History of RLH

The History of the Fire Sprinkler

The use of the fire sprinkler dates back to between 1806-1852, when manual devices were utilized in New England textile mills. From 1852 to 1860, Philip Pratt worked on developing advanced methods of fire extinguishing systems. In 1874, Henry Parmelee designed the first practical system in his piano factory after a fire decimated his entire factory.

In 1881, the first practical automated sprinkler systems entered the market by innovator Fredrick Grinnell. The National Fire Protection Association was formed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1896, and by the 1940s, building officials focused on how to use sprinkler systems to provide life safety, not just to save property.

This core value helped to form the foundation of what RLH stands for today: helping our clients protect their employees, customers, and property with reliable fire protection systems.

Our Company Timeline


RLH Fire Protection Founder, Leon Hardcastle, started working and installing sprinkler systems in Sacramento.


Leon moved to Bakersfield and started his own company, Associated Automatic Fire Protection Systems.


Leon established R.L. Hardcastle Construction, Inc.


A new office opened in San Jose, expanding the company’s reach to the Bay Area.


The San Jose office was relocated to Fremont, CA.


The Fremont office was relocated to Livermore, CA..

2006 – 2007

Offices were opened in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Los Angeles office was moved to Simi Valley.


Hardcastle Specialties Inc. was established to branch into alarms and residential fire sprinklers.


A centrally located fabrication facility was built to accommodate the demands of company growth.


RLH opens a location in San Luis Obispo.


RLH starts operations in Idaho.