to our Trade. While I cannot promise any Member full time, long term employment, this is the highest demand for manpower the Local has seen in many years. The Local must furnish Manpower to the Signatory Contractors when requested. We are going to have to fill Manpower requests as they come in. I know we would all prefer to do that with LU 281 Members. To make that happen, we need a commitment from our Members currently not working in our Trade to return. If you are a Member currently working in our Trade and know a Member who is not currently working in our Trade, I would ask you to reach out to them to consider returning. Any Member who is not current with their dues & death assessments can seek and obtain employment with a Signatory Contractor, they just cannot begin working until their dues & death assessments are paid up.  I will continue to update you on this situation.  Thank you.

Dennis Fleming


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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