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.