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SIA investigators discover unlicensed security at Accrington club 28/09/2020

LLOYD IRWIN has been sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court after he admitted working illegally as security at the Berkley Club in Accrington. Irwin, a former director of Hunter Irwin Security Specialists Ltd, appeared before the court via video link on Wednesday 2 September.

He had worked as a door supervisor for the company at The Berkley Club during December last year and again in January this year, despite not holding a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence.

The District Judge sentenced Irwin, who pleaded guilty, to a 12-month community order with an 80-hour unpaid work requirement. He was also ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge and £760.40 in costs.

Responding to a report of unlicensed door staff, SIA investigators worked with Lancashire Police and Hyndburn Council’s licensing officer to uncover a pattern of illegal working at the club.

Pete Easterbrook of the SIA’s criminal investigation team said: “This should serve as a warning for anyone who’s tempted to pick up work as a door supervisor without an SIA licence. It should also make unscrupulous bosses think twice about hiring unlicensed staff to cover a shift at a busy time. It’s not worth it. You could find yourself with a criminal record that will end your career in security. Door supervision is a responsible profession that should be left to those who are properly qualified and licensed.”

Daniel Webb, who is also unlicensed, had worked at the club in January this year. He was employed by Hunter Irwin Security Specialists Ltd, who provided door supervisors to the premises under contract.

Webb, who appeared before the court at the same time as Irwin, has entered a ‘not guilty’ plea. His trial is due to take place at Burnley Magistrates’ Court on 17 December.

Denton door supervisor saves friend’s brother

Door supervisor Connor McMillan saved the life of a man who was stabbed near the Crown Point Shopping Car Park in Denton, Greater Manchester.

McMillan, 23, from Denton, works for ABM Group Ltd and is also a CCTV specialist. When he was on duty on Tuesday 7 July, he received a radio call from the Security Control Room telling him that a young man had been stabbed.

Without hesitation, McMillan grabbed a First Aid kit from the Control Room and rushed to the scene. The man who had been stabbed was lying on the floor clutching his chest. One of McMillan’s colleagues had caught the man who had carried out the stabbing.

McMillan checked whether the victim was conscious. He appeared to be in shock from the loss of blood. McMillan cleaned the wound and began packing it with bandages to stem the blood flow.

While attending to the male’s wounds, McMillan realised that the victim was the brother of a friend. He reassured him while keeping pressure on the wound. The Crown Point’s Shopping Centre manager, Alan Barker, and his colleague, Lisa Craig, ran to the scene to help and called the Emergency Services. McMillan continued to reassure the victim while Craig covered him to keep him warm. Between them they stabilised his condition and, when the ambulance arrived, paramedics took over.

The paramedics informed McMillan that, if he hadn’t carried out emergency First Aid, the man may well have died at the scene.

Commendation from employer

McMillan’s life-saving efforts were commended by his employer, ABM Ltd, who gave him their ABM Gold Hero Award. Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, also gave McMillan a Community Award.

When the SIA spoke with McMillan, he said: “I was mentally and physically numb because I’ve never had to deal with an incident like that before. I put my training to good use. I kept calm and didn’t think of the consequences. I did my best for the man by packing his wound and keeping him talking. Ultimately, I kept him alive.”

After the incident, McMillan discovered that the man had survived his injuries, but that he had suffered a punctured lung and damage to his heart.

McMillan continued: “As first responders, security operatives are taught First Aid. It has come in handy a few times. In a situation like this, you just have to do what you can. Your training and instinct take over. I think the role of security operatives is changing. The role we play now is not just about providing security. We also offer support, give basic First Aid and help people to feel safe.”

McMillan’s story is part of the #SIAHeroes campaign. He’s one of 400,000 licensed security operatives in the UK who have continued to work as critical workers and key workers, in turn protecting hospitals, sheltered accommodation, supporting social distancing in supermarkets and transacting other essential operations.

The SIA is promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the campaign by sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

*Read all of the #SIAHeroes stories online here

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“Not enough police to deal with new COVID-19 expectations” warns Federation 28/09/2020

POLICE WILL struggle to cope with the extra demands placed on them as tougher COVID-19 restrictions come into force, the Police Federation of England and Wales has warned.

From Monday 28 September, police will be expected to take intelligence-led action against individuals who test positive for the virus and fail to self-isolate. This follows the Government announcement on Thursday 24 September which has established a 10.00 pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants in England.

Highlighting his concerns, John Apter (national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales) said: “As new restrictions come into effect, policing will be forced to prioritise. With ever-growing demand and increasing pressures, there will simply not be enough police officers to do everything expected of them. There is no magic box of extra officers waiting to be opened, and undoubtedly policing will struggle with this increased demand.”

Apter continued: “My colleagues are doing the best they can to keep the public safe from the virus while juggling 999 calls, working longer hours and seeing rest days cancelled. Where they can we need local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive and other major agencies to step up to the plate and lessen the strain on policing.”

In addition, Apter stated: “The majority of people comply with restrictions placed on them. These restrictions affect us all and, to keep each other as safe as possible, I hope the public will carry on doing the right thing to protect citizens and minimise the spread of the virus.”

Military support

Policing has not asked for the assistance of military support to deal with the package of newly-introduced COVID-19 restrictions. Extra funding for police and law enforcement formed part of the package aimed at ensuring new rules were adhered to. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the measures for England included “the option to draw military support where required to free up the police”.

On this point, Apter has commented: “More funding for policing this pandemic is much needed. The service needs all the help it can get as the financial pressures on forces are increasing daily, but the Government’s announcement lacked any detail. We will wait for that before we celebrate too much.”  

Since the start of this pandemic police and the military have been working together on logistics. “This has worked well and continues to do so,” explained Apter, “but the announcement from the Prime Minister has been seen by some as a suggestion that the military will be on the streets helping the police to enforce COVID regulations. This is not what policing has asked for and not what it needs.”

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Onwatch Multifire sold through pre-pack administration deal 28/09/2020

THE JOINT Administrators of security systems business OM Realisations 2020 Limited, trading as Onwatch Multifire, have sold the company’s trading divisions through a pre-pack administration process.

Onwatch Multifire designs, integrates and installs safety and security systems and provides CCTV monitoring and maintenance services out of its Category II BS 5979/BS 8418 hub. The company also provides fire protection systems through its fire alarm division Multifire Maintenance Services.

Tony Wright and Philip Armstrong from specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed Joint Administrators to the business on 7 September. On appointment, the business’ two trading divisions were immediately sold and all employees transferred.

The security division was sold to the company’s directors Peter Gould and Chris Cunningham and will continue to operate under the Onwatch (UK) brand out of the business’ sites in Sunderland and Crowborough in East Sussex. It will continue to employ 38 staff.

The fire services division has been acquired by one of the UK’s leading national fire and security businesses, namely Churches Fire Security Ltd. 20 members of staff will transfer to the purchaser and operate out of its UK-wide office network.

Tony Wright, Joint Administrator and partner at FRP, informed Security Matters: “These concurrent transactions provide a sustainable future and platform to grow for both Onwatch UK and the team at Multifire Maintenance Services – two businesses that provide critical services. Even amid the ongoing economic challenges and disruption, the deals show that quality businesses can still attract investment. We wish Onwatch all the best as an independent business and also Multifire Maintenance Services as part of a major UK fire services group.”

Pete Gould, managing direcyor at Onwatch (UK) Ltd, said: “It has been a challenging six months, but we’re pleased to have completed our MBO. The retention of our security employees and long-standing customers to maintain a stable workplace and continue to provide a high-quality service was uppermost in our plans going forward.”  

Charlie Haynes, CEO at Churches Fire, added: “At Churches Fire, we’re extremely proud to take ownership of Multifire Maintenance Services. Both companies share the same customer-focused values, working to regulated British Standards and supplying businesses with the highest quality fire safety services.”

In total, the transactions have secured 58 jobs.

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Internet of Things “helping to provide key evidence in criminal trials” observes DPP 28/09/2020

DIGITAL DEVICES like smart doorbells, dashcam footage, car GPS systems and even Amazon Alexa are providing increasingly more evidence in criminal trials, the Director of Public Prosecutions has revealed.

Addressing the Westminster Policy Forum on the challenges of prosecuting crime in 2020, Max Hill QC spoke about how developments in digital technology are driving significant changes in the way evidence is collected and used in court.

Hill observed: “As little as 15 years ago, criminal investigations and subsequent prosecutions were likely to focus on the crime scene for evidence backed up by eyewitness testimonies and door-to-door enquiries. This has been transformed by the way we now live our lives and share information online.”

He continued: “The digital devices which are becoming part of the fabric of everyday life, like smart phones, social media and even things like Alexa can actively provide key evidence to pinpoint whereabouts, provide footage of an incident or a timeline. Alexa has already been used as a line of enquiry in a murder case in the US. The opportunities and threats presented by the digital age represent a constantly evolving challenge for all parts of the criminal justice system, as well as for wider society.”

Instrumental in providing evidence

The Director of Public Prosecutions gave an example of how the GPS system in a Land Rover Discovery was instrumental in providing evidence during a crossbow murder case earlier this year.

Following the death, the defendant was questioned about his possession of crossbows, but it was only two week later (when the GPS system was retrieved from his partner’s burned out vehicle) that vital evidence was found.

Information retained by Jaguar Land Rover proved the car had been used for reconnaissance as it was traced to the victim’s driveway the night before the murder. It also showed that the car had travelled to the crime scene again the following night and remained until 12 minutes after the victim was shot.

The system indicated the boot was opened and closed when the car arrived and before it left. The offender was convicted and received a life sentence.

Emerging technology

Hill underlined the importance of keeping up with emerging technology. He said: “The detectives of the past could only dream of the modern opportunities to gather and deploy evidence, but let’s not forget that they also represent unprecedented evidential challenges. Just as technology is changing the nature of crime, so technological innovations will change investigations. Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence is being developed to be more effective and reliable in sifting through vast amounts of data.”

Further, Hill commented: “Prosecuting crime in 2020 means integrating new and old techniques to make sure digitally-driven investigations are translated into fair and effective cases. This is nothing if not a fast-moving landscape and we will not – and must not – stand still.”

The Crown Prosecution Service is investing in technology to help the organisation review large sets of evidential data and identify personal data to help with General Data Protection Regulation responsibilities. It will also provide enhanced search capabilities enabling prosecutors to more easily establish which elements of the evidence are most relevant.

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Third Party Vendor Risk Management: Why it Matters to Financial Institutions 28/09/2020

IN LIGHT of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that the Coronavirus has exerted all over the globe, now more so than ever the financial services sector must focus its attentions on operational resilience and risk management. Here, Rich Cooper outlines the key reasons why.

The Institute of Risk Management recently conducted a survey and found that 94% of the respondents believe the COVID-19 pandemic has actively strengthened the case for risk management. Moreover, 95% said they will assess the need to revisit their enterprise risk management framework and business continuity plan due to the pandemic. Part of this will also involve the evaluation of third party vendor risk.

What about risk management and third party vendor risk management specifically focused on financial institutions, though?

That sector plays a crucial role in ensuring global economic security and prosperity. Understandably, the industry is under constant pressure from regulators, with new regulatory obligations coming into play each year. Vendor or third party assessments are not only Best Practice in today’s regulatory playbook, but are also increasingly expected by regulators, business partners and customers alike.

The question then becomes: ‘What is Best Practice when it comes to third party vendor risk management for financial institutions?’

Third parties can amplify risks for financial institutions. Operational resilience for companies in the financial industry is the ability to continue operating, servicing customers and partners regardless of setbacks, barriers or limited resources. For financial services firms, resilience is absolutely vital, not only due to the interconnectivity of the industry, but also the value placed on reputation. Financial services firms must be resilient to continue succeeding as trustworthy institutions in the financial world, which is precisely why third party assessments are crucial.

The modern day financial institution is likely to outsource to third party vendors for a multitude of reasons, from a desire to expand their offer through to reducing costs. When it comes to the number of vendors, depending on their size and offer, financial organisations can have hundreds of outsourced third parties. As an organisation’s network expands, variables are added and, in turn, risks amplify.  If the financial organisation fails to maintain quality control over third party activities, these vendors can cause substantial financial and reputational damage, regardless of their size or industry.

Managing vendor risk

When it comes to third party risk management, financial organisations must include several fundamentals within their plan.

There needs to be strong contract management in order to manage and store contracts, clearly outlining Service Level Agreements and the business relationships between the financial firm and the third party.

Vendor reviews are also hugely important in order to ensure that third parties can meet the regulatory obligations required and expected by regulators, partners, and customers. The financial organisation should aim to have a system in place to conduct these reviews on an ongoing basis rather than in one-off scenarios. The organisation should also conduct annual vendor risk assessments on all essential third parties.

Vendor profiles that are habitually updated offer a clear overview of all third parties currently connected with the financial institution. Also necessary are clear guidelines when it comes to access to (and the control of) sensitive information by the vendor, as outlined in a vendor contract.

Performance metrics guarantee that the quality of service and compliance meets contractual agreements. The organisation’s business resilience or risk team should regularly monitor and analyse the metrics.

Open communication with the vendors when it comes to testing, assessments and inclusion in the financial organisation’s crisis management plans will also be hugely important.

While not always possible to put in post, a vendor relationship manager will act as a connection between the vendor and the business. They would own the vendor relationship when it comes to the services they provide as well as ongoing performance and compliance.

Impact of COVID-19

Has anything changed in a ‘post-COVID’ environment? The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that many organisations were ill-prepared for sudden changes to the workforce or business environment. In turn, third parties that were unable to cope with the pandemic duly disrupted the business processes of dependent organisations.

While third parties have always held this potential risk, the grand scale of the pandemic has placed an even greater emphasis on third party risk management in all industries, especially so financial services. As firms learn from their shortcomings during the pandemic, increased investment in third party risk management programmes can be expected.

Further, investment in risk management technology will ensure that outsourcing vendors have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan, and that the financial organisation can continue servicing even at times of crisis. This is critical when it comes to maintaining customer and stakeholder trust.

Outsourcing has clear benefits for financial organisations from the efficiency and cost perspectives. However, firms must dedicate resources towards adequately vetting the vendors with whom they work and carefully construct a risk management plan to avoid future disruptions.

Proactive risk management will help organisations avoid exposing the themselves to operational, regulatory, financial or reputational risk, while also continuing to reap the benefits of working with third parties.

Rich Cooper is Principal of Financial Services at Fusion Risk Management

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Government’s Internal Market Bill “may weaken Scotland’s Grenfell protections” warns leading architect 28/09/2020

THE INTERNAL Market Bill seeks to remove and prevent trade barriers between the four UK nations. In doing so, it aims to legislate that goods approved for use in one part of the UK will be able to be used in other parts of the UK without restriction.

For example, it will mean “Scotland will have to accept the flammable cladding which caused the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, even though it is currently illegal to use it in the country.”

Peter Drummond, a senior member of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), has commented: “It is simply inexplicable that the Internal Market Bill seeks to align the more robust Scottish regulations with the English system. Those powers are now to be removed. The lowest common denominator within the UK will apply. That is, on any fair reading, a spectacularly poor backwards step. We should all be concerned.”

Drummond, whose architecture firm operates out of offices in Glasgow and Kilmarnock, informed the BBC that the Scottish Government introduced measures to protect occupants of residential properties after a fire in high-rise flats in Irvine back in 2003.

Michael Russell, Scotland's Constitution Secretary, observed: “The UK Internal Market White Paper cited Building Regulations as an example of a potential barrier to the functioning of the UK internal market. There is no credible evidence to support this view. Differences in Building Regulations between England and Scotland have existed for decades and do not present significant issues for those providing goods or services or, indeed, to those delivering our built environment. The construction sector is familiar with such differences and they are well managed.”

A UK Government spokesperson responded: “Building Regulations are a devolved matter, with each of the four nations responsible for developing and enforcing their own regulations. The Scottish Government and the devolved administrations will continue to be able to set their own regulations in areas of devolved competence, including when it comes to Building Regulations.”

The Conservative Government has much on its plate at present with the resurging pandemic and Brexit fast approaching. It stands to reason that close attention is needed when it comes to the details of the Internal Market Bill to ensure that the work transacted so far to prevent a tragedy like Grenfell Tower from ever happening again is not derailed in any way.

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Building Safety Bill presents “opportunity to make all buildings resilient to fire” 28/09/2020

INPUT TO the pre-legislative scrutiny for the draft Building Safety Bill by the Select Committee closed on Monday 14 September. According to the Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA), the document heralds “long-awaited and welcome reform” that focuses on higher-risk buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

While it’s “a fundamental step” on the journey towards improving the safety of the built environment, the BSA hopes that the current scope of the legislation will “cascade” into buildings other than high-rise residential blocks over 18 metres and not be “a wasted opportunity”.  

The legislation will likely come into effect late next year and proposes changes that will improve building and fire safety in all multi-occupancy, high-rise residential buildings. The new rules will apply when these buildings are designed and constructed and then later occupied.

It will see the recruitment of a chief inspector of buildings who will lead the newly-created Building Safety Regulator, set up within the Health and Safety Executive to enforce a new and more rigorous building safety system.

The Building Safety Bill also promises to regulate construction materials and products.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy focused national and international attention on the fire safety of tower blocks, but it also raised significant questions of the entire built environment. While the Building Safety Bill will focus initially on high-rise residential buildings, the BSA feels that the risk of loss of life and property inherent in many other buildings types is also too high.

An official statement from the organisation reads: “The BSA welcomes the Building Safety Bill. It is long overdue, but we applaud the general intention to make the regulation clearer and more effective. The emphasis on accountability, enforcement powers, industry competence and critical products will go a long way towards addressing gaps that we have highlighted over time.”

The statement continues: “However, while we recognise that high-rise residential buildings must be the first priority, this initiative to overhaul our national approach to fire safety should also consider the outcomes we expect from buildings in the face of fire. Therefore, we also urge the Government to use this opportunity to ensure that the scope of regulation and the regulator’s ambit is widened to situations which pose a significant risk to life or to firefighters’ safety or where a fire would cause the loss of a community asset or impact the nation’s economic well-being. Doing so will ensure that the legislation delivers a built environment that is safe, sustainable and resilient in the face of fire.”

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Firefighters’ risk of exposure to carcinogens tackled with packaged solutions 27/09/2020

A RANGE of solutions for cleaning breathing apparatus, respiratory masks and PPE equipment that reduce the risk of carcinogen contamination within emergency teams has been launched by Dräger as part of its ‘Health for the Firefighter’ campaign.

Dräger has worked in partnership with Harstra Instruments, a leading Dutch manufacturer of cleaning and drying equipment. The launch follows a study undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which demonstrated a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) worn and evaluated as fully operational will be contaminated within 25 minutes of use in firefighting situations.

Currently, most masks and SCBA are cleaned by hand, which is a lengthy and inconsistent process. It can also pose potential hazards for personnel.

Dräger has therefore developed a package of solutions comprised of cleaning products, logistical support and consultancy services that enable Fire and Rescue Services to mitigate firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens throughout every step of attending an incident.

The package includes simple-to-use washing machines that clean using high pressure water, drying cabinets in various shapes and sizes to accommodate each Fire and Rescue Service’s space and equipment and testing facilities to ensure products are decontaminated before going back into operation.

The final part of the new solution is an improved logistics and workshop capability to quarantine contaminated kit, clean it and then replenish with sanitised PPE to maintain operational capability. Dräger can design and engineer new infrastructure or work within an existing facility to provide optimum protection and cleaning of equipment.

Duty of Care

Andy Taylor, UK marketing manager for engineered solutions at Dräger, said it’s now well known that job-related exposures to carcinogens increases the risk of illnesses such as cancer. “Employers owe their employees a Duty of Care and are therefore looking to provide additional protection during training, post-incident and in day-to-day equipment handling operations.”

Taylor continued: “A new standard operating procedure, which incorporates comprehensive training, must be established by the Fire and Rescue Services including comprehensive training for emergency teams on how to decontaminate themselves following an incident in which exposure was likely. Standardising processes not only minimises the risk of contamination for workshop personnel, but also reduces the exposure of carcinogenic substances for the wearer. The consistency of cleaning also extends the lifetime of PPE.”

Within Harstra Instruments’ product portfolio are a range of washing and drying solutions. These include the Wash4 and Wash6DR models which can accommodate between four and six SCBA respectively, including cylinders, and up to 18 breathing masks. The Wash4 model provides the user with a choice of cleaning times. The Wash6DR washes at the same intervals, but without the need for compressed air cylinders, instead taking pressure from a high-powered air external source.

Essential to the process is the requirement that cleaned equipment is dried correctly in a drying cabinet or drying room to remove moisture. The Dräger portfolio is configurable and allows easy transfer of equipment using compatible baskets in the cleaning and drying cycle (for example the Wash9 facemask washer and the M18/45 cabinets). Once these have been cleaned and dried they can then be checked and tested and the air cylinders refilled. The SCBA is then ready for operations using Dräger workshop equipment.

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Fire Safety: Extinguishing The Myths 28/09/2020

FIRE SAFETY has always been a well-documented subject, with various experts and regulatory bodies sharing key insights that save lives. Despite this, practical knowledge can sometimes be overshadowed by false information and myths. Here, Karen Trigg investigates some common myths and outlines the correct way in which to handle the discipline of fire safety.

Safety as a wider area has always been one that has courted myth and rumour. Most practitioners will be aware of the more amusing Health and Safety myths, such as the HSE example of children being banned from playing conkers unless they wore safety goggles.

Some of the more classic myths may seem light-hearted and relatively harmless, but they’re indicative of a much more serious issue that exists whereby real and practical safety knowledge is replaced with unreliable information. This information is passed from person to person and may not actually be grounded in fact at all. In a more serious context, such as fire safety, that presents a genuine danger.

Fire safety itself has more than its share of myths and misconceptions attached to it, all of them proving to be more dangerous than safety goggles and conkers. Treating fire safety knowledge as something that can be shared nonchalantly between one unreliable source to another, rather than learned from credible sources, could put facility managers, businesses and building occupants alike at risk in the event of a blaze.

No smoke without fire

With the stakes naturally being so high, fire safety is often shrouded in controversy. Official guidelines and resources are sometimes sidelined and not followed as they should be. With all of us now living in a time where information is so easy to obtain, why are those responsible for fire safety decisions still arriving at the wrong ones?

Put simply, misinformation is a prominent issue. In fact, the spread of inconsistent and incorrect information mimics fire itself. Commonly, fiction has always surrounded fire safety equipment to some extent, and it only takes one to pass that material on for it to result in an unfortunate fire emergency.

Some of the more common fire safety myths include the following:

*Once fire safety equipment (such as fire alarms, smoke detectors and even door hardware) is fitted, it no longer requires maintenance

*In the event of a fire, flames cause more casualties than smoke

*The older a building is, the more prone it will be to fire

*The gap between the fire door and its surrounding frame isn’t important

All of these statements are, in fact, false and dangerous, yet are believed by pockets of individuals that are subsequently putting their buildings and people’s lives at risk.

One of the more prevalent (and most perilous) fire safety inaccuracies surrounds the use of fire doors and their operation. Under UK law, fire doors cannot be propped or wedged open, yet we’ve all seen instances of fire doors being used incorrectly. In the event of a fire, a fire door that’s propped open is useless and will fail to compartmentalise the fire and toxic smoke filling the building, instead facilitating its potentially deadly spread.

Bending the rules

Some fire safety myths are born purely from convenience, with responsible parties often trying to bend the rules to something that suits the operation of their building. For example, it may be that fire doors slow the movement of people through a building or act as an additional obstacle when items are moved throughout the premises and, as a result, they’re illegally left open.

Despite the dangers and risk of fines, penalties and a prison sentence, a large proportion of people who do so fail to see the safety of occupants as a priority until disaster strikes.

Perhaps this is where a lack of education plays a part in the spread of misinformation. Today, decision-makers and installers have a variety of options open to them when it comes to fire door hardware, with tailored options able to adapt to a building’s specific needs.

Electromagnetic door control solutions, for example, can be linked to a building’s alarm system with fire doors kept in an open position until the alarm is sounded, fixing potential convenience issues in a safe and sustainable way. By correctly specifying products that suit the use of a building more closely, not only can we educate decision-makers further, but there’s also an opportunity to significantly increase fire safety standards into the bargain.

For gaps in practical knowledge, such as the process of fire door and equipment checks, industry standard guidelines are readily available from legitimate experts and regulatory bodies. Helpful guidelines and checklists on everything from door hardware to fire safety compliance are also accessible.

However, this information must now be used more regularly, replacing the gossip and conjecture that’s unfortunately being followed by too many.

With the legal regulations and ramifications at stake, it’s imperative to educate on a subject that can rapidly turn into a life or death matter.

Key to fire safety

Most fires are preventable. By adopting accurate procedures and fire safety practices, decision-makers can prepare themselves and their buildings for the worse case scenario, creating a safer environment and sharing authentic knowledge on the subject.

Only when we eliminate the cutting of corners and reduce the potency of fire safety myths can we truly achieve a future that’s safe from fire.

Karen Trigg is Business Development Manager at Allegion (UK)








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Security Matters Podcast – Episode 12 now live to view 23/09/2020

THE TWELFTH edition of the fortnightly Security Matters Podcast for practising professionals in the security business sector is now live to view. Each episode features a round-up and analysis of the biggest news stories published on the magazine’s website in addition to discussions with selected professionals from the security business sector.

Our special guests on Episode 12 of the Security Matters Podcast are Peter French MBE FSyI CPP (managing director of SSR Personnel and Executive Profiles) and Martyn Ryder, vice-president of sales and marketing at Morphean (the specialist high-tech developer of video monitoring and surveillance platforms).

SSR Personnel provides specialist recruitment and selection services to a majority of the Top 500 UK and European companies and enjoys an enviable reputation in the supply of recruitment and staffing solutions. Peter founded the business back in 1986.

The company prides itself on excellent staff retention which ensures continuity of knowledge and expertise. As a direct result, many of SSR Personnel’s clients will work with the exact same consultant over several years, across different employers and throughout their careers (in turn receiving a truly personalised service).

SSR Personnel’s website provides job seekers with immediate access to live vacancies and employers with a portal covering each of SSR’s micro websites that reflect their principle professions (ie corporate security, cyber assurance, safety, fire and security engineering and sales)  

In addition to its permanent business, SSR Personnel also has interim hire, fixed term and flexible contractors deployed across the company’s global network.

In addition to the day job, Peter also holds a number of non-executive posts advising on Human Resources planning, motivation and psychometrics. A Past Master and Trustee of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, Peter is an MBE, a Certified Protection Professional and also a Fellow of The Security Institute.

Along with The Security Benevolent Fund, Peter has undertaken to engage the security industry to look after its former employees who, through ill-health and other circumstances, need assistance as their lives are disrupted through no fault of their own.

Recruitment trends

During Episode 12 of the Security Matters Podcast, Peter focuses on what he believes recruitment trends will look like in general and, more specifically, for the security business sector in the near future. There’s also discussion on how SSR Personnel has traded during the pandemic.

In the latest editions of the SSR Personnel and ASIS International Salary Surveys, the responses from those interviewed have once again been wide-ranging and hugely informative. As a result, Peter takes the opportunity to outline the key concerns being shown by those responding.

Having experienced several recessions during his career in business, what does Peter consider will be the effect of the currently predicted financial downturn on European security professionals? Listen to Episode 12 of the Security Matters Podcast and find out.

To their great credit, Peter and John Purnell have worked diligently over several years to establish the excellent Security Benevolent Fund that’s run by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals’ charitable trust. In what ways is that Fund helping in the current pandemic? Peter makes good use of the Security Matters Podcast to offer a timely progress update.

Video surveillance and monitoring

As mentioned, our second guest on Episode 12 of the Security Matters Podcast is Martyn Ryder, vice-president of sales and marketing at Morphean.

Martyn is a driven and highly motivated commercial sales and product-focused executive with international experience of the European and North American markets. Specifically, he harbours a keen interest in using technology to solve customer challenges and enhance their user experience.

Able to work under his own initiative and inspire teams to achieve goals and develop as individuals, Martyn is comfortable communicating with all levels of business leadership and interacting with all business departments to help them achieve their strategic goals.

Morphean is based in Switzerland, Germany and the UK. The high-tech company is regarded as one of the European leaders when it comes to developing video monitoring and surveillance platforms, delivering a Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) solution that enhances video protection.

Indeed, the business has pioneered digital video protection systems across the last 15 years, with its expertise in this particular arena being based on the proficiency of cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, analytics and the cloud.

The cloud has brought many benefits to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, enabling them to keep the lights on and stay afloat. The IT industry has been championing cloud infrastructure for some time now, but how is cloud revolutionising the physical security industry at the present time? Martyn offers his views on the matter.

In addition, Martyn outlines the benefits of VSaaS and also Access Control-as-a-Service (ACaaS) for businesses, vendors and installers alike.

During the pandemic, VSaaS and ACaaS have realised many applications beyond perimeter protection and controlling entrances and exit points. Martyn duly explains how current solutions have positively impacted key industries such as the retail and transport sectors.

How does Martyn see cloud-enabled physical security, and its related management platforms, evolving in the future? What developments might we expect to see in five or even ten years’ time? Listen to Episode 12 of the Security Matters Podcast for all of the key detail.

Listen to the Security Matters Podcast

You can listen to the Security Matters Podcast – kindly sponsored by The Security Event, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham from 27-29 April 2021 – for free on iTunes or Spotify. To download the Security Matters Podcast on iTunes or Spotify, all you need to do is enter the term ‘Security Matters’ into your chosen platform’s search box.

Alternatively, you can listen to the Security Matters Podcast online at https://securitymatters.podbean.com/ or via the dedicated Security Matters YouTube channel by clicking here.

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