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Industry Insight - August 2021

22 July 2021

The inaugural edition of the Fire and Security Matters Awards – organised by Western Business Media, the publisher of Fire Safety Matters magazine – takes place on Thursday 28 April 2022 at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and runs in partnership with the Fire Industry Association. Ian Moore explains why the Association is supporting this key event in the industry’s annual calendar

AS THE official awards of Western Business Media sister titles Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters, the Fire and Security Matters Awards have been launched with the key aim of promoting the importance of innovation, while at the same time underlining the desire for ongoing standards of excellence across these two key disciplines which are now increasingly intertwined.

Those laudable goals are duly reflected in the categories for the fire-focused element of the awards. These are as follows: Fire Innovation of the Year, Fire Manufacturer of the Year, Fire Safety Installer/Integrator of the Year, Fire Safety Project of the Year, Fire Safety Manager of the Year and Fire Safety Team of the Year.

Set to be hosted by popular impressionist and comedian Alistair McGowan, the Fire and Security Matters Awards are supported by a number of key fire industry bodies including BAFE, the Institute of Fire Safety Managers, the National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers and the Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors’ Association.

Why, though, has the Fire Industry Association (FIA) decided to work in partnership with Western Business Media on this new event? As many of you will no doubt be aware, the FIA is the largest fire protection Trade Association in the UK boasting upwards of 950 members. We are a not-for-profit organisation and a major provider of fire safety training. 

Importantly, our prime objective is to promote, improve and perfect fire protection methods, devices, services and apparatus. That’s also a major goal for the Fire and Security Matters Awards. From our perspective, we achieve this through the representation of our members, providing technical support, guidance and opportunities for professional advancement through education and, indeed, appropriate regulation.

Professional standards

Further, the FIA exists to promote and shape legislation within – and the professional standards of – the fire industry through close liaison with Government and official bodies in addition to other key stakeholders. Again, promoting the need for professional standards is also a primary aim of the Fire and Security Matters Awards.

When companies are focusing their attentions on innovation, transformation or process improvement, they will often embark on projects with the central purpose of improving matters internally in some way. However, it’s the ‘outside of the norm’ projects that can really help a business to stand out in the marketplace. 

Not only can the company realise internal results that provide top line growth and, as a by-product, bottom line savings, but there’s also an opportunity to influence the external market as well. The latter often serves to amplify the rewards. How? One easy way is to enter an awards scheme such as the Fire and Security Matters Awards.

The benefits of doing so are many and varied. First of all, there’s brand recognition and PR. Being shortlisted (or winning) is fabulous publicity for the brand that can be far-reaching and impactful. There’s also the prospect of instant credibility with customers and partners alike. Many of us read reviews before deciding to make a purchase. There’s little better than an independent third party endorsement from your peers which can then be promoted through social media channels, etc.

Winning an industry award engenders motivation and instils an improved morale across the business. The nomination alone, which recognises hard work and a job well done, is a celebration of the hours the team has put into a project, the development of a new product or the management of a vital task. Significantly, this can positively impact employee satisfaction and talent retention, both of which are high on the business agenda at present. 

Leading on from this, when potential employees see a company being recognised and teams within it celebrated, this can bear fruit in terms of creating a new talent pipeline. If young talent witnesses your company directly addressing and tackling big issues with a substantial degree of success, any problems the business might be experiencing around talent attraction and retention could become a thing of the past.

Seeking leadership 

Today’s dedicated companies are striving for leadership in their industry. An industry award allows businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition and demonstrate that leadership.

Aico, Apollo, Safety Chair and Tio Fire Safety all recognise the importance of the event and, as a result, are sponsoring the 2022 Fire and Security Matters Awards. The closing deadline for entries is Tuesday 30 November. You can enter for FREE (and find out all of the latest information concerning the event) online at www.firesecurityawards.com

Ian Moore is CEO of the Fire Industry Association (www.fia.uk.com)