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.

asfp-test-house-fire

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.

Achievements

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

E-learning platform for passive fire protection launched by ASFP

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has launched an e-learning platform in support of its Foundation in Passive Fire Protection.

Steve Davies appointed as new ASFP CEO

Steve Davies is set to take over as Chief Executive Officer at the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP).

“It’s not just a cladding issue” – Fire industry calls for funding to address wider safety faults in high-rise buildings

The wider fire industry, including the ASFP and FPA, is supporting calls for greater funding to be provided to address fire safety failings.

Firestopping of service penetrations: Best practice guide

Five organisations have launched a Best Practice Design and Installation Guide for Firestopping of Service Penetrations.

ASFP announces new qualification requirements for members

Find out more about the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) new membership requirements, introduced from 1 January 2021.

ASFP responds to Setting the Bar report on industry competency proposals

IFSEC Global hears from the ASFP, as it welcomes the latest proposals on competence requirements for those working on higher risk buildings released by the Competence Steering Group (CSG) in its final report ‘Setting the Bar’.

Niall Rowan to step down as ASFP CEO

Niall Rowan is to step down from his role as CEO of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection, having been in the post since 2017.

ASFP publishes independent guidance on active fire curtains

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has published its most up-to-date guide to the provision of proprietary active fire curtains.

ASFP responds to Building Safety Bill consultation

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has submitted evidence to the pre-legislative consultation on the Building Safety Bill.

New ASFP Blue Book offers fire-resisting ductwork guidance

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has published a new edition of its Blue Book European Version – Fire resisting ductwork.

‘Active Fire Curtains’ latest topic in ASFP webinar series

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has announced a programme of free passive fire protection (PFP) webinars.

ASFP releases new advice on the fire protection of structural steel and firestopping seals

The ASFP has released a suite of new Advisory Notes related to the fire protection of structural steel, and the compatibility between pipes and acoustic or firestopping seals.

The Future of Fire Safety: download the eBook

Is the fire protection industry adapting to the post-Grenfell reality fast enough? At FIREX International 2019, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, some of the world's leading fire safety experts covered this theme. This eBook covers the key insights from those discussions on the developments shaping the profession, with topics including:

  • Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” – and soon
  • After Grenfell: Jonathan O’Neill OBE on how austerity and policy “on the hoof” are hampering progress
  • Hackitt’s Golden Thread: Fire, facilities and building safety
  • Fire safety community has to “get on board” with technological changes

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[…] Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has introduced new membership requirements from 1 January 2021, which will make it mandatory […]