Friday, June 24, 2016

Innovative IP technology drives growth in UK active fire protection market

The market for active fire protection equipment grew by around 9% in 2015, according to a new report by AMA Research. Growth has been primarily driven by the wider performance of the UK building and construction market, but product development has also been a key driver. Alarms and detection systems account for just over 60% of the market, with the majority of installations going into the commercial, industrial and public sectors. Domestic smoke alarms account for a small share of the total market value.
The sector has been growing since 2013, with key influencing factors including fire regulations and standards, construction and RMI activity and product innovation. However, the active fire protection market continues to experience price competition and suppliers are increasingly offering a wider range of services, including maintenance and servicing contracts, in order to improve revenues. In addition, users are now focusing on the lifetime cost of fire and security systems.
Innovations have improved product quality, such as improved sensor technology in smoke detectors, greater reliability and a lower likelihood of false alarms, and better wireless capability should also lead to further growth in the use of wireless smoke detectors. More intelligent fire protection systems are being developed, that go beyond simply notifying the need to evacuate buildings, to ones that can guide people to the most appropriate exits of a building.
Within the active fire protection market, there are a small number of vertically integrated manufacturers-installers with broad industry interests. In recent years this expansion has largely been achieved through a series of mergers and acquisitions. In terms of distribution, evidence suggests that the use of fire specialist contractors has grown at the expense of electrical contractors and to some extent, this has affected the electrical distributors and wholesalers. The domestic market for active fire protection is small, suggesting that DIY outlets account for a relatively small share of the market.
“Businesses are recognising the benefits of integration of fire and security systems, which is likely to remain a key feature of the industry” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research. “The increasing adoption of IP technology into fire protection products has facilitated this trend, with IP functionality now standard in many fire control panels, along with many smoke detectors having wireless capability.”
While the above trends will play a part in demand for active fire protection products, the most important market driver will continue to be the overall health of the construction market, particularly non-residential construction. Construction output is forecast to grow strongly in end use sectors, such as offices, industrial and technology, and this should be beneficial to all aspects of active fire protection, and the expected strength of the industrial and technology sectors may also generate particular demand for inert and synthetic gaseous suppression systems. Although the domestic sector is not a major source of demand, the growth in building flats and accommodation for older people will provide additional demand, particularly for sprinkler-based systems. Overall, the UK active fire protection market is expected to be positive over the next few years and value growth is estimated at 4-6% per annum from 2016 to 2020.
The ‘Active Fire Protection Market Report – UK 2016-2020 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

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