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Roger Carr, Brittannia Fire managing director, at the production line of some of their fire extinguishers on the Ashwellthorpe Industrial Estate, . Photo: Denise Bradley Copy: Elaine Maslin For: EDP Business ©Archant Photographic 2009 01603 772434
By Shaun Lowthorpe, Business Editor
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Specialist Norfolk firm Britannia Fire has unveiled a fully recyclable fire extinguisher made from the same materials as bullet-proof vests which it believes could save firms millions of pounds in wear and tear costs.
Bosses believe the Fireworld P50, which is made from kevlar with a polyethylene outer casing instead of the traditional metal, will also save money because it is fully recyclable and does not need external servicing.
Already on the market, the firm, which employs 35 staff is looking at producing 100,000 units in the first year alone.
Designed and pioneered by Roger Carr, who launched his first extinguisher range in 1970 having set up UK Fire in 1968, the design is also carbon neutral and 100pc recyclable.
Mr Carr, who went on to launch the Britannia range with its patented balance valve in 1986, said the company was able to take the design to market thanks to the support of the business banking team at Barclays Corporate.
“The Fireworld P50 came about from listening to customers’ concerns about the escalating costs of servicing,” Mr Carr said. “It has taken four years to perfect a revolutionary fire extinguisher which requires no servicing, though every step has been rewarding.
“We have had tremendous support from our Barclays Corporate relationship director, Paul Scarlett, who has not only provided funding for the project but also support and guidance as we have gone along.
“One of the reasons we decided to move to Barclays Corporate was the time they invested to get to know our business and understand the sector we operate in. They also linked in with other key professionals and worked very much as a team to support us”.
Andy Spence, general manager of the company, based in Ashwellthorpe, near Norwich, said the carbon neutral design eliminated service visits and so reduced its carbon footprint, which would help corporations achieve their environmental targets. He said businesses would save significant amounts because they could replace existing equipment over time and it would mean reduced transit costs.
“The manufacturing process requires little energy, no shot-blasting, no painting, no welding, no de-greasing and no waste disposal,” he said. “It eliminates service visits and therefore massively reduces carbon footprint and helps corporations achieve environmental targets.”
Mr Scarlett, relationship director at Barclays Corporate, said he looked forward to supporting the business as it grew in the future.
“Roger Carr and the team have great enthusiasm for not only the new product but also the sector, which in turn drives this company forward,” he said.
Nearly 1,250 people, including more than 100 in the East of England, have been made redundant following the appointment of administrators at Unipart Automotive, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of car parts.