by Will Mason
Tel: 020 8541 5646
The FIA is a trade association, we're made up of predominately our members. The permanent staff here are essentially secretaries to our members and we provide a service which represents them at government level, across the industry as a whole. Our member companies are companies that work in fire safety industry, so fire alarm installers and maintainers, product manufacturers, fire extinguisher servicing companies, so we've got quite a range. Fire Industry Association was set up in 2007. It's the coming together of two older trade associations; the Fire Extinguishing Trades Association which goes back to 1916 and the British Fire Protection Systems Association which is about 50 years old.
The FIA has a very strict criteria on its membership. Our main belief is that companies within the fire industry should have third party certification.
Third party certification is a requirement of membership. If you haven't got it, or if you're not working towards it, and you have to be able to evidence that you're working towards it, then you can't be a member of the FIA. With that assurance then we know we're representing businesses that are reputable and keen to provide a good service to their customers.
One of the services that we offer, if you are looking to become a member and don't yet have third party certification is our Route to Certification scheme. And that basically takes you through the whole process from start to finish.
If you want to have that voice and want to have your business supported, then a membership of an organisation such as the FIA is extremely important. As a single company, government aren't really gonna listen to you but as the voice collected from a number of companies coming together under a trade association, they are gonna listen. And the FIA is currently the largest trade association representing fire.
Yeah the Fire Industry association lobbies with government. A good recent example would have been the work we did with the Westminster government on the localism bill. There was an intention that the localism bill would allow fire and rescues to charge for attendance at false alarms in domestic dwellings. We thought that an awful idea because a lot of vulnerable people live in domestic dwellings. We eventually managed, along with some other parties, to get the government to see the error of their ways, and that part of the bill was withdrawn. The future that we would like to see is a more all-encompassing body like the Fire Industry Association which could represent all of the fire stakeholders with government and with other bodies.
Currently government has pulled back from the fire industry, there have been very large cuts. And organisations such as the Fire Industry Association have to fill the vacuum the government has left, if only for the fact that if we don't, nobody else will.
We're looking at including more areas of the fire industry. We want to expand to make sure that we are, or may continue to be the largest trade association in the fire industry, so we have the loudest voice and can achieve the most for our members.
So if you're unsure about where to start, the main thing is just to start the process. Give us a call, give one of certification bodies a call. Everyone should be more than willing to help you through and get any, even if you think your questions are silly, it just starts the process and gets you aware of what needs to happen, it's not as scary as it sounds.
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