A report by IMS Research estimates the global fire market to have declined by some -3 percent during 2009, with the market not set to recover to pre-recession growth rates until 2012.
As new construction starts began to decline late in 2008, slowdown in the fire industry was inevitable. “The decline in sales of fire products lagged the general economic downturn,” says IMS Research Analyst Justin Siller. “As new construction starts in 2006-2008 were completed, there remained opportunities for fire detection and suppression products. However, suppliers began to feel the true effects of the economic slowdown by the middle of 2009, with new construction activity grinding to a halt late in 2008 particularly in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas. As new construction builds slowly recover over the next few years, IMS Research forecasts that fire equipment sales will follow suit.”
Although the global economic recession has affected sales of fire products, a recovery is inevitable. Stricter legislation and advancement in technology, coupled with a rebound in new construction, are forecast to generate new opportunities in the fire industry.
“Changes to fire regulations worldwide continue to impact the way in which fire detection and suppression equipment is used within buildings,” continues Siller. “Sales of voice enhanced alarms are set to thrive on the back of the newly released NFPA 72 mandate in the U.S., while recent amendment to China’s fire laws call for building owners to receive heftier and harsher penalties for buildings lacking proper fire equipment.
“Combine these legislative changes with a revival in new construction, and greater use of new technologies such as video smoke detection, wireless systems and aspirating smoke detectors in areas currently deemed under-protected for fire safety, and the long-term market potential for fire detection and suppression products remains strong.”