Category Archives: Latest news

Successfully raising fire industry standards for 30 years

IFEDA, the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association is celebrating 30 years of raising standards within the fire protection industry. The association was formed on a desire to bring fire extinguisher technician training to the independent fire trade beyond the confines of the manufacturing companies. Credit for the association should go to Mr Dave Hulse and his company National Fire Training. Through his good offices and at the direction of the founding committee members, IFEDA quickly added what was to become one enduring principle, which is the stated aim of raising quality standards within the fire protection industry through third-party accreditation, initially being BS5750 and lately ISO 9001.

To this day IFEDA requires that its members should achieve third-party accreditation as a means of continued membership. This ensures that the quality standards and workings of member companies and their technicians are independently assessed via UKAS approved schemes such as BAFE SP101 and BAFE SP203 etc. IFEDA itself, whilst being the first fire industry trade association to require members to achieve third-party accreditation, was also the first association within the fire trade to achieve ISO 9001 for its services to members and training courses.

IFEDA members are fire protection service companies, and membership works on the democratic principle of one member, one vote. From humble beginnings, IFEDA board members now sit on various industry committees including British Standards workings groups for fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire safety signage. In addition they also sit on various BAFE scheme committees including fire extinguisher technicians, fire alarms, kitchen suppression and the dry/wet riser scheme. This ensures that IFEDA members’ voices and points of view are represented across the industry.

Graham Ferris, General Manager at IFEDA commented: “There are simply too many people who have made massive and telling contributions to this association over the past 30 years to try and name and pay tribute to their efforts and input, to do so would risk offending an omission who was equally deserving. However, special mention should be made with regards to my immediate predecessor Mr Ray Griffin and our long-time Chairman and now Executive President Mr Colin Payne. Both, in the early 2000’s, were at the inception of major changes in IFEDA not least in making the, then cost-prohibitive, attainment of ISO 9001 available to all the membership, irrespective of their company size.”

Mike Tobin, Chairman of IFEDA remarked: “2019 marks an important milestone in this fast paced and ever-changing industry. I am honoured to be part of the IFEDA journey which has been built from the heart. With sustainable foundations that are built with human spirit, and a drive to continually improve the relevant industry standards. We believe IFEDA is possibly the most authentic trade association within the fire safety sector. Our aim going forward is to direct our operations to assisting members in a fast-moving market, backed with applications to assist in the day to day engineering of systems and services.”

IFEDA continues to raise standards within the fire protection industry, and achieves this by running training courses across a number of disciplines, including: fire alarms, fire extinguishers, dry risers, hose reels, train the trainer, and fire safety signage. All of IFEDA’s training courses have Continuing Professional Development status from the Construction CPD Certification Scheme.

IFEDA elects new Chairman to help move the association forward

IFEDA, the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association, welcomes Mike Tobin as the new Chairman of the association. Mr Tobin was voted in at the recent IFEDA AGM.

Mr Tobin has worked in the fire protection industry for 27 years, and is Managing Director of Security and Fire Experts Ltd (SAFE). With a background in fire detection and alarm systems, he has evolved SAFE which now provides fire extinguishers, security, and electrical installations to clients worldwide. This recent growth ensures Mr Tobin is up-to-date with fire safety systems and legislation. Having been an active member of IFEDA for 6 years, it was a natural progression for him to be voted in as Chairman of IFEDA.

Mike Tobin said: “I am deeply honoured by the vote of confidence to represent IFEDA as chairman. I am also profoundly grateful to my predecessor, Colin Payne, whom over the years has shown an overwhelming commitment to the industry and our association. I feel there is a need for a change not only in IFEDA but across the industry, and I hope that with the support of the members and the association as a whole, we can work together to have a huge and positive input into this change for the good of all. Rest assured that I will work tirelessly to represent IFEDA and will ensure that I keep the best interests of our association as a main focus.”

Graham Ferris, General Manager at IFEDA commented: “We are pleased to welcome Mike to the role of Chairman. With his experienced background in the fire protection industry, Mike will help drive the association forward. IFEDA has the clear aim of promoting quality standards within the fire protection industry, and with Mike as Chairman we will continue to achieve this by offering industry approved training courses, and ensuring members work to achieve quality management systems.”

Further details about IFEDA can be found at:


BAFE Scheme SP101 : New Document

BAFE has now launched a comprehensive guide to the revised SP101 scheme on the BAFE website which can be found here:


Here you will find information regarding:

  • An overview of the scheme (including an official statement regarding the change from SP101/ST104 to SP101)
  • How to become a BAFE SP101 registered organisation/technician
  • Asbestos awareness / Health & Safety training information
  • The BAFE Diploma
  • The BS 5306 Exam (where IFEDA are noted)
  • The Technician Competency Portfolio
  • How to check/validate an extinguisher technician is BAFE registered

All SP101 organisations will be contacted to remind them of the scheme changes and that the new scheme document is now in effect.

Android App from IFEDA for extinguisher commissioning

Do you install and commission fire extinguishers? Can never find the manufacturers’ stated weight to use as a reference? Problem over. IFEDA has launched an android app just for you. To find the app, priced at just £10, you can simply go on the Google Play Store and search for “IFEDA Toolbox”, alternatively you can use one of these links: