IFEDA CONCERNED FOR PUBLIC SAFETY FOLLOWING PUBLICATION OF CONTENTIOUS ARTICLE
The Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) a trade association representing quality approved and individually owed fire safety companies across the UK has strongly condemned an article which has recently been published by the Fire Industry Association (FIA), and fears public safety could be put at risk.
The article which appears in the FIA’s latest newsletter and on their website promotes both the dangerous possibility of non-maintained fire extinguishers, and the widely condemned practice of publically funded fire brigades operating arm’s length trading companies.
Graham Ferris General Manager of IFEDA commented: “I cannot believe that after so many years of hard work in bringing about improvement to the quality standards of fire safety maintenance that any organisation would be as irresponsible as to endorse this type of cavalier approach. All major and trusted institutions within the UK including British Standards, Lloyds, BAFE, BRE and all leading insurance companies, have not only endorsed but also insisted on fire protection equipment receiving annual maintenance from a competent person.”
The article also highlights and gives support to the practice of some fire brigades trading with arm’s length companies supplying both fire safety products and services directly to end-users. As brigades are the publically funded bodies bestowed with enormous powers of enforcement under fire safety laws, IFEDA considers this practice not only as unfair competition but also believes that it raises serious ethical questions.
Colin Payne IFEDA National Chairman did not hide his anger when he stated: “The practice of publically funded fire brigades competing against private companies is just wrong. The majority of these private companies are run by people who have worked long and hard to establish quality approved services to their customers. They have paid their taxes and business rates and it’s a real kick in the teeth to now find the organisations to whom part of their tax money has gone are now actually competing against them – this cannot be right.”
Payne went on to add: “The recent article contains not only technically incorrect claims it is also in my estimation morally wrong. To give support to fire brigade trading is indefensible – they cannot be both gamekeeper and poacher”.
IFEDA urges all companies involved in the fire protection industry within the United Kingdom to make their feelings known to the publishers of this article.
IFEDA believe it is important to have a united body fighting and representing the needs of the fire safety industry, protecting customers, and end users of fire safety equipment.