Protec Fire & Security

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Protec Fire & Security is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Founder and Chairman
Barrie Russell
Protec headquarters and manufacturing
facility, Nelson, Lancashire
Established in 1968, Protec Fire and Security Group provides
building safety systems, which are designed to save lives
and protect property. It is the largest independent UK-
based manufacturer of fire detection and security products. It
has grown to become a major manufacturer, employing over
1,200 staff from its head office in Nelson, Lancashire, and a
network of regional offices throughout the UK. Founder and
Chairman Barrie Russell expands here.
Our products are exported around the globe through a network of specialist
trained agents and directly from Protec businesses in Holland, Spain and Australia.
Over the last 50 years that we have been in business, our structure has evolved
to accommodate the increasing success we continue to enjoy, while maintaining
a warm and friendly family-business feel. We achieve this by maintaining a very
flat communication structure, with a strong team culture that encourages all
employees, at all levels, to speak out and offer ideas and suggestions to improve
the experience of colleagues and clients alike.
This creates a more innovative and dynamic culture, ensuring ideas become a reality
more quickly, which is reflected directly in the many industry-leading products and
services we offer.
The strong family culture is positively reflected in the high retention levels of
staff. This is further strengthened throughout the business, as staff gain skills
and experience and are rewarded with promotion through capability, and new
staff see the opportunities available to them to develop their career within a
»Founder and Chairman: Barrie
»Founded in 1968
»Headquarters: Nelson,
»Services: Largest independent
UK-based manufacturer of fire
detection and securityproducts
»No. of employees: Over 1,200
»Turnover: £122 million
Protec Fire and
Highlighting best practice
We constantly strive for excellence in
everything we do. Having motivated
staff and a strong yet adaptable
structure is essential to our success.
The core activity of our business is
to provide life safety systems to the
highest-possible standards, exceeding
those of our industry colleagues
and government legislation. Our
structure consists of the following core
activities: product design; product
manufacturing; planning and system
design; supply, installation and project
management; system testing and
commissioning; and after-sales service
and maintenance.
Our experience
As manufacturers, many of the
products we offer are available for
direct dispatch from our manufacturing
and storage facility here in the UK.
Products can be supplied in an open
protocol format for installation by
others or via our in-house specialist
installation teams. Our projects
department are responsible for the
installation and project management,
while works are controlled by skilled
engineering teams at site level
with support from our network of
For major projects, teams are assembled
based on their specific expertise for
the project. Specialist engineering
teams, usually comprising project
managers, installation supervisors and
administration support, operate from
both the Nelson head office and our
network of regionaloffices.
Recent major projects include:
»Palace of Westminster, London
»Google European headquarters,
»Manchester Airport
»West Ham United, London Stadium
»Bloomberg European headquarters,
»BBC MediaCityUK, Salford
»Manchester United Football Club
»Ministry of Justice sites nationwide
»Crossrail, multiple sites
Our system-commissioning and
after-sales service ensures clients
receive the highest level of customer
care, product reliability and technical
support that we have to offer. We
do not just perform the required
functional and operational tests – our
customer-service commitment includes
assistance with on-site training of
responsible personnel and advice
on the different solutions available
for modifications and alterations to
existing systems.
A true national 24-hour, 365-days-a-
year call-out service is provided to all
our service customers. With call centres
permanently manned, our assistance is
only a phone call away. Of our over
1,200 UK staff, over 400 are field-
based engineers, who provide
technical expertise and emergency
support when it is most needed.
London Stadium, home
to West Ham United FC
staff and a
strong yet
structure is
essential to
our success
Case study –
Palace of Westminster
Since our appointment as the
nominated supplier of fire alarm and
voice alarm systems across the Palace
of Westminster estate, we have been
working tirelessly with both strategic
estates and their supply chain partners
in upgrading and improving their fire
safety systems.
Across the Palace of Westminster, the
fire alarm and voice alarm system-
upgrade works are now complete within
the basement, Victoria Tower and
Westminster Hall, with works continuing
within the upper floors and Elizabeth
Tower. When all works are completed,
the palace will boast more than 8,000
fire alarm devices across more than 40
fire alarm panels. To minimise structural
and visual impact within the many
architectural, historical and sensitive
areas of the palace, more than 90
Cirrus hybrid aspirating fire detection
units are installed, together with several
hundred 6500 Series wireless devices.
Voice alarm is provided across the
palace through a distributed network
of more than 20 voice alarm racks.
Elsewhere across the Westminster
estate, since our appointment, fire
alarm, voice alarm and emergency
voice communication systems have
already been updated with Protec
systems within 1 and 2 Millbank, 5
Great College Street, and Norman
Shaw North. In addition, works are
ongoing on site-wide infrastructure
and across the following buildings:
Derby Gate, the NEP and Canon Row.
From May 2018, we took over the
responsibility for planned preventative
maintenance and reactive maintenance
for fire alarm and voice alarm systems
across the Westminster estate.
Through our success in delivering this
service, our PPM package has since
increased to include EVC systems,
sprinkler systems, dry risers, Ansul
systems and portable extinguishers.
Owing to the large number of projects
taking place across the Westminster
estate, from major construction
projects to small remedial works,
our appointment varies from supply
and commissioning only, to full
turnkey design, supply, install and
commission contracts. This varied level
of appointment is possible because we
have a dynamic on-site management
team who are based at the estate
full-time, enabling us to meet with our
numerous clients regularly, understand
their requirements and provide the
very best level of service.
The future
Our success is due to our staff and our
ability to self-deliver all of the above
processes with minimal reliance on
external resources, giving us control over
our own destiny. Our structure allows us
to offer our disciplines and processes
in a format which enables a client to
select the services they would like to
purchase, giving them greaterchoice.
We are currently focused on recruiting
additional engineering staff into
our industry, either by retraining
or apprenticeship schemes. We are
particularly keen to attract more
female recruits into a traditionally
male environment. This is our
We are
keen to attract
more female
recruits into a
Protec fire alarm
and voice alarm
systems are employed
across the Palace of

This article was sponsored by Protec Fire & Security. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy