Five-year export deal to India for Norfolk extinguisher manufacturer
Britain’s last fire extinguisher manufacturer has signed a major export deal with India – as other fire companies import from there and China.
Britannia Fire is now exporting its pioneering service-free P50 – the first non-metal extinguisher made from the same material as bulletproof vests – to India’s leading fire safety company for distribution across India.
It has already shipped 4000 units as part of a five-year deal worth more than £1million, giving New Delhi-based Aska International exclusive rights to the award-winning P50.
Britannia Fire general manager Andy Spence said: ““When every other fire extinguisher manufacturer is importing from India and China, it feels good to be doing it the other way and flying the flag for quality British-made products and innovation in these countries.”
India joins a list of more than 10 other countries the Norfolk-based company has export deals with for its 100 per cent recyclable extinguisher, which has a 20-year lifespan and a 10-year guarantee.
Its export agreement with Dubai was signed at Britannia Fire’s House of Commons reception for blue chip companies and fire and rescue authorities in March.
Its portfolio of metal fire extinguishers, also made at its Ashwellthorpe factory, where more than 30 people are employed, all over the world, including Japan, Nigeria, Oman and Kuwait.
Aska Equipment, India’s largest manufacturer of fire extinguishing products and a pioneer in the field of specialised fire safety systems and disaster management products, was attracted to the P50 because of its innovation, Mr Spence said.
“It is multi–use as well as super-efficient so there is just the need for one extinguisher, eliminating decision paralysis in the face of a fire about which of the different fire extinguishers to use. Just grab the P50.”
Mr Spence met Aska, a market leader in Disaster Management, in Dubai in January 2014 at the Intersec exhibition.
“Aska is a family business that has been going for many years and very attracted by innovation. They visited our factory and we are visiting them and will be exhibiting with them in October.”
The first 40ft container of 4000 units has already left the Ashwellthorpe factory and will double the number of units every year.
The ‘green’ P50 doesn’t require the costly annual servicing of traditional extinguishers – just a simple in-house three-step check, offering significant cost savings to companies, he said.
It has attracted the endorsement of the government’s former chief fire and rescue adviser Sir Ken Knight, who praised it for offering significant savings for British industry” by taking costs out of maintenance while maintaining all the “effectiveness of portable fire fighting.”
The P50 needs refilling every 10 years rather than five and takes out costs of servicing, spares, and replacements.
Developed by Norfolk businessman and inventor Roger Carr, managing director of Britannia Fire, the P50 has already been installed for multi-site organisations, including Thames Valley Police, Anglian Water and university campuses across the country, offering huge annual savings.
Britannia Fire is in talks with major blue chip companies and household names across the country after hosting a reception at the House of Commons. Supermarket chains the size of Sainsbury’s would save about £6m over 10 years by swapping traditional metal extinguishers for the P50 in all branches, Mr Spence said.
The company has just launched a new F-class fat fire version of the P50 for restaurant kitchens, fish and chip shops and fast-food outlets.
It plans to launch its 4kg and 2kg versions in early autumn