In 1971, Continental Fire Sprinkler Company was founded by brothers John and William McVey. They both had established careers in the fire sprinkler industry, working their way up from installation to sales and management positions with different fire sprinkler contractors in the Midwest.

When an existing fire sprinkler contractor failed, leaving its project incomplete, the McVey brothers seized the opportunity and created Continental Fire Sprinkler Company to complete the bonded work of the other contractor.

The Company’s name was chosen to express the founders’ vision of Continental Fire Sprinkler Company branching out from its Midwestern birthplace and expanding across the United States through hard work, honesty, integrity and superior customer service.

Throughout the 1970s, Continental Fire Sprinkler Company’s work was concentrated in the Midwestern states and periodically clients familiar with the Company’s work ethic and standards would request that Continental Fire Sprinkler Company go beyond its target market to perform fire sprinkler work in other geographical locations.


Continental Fire Sprinkler Company secured its first distribution center installation in Laurens, SC. This was the largest project at the time and was for the nationally known retailer, Wal-Mart. This project required more than 45,000 sprinkler heads throughout the 1.5 million-square-foot facility. The quality and efficiency of Continental Fire Sprinkler Company’s work would lead to more than 30 such installations for Wal-Mart across the country in the following years.


Continental Fire Sprinkler Company continued to expand its services and was developing into the Midwest’s premier fire sprinkler contractor. In this decade, the Company began making some serious inroads into specialty niches of freezers, additional warehouses and special hazard installations.

In 1995, Continental Fire Sprinkler Company added to the fire sprinkler division and incorporated Continental Alarm and Detection Company. This added a new niche to the already reputable fire sprinkler division by providing fire suppression and fire alarm systems. This also allowed a combined service department for inspections of water based and fire alarm and suppression systems, making Continental Fire Sprinkler Company the “one stop shop” for fire protection needs.


By the 21st century, Continental Fire Sprinkler Company experienced substantial growth and opened an office in Davenport, Iowa to provide fire protection needs to clients in the Quad Cities area.

In 2005, Kiewit Corporation, one of North America’s largest and most respected construction, engineering and mining companies, bought the business, including the Continental names: Continental Fire Sprinkler Company and Continental Alarm and Detection Company.

In 2008, the decision was made to merge both companies and as a result, Continental Alarm and Detection Company became a wholly internal division of Continental Fire Sprinkler Company, now known as “Continental Alarm and Detection, a division of Continental Fire Sprinkler Company.”

From an original staff of one designer and a handful of fitters, the workforce has grown to more than 275 employees. The Company became one of the top 20 fire sprinkler contactors in the nation. Continental Fire Sprinkler Company continues to prosper and has added offices in Des Moines, Iowa and Lincoln, Nebraska to support the more than 40 states they are licensed to perform work, while still maintaining the small company atmosphere that Continental Fire Sprinkler Company is known for.

While excited about future projects, we value our long-term relationships with clients who have helped make the business what it is today. Continental Fire Sprinkler Company’s goals continue to reflect a core value established by John and Bill McVey in 1971: providing a valuable service to clients with safety, ethics, customer service and honesty as guidelines.