Protecting Lives and Property—A History

Tilley Fire Equipment Company was founded in 1973 by Donald Tilley, member and volunteer fireman of Doylestown Fire Company. At the time, the fire company could no longer continue its practice of recharging fire extinguishers for the community due to the competing time requirements on the department’s volunteers, that of their primary goals of responding to fire calls and attending fire training school. Out of concern for continuing to fill the need created by empty or outdated extinguishers and thereby helping to keep homes and businesses protected from fires, Don Tilley began to recharge fire extinguishers, together with his 3 sons, in the basement of their home. His wife Nancy took on the responsibility of bookkeeping as part of the family venture.

Being the dedicated fire fighter that he was and having sprouted a new family business, it wasn’t long until Don started thinking much bigger about fire protection services than just fire extinguishers. The first move was in November of 1975, when the Tilley family moved into a property on North Broad Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. With the help of many friends and family, the property was renovated and a portion became the operations facility of the newly named “Tilley Fireguard.” This move allowed for an expansion of volume, equipment, and staff in the servicing and sale of fire extinguishers.

Our mission is to protect lives and property in partnership with our customers, team members, and suppliers.

Soon after, Don Tilley began to round out the fire protection expertise within the company, first adding kitchen suppression systems, then later adding fire sprinkler and fire alarm to the company’s product and service abilities. In 1981, the company was officially incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, under the name Tilley Fire Equipment Company. The company experienced steady growth for several years and then outgrew the facility.

In March of 1995 the company moved a short distance to the current facility at 280 N. Broad Street in Doylestown. This enabled further staff expansion, the addition of in-house professional design and also fire sprinkler system fabrication. Complementing the additional fire protection system offerings was an ongoing dedication to training and certifications, raising the expertise of staff to be among the highest in the industry, an achievement that continues to this day. In addition, the types of services provided grew to complement the numerous types of systems offered by including professional design, fabrication, installation, repair, and code-required inspection services.

Although Don Tilley recognized the need for and placed professional management within the company, it remains to this day a family-run operation that remembers its roots with humility, even some years after the passing of its founder in 2004. The pursuit of excellence in protecting lives and property from fire is a core value of the company, and flows from its beginning and the values of its founders.


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280 North Broad Street Doylestown, PA 18901 • P: (215) 345-8066 • F: (215) 345-9357 • LinkedIn logo circle