Stephen McPartland was priviledged earlier this week to have a full tour of the testing laboratories of FIRA, the Furniture Indsustry Research Association, as well as meeting a range of the staff on site. “The work of FIRA is impressive and worthy of its leading international reputation”, said Stephen, “It is particularly good to see the number of local people employed, in a wide range of different and interesting roles.”
FIRA carries out essential work such as testing the fire safety of furnishing to ensure compliance with standards and also assists with specific topics of relevance to the furniture industry. “I am encouraged that the level of activity has been steady recently”, commented Stephen, “and feel that a greaterfocus on supporting UK manufacturers to export their goods, as well as increasing efficiencies in the supply chain will be beneficial to growth.”
FIRA is investing in their facilities on Maxwell Road to enable a continued provision of leading-edge advice and services, to clients, members and the general public. As well as testing products, FIRA’s activities also include certification of products, an international consultancy business, an after-sales service via a national network of technicians and they host therole of the Furntiture Ombudsman. “It is a good example of self-regulation of an industry working well” noted Stephen.