FIA survey on impact of Grenfell Towers, Brexit

by Mark Rowe

The FIA (Fire Industry Association) has released its Market Conditions Survey, Wave 10. This annual snapshot of the current trends within the fire industry nationwide, shows how the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017 and the effects of a global component shortage have impacted the fire industry.

Ian Moore, CEO of the FIA, said in the report: ‘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 (compliant in every sense) as it has been reinforced that they are responsible and the consequences in cutting corners can be dire.

‘This can only be advantageous for FIA members – as we are, by nature of the strict joining criteria – all professional organisations that have taken the time and money to prove competency to different degrees.’

The major theme is that of a growth in the market due to Grenfell Tower. The report shows a continued spike in enquiries post-Grenfell, 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,” commented one responder, and many others seem to agree.

“Still a huge skills shortage in the industry as a whole and need to entice more people into the fire and security industry to grow,” said another.

However, whilst 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 is for commercial gain, 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 another responder.

The FIA’s Market Conditions Report covers other areas such as trends in the market, plus further details of the impacts of Brexit, Grenfell Tower, and competency on the industry.

Ian Moore, CEO of the FIA, will be a presenting a 45-minute webinar based on the survey, on Thursday, October 25, at 10.30am.


About the FIA

The not-for-profit trade association was formed in April 2007 out of a merger between FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trade Association) and BFPSA (British Fire Protection Systems Association).

Picture by Mark Rowe: Grenfell, North Kensington, London, summer 2018.

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