• 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

Buona Beef Update - (8/28/2017)

Recently, many of our affiliates took job action against Buona Beef.   On Wednesday,  August23rd,  we met with two of the principle owners of Buona Beef and had some discussion.  On Thursday afternoon after discussions with our leaders that were involved in the job action,an agreement was struck with Buona Beef.  The agreement is as follows: Buona Beef will look at the current contracts that they have for projects that have started and work on getting union contractors to replace those that are not union.  In addition, there is a PLA for the next Buona Beef that will be built in Mount Prospect at 200 Rand Rd.  We also have assurances that the future location in Skokie will be built by signatory contractors as well.  They have issued a press release that Channel 9 picked up on Friday night, Buona Beef will be built Union from now on.


Part of the agreement is that any and all negative ads or posts must come down immediately. We have made numerous calls to many of our affiliates to explain the agreement, and asked them to please take negative stuff down,and YET THE ADS and POSTS REMAIN UP ON NUMEROUS types of social media.  


I am asking that you please contact whomever controls ALL of your social media and ask them to TAKE DOWN ANY NEGATIVE ADS AND POSTS PERTAINING TO BUONA BEEF.  A deal is a deal and we are only as good as our word.  If we can’t keep our word on this agreement, we might not be taken seriously when we want another agreement signed by someone else.




Ralph Affrunti, President

Chicago Building Trades Council

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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