Daily Archives: 05/07/2017

UK’s biggest prison now on verge of full capacity

The biggest prison in the UK should reach full capacity pretty soon, with construction work on track to end this month and allow the opening of the third and final wing. The first prisoners were moved to HMP Berwyn in Wrexham on 28 February and into Bala wing, with this wing and its cousins collectively designed to house 702 prisoners.

The second wing, designated Alwen, opened in May, with Ministry of Justice (MoJ) bosses confirming the third and final wing, Ceiriog, is on schedule to open this month, bringing the total capacity of adult male offenders to 2,106 – 500 inmates more than the biggest current prison in England and Wales was built to hold.

The majority will be Category C prisoners, meaning that they’ve been assessed as having a lower likelihood of escaping, though some Category B prisoners could also be accommodated.

Governor Russ Trent has explained that his emphasis is on rehabilitation, with staff calling the prisoners ‘men’ who will have ‘rooms’ rather than cells.

The construction of HMP Berwyn began in May 2015 and will cost £250 million.

HMPBerwyn

Reductions in overcrowding

The Government has pledged to spend £1.3 billion on new prisons. After the riots in HMP Birmingham last year, Justice Secretary Liz Truss said the new prison in Wales ‘will help to reduce overcrowding across the estate’. Nine more new prisons are expected to be built, with five set to be opened by 2020.

Binns Fencing won the order to supply and install almost 2 km of 5.2 metre-high prison-standard secure perimeter fencing for the Wrexham ‘super prison’. Manufacturer Zaun supplied the MoJ-approved prison posts and fencing mesh.

Binns has proposed a new model of perimeter security and PIDs procurement and delivery, whereby it offers a single point of contact for the complete perimeter security package, providing greater opportunity for innovation, in turn reducing complexity and the need for managing multiple contractors.

The company believes this could offer significant cost savings on PIDs cable installation as well as both contract and project management costs.

HMP Berwyn is already anticipated to be the cheapest prison to run per prisoner in England and Wales.. It’s expected to run at £14,000 per head per year, including overheads, compared with £40,170 at HMP Parc in Bridgend, which was built under the Government’s Private Finance Initiative and is operated by G4S.

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Abloy UK introduces RIBA-approved CPD

Abloy UK has released a new RIBA-approved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course covering all aspects of electric locking for fire and/or escape door applications.

Fire and escape standards have been developed first and foremost to preserve lives, allow emergency escape and prevent the spread of fire and smoke in dangerous and potentially life-threatening situations.

These standards mean that managers of buildings are legally obliged to adhere to Building Regulations when it comes to access control, for example by protecting escape routes and allowing for the safe egress of a building’s occupants in the event of an emergency situation.

Abloy’s CPD covers traditional requirements for escape and panic doors. For example when a door is electronically controlled for access, there must be a mechanical means of escape in the event of an emergency.

AbloyRIBACPD

The new additions to escape door standards clarify what is and what isn’t acceptable as an escape door solution. Simply, any door that has a fire exit requirement must be fitted with fire-tested products, making sure the route to escape is never compromised.

The course also covers ‘Dynamic Lockdown’ which essentially enables escape for the occupants of a building and prevents unauthorised access to areas by compartmentalising zones in buildings, potentially saving lives in threatening situations.

The CPD is recommended for anyone directly responsible for specifying and installing fire and escape doors or related equipment and is available at the Abloy Academy, which is based at Abloy UK’s head office. By arrangement, the CPD can also be presented to local groups throughout the UK.

*For additional details telephone 01902 364543 or send an e-mail to: marketing@abloy.co.uk

**To book the Abloy Foundations course online go to: www.abloy.co.uk/academy

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BAFE issues updated fire extinguisher servicing competency scheme document

BAFE has released the documentation for the revision of its fire extinguisher maintenance/service scheme (SP101). This is now available via the BAFE website (www.bafe.org.uk/sp101-2017), with the revision coming into effect from 1 October 2017.

In April last year, after a lengthy consultation period, BAFE launched the review of its fire extinguisher maintenance (SP101/ST104) scheme with the creation of a scheme revision group chaired by Dave Russell. Over the last year, which has included a public consultation, changes have been made to update, enhance and strengthen the scheme.

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The revised SP101 scheme continues to provide the best assurances to the industry and its customers of what defines a quality provider of fire extinguisher services in today’s market and also updates and strengthens the role of the fire extinguisher technician.

A BAFE-registered fire extinguisher technician has always been the defining way of acknowledging that a competent person is working on a given premises. This has now been enhanced further by including additional technical competence to the revised sections of BS 5306: Fire Extinguishing Installations and Equipment on Premises as well as requirements for having training in asbestos awareness and Health and Safety procedures.

The technician competency portfolio used by the BAFE assessors has also been reviewed, ensuring that all technicians who gain the esteemed BAFE Diploma continue to be the best in the industry. Passing the BS 5306 examination is only the first step in demonstrating understanding of the relevant standards to work competently in the field.

The scheme now also offers a dual route option. When the revised scheme goes live in October, organisations can gain third party certification via an ISO 9001 or a Management System route.

Both routes use the same audit criteria for fire extinguisher competencies, however, offering peace of mind for those individuals specifying a certified, competent provider that a BAFE-registered company with proficient technicians is an assured quality decision.

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