Tag Archives: ABI

Alex Carmichael appointed CEO at the SSAIB

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2014, has appointed its next CEO. Alex Carmichael – presently director of technical services and exports at the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) – will be taking over from Geoff Tate who announced earlier this year that he will be stepping down as CEO at the security, fire and telecare certification body after 16 years in the role.

At the BSIA, Carmichael – who joined the Trade Association back in 1998 in the role of technical officer – is responsible for co-ordinating all technical and quality matters within the Association. These duties include acting as the organisation’s representative on various UK and European standards committees and serving as the UK’s representative on various Cenelec and Euralarm committees monitoring EU Directives that directly impact BSIA members.

In addition, Carmichael’s responsible for membership liaison within the BSIA’s technical sections, and works closely with other industry organisations such as the ABI, ACPO, ACPOS and several inspectorates on technical and any other issues that may affect BSIA members.

Indeed, Carmichael’s existing duties on those UK and European committees, along with his strong technical background and close working relationship with a variety of industry organisations, afford him the ideal credentials to steer the SSAIB in its next phase of growth.

Carmichael’s background also includes over 20 years’ experience in the Army across various technical/engineering support roles with REME, as well as a short spell as an electromedical engineer with the NHS.

For the time being, Carmichael will remain at the BSIA and take up his new post next March following a handover period shadowing his successor. The BSIA is presently seeking a replacement for Carmichael to head the technical team at Kirkham House in Worcester.

Alex Carmichael: the new CEO at the SSAIB

Alex Carmichael: the new CEO at the SSAIB

Widely known and respected

“I’m delighted that someone with Alex’s skill set will be heading up the SSAIB,” enthused Geoff Tate. “I’ll be handing over the reins to someone with over 15 years’ involvement in the security sector where he’s widely known and respected.”

Tate continued: “Besides working with him during a transitional handover, I’ll remain in close contact with Alex as the SSAIB’s chairman. It’s a significant boost for the SSAIB to appoint a new CEO of such calibre and provides the foundation for our future. SSAIB-certificated organisations in the security, fire and telecare industries can rest assured that they’ll be in good hands with our staff under Alex’s capable guidance.”

Founded in 1994 and based in Tyne & Wear, the SSAIB is a leading certification body for organisations providing electronic security systems, guarding security services, fire protection, alarm and telecare services systems in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In addition to its product schemes, SSAIB also offers a range of management systems certification schemes, including ISO 9001 quality management systems certification and ISO 14001 environmental management systems certification.

Over 1,500 companies are now listed on the SSAIB’s register.

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BAFE supports Scottish Fire and Rescue Service research on causes of false fire alarms

A multi-agency partnership is set to study the causes of false alarms from fire alarm systems in buildings and their frequency of occurrence which will result in proposed solutions being developed to prevent recurrences in the future.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is teaming up with partners from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the CBRE Group, CS Todd & Associates, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Glasgow City Council to undertake this groundbreaking research.

Due to the universal nature of fire alarm systems, the outcomes of this work will have the potential to impact within the UK and across Europe, including the possibility of influencing future standards and Codes of Practice in respect of automatic fire alarm systems.

Fire-fighters throughout the UK are frequently called to attend incidents resulting from false alarms generated by fire detection and suppression systems usually installed within commercial premises and often monitored remotely. The cost of these unwanted false alarm signals to both businesses and Fire and Rescue Services is estimated to be around £1 billion per annum.

Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Lewis Ramsay, director of prevention and protection at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Unwanted false alarm signals are a significant issue for Fire and Rescue Services so it’s important we join with our partners to see them reduced. The scale of the problem is clear. Over the past three years Scotland’s fire-fighters have been called to in excess of 100,000 such incidents, which equates to over 40% of all the incidents we attend. Not only is there a substantial financial cost attached to this but attending needless incidents also means fire-fighters and resources are taken away from their communities.”

Ramsay outlined: “In a real emergency every second counts. The time taken for fire-fighters to travel to a house fire, a road traffic collision or any other incident can be absolutely crucial when it comes to saving the lives of people in danger. By working together with our partners we can gather information on the common causes of false alarms and identify approaches to reduce the number that occur.”

Each unwanted false alarm signal costs businesses around £2,900 with an estimated £300 burden also falling on the Fire and Rescue Service.

A multi-agency partnership is to study the causes of false alarms from fire alarm systems in buildings and their frequency of occurrence

A multi-agency partnership is to study the causes of false alarms from fire alarm systems in buildings and their frequency of occurrence

Benefits of automatic fire alarm systems

As well as researching false alarms, the project will also promote the benefits of having automatic fire alarm systems installed in buildings. This will be done by studying fires where systems have detected them and raised the alarm. Such occurrences will be used to highlight the benefits of automatic fire alarm systems in alerting people to safely evacuate buildings and summoning assistance from the Fire and Rescue Service such that fires can be tackled in their early stages, thereby reducing the damage caused.

The project will involve two Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Watch Managers seconded from Glasgow’s group of Fire Safety Enforcement Officers who will work alongside a fire alarm industry expert to gather live intelligence on incidents that involve the actuation of fire alarm systems. In this regard the project is unique, as previous studies have involved the use of historical data.

Glasgow was chosen as the focus area for the project as the city is considered to be geographically suitable and has a sufficient number of incidents to enable data to be captured relatively quickly.

ACO Ramsay continued: “This is a joint project overseen by an executive sub-group of the Business Engagement Forum, bringing us together with Glasgow City Council and other partners including representatives from the insurance and fire protection industries. Our designated officers and the researcher will attend incidents in the city to gather data and gain an accurate understanding of false alarm causes which is crucial for developing effective strategies to prevent recurrences. Where appropriate, the team will also attend incidents where fire alarms have detected an actual fire. This will enhance the understanding of potential consequences had the alarm system not been in place, in turn demonstrating where such systems do provide value.”

When the team has completed its research a formal report will be produced by the Business Engagement Forum sub-group. It’s expected to include recommendations useful to businesses, the fire protection industry, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other Fire and Rescue Services as they develop practical measures to reduce the problem caused by unwanted false alarm signals.

ACO Ramsay added: “The project involves the same partnership that helped develop the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Unwanted False Alarm Signals Policy which will replace the eight different policies used by the antecedent services. Under this single nationwide approach, fire-fighters across Scotland will engage with duty holders and advocate a multi-stage action plan in response to the actuation of a fire alarm system.”

The cost of unwanted false fire alarm signals to both businesses and Fire and Rescue Services is estimated to be around £1 billion per year

The cost of unwanted false fire alarm signals to both businesses and Fire and Rescue Services is estimated to be around £1 billion per year

Ramsay asserted: “Cutting the number of unwanted false alarm signal incidents will reduce financial costs to ourselves and businesses, and also cut the demand placed on a community’s fire and rescue resources. One clear and immediate benefit will be to reduce the number of times our appliances have to travel under blue lights, which will lower the risk to our crews and other road users. We want to build on this work, and the research project will help Fire and Rescue Services and businesses to tackle the issue.”

Main objectives to be addressed

There’s no fixed timescale for the research to be completed, although it’s anticipated that the project may take around a year to produce a report.

The main objectives are:
• The collation of comprehensive data in relation to unwanted false alarm signal incidents
• Identification of the common causes of unwanted false alarm signal incidents, including appropriate classification
• Improved engagement between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the fire industry and businesses in relation to unwanted false alarm signal incidents
• A reduction in the volume of unwanted false alarm signal incidents within the Glasgow city area
• Provision of intelligence to help reduce the volume of unwanted false alarm signal incidents across Scotland

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Unwanted Fire Alarm Signal Policy ‘go live’ date was 1 December 2014. It replaces existing policies which varied between the eight Fire and Rescue Services that operated in Scotland prior to April 2013.

A previous study undertaken by the BRE entitled: ‘The Causes of False Fire Alarms in Buildings’ is available at: http://www.bre.co.uk/podpage.jsp?id=1752

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ABI reaches agreement with SAFE to run the ABI Academy

The Association of British Investigators (ABI) has announced that it has reached agreement with training company SAFE to run the ABI Academy.

The Academy – which will provide access to ABI-approved training and IQ qualifications in response to the emerging requirements for Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensing and other ABI training initiatives – is designed to provide an effective platform for the educational activities of the ABI.

Under the agreement, the ABI Academy will use SAFE expertise and resources to operate a quality hub centre for trainers wishing to offer IQ Qualifications but who perhaps require back office assistance, provide learning materials for providers, and work with IQ to approve third party training as part of the ABI Approved Trainer Scheme.

Tony Imossi: President of the ABI

Tony Imossi: President of the ABI

Tony Imossi, president of the ABI said: “The ABI is aware that the market for training in advance of licensing is already beginning to move. It’s important to the Association that it provides the best possible advice to its members and those wishing to undertake training.”

Imossi continued: “While the SIA is still to finally confirm the requirements for training, we’re sufficiently confident that the current awards offered will be recognised in full, perhaps with the requirement for some top up training after the Home Office has completed its consultation. For those wishing to prepare early for licensing, the Academy should be a useful addition.”

Gary Scruby, executive director at SAFE, explained: “We’re delighted to be working with the ABI. SAFE has some eight years of experience in running qualifications quality hub operations and providing learning resources, and we look forward to using this experience in support of the private investigation sector.”

In addition, Scruby commented: “Details for approving ABI Academy Approved Training Providers will be published later this month. We expect the Academy to be operational early in December.”

Full details of the Academy contact numbers and procedures will be included on the SAFE and ABI websites by early December.

For advance information contact Gary Scruby at SAFE on (tel) 01952 457452

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