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 2015 interview with current CEO Wilf Butcher

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

ASFP offers free access to key fire safety guidance documents

To support the construction and fire sector during the Coronavirus pandemic, the ASFP has removed charges for pdf downloads of its key guidance documents.

ASFP welcomes Government Building Safety Bill proposals

The ASFP has welcomed the Government’s plans to reform building safety and undertake a major review of the building regulations, a move which the Association believes is long overdue.

Professional Indemnity Insurance Cover scheme launched by ASFP

The ASFP has partnered with an insurance broker to offer a new Professional Indemnity Insurance Cover Scheme for existing and prospective ASFP members.

ASFP calls for quality of construction improvements

In the wake of a number of large loss fires in recent months, the ASFP has called for an improvement in the quality of construction.

Passive Fire Protection Award winners announced

IFSEC Global reports back from the Passive Fire Protection Awards, organised and hosted by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP).

ASFP London seminar to feature Peter Caplehorn and MHCLG guest speaker

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has released the programme for its forthcoming CPD seminar, taking place in central London on 23 October 2019.

ASFP announces October seminar in London

The seminar, at the Aviva Building, aims to improve awareness of passive fire protection and help delegates to understand the vital role of compartmentation in maintaining fire safety in buildings.

UK should replicate Ireland’s building control regime: ASFP workshop

This was one of a number of passive fire protection recommendations to emerge from the ASFP’s recent Passive Fire Protection Workshop.

ASFP announces autumn training dates as demand increases

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has announced several new autumn dates for its Foundation Course in Passive Fire Protection at both Level 2 and Level 3, as demand for the courses grows.

ASFP introduces online course in the essentials of passive fire protection

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has launched an online course introducing passive fire protection to tradespeople with limited knowledge of its role in a building’s overall fire strategy.

Hackitt plan prescribes changes the fire community called for long before Grenfell: ASFP

Responding to the government’s pledge to implement Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations in full, ASFP CEO Niall Rowan said: “We strongly agreed with [Dame Hackitt’s] conclusions, many of which reflect what the fire community, including the ASFP, has been saying for some years.”

RIBA Plan of Work for Fire Safety now under consultation

The document, which complements existing RIBA work plan methodology, represents the culmination of work that began when the ASFP convened a stakeholder panel drawn from the built environment to explore ways to enhance fire protection throughout the construction cycle.

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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