Franchise Fun: Fire-Alert

Franchising the Fire-Alert concept in 2008, the father-son team of Yvan and Sylvain Houle takes great pride in being a family-owned and operated fire protection franchise

When Fire-Alert Franchising Ltd.’s co-owner Sylvain Houle describes himself as a family man, he’s not kidding. Fire-Alert, a mobile fire protection company specializing in professional and efficient inspections, has been fighting fires for more than 35 years. In 2008, Sylvain’s father Yvan Houle franchised the concept in Ottawa and the two have been working together ever since. The rest is history. Celebrating its 10th anniversary as a franchised organization in 2018, Fire-Alert has grown into a thriving system with 23 branches across the country, with aspirations to develop in Western Canada this year. Also describing himself as loyal and ambitious, Franchise Canada caught up with Sylvain to answer some Franchise Fun questions on behalf of the father-son duo.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is…

Vacationed with my wife, without our children for the first time since they were born. What an experience!

In its best form, work is…

Fun! Do what you’re passionate about and you won’t work a day in your life.

A good franchisee…

Believes in the brand and is motivated to make it better.

A good franchisor…

Doesn’t wait for opportunity, they create it.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is…

Be passionate about the business you are becoming a partner in.

My top advice for new franchisors is…

Believe in yourself and never give up until your dreams become your reality.

The most important thing in life is…

Family.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is…

Playing hockey or spending the day on the water.

The hardest thing for me to do is…

Sit still.

My favourite drink is…

A gin soda or a glass of red wine

If I could change one thing…

Pardon my lack of creativity but I’d go with world peace. There is a reason it keeps coming up.

If I could meet anyone…

I’d love to have dinner with Brian Scudamore. He inspires me daily as a franchisor.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is…

My father. We’ve had a remarkable bond since day one. Working with family seems to have such a negative connotation to it, but we’ve beaten the odds.

Canadian franchising is…

A window of opportunity for anyone with a desire to own a business.

My franchise system began because…

My father had a vision that we brought to light. Our concept is too good not to be franchised.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is…

My wife and kids who put a smile on my face every day and make it all worth it.

The key to success is…

Believing in yourself and being the best at what you do.

I’d like my friends to describe me as…

Fun, loyal, and respectful.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is…

Carrying my father’s legacy as an entrepreneur while always putting family first.

My personal motto is…

Work hard, play harder.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is…

Establish a non-profit.