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Norfolk fire firm bidding to branch out in Middle East

PUBLISHED: 19:31 19 June 2013

Roger Carr of Britannia Fire

Roger Carr of Britannia Fire

Archant

A Norfolk-based business which pioneered the traditional fire extinguisher is looking to boost its global trade by launching a franchise in the Middle East.

Roger Carr, managing director, has shipped out 2,000 test units and aims to manufacture the P50 extinguisher overseas next year.

Bosses believe the P50 extinguisher, which is made from kevlar with a polyethylene outer casing instead of the traditional metal, saves money because it is fully recyclable and does not need external servicing.

Designed and pioneered by Mr 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.

The franchise announcement comes as the firm, which has a factory at Ashwellthorpe, near Wymondham, recently notched up sales of £350,000 during a record week.

Currently, his 32 strong workforce produces 100,000 fire extinguishers each year.

Mr Carr said he has already ploughed £1.4m into developing his products, with plans to invest another £250,000 on blow moulding equipment. He said: “This is the best week we have ever had. We have had a successful time in the Middle East. Companies are now going for quality.

“If you have an oil refinery that costs billions to build they are not going to put in a cheap fire extinguisher. What is the point of that? They want quality products from a quality company.”

He added: “Not only do they save money on the maintenance with no servicing or discharge testing – and each unit is slightly cheaper than the metal models – they are safer too and a better firefighter as well.”

“We hope to sell the franchise for manufacturing and sell the production line to produce 100,000 units.

“It might be Dubai. I have had enquiries from Russia. Britannia has spent £1.4m so far on its development with another £250,000 on blow moulding equipment yet to be delivered.”

According to Mr Carr, the demand for its new P50 model is rising as older metal extinguishers are replaced on oil and gas platforms, factories, office blocks, schools and hospitals.

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