A profile of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), the trade association that represents contractors, test houses, consultants and manufacturers in the UK’s passive fire protection industry.
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection is a UK advisory trade body founded in 1975 to represent, support and promote the activities and key issues affecting the fire protection industry in the UK and, increasingly, internationally, in relation to all forms of passive fire protection (PFP) in the built environment.
Recognised as one the UK’s leading authorities on the importance, specification, procurement and installation of PFP products, and giving a voice to all those involved in the supply chain of PFP, including manufacturers, distributors, contractors, installers, specifiers, certification bodies and end users, the ASFP’s mantra is to pioneer fire protection through innovation and professionalism, with an emphasis on raising quality and standards.
All PFP products have the objective of containing or slowing the spread of fires. They can include fire protection systems for steel and concrete, fire-resisting ductwork, fire-resistant walls and doors, fire dampers, penetration seals, compartmentalisation and fire stopping.
Below is a 2015 interview with current CEO Wilf Butcher
The ASFP is dedicated to the protection of life, property, the environment and heritage. Its purpose is to promote continuous improvement in all aspects of passive fire protection.
It works with local and national government, regulatory and international standard setting bodies both directly, and via other sector groups, to achieve these aims, providing publications, videos, technical advice, seminars, training and member support. It endeavours to increase the quality of installed fire protection within all forms of construction. The ASFP strives to promote excellence in the design and installation of fire protection products through high quality and technical expertise.
The ASFP calls itself the most recognised trade body in the fire protection industry and a blue chip player in that industry, saying that everything it says and does is for the benefit of its members and the built environment.
The organisation aims to raise the awareness of PFP and its critical role with a continued focus on the importance of quality and competency and the benefit of specifying third party certification throughout the process, as well as providing support for the Responsible Person.
Over the 40-plus years of its existence, the ASFP has made, and continues to make, an important contribution to developing key guidance and standards in the UK passive fire protection sector. It has responded to the significant changes and challenges that are taking place within the built environment in terms of technical innovation, regulatory direction, the changing political dimension, evolving commercial forces and geographic expansion of the industry.
The ASFP has exhibited strong membership growth, recruiting more than 38 new members since 2013 and15 new companies between 2014 and 2015, bringing its total member companies to 150. Its quarterly ASFP bulletin has around 4,000 subscribers.
A major achievement has been the development of ASFP Ireland in the last five years.
The organisation continues to campaign to improve awareness of passive fire protection and to raise the quality of installation through education and training, and predicts a growth in demand for passive fire protection in most industry sectors over the next three years.
The Association has formed task groups and collaborated with other bodies, such as the BRE Trust, with whom it recently commissioned a joint research project to develop a greater understanding of the contribution of different types of passive fire protection systems to the overall fire resilience of a building.
The body ensures that all its installer company members are third-party certified under the UK Accreditation Service to ensure their integrity.
It provides useful advice for enhancing the fire performance of surfaces in buildings, such as the ‘Orange Book’ – ‘Guidance on the classification for reaction to fire performance of fire retardant coating systems’ – which can be downloaded free from their website.
It publishes several other free-to-download guides to best practice in passive fire protection and other guidance for both fire risk assessors and Responsible Persons.
At FIREX International 2016, the ASFP and the FIS, which represents the finishes and interiors sector, launched a new fire performance partition labelling scheme, to identify these to installers, M&E contractors, building owners, and facilities managers, and highlight the risks of cutting holes in them for services.
At its AGM in June, retiring ASFP chairman Stuart Holmes said: “The PFP market is now showing good signs of recovery combined with an increasing knowledge and awareness of requirements from clients and builders. We also see more installers becoming qualified and a continued product investment from suppliers.”
- CEO: Wilf Butcher
- Chair: Carl Atkinson
- Vice chair: Bob Westcombe
- Technical officer: Niall Rowan
- Press relations officer: Anna Hayes
- Membership officer: Tony Corcoran
- Training development officer:
- ASFP Ireland operations: David O’Reilly
- Secretary: John Fairley