HFI: Smart Innovations For A Safer Future

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India’s rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and increasing awareness of fire safety norms is driving the growth of the fire protection market. Building owners and urban planners are turning towards fire safety technologies to protect assets and to help save lives. These technologies include fire detection and alarm systems, fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, fire-resistant materials, and fire safety training and consultancy services.

To explore the changing dynamics of this rapidly growing market and put a spotlight on some of the recent fire safety innovations, Industrial Safety Review had the privilege of interviewing Bharat Sharma, President of HFI, a business unit under the Halma Safety Sector. Excerpts:

Q. Tell us about Halma and HFI.

Halma is a global group of life-saving technology companies, focused on growing a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. It operates across three broad markets: Safety, the Environment and Health. Named one of Britian’s most admired companies, the company’s long term growth is driven by increasing urbanisation, population growth and safety regulations.

Halma has a 15-year history in India operating across different cities by creating local manufacturing facilities, research labs, technical support centres and offices. With more than 31 Halma companies in India, we offer a diverse portfolio of technologies and solutions that solve some of the most pressing issues, from clean water to road safety and preventable blindness.

HFI, a business unit under the Halma Safety Sector, addresses a greater range of unique customer needs in the fire safety markets. Its diverse customer base, ranging from small businesses to OEMs, is keen to explore the solution focused approach to fire safety.

Over the years, our strong capability to address customers’ needs and ongoing collaboration has helped us build customer loyalty on trust, quality and the knowledge that our fire safety technologies are globally adapted and accepted in other markets around the world.

Q. What opportunities do you see for growth and expansion within the Indian fire protection market in the coming years?

The fire protection market in India is experiencing significant growth due to rapid infrastructure development and increased awareness of fire safety. Government regulations, such as the National Building Code of India and state-level fire safety regulations, drive compliance and demand for fire protection systems.

The market comprises a mix of domestic and international players offering a range of products and services. Some of the key sectors driving demand include commercial and residential buildings, industrial facilities, healthcare, education, hospitality, and transportation. We see a huge opportunity in the Indian market as it is poised for continued expansion with investments in technology, infrastructure, and training. There is also a growing trend towards innovation and technological advancements, leading to the introduction of more efficient and intelligent fire protection systems.

Q. What are HFI’s key solutions to India’s fire safety market?

Our fire safety solutions are tailored specifically to the demands of the Indian fire safety market. For example, the Lucknow International Airport and the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Gujarat Refinery, are customers who have benefited from local innovation and global fire safety technologies offered by Apollo and Advanced, two Halma companies.

HFI also offers a comprehensive suite of solutions leveraging the advanced technologies and digital solutions of our safety companies.Our innovative and specialist fire detection systems are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including smoke, heat, and flame detectors. They are installed in many of the world’s tallest and smallest buildings. They ensure early detection and swift response to fire incidents, giving customers the confidence that their properties are in line with recommended safety protocols. These include industry-leading products from our group companies viz.Apollo, Advanced, Argus Security, FFE, and Thermocable.

To help customers quickly solve their unique challenges in India, HFI is now offering a fire detection and alarm system called Veiga.Inspired by the Sanskrit word(वेग) for ‘speed,’ the new range was designed, tested and manufactured in India. Veiga is approved for EN-54 and IS:ISO standards and further enhances HFI’s existing strengths for industrial and commercial customers.

Veiga complements FirePro’s suppression systems that detect and extinguish a fire at its source which is critically important in reducing the risk of injury to workers and damage to critical assets. Firetrace installs its fire suppression systems in areas where electrical fires are more likely to occur, limiting the damage caused by a fire.

HFI’s consultancy and training services offer expert guidance on risk assessments, safety audits, and compliance evaluations, all customised to meet the unique needs of Indian industries and regulatory frameworks.

With comprehensive technical and maintenance services, HFI ensures the ongoing reliability, performance, and regulatory compliance of fire protection systems across India, safeguarding lives, property, and assets against the ever-present threat of fire hazards.

Q. What sets HFI apart from other players in the fire safety market, and how does the business maintain its competitive edge?

HFI’s technologies have been helping to protect people from fire for more than a decade. As the momentum for new infrastructure development takes centre stage in India, we will tap into the expertise, research and advanced technologies that help solve customers’ unique needs as well as remain compliant with safety standards and norms.

Our technical support toll-free call centers have been set up to assist customers, integrators and site engineers with the latest information on fire detection and suppression products. The HFI staff are equipped with years of experience and technical know-how. We are delighted with the preliminary feedback from customers and are proud to be setting an example for the industry when it comes to real-time support.

Q. As a B2B brand in the fire safety market, what message would you like to convey to your present and future customers, partners, and stakeholders about your business’ vision for growth?

For HFI, the growth of the fire business is underscored by significant milestones, including the establishment of essential infrastructure such as a fire suppression filling station in Gurugram, a cutting-edge fire detection manufacturing unit in Noida, and a network of technical support centers strategically located across the country. These critical facilities demonstrate HFI’s commitment to providing end-to-end fire safety solutions, from manufacturing high-quality detection and suppression technologies and products to offering accessible support services nationwide. With these investments, HFI aims to strengthen its presence in India and enhance its ability to meet the diverse needs of customers and partners across the region.

We also recognise that collaboration is key to success, and we deeply value the trust and partnerships we have forged with our customers and stakeholders over the years.

Their feedback inspire us to continually improve and innovate, ensuring that we deliver the highest standards of safety and reliability.