Who is the FDIA?

March/April 2001 Fire & Safety

The fire detection industry has been regarded as the 'poor relation' of the security industry for many years as well as being an industry of 'cowboys' and low standards. "Technology changes have pushed the fire detection industry up to and beyond the level of most security systems," states Keith Norgate, Chairman of the FDIA.

Beyond knowing fire principles and the theory of initialisation and spread of fires, the fire detection specialist today has to have working knowledge of:

* Analog electronics.

* Digital electronics.

* Conduit and cabling techniques.

* Fibre-optics.

* Networking.

* Computer and microprocessor programming.

* Software configuration.

* Pipework and hydraulic calculations.

* Pipefitting.

* Airflow technology.

In an industry valued in excess of R300 million and an industry dealing with 'life safety' it is concerning to believe that there are no barriers of entry to the industry.

Projects are still awarded on price irrespective of whether the contractor has a track record or experience in the field or not. There has never been an independent or controlling body in the fire detection industry that consultants or end-users can turn to in the event of technical disputes.

Technicians in the fire detection industry are trained 'on site', as no official apprenticeships or training courses are available for fire detection technicians.

Two years ago the FDIA was formed to introduce, implement and uphold standards in the fire detection industry.

Fed up waiting for the leading institutions to introduce standards into the industry, a group of representatives from the leading fire detection companies met to take the 'bull by the horns', form an association, and tackle the numerous problems.

Headed by Keith Norgate fellow contractors were urged to form a committee. The FDIA boasts in excess of 40 paid-up members in a highly regarded and successful Association with branches in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Cape.

Support has been received from the SABS, FPA, IFE, SAACE, ECSA and the South African Insurance Association. A web page and training course have been established and all contracting companies are at present being trained on the detection design principles of the recognised standard.

All members of the association are provided with copies of the fire standards and are committed to study and work to these standards.

The objectives of the FDIA are:

* To compile and manage a list of approved fire detection installers, via entrance level qualifications.

* To adopt a set of international standards. These standards to be circulated and used by all participating member companies.

* Forge an alliance with SABS to adopt/approve/police standards.

* Form an Association with other bodies - ASIB, FPA, IFE, Insurance Association.

* Generate communication between member companies and respective clients, and provide market awareness regarding fire systems.

* Create barriers of entry to the industry.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

How to prevent and survive fires
Fire & Safety Security Services & Risk Management
Since its launch in August 2023, Fidelity SecureFire, a division of the Fidelity Services Group, has been making significant strides in revolutionising fire response services in South Africa.

Spate of Joburg fires calls for proactive fire-safety planning
Fire & Safety
The incident of fire that occurred recently in Johannesburg's Central Business District (CBD) has brought to light the criticality of performance-based fire safety systems. It is imperative to design safety systems that are efficient and effective in managing such unforeseen events.

Beagle Watch adds fire to its portfolio
Editor's Choice Fire & Safety News & Events
Beagle Watch Armed Response and FIRE OPS SA announced the enhancement of the two companies' combined service offerings to provide professional fire safety services to Beagle Watch clients and Johannesburg residents.

Different types of fires
Fire & Safety
Fire is a powerful force of nature; according to SafeQuip, a distributor of fire-related equipment; understanding the different types of fires and how to combat them is essential for safety and protection.

SafeQuip introduces lithium fire extinguishers
Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
With the use of Lithium batteries increasing in many types of portable devices and battery storage solutions, SafeQuip, in partnership with AVD Lithex, is introducing a fire extinguisher aimed at suppressing and extinguishing, and also preventing re-ignition of lithium fires.

Modern warehouses come with added fire risk
Fire & Safety Transport (Industry)
Along with increased investments in modern warehousing in Africa, there is also a need to focus on protecting warehouses from crime, however, fire can arguably be a greater danger to business continuity.

How to prevent solar inverter short-circuits and fires
Fire & Safety
With many South Africans installing inverters as part of solar power systems to mitigate the impact of load shedding in homes and at businesses, users need to be aware of the potential fire risks.

Fidelity SecureFire steps into critical fire response space
News & Events Fire & Safety
With the majority of fire stations around the country being crippled by a lack of resources to offer effective responses, Fidelity Fire Solutions has launched its own ‘first responder’ model, Fidelity SecureFire.

Long-distance connectivity with Simplex ES Net Life Safety
Johnson Controls Global Products Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
ES Net Network Bridge allows fire alarm system data to be transmitted across distant buildings via a customer’s existing network infrastructure, improving system-wide monitoring and control in facilities and campuses where life safety networks are often widely dispersed.

Elvey Group and Technoswitch part ways
Elvey Security Technologies Fire & Safety News & Events
The Elvey Group (a division of the Hudaco Group of Companies) is relinquishing its distributorship of the Technoswitch brand, following Hudaco’s acquisition of Brigit Fire.