By February 16, 2017 Read More →

Fire Protection Market Report

The active fire protection sector is relatively mature and has been primarily driven by the wider performance of the UK building and construction market, according to AMA Research. However, the construction sector has shown good growth over the last three years or so and this has translated into some better growth figures for the active fire protection market.

Source: AMA Research/Trade Estimates

Growth in the active fire protection sector has been positive since 2013 with the chart featured here showing how each
of the detection/alarms and suppression systems sectors have performed positively. Within the last three years the market
has grown by 22-23%, which is well above the rate of growth of the construction market and reflects some positive trends within the marketplace.

One of the key drivers for growth in this industry is technological innovation, which is helping to develop the market in a number of areas. Greater integration is a feature of this in recent years; driven by technological improvements and cost considerations, integrated, ITbased security systems are becoming increasingly common. This may include fire protection systems combined with other security measures on a single network, such as video surveillance, access control and intruder alarms.

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities and benefits of integrating fire protection with other security products. Examples of the benefits of an integrated system, in the event of a fire alarm being triggered, include – an automatic list of building occupants from any access control system, automatic opening of fire escape doors, automatically opening external gates for emergency service access, switching off power to vulnerable equipment, etc.

Sensor technology

Enhanced product quality is a further trend, including, for example, improved capability of sensor technology in smoke detectors that can detect more rapidly, with greater reliability and a lower likelihood of false alarms. Some detection devices now have adjustable sensitivity that can be adjusted to suit the environment in which they will operate. Also, improving wireless capability and increased market acceptance will lead to further growth in the use of wireless smoke detectors.

Newer technologies are increasingly competitive in terms of price, making them more practical for smaller scale systems. One example is that of addressable controls panels, which in the past were only used on large-scale systems. Many fire alarm panels now have an IPDACT (IP based Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter) module that can send fire alarms over the internet to an approved alarm monitoring station.

While the current fire alarm systems are designed to notify people to evacuate buildings, it is likely that intelligent systems will emerge in the medium term, which can guide people to the most appropriate exits of a building. Some systems already use directional sound that can communicate the location of emergency exits using a combination of frequencies, known as ‘broadband sound’.

Some analysts predict that in the future, fire detection and alarm systems will provide ‘electronic way-finding’, which will identify exit paths that can lead people safely away from danger.

Fire suppression

In terms of fire suppression products, these cover portable fire extinguishers and installed fire suppression systems such as sprinkler systems. These areas have also performed positively in recent years, and forecasts over the next 2-3 years are also quite positive, reflecting some key market drivers.

In particular, the key end use sectors for suppression equipment are the commercial and industrial and technology sectors. These sectors have more positive forecasts for new construction work (compared to other sectors), which should be beneficial to the markets for both portable extinguishers and fixed suppression systems. This could increase demand for inert and synthetic gas-based suppression systems that extinguish fires while minimalising impact on industrial machinery or IT equipment.

Other sectors driving sprinkler demand in recent years include care homes, student accommodation and the budget hotel sector – all areas which have generated good growth in recent years and despite any potential impact of Brexit, seem likely to generate good growth over the next few years, reflecting socio demographic profiles and trends.

Growth area

Indeed, the growth of accommodation for older people (such as retirement communities and complexes), along with rising numbers of flats/apartments being built, should generate additional demand, particularly for sprinkler-based systems.

For both detection and alarms as well as suppression systems, maintenance and service contracts are frequently offered to generate revenue and drive the replacement market.

The market prospects therefore remain positive over the next few years. While the uncertainty created over Brexit may well dampen any significant growth, there are areas of growth such as student accommodation, accommodation for the elderly which are driven by socio demographic trends, making the additional accommodation requirements inevitable.

In addition, there are a number of industrial and specialist advanced manufacturing sectors, which are all expected to continue to show growth aiding the short to medium term prospects for the active fire protection industry.