Defining competency and ensuring safety

Share this content


Ian Moore, FIA CEO, discusses the Fire Industry Association’s influence and aims

The primary mission of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) is to promote, improve and perfect fire protection methods, devices, services and apparatus. 

We achieve this through the representation of our members, providing technical support, guidance and opportunities for professional advancement through education and appropriate regulation.

By establishing clear competency definitions, we strive to enhance public safety, help companies from violating legislation, and uphold the UK’s strong standing in the fire industry.

As a bridge between government, fire and rescue services, trade and exports, and the UK fire industry, FIA takes pride in representing the strength of the UK fire industry, which is currently stronger than ever.

Our efforts, along with other associations, have kept the UK’s fire market robust and have seen our fire exports surpass security exports by a considerable margin.

While based in the UK, the FIA has an expansive global reach.

Our Export Council, specifically, is committed to helping our exporters break into overseas markets and keeping them informed about upcoming trade shows, especially in vibrant sectors such as the Middle East.

Despite the fire industry often being overlooked or grouped with defence and security in governmental exports, we continue to demonstrate our sector’s strength and potential.

Furthermore, we have Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in place with various associations worldwide, including those in India and Australia.

Most notably, we’ve recently opened an office in Cyprus to support their developing fire industry, marking the start of FIA’s presence in Cyprus and the surrounding region with a fire summit scheduled for October this year.

Growth and development

In recent years, the FIA has also experienced substantial internal growth.

With our structure comprising of departments dedicated to technical support, training, finance, membership, marketing and events, we’ve been able to enhance both the quality and quantity of our services.

One of our significant growth markers is the investment in new facilities, like our northern office in Northwich.

Strategically located and easily accessible, this new office reaffirms our commitment to serving the entire country, not just those around London.

The Northwich office is a state-of-the-art building, designed to facilitate and combine theoretical and practical training.

It also provides multi-functional events and meeting spaces for members to utilise and showcases UK products to visiting dignitaries and government officials, further highlighting the strength of the UK fire safety market.

Our organizational structure, comprising seven councils and many working groups, is one of our greatest strengths.

Each council looks after a specific sector of the industry, with our membership representing every sector.

Our seven current councils focus on fire detection and alarms, extinguishing, services, fire risk assessment, fire engineering, exports and fire & rescue equipment suppliers.

These councils oversee hundreds of working groups that feed into British standards committees, directly influencing legislation.

The FIA also works closely with fire and rescue services to facilitate cohesive thinking.

Our training initiatives for fire detection and alarm engineers directly impact rescue services by reducing unnecessary alarm incidents, saving valuable resources.

These efforts embody FIA’s mission to ensure public safety, enhance industry competency, and drive the fire industry forward, both nationally and internationally.

Our unique approach to training

The FIA has consistently been the leading force in fire safety training within the UK. Our courses set the bar of competency throughout the industry.

We create our courses in partnership with our members, forming committees that collaborate to develop and deliver the training.

These courses are built upon the solid foundation of the British Standards, ensuring relevance and adherence to the highest quality.

Bringing the industry together

The FIA have recently invested in a full-time events manager to facilitate and grow our many events throughout the year.

Our flagship event is the AGM and annual lunch, taking place in November each year. 

A highlight of the annual events calendar, the AGM and annual lunch brings together over 500 industry leaders and gives a comprehensive overview of the current state of affairs across the fire safety sector.

We’ve been proudly running the Fire Industry Manufacturers (FIM) Expo for many years.

Its main objective is to facilitate quality interactions between exhibitors and delegates by ensuring the presence of quality attendees.

The FIM Expo is designed to travel across the country, reaching areas that larger expos often overlook.

Exhibitors are encouraged to maintain simplicity – a tabletop and a pop-up banner is all that’s required.

This approach keeps costs low while maximizing the potential for meaningful and impactful exchanges.

Our target is to run 3 FIM expos each year with current plans in the pipeline to host FIM Expos in Portsmouth and Northwich in 2023/24.

Building a stronger FIA

Even though we have well over 1,000 professional member companies, we continue to look for opportunities to expand and diversify our membership base.

Our ambition isn’t confined to the UK.

We’re looking at opportunities to establish a presence in the Middle East and other regions where British Standards are held in high regard, such as Malaysia, India, and Australia.

Our dynamic and forward-thinking board is excited and ready to pursue these growth opportunities.

The FIA’s initiatives extend beyond member support, legislation influence, training and expos.

We recently made significant contributions to the relief efforts in Ukraine. The whole of the Fire Industry came together to support the UK deployment of aid through Fire Aid, our charity partner.

It has been both an honour and humbling experience to be part of a truly collaborative humanitarian response from the UK.

We are incredibly proud of our sector for their determined and unified effort to help the Fire Fighters of Ukraine.

In response to the Grenfell tragedy, we developed the Building Safety Information Portal, a neutral platform where qualified assessors can upload EWS1 forms.

This platform, accessible by mortgage lenders and the public for free, has greatly helped homeowners affected by the cladding issue, enabling lenders to make more informed decisions.

The FIA is dedicated to elevating industry standards, improving competency levels, and fostering meaningful conversations among our members.

As we look forward to expanding our influence, we’re committed to addressing the current needs of the industry.

With our plans for growth and dedication to serving the industry, the coming years will be truly exciting for the FIA and its members.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox