FS Systems celebrates fifty years

Issue 1 2021 Editor's Choice

In 1965, Duane Pearsall and Stanley Peterson developed the world’s first battery-operated smoke detector. Just four years later, South Africans Margaret and Robert Macfarlane established a company called Fire Fight for the installation of fire and life safety devices in Observatory, Cape Town.

After two busy years in the industry, the founders decided to focus on manufacturing their own fire equipment along with meeting SA’s great need for the installation and integration of such products. Thus, the company split in two. In 1971, Fire Fight became Ziton and Lintek. Ziton manufactured new products while Lintek’s team of five focused on integrating and installing them.

There was no legislation to support fire detection in South Africa in the 1970s, which made for many challenges and facilitated exciting innovations. Lintek became one of a handful of specialists in the Western Cape. The establishments serviced were mainly government departments, with a focus on hospitals and their systems.

In the ‘80s, Linktek became FireSpec, staying faithful to its roots in the fire market, while expanding into other areas of enterprise security including access control, surveillance, voice evacuation and PSIM. FireSpec undertook fire projects at major hospitals such as Groote Schuur, Caledon, George, Somerset and Tygerberg Hospital.

IN the 1990s the first tender was won in higher education with the University of Cape Town, which became a flagship client for FireSpec. In the early 2000s further record projects were completed at both Tygerberg Hospital and at Cape Town International Airport.

Then in the 2010s, FireSpec was renamed to FS Systems and the first international projects were won for the mining and gaming industries in Latin America (LATAM) and Africa. Now, evolving with technology, the company has expanded its focus to include 4IR technologies and is future proofing FS Systems for the next fifty years.

Today the FS Group consists of four companies with more than eighty employees on its team. It successfully executes projects in over nine countries in Africa and LATAM. The company has also invested in an extensive network of more than forty approved partners.

“FS Systems has stayed true to its roots in the fire detection and enterprise security market, while making sure that we continuously grow and stay up to date with the latest technology. By becoming experts in our field, we have been able to bring global trends and technologies to the African market for the last fifty years. We remain future focused and will continue to provide an end-to-end solution for our customers,” says Carlo Klopper, CEO of the FS Group.


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