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Churchesfire appoints Smith & Williamson as its auditor and tax adviser

Published on 4 September 2013
Churchesfire’s services include risk assessments, staff safety training, online safety awareness training courses
Smith & Williamson will be able to provide an expert guiding hand to Churchesfire

A key player in the UK’s £1.2 billion fire protection market has appointed a new auditor and tax adviser.

Churchesfire, headquartered near Southampton, chose the South Coast office of accountancy and investment management firm Smith & Williamson to provide the services at a key point in the business' development.

Andrew Edmonds, who heads up assurance and business services at Smith & Williamson’s office in Southampton, said: “Churchesfire is a highly-respected brand that continues to grow organically and through acquisition.

“Market intelligence forecasts indicate that the fire protection market, including installation, maintenance and servicing, is set to grow by up to 13.4% by 2016 as the economy recovers, especially in the construction industry, where fire protection and buildings go hand-in-glove.

“As a key player in the market with an excellent reputation for service delivery, Churchesfire is well-positioned to maximise these opportunities.”

One of Andrew’s colleagues, Paul Duckworth, will be providing tax advice.

Churchesfire, which has its UK head office at Fire House, Mayflower Close, Chandler’s Ford, was established in 1992, filling the market space between corporate and local suppliers.

The firm, with 95 staff, specialises in fire safety requirements, underpinned with an end-to-end service carried out in-house, rather than by sub-contractors, to ensure quality control.

Clients include B&Q, Royal Mail, Post Office, Audi, St John Ambulance and HMS Warrior in Portsmouth, a warship dating back to 1860.

Simon Burns, Financial Director, said: “We have attended a number of Smith & Williamson’s informative seminars in Southampton and felt they would make the right partner for us as regards auditing and tax advice.

“We are open about our strategic ambitions to grow Churchesfire through dovetailed acquisitions and Smith & Williamson will be able to provide an expert guiding hand as we look to the future as a market leader.”

Acquisitions to date include BRS Fire Protection, Marbco, Russell Fire and Olympic Fire Protection.

Employers, owners, landlords or occupiers of non-domestic premises face fines or imprisonment if they fail in their explicit legal duties to adhere to fire safety regulations.

According to 20010/11 figures by the Department for Communities & Local Government, in 12,600 cases, automatic fire detectors were absent in the area where the fire started, resulting in 11 deaths and 496 casualties.

Furthermore, automatic fire detectors failed to operate in 3,000 fires at commercial premises and in 1,100 cases the alarm was not raised despite the detectors working.

Churchesfire’s services include risk assessments, staff safety training, online safety awareness training courses and the installation and servicing of fire alarms, extinguishers and sprinkler systems by technicians across the UK.

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