Demand hots up for fire protection technology
Growing demand for fire technology developed by a Norfolk firm has fuelled the expansion of the business into new premises.
Fireworks Fire Protection has switched from offices in Tibbenham to refurbished premises in Attleborough in a �500,000 investment.
The firm's new site in Station Road was opened officially by Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman last week in a ceremony attended by a host of dignitaries from the town and Breckland Council.
Fireworks director Derek Killaspy said the firm had grown steadily through the recession, reaching a turnover of �4.5m – growth of 30pc over two years.
The firm boasts a diverse portfolio of clients, from P&O Ferries to Royal Bank of Scotland and the Supreme Court in London.
But Mr Killaspy said one of the biggest factors in the company's growth was winning a Ministry of Justice contract which has seen the firm's Hydramist technology installed in 120 prisons nationwide.
The technology suppresses a fire quickly by filling the air with fine spray at high pressure.
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Mr Killaspy said the system used less water and extinguished fire more quickly than conventional systems – reducing damage and the danger to life and health from smoke or toxic fumes.
The technology has been developed in conjunction with Richard and Will Bridgman of Warren Services in Thetford through their joint enterprise with Mr Killaspy, Watermist.
The company was included in the EDP's Future50 list of entrepreneurial businesses last year.
Mr Killaspy said: 'Quite simply we'd outgrown our premises in Tibbenham. We'd built premises there in 2003, but by 2005 we'd realised that maybe we should have built something bigger. So we'd been half-heartedly looking for new premises since 2008.
'We wanted somewhere near to the A11 and with a railway station – so, Wymondham, Attleborough or Thetford.
'Then we heard from a friend of a friend that there was a place in Attleborough that was available. It was pretty sad looking – and had asbestos cladding everywhere – but we've converted it into a modern building.'
The site in Station Road had lain vacant for some years – after the move of previous occupier Advatech to Lowestoft. The building was also once used by Cleanaway.
Mr Killaspy added: 'We have grown through the recession, not enormously, but nice steady growth – mainly on the back of our work with the Ministry of Justice.
'But our work with the food industry also continues to grow – it's a busy industry.
'But we're on the threshold of the market opening up for the range of products that we do.
'For many years we've been working with the Building Research Establishment in Watford towards standardised approvals and certifications for the work we do – to give us chance to work with everything from hotels and care homes to data stores and large food factories – the full range of what Watermist is able to do.'
He added: 'In truth, over a five year plan, it's possible – I give no guarantee – that we'll see a further 50pc to maybe even 70pc growth in the business.
'I'm always tempted to say we could double the business, but maybe that's a little too brave.'
For more on the EDP's Future50, visit www.edp24.co.uk/future50