IFEDA Elects New Chairman

Following our latest agm IFEDA is delighted to inform you that our new National Chairman is Mr Paul Wilkinson of Fire & Safety Solutions Ltd.

IFEDA elects new Chairman.

The Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association is pleased to announce that Paul Wilkinson has been unanimously elected as the new Chairman of the Association at the recent AGM. Wilkinson has been a member of the Association for 6 years and has worked in the fire industry for over 30 years having set up his own company, Fire and Safety Solutions Limited.

As director of this company his business has looked after the housing stock for City West Homes in addition to providing fire safety products and services to commerce, educational and blue-chip companies such as Coca Cola, British Sugar and the Royal Albert Hall.

Wilkinson commented: “I feel there is a need in the industry to ensure that individuals, as well as companies are registered and certified in their profession. We see too many certified companies using unqualified individuals under their umbrella. I look forward to building working relationships with other trade bodies for the good of the fire industry and the general public. We are going through a great period of change within the industry with the implementation of new qualifications, such as individual’s FQual level 3, and proposed new technologies in the fire extinguisher sector. I embrace these new standards and await with interest the outcome of the proposed new technologies. It has been a tough year for the industry with Covid-19, Brexit, shipping costs increasing but I hope as Chairman of IFEDA, I can support the fire industry so that IFEDA can continue providing high quality advice and training to our industry. I will work tirelessly to represent IFEDA, as well as the industry, throughout the ongoing challenges we are faced with.”

Graham Ferris, General Manager at IFEDA added: “We are pleased to welcome Paul as our latest Chairman. With his vast experience in the fire protection industry, not least as a member of FSH-2, (the BSI fire extinguisher steering group), various BAFE schemes, and part of the initial working group for BAFE scheme SP206 I am sure he will be a great asset both to IFEDA and the wider fire industry. In line with the post Grenfell Hackitt report IFEDA is a firm advocate of third-party accreditation and given Paul’s ethics with regards to quality standards, IFEDA is in safe hands.


Fight or flight, Risk injury or watch your property and possessions burn?

There are numerous every day and discretionary activities which carry similar or higher levels of risk in comparison to using fire extinguishers. DIY, sport and drinking are all activities which are responsible for numerous injuries or fatalities. Despite this, they are not generally discouraged, banned or made available only to certain trained groups (except for the age limit for drinking). The point is that risk tolerance in relation to dwelling fires is not closely aligned between the professions and the public. Neither does it seem consistent in comparison to other activities which carry equal or greater risk and yet are not discouraged by government or guidance. And yet, the benefits achievable by using a fire extinguisher in this course of action by the public are significant, given the potential for a fire to otherwise lead to detrimental and life-changing outcomes.
Go to the below link and scroll to section 5 to read the full section it proves people will take the risk and the majority of people don’t get hurt.

Entries open for new Fire and Security Matters Awards


Entries are now open for the new Fire and Security Matters Awards organised by Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters magazines – both of which are published by Western Business Media – and are being supported by IFEDA.

The Fire and Security Matters Awards are free to enter and recognise excellence and innovation in the fire and security sectors. The winners of the Fire and Security Matters Awards will be revealed at a gala dinner and ceremony to be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Thursday 28 April 2022, which will be hosted by popular impressionist and comedian Alistair McGowan.

It only takes a few minutes to enter the Fire and Security Matters Awards. It’s the perfect way to gain much-deserved recognition for either yourself, your team, a colleague, your organisation, a product/service or a project. The list of categories is as follows:

Fire Categories

  • Fire Innovation of the Year
  • Fire Manufacturer of the Year
  • Fire Safety Installer/Integrator of the Year
  • Fire Safety Project of the Year
  • Fire Safety Manager of the Year
  • Fire Safety Team of the Year


Security Categories

  • Security Manufacturer of the Year
  • Guarding Company of the Year
  • Security Installer/Integrator of the Year
  • Security/Risk Manager of the Year
  • Security Company of the Year
  • Security Team of the Year
  • Security Project of the Year

The closing deadline for entries is Tuesday 30 November 2021. You can enter for FREE at https://firesecurityawards.com/



Delayed response times (by fire rescue service)

Following on from the last section of the recently published research document the below is a Very interesting read especially for people not living within areas covered by full time fire stations.
In England the average response time to attend a primary fire in 2018-19 was 8 minutes and 43 seconds this is an increase of 11 seconds since 2017-18. However, the latest figures for HMO/ dwelling fires show a one second decrease which is a positive response. However, caution is suggested of this measure as it assumes that the public/occupant calls 999 immediately upon becoming aware of a fire. Studies have refuted this by demonstrating that some of them are active and willing to try and put the fire out themselves and only call 999 as a last result.
It is also assumed that the public/ occupant will exit the building and wait for the FRS to attend but again the studies demonstrate that this is untrue and they are often still active and re-enter the dwelling/ HMO.
To see the full section on this subject click the link below and go to page 17


The importance of extinguishers in HMO/domestic dwellings.

The public experience of fire is vastly different to that of the professionals involved in planning for, responding to and recovering from dwelling/HMO fires. Some key findings from research studies are set in the document and briefly identify desirable public-oriented outcomes under the headings of avoidance of embarrassment/inconvenience; damage to premises; injuries; people, pets and possessions and consequential impact.

Studies have shown that most of the public will attempt to extinguish a fire to protect family, friends, pets, valuables and loved ones.

When a fire extinguisher is used most of the public do avoid injury, not by luck, but through active decision-making and because of the relatively low level of risk they encounter in dwelling/HMO fires and they will either use a fire extinguisher or extinguish the fire by other means if necessary.

To find out more how the public react to fire click on the link below and scroll to section 3.

An evaluation of the role of fire extinguishers (yumpu.com)

IFEDA Supports Major Study on use of Portable Fire Extinguishers

IFEDA press release – Evaluation of the Role of Portable Fire Extinguishers March 2021

E.g. The FRS response time to dwelling fires has increased by nearly 50% over the past 25 years. As the FRS does not routinely provide any support or intervention until their arrival, the reduction in fire size, etc. must be attributable to other factors, including the role of the public.

Why would you not have portable extinguishers to help aid evacuation along an escape reoute?

IFEDA Office : Christmas Hours

Please be advised that over the Christmas week the IFEDA office will be open as follows:-
Date                                             Office Hours
Thursday 24th December         09:00 – 12:30
Friday 25th December              Closed
Monday 28th December          Closed
Tuesday 29th December          09:00 – 16:00
Wednesday 30th December    09:00 – 16:00
Thursday 31st December        Closed
Friday 1st January                     Closed
We would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.


Covid-19 update.

The IFEDA office is now open normal hours i.e. 09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday.

Please see our training pages for updates on the latest courses to be added.