FIA Market Conditions Survey details impact of Grenfell Tower, Brexit and ‘cutting corners’ on fire industry

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has released the results of its Market Conditions Survey Wave 10 that offers a snapshot of the current trends within the fire industry nationwide. Each Wave is conducted annually. Wave 10 reveals the impact of the changes in the landscape within the last 12 months, the trends within the market and other emerging (and continuing) issues.

In the last 12 months, there have been a lot of events that have had a big impact on the industry as a whole. The survey has revealed how Grenfell Tower and the effects of a global component shortage have impacted the fire industry.

“With a number of scathing reports on the lack of professionalism and competency in our industry, building owners and landlords are starting to demand the best available compliance in every sense as it has been reinforced that they are responsible and the consequences of cutting corners can be dire,” said Ian Moore, CEO of the FIA. “This can only be advantageous for FIA members as they are, by the very nature of the strict joining criteria we demand, all professional organisations that have taken the time and money to prove competency to different degrees.”

The major theme that appears throughout the Market Conditions Survey Wave 10 report is that of a growth in the market due to the horrific events at Grenfell Tower, which was one of the largest tragedies in UK history. The report shows a continued spike in enquiries post-Grenfell Tower, but with the crux that, as a result, companies are needing to hire more staff and still suffering a skills shortage.

“Fire engineers are very sought after,” comments one responder in the document, and many others seem to agree. “There’s still a huge skills shortage in the industry as a whole and we need to entice more people into the fire and security industry for it to grow,” was the view expressed by another interviewee.

Competence and compliance

Ian Moore: CEO of the FIA

Ian Moore: CEO of the FIA

However, while there does seem to be an increase in enquiries, there are a large percentage of concerns being raised about competence and compliance. “There was initially a knee-jerk reaction post-Grenfell,” said one responder. “It still worries me how many competitors are still offering ‘get arounds’ or interpreting the rules in a way that’s for commercial gain, but at the expense of what is professionally or ethically correct.”

“There seems to be a bigger focus on cutting corners where possible, indicating that profits are under pressure. My biggest concern for the industry as a whole is lack of effective competency,” said one responder.

Competence and compliance are the very raison d’être for the FIA, with third party certification as a criterion for membership of the Association. The continued promotion of standards and legislation helps to set a benchmark of quality for suppliers within the fire sector.

The FIA’s Market Conditions Survey Wave 10 covers a wide range of other areas and provides even further insight into current trends in the market, as well as further details of the impacts of Brexit, the Grenfell Tower fire and competency on the industry.

*Download the FIA’s Market Conditions Survey Wave 10

**Ian Moore will be a presenting a webinar based on the survey and giving further insights into the industry. The 45-minute webinar will take place on Thursday 25 October at 10.30 am. Sign up to the webinar

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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