Association Profile

The ASFP (Association for Specialist Fire Protection): a profile of the UK body for passive fire protection

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October 7, 2016

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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.


Company history/background

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 2019 interview with current CEO, Niall Rowan.

Mission statement 

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.”

ASFP people 

Current from December 2019:

  • CEO: Niall Rowan
  • Technical officer: Andrew Taylor
  • Marketing officer: Anna Hayes
  • Membership officer: Tony Corcoran
  • Business Manager: Mike Ward
  • Head of Training: Phil Brownhill
  • ASFP Ireland operations: David O’Reilly

Latest ASFP articles

ASFP to host VR training experience and passive fire pavilion at FIREX

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) will bring together member companies within its Pavilion zone at FIREX in May.

A change of leadership at the ASFP

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP)’s current CEO Steve Davies, is stepping down, with Mike Ward taking over.

ASFP announces three new appointments to its team

The newly extended team will take forward new initiatives and develop a range of new technical and competency services.

Winners of ASFP 2022 Passive Fire Protection Awards announced

The winners of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) 2022 Passive Fire Protection Awards were announced on 25 November.

ASFP launches new websites to improve global access to PFP support

ASFP has launched several new websites to welcome visitors in their own language, signposting them to ASFP resources and information.

ASFP to offer new member benefits in conjunction with BSI

The ASFP has signed a series of agreements for members with the British Standards Institution (BSI), the national standards body of the UK.

ASFP opens nominations for its 2022 PFP Awards

The PFP Awards highlight excellence in passive fire protection and rewards those who contribute to the advancement of the sector.

ASFP to hold seminar on building safety

The ASFP is holding a seminar in London on Monday 5 September to examine the impact the Building Safety Act will have on fire professionals.

New governing Council elected by ASFP

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection has announced the election of its new Council, following its Annual General Meeting in July.

ASFP releases new guidance documents on structural fire protection, firestopping and planned maintenance

The ASFP has expanded its range of guidance with the release of three new and three updated documents.

ASFP announces passive fire protection seminar line-up for FIREX 2022

ASFP experts will be on hand to talk passive fire protection, discuss the latest legislation and its training courses at FIREX 2022.

Fire industry reacts to the abolition of building safety manager role

We hear from fire industry professionals to gauge the reaction of the sector to the move to scrap the Building Safety Manager function.

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