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Fire sprinkler business pulls switch on gym gear

Four Corners business gets creative amid coronavirus restrictions
Cooper Fire Protection Services employees demonstrate the fitness equipment the sprinkler system business transitioned to making during the coronavirus-related business restrictions.

FARMINGTON – What do water sprinkler systems, at-home workout equipment and truck hitches have to do with one another?

One Farmington business saw the potential to offer new products during the coronavirus-related business shutdowns.

Cooper Fire Protection Services, based in Farmington and serving the Four Corners for 40 years, designs, installs and provides maintenance on fire protection systems like sprinklers. The business – licensed to work in New Mexico and Colorado – transitioned to offering at-home workout equipment during the closures.

As the sprinkler fabrication and installation business began to thin, Ireke Cooper, president of Cooper Fire and founder of Zia Hitch, decided to fill the workout gap when gyms were closed because of the coronavirus.

With help from the CrossFit community, Cooper and his employees developed fitness equipment that could be installed in a garage or house.

The unpainted equipment consists of a wall-mounted squat and pull-up rigs; a floor-mounted squat and pull-up rigs; and various sizes of jump boxes.

Buyers typically can pick up the equipment within a week of placing an order, Cooper said.

Time will tell whether Cooper Fire’s home equipment can survive in the changing marketplace: On Thursday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced via a virtual news conference that restrictions on businesses, including gyms, would ease on June 1.

Lujan Grisham, along with State Human Services Secretary David Scrase, said public health targets were being met to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The order, in effect for 30 days, also eases restrictions on restaurants, indoor malls, massage parlors and salons starting Monday.


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