Well, here we are again! It’s the end of 2021, another unpredictable year full of unexpected challenges. However, this year we’ve had a bit more freedom and it’s made us appreciate the small wins a lot more and celebrate the big wins with even more enthusiasm.
Most of 2020 was filled with responding to the ever-changing effects of the pandemic. But aside from that we also moved offices, introduced webinar sessions to our website and celebrated selling one million Dorgards.
This year we’ve still been riding the waves of COVID-19, but the journey has been a lot less rough and the skies have been clearer.
Our social media outreach has changed; we introduced Instagram and TikTok, which allowed us to share the personal and fun side of the people behind Fireco. Our video output increased, giving a clearer and quicker understanding of what our products do and how they work. Financially we have been more stable and have even been able to introduce some new team members throughout the business. Not to mention our popular webinar series from 2020 continued into 2021 with new topics and increased audiences.
Those are just a few of the highlights! Here are a few more major things that we’ve been working on this year…
Introducing Fire Doors
A couple of years ago we started our journey of working with fire door manufacturers in order to gain Primary Test Evidence so that customers could ensure that our products are compliant and safe to use as part of a doorset.
We were finding that getting a doorset considered as compliant was becoming more complex. Hardware that used to be tested and bought separately now needed to be tested together to further ensure safety. Not only this, some customers required specific certifications, door materials and specs and it all seemed to be increasingly complicated.
Our motto is Compliance Made Easy, so we thought about what we could do to make buying a fire door and its hardware easier. This is where we’re at:
- Primary Test Evidence achieved with our door hardware on a range of fire doors from a number of manufacturers.
- Introduction of fire door Inspections by Fireco with FDIS certified Engineers.
- Introduction of buying doorsets directly from us with the option for our BMTrada certified Engineers to install.
- Door selector added to the website where you can visually build your ideal doorset with all hardware and correct specifications, in one place.
This is just the beginning of our fire door offerings, so watch this space for more information and please let us know if you have any fire door woes we can help with!
Speaking of making compliance easy. We also added some new and updated services to our offerings. This includes an upgrade to our CaaS plan which now has a calculator where you can input your requirements and it will calculate an estimated quote. CaaS allows you to build a fire safety or hygiene system with no upfront cost and with extra benefits, all covered by monthly payments.
We also recognised a new need for letting customers know about maintenance. Fire safety systems will only keep your building compliant if they are in good working order, which is why maintaining them is so important. To align with this, we added a maintenance plan which can be introduced at any time for existing and new customers.
One of our new products, InSite, is another great way to keep an eye on the compliance of your building as it allows you to remotely monitor the real-time status of your Fireco devices, providing information from battery level to signal strength. InSite’s features are continually expanding with new introductions, such as door release, which allows you to close all your doors at once at the click of a button.
Saying ‘Hello’ in real life
One of our favourite parts of 2021 was being able to finally see our customers and partners in person – something that has been massively taken for granted in previous years. We attended quite a few exhibitions, including The Fire Safety Event, Fire 2021, The OT Show, and absolutely loved seeing everyone. It was great that so many webinar attendees came to speak to us, especially to see our host, Zac.
We made so many connections over lockdown via social media, telephone and email and we were eager to meet the people behind the screen. With Sean, our new PR & Events Executive joining the Marketing Team, we were able to organise our very own Friends of Fireco event. Hosted at the Sir John Soane Museum, we spent hours chatting, eating canapes and learning all about the relics and artwork that Soane collected over the years. We’ve had some amazing feedback from our guests which has spurred us on to organise future Fireco events!
Doing our bit
Aside from the pandemic, there have been other headlines in the news that have been just as concerning. One is the climate crisis and the negative impacts of human activity on the environment. It’s a topic that took a back seat over the past couple of years for obvious reasons but needs urgent attention. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure their operations are as environmentally friendly as possible, especially considering SME’s are a huge contributing factor to global emissions.
We brought together a group of people already in-the-know about eco-friendly activities and formed the Environmental Team! They have started a project which focuses on all aspects of being more eco-friendly, from making sustainable swaps and trying to be plastic-free, to our fleet emissions and energy sources. We’ve already made fantastic progress and we’ll soon start to advertise what it is we’re doing.
Another headline in the news is the general topic of health, from long NHS waiting lists to the negative effects of the pandemic and isolation on mental health. With this in mind, we really wanted to start helping in any way we could, especially if it could directly benefit our community.
In the latter part of 2021, we chose to fundraise for Esteem, a local charity that helps 14-26 year-olds with emotional, social and vocational support. It’s an age group where mental health can be at an all-time low as NHS waiting lists are at an all-time high. Esteem helps to integrate young people into society, helps them build confidence, gives them a place where they feel they belong and provides all important counselling and wellbeing services with a short waiting list. We’ll be organising lots of activities and events in order to raise awareness and funds for Esteem, but you can find out more about them on their website.
A bittersweet end
All of the things mentioned in this blog that we worked so hard on and were so proud of led us to enter the Security & Fire Excellence Awards. Sadly, we didn’t win, but we were still so chuffed to be finalists for three categories: Company Lockdown Hero, Individual Lockdown Hero (shoutout to Zac) and Fire Software or Hardware Vendor of the Year. We are hoping to enter again next year and we’d encourage more fire safety companies to try and enter too!
What to expect from 2022
We’ll be continuing to work on expanding our door services, hosting another Fireco event, having a big push on reducing our environmental impact and a drive on supporting charity. We’ll carry on with our webinar sessions, creating videos and building our social media presence. Hey, maybe we’ll be finalists or even winners of some awards!
But, for now, thank you to everyone who was part of our journey through 2021 and we can’t wait to see what next year brings…