Fire safety company tries again to set fire to Times Business Awards


ONE of the earliest entrants to the 2022 Times Business Awards is hoping he will be lucky for a second time after failing to secure an award on his first attempt in 2019.

At the time, Retail Fire entered Startup of the Year but narrowly missed out on the coveted award, but in the meantime it has been hiring, not laying off, throughout the pandemic.

The company, which supplies fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, sprinklers and risk assessments to retailers, schools and businesses, now has engineers covering the whole of the UK and the Republic of Ireland – and also increased its office staff from four to six, all from the region.

Based at Salomons Estate, where the Times Business Awards 2022 will take place in March, the Retail Fire team now enters the Best Business 1-25 Employees category.

Gail Hayes, business development manager, told The Times: “The reason we entered the awards again this year is because we think we support all of these domestic customers, but we don’t have a lot of profile with local customers and we know we could help them too with their fire protection needs.

“While we have a lot of retail customers, it’s not just retail customers that we serve. Another sector is that of chemists, for example. We also run charity shops and provide services to Hospice in the Weald.

While some businesses had to lay off staff during the pandemic, as an essential service, Retail Fire found they were in high demand.

Since the 2019 Business Trophies, the company has not only increased its workforce but also its turnover.

“Everyone needs fire protection, whether open or closed,” Ms Hayes added, saying the company has seen an 80% increase in annual revenue and the company is set to aim for £1.1million in what is now just its fourth year.

The first entries will be profiled

If you haven’t entered the Times Business Awards yet, it’s not too late – this year’s shortlist deadline isn’t until February 14 – but if you get your entry in early, you might even find your business profiled in The Times.

If you have not yet applied, register your interest and choose your category, please go to or email [email protected]

Each year, more and more organizations present themselves for the first time, but past winners and participants are just as welcome.

If you’ve entered the awards before, you can still re-enter this year and it’s completely FREE.


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