The FIRA International Story
FIRA International is proud to be part of Element, the market leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification services.
We specialise in providing a comprehensive range of independent testing, inspection, certification, technical and training services to the furniture industry. We exist to help our customers to make certain that their materials, products, systems and operations are safe, quality, compliant and ultimately fit for purpose.
We are also the service provider to the Furniture Industry Research Association, with our expert authoring all of their guides, undertaking their research and representing their members on standards committees.
We can trace our heritage back via the Furniture Industry Research Association to 1949 when the Furniture Development Council (FDC) established by the government in order to meet a need for research into the production, performance and durability of furniture.
Then in 1961 The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) was formed on 29th March to provide research, information, test and management facilities to benefit the furniture industry. The 'New Town' of Stevenage was chosen as the location for FIRA, which is still the base for our UKAS-accredited testing facilities. Our facilities were opened in 1965, with the foundation stone laid by Lord Mayor of London, Sir Ralph Perring.
We then continued to expand, moving into training and widening the testing programme. In 1983 the FIRA Gold Award was launched in response to requests from the industry, which is know known as FIRA Gold Certification. In 1986 we launched new code of practice for Ignition Resistant Furniture for the Leisure Industry. 1997 saw the inception of FIRA Service Technicians, our furniture inspection and repair experts. In 2000 our Ergonomics Excellence Award was launched.
In 2015, FIRA International was acquired by Exova, which itself was subsequently acquired by Element Materials Technology.
In June 2021 we took the decision to close our furniture inspection and repair service to allow us to focus entirely on our testing and advisory services. In addition, we announced that work had commenced on our new custom-built testing facilities, which will be opening in the second half of 2021. The new facility, which is close to our current site, will help us continue to support the furniture industry and uphold the highest standards of quality, innovation and research.
Today FIRA International is part of the Element Group, a global network of more than 6,700 engaged experts, operating out of almost 200 laboratories, located in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.
We are the fastest growing testing, inspection, certification and calibration business in the world.
Our experts test to all the main standards British, European and American standards for all types of domestic and contract furniture.
FIRA Gold Certification
FIRA Gold Certification is the quality mark recognised across the furniture industry, spanning products and installation services.
Our technical services experts have a long history and wealth of experience in the furniture industry, offering support across the furniture supply chain.