FFE Wins Queen’s Award for International Trade
Fire Fighting Enterprises Ltd., the leading beam-type smoke detector manufacturer, has been honoured in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2009. Over the last six years the company has sold to over 70 countries worldwide, and this award in the category of ‘International Trade’ recognises its excellent export sales and outstanding overseas trade achievements.
Ian Steel, current MD and former Sales Director, described the reaction of all those at the company: “It is fantastic to be honoured in such a way, and really hits home to all of us here that our efforts over the last few years truly have been successful. It feels particularly special at this time, knowing that we have performed so well even in face of such general – and global – economic difficulties. But then you can’t put a price on safety, I guess! We know that it makes sense to sell into as many markets as possible, and this will only encourage us to further improve on what we’ve achieved so far.”
The company, based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, is at the forefront of beam detector technology: developing and making specialist smoke detectors that are ideally suited to covering large indoor spaces. Products from the company’s ever-evolving FireRay range have been chosen to protect valuable venues around the world – from warehouses in Poland to the White House, from a palace in Romania to the parliament house of Brunei, and many more. FFE’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Tracy Kirk, is also Chairman of the FIA Export Council – solidifying further the link between the company and a commitment to promoting the export of sales and expertise in the industry.
Compared to ‘normal’ point-type smoke detectors, the use of infrared beams aimed across open spaces to detect smoke particles can be a highly efficient and cost-effective alternative without compromising on the quality or level of fire safety. FFE operates in highly regulated markets with formidable barriers to entry as fire safety products are obviously subject to specific and severe testing. The unparalleled success of the company in securing approvals – both official and by reputation – for their products on such a widespread global scale attests to their expertise.
The FireRay 5000 is the latest addition to the company’s range, incorporating automatic, motorised beam targeting optimisation amongst other innovative features. Despite such a large step forward from existing technology in the field, certifications and approvals have already been secured from the relevant organisations for this product in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, China, South Korea, Sweden and Belgium. Tested and found to comply with all requirements so far, it is proof not only of the quality of the product but also the company’s commitment to foreign markets.
FFE already has plans to further support and expand its overseas business, with the potential plan of direct local representatives to be employed in both India and China, as well as the recent addition of a new office in the USA as of October 2008. Regular involvement in overseas trade shows helps to raise the company’s profile abroad, and then the strong product range backed up by excellent sales support and training across all customer levels all but ensures success.