Tag Archives: Emergency Services

False fire alarms “can cost economy £1 billion and stretch Fire Services” states Siemens Building Technologies

Siemens Building Technologies is warning UK businesses about the potential consequences of false fire alarms during the busiest period of the year. False alarms from remotely-monitored fire detection and fire alarm systems cost the UK economy an estimated £1 billion in business disruption* with 95% of automatically-generated alarms being proven to be false**. This places Fire and Rescue Services and the public at unnecessary risk.

“The majority of automatic fire alarm calls are proven to be false and often caused by either false fire triggers or the inadequate maintenance of alarm systems,” commented Don Scott, fire engineering consultant at Siemens Building Technologies.  “Christmas is already a time of heightened risk of fire for many businesses with the Fire and Rescue Services stretched to capacity across the country.  False alarms create further pressures when the Emergency Services have to challenge whether alarms are genuine before attending incidents – the time lost could end up costing thousands of pounds in repairs or, at worst, put lives at risk.”

Ionisation or single-sensor optical smoke detectors are a common cause of false alarm activations as they have difficulty in accurately distinguishing between airborne pollutants, such as steam, aerosols, dust, cooking fumes, insects, sparks, embers and a real fire. The incorrect siting of detectors can also be triggered if there’s excessive air movement from mechanical heating or ventilation.

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Multi-sensor detectors are responsive to more than one fire phenomena (ie smoke, heat and carbon monoxide) and are proven to be more immune to false alarm phenomena, thereby giving fewer false activations. For more stringent applications, beam detectors, heat detectors and aspirating detectors are available.

Regular maintenance programmes

A regular maintenance programme ensures the correct functioning of a fire alarm system. Inadequate servicing and testing compromise safety. If an alarm system is ageing or becoming unreliable, replacement is advised when offset against the cost of disruption to a business. Generally, detectors should be replaced every ten to 15 years, depending upon the environment in which they’re installed and the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Dave Green, national officer at the Fire Brigades Union, added: “False alarms use up resources which could be better served elsewhere. They also increase response times to actual emergencies. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Fire Services should always be called when any alarm is raised.”

Green concluded: “Fire Services are under more pressure than ever before, dealing with more incidents and more fires, but with increasingly fewer firefighters. Since 2009, there has been a 23% decrease in the number of firefighters across the UK. This huge decrease in the number of firefighters has meant that preventative work, which would help to reduce the number of false alarms, has worryingly fallen by the wayside.”

Sources
*https://www.bre.co.uk/page.jsp?id=3527
**https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/property/2018/07/abi-fpa-detection-demonstration-report-2018.pdf

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Securitas celebrates success in regional stages of BSIA’s Security Personnel Awards 2018

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced the regional winners of its Security Personnel Awards for 2018, and Securitas is delighted to have winners in three categories. The awards recognise the talent, dedication, skill and bravery exhibited by security personnel in their roles.

Security personnel are recognised in five categories: Service to the Customer, Outstanding Act, Best Use of Technology, Best Team and Best Newcomer.

Securitas officers Ramraj Sooknanan and Matt Bolger have been successful in the Service to the Customer category. Sooknanan has worked at his client site for 24 years, demonstrating true dedication to his role and responsibilities. Bolger started work on his client site in 2014, and his professionalism has seen him progress quickly and establish himself as a key part of the security team.

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Ramraj Sooknanan

Samantha Golding, service delivery manager, has received the Best Newcomer Award. Starting as a relief officer in 2017, Golding’s integrity and commitment has seen her promoted from officer to service delivery manager in a short space of time.

Alison Ridge and David Prosser have been recognised in the category of Outstanding Act. The pair administered life-saving CPR, including by using a defibrillator, to an individual who had collapsed on-site. Their timely actions proved vital as they waited for the Emergency Services to attend the scene.

James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA, said: “It’s important that we recognise the true value of security personnel. They are often the first responders in times of emergency and play a vital role in keeping the public safe. This year’s Security Personnel Awards regional winners are testament to the truly high calibre of personnel we have working within our industry.”

Grainne Kelly, Human Resources director and also Operations Centre director at Securitas, commented: “At Securitas, people are at the heart of our protective services. Our officers in particular are the backbone of the security we deliver. They face a more challenging security environment than ever before. It’s fantastic to see Ramraj, Matt, Samantha, Alison and David recognised by the BSIA for their vigilance and dedication.”

All regional winners now progress to the national finals stage of the British Security Awards, to be held in London on 11 July in conjunction with the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon.

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Multitone Electronics to debut Appear Crew and Ambulance Apps at BAPCO 2018 Exhibition and Conference

Multitone Electronics plc, a specialist in the design, manufacture and implementation of integrated communication systems, will debut its Appear Crew and Ambulance Apps for emergency teams and first responders on Stand J7 at the BAPCO Conference and Exhibition 2018, which is running at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March.

Appear Crew uses Multitone’s highly successful Appear mobile platform to assist emergency crews with reliable and secure messaging. As a complement to a pager, the Appear Crew App registers a response from each crew member and tracks their progress to their station from whichever location they happen to be.

The system can also be used to track the movement of individual team members right to the fire station, showing locations on a map. This allows the Command and Control team to ensure that everyone’s accounted for when required.

MultitoneBAPCO2018

Multitone’s Emergency Services major accounts manager Peter Eborall stated: “We anticipate great interest and demand for our Appear Crew App, which we’ve developed by working in close collaboration with Fire and Rescue Services. It has been extensively trialled and rigorously tested to ensure that it can be relied upon to provide the essential support needed to save lives.”

Eborall added: “In addition to fire and rescue crews, the Appear Crew App is ideally suited to meet the exacting communications requirements of both RNLI and Coastguard emergency teams.”

Also on Stand J7 is Multitone’s new Ambulance App, which has been designed specifically to assist and co-ordinate teams from full-time paramedics to Community First Responders. “Based upon our Appear Lite solution, the Ambulance App provides highly reliable contact, with proof-of-delivery for a proven audit trail,” added Eborall. “The App is highly secure, preventing sensitive information from being removed or screenshots being taken. This ensures confidentiality at all times.”

The Ambulance App sends an automatic acknowledgement when the recipient receives a message such that the Command and Control team know it has been read. The App features a clear and simple-to-use interface.

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Intergrated Security Manufacturing reports on successful Security and Policing event

Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM) has hailed the success of Security and Policing 2018, the official UK Government global security event, reporting positive interest in its latest Integrated Security Management System (ISMS): a technology that takes Physical Information Management (PSIM) technology to “another level”.

The three-day event hosted at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre was the perfect opportunity for ISM to showcase its Genesys ISMS, a fully-integrated security management system capable of integrating and controlling multiple technologies, devices and sites from a single platform.

Attendees at Security and Policing 2018 included representatives from various police services, Government departments and the Emergency Services, key providers of national infrastructure and organisations from across the UK and overseas.

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Geoff Pye of ISM

Genesys is the ideal ISMS platform for operators of Critical National Infrastructure sites. It’s already proven and operating in sites across the world. ISM recently received formal notification from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) that Genesys has met its standard for CAPSS, which means that this solution is ‘Approved for UK Government Use’.

Geoff Pye, commercial director at ISM, enthused: “Security and Policing 2018 was the perfect platform to showcase Genesys, and particularly so following our recent CPNI approval for use of the system on UK Government sites. The event attracts the right audience and we received some very positive feedback.”

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ATG Access research shows Brits welcome more armed police at public events

Over one third of the British public want to see more armed police at public events to make them feel safer in light of recent terror events. According to new research, 36% of Brits are calling for more armed officers to patrol public events, such as music concerts, and 57% would like to see more security officers on duty around event locations.

The survey of 1,000 people, conducted by ATG Access, found that almost half of the public will not let recent terror attacks stop them from enjoying organised events, 39% would feel more at ease if the Emergency Services were on site and easily visible.

It’s not just visible front line service personnel that will help alleviate fears this year. 44% of people would now like to see visible security measures – such as bollards and barriers to separate crowds from nearby traffic – put in place to prevent possible vehicle-borne attacks.

Almost half (48%) of the public surveyed would welcome bag searches and 33% think metal detectors should be used at event entrances to spot suspicious behaviour. Further, 41% of respondents would like to see more CCTV and flood-lighting to help monitor festive events and public areas.

The study was conducted as part of ATG Access’ ‘Protecting the Future of Multi-Functional Cities’ Report, which looks in detail at how cities in Britain are being transformed into bustling multi-functional spaces, and the obstacles that are preventing public events from taking place.

ATGAccessCrowdedPlaces

Gavin Hepburn, director at ATG Access, informed Risk UK: “With the increasing number of terrorist attacks that have taken place across Europe, tensions have understandably been heightened. The general consensus among the public seems to be that they’re not going to let the threat of terror ruin their spirit, but there are still some concerns around security and safety at public events.”

Hepburn added: “Brits are now calling on the authorities to implement more visible security measures, such as more armed police on our streets and physical solutions like bollards and barriers to protect public events. The most important thing to bear in mind is that these measures must not create a ‘fortress mentality’. While the public may feel safer knowing that security is being improved, solutions shouldn’t incite more fear and should enable people to enjoy the event. There are robust physical solutions now available that can blend in with their surroundings so that they’re almost invisible.”

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Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service deploys Panasonic rugged tablets to assist front line firefighters

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is “transforming” working life for its firefighters on the front line by equipping them with Panasonic’s rugged Toughpad tablets to access vital information during emergency episodes.

The Fire and Rescue Service is deploying 13-inch Panasonic Toughbook CF-D1 tablets in the front cabs of its fire appliances. These Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) are permanently mounted in the front of the vehicle and connected to the existing Tetra Network. They will be used for providing vital information on the way to a call-out, such as sending status updates to Command and Control, outlining risk assessment requirements, vehicle safety data, safety data on any chemicals stored on site and details on the occupancy of the premises and nearby hydrant locations.

Smaller and lighter 10-inch Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad tablets are being installed in the back of the appliances for use by firefighters inside and outside of the vehicle when at the scene of an emergency. These devices will be used day-to-day for the asset management of equipment and inventory and, in the future, for providing valuable emergency information on site, such as vehicle crash rescue data, as well as for regular community duties such as home fire safety surveys and hydrant inspections.

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John Barlow is responsible for modernising Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s front line communications devices. “We’re investing to change all the existing MDTs to a more agile device so as to allow the crews to work more efficiently and smartly,” explained Barlow. “The Panasonic devices are ideal for all the conditions in which we work. We can read the device in bright sunlight and it’s built to be used outside and in wet conditions without any problems. Feedback from field trials with the devices has been positive.”

In the future, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service sees other big advantages for firefighters in being able to use devices at the scene of an emergency. For example, at a road accident, firefighters can use the devices to identify important information about the safety features of a vehicle, such as airbags, such that they can quickly be turned off before trapped passengers are released from a vehicle).

“This type of use will be an absolute bonus for operations, making the task so much simpler and enabling the firefighters to work more effectively than ever,” enthused Barlow.

Commenting on the value the devices bring to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Callum Faint (Cambridgeshire’s area commander) informed Risk UK: “It’s a massive step forward. In the past, a member of the fire crew would have to remain in the cab of the fire engine. Now, being able to demount the information source and take it with us means that the information can be right there, on the scene. This really helps to improve our operational effectiveness.”

PanasonicCambridgeshireFireandRescueService2

The Panasonic Computer Docking Solutions Team has designed the mounting solution for the Panasonic CF-D1 tablets in the front of the vehicles. The team used as much of the existing infrastructure as possible, such as the power management units, to keep costs down. It has also future-proofed the vehicles by fitting antennas that will work with the imminent introduction of the new Emergency Services Network.

For the FZ-G1 tablets, the Panasonic Computer Docking Solutions Team designed a bespoke bracket for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service that can be fitted on all of its vehicles generically. The design also incorporates into the bracket a handheld barcode reader, such that it could be installed in a convenient location next to the tablet.

The Panasonic Project Management Team is working closely with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and its nominated installation contractors to support the build and imaging of the devices alongside installing the units in the appliances. The deployment will be completed before the end of the Autumn.

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Specialist Emergency Fire Crew training helps off-duty Securitas UK officer take control after road accident

An off-duty protective services officer employed by Securitas UK was first on the scene at a recent road traffic accident, accrediting his subsequent actions and quick thinking to Emergency Fire Crew specialist training.

Tony Wyatt, who works on a large customer site in North Wales, was on his way to collect his son from school when he witnessed a car flip on to its side as a result of hitting a bollard. Wyatt’s immediate concerns were for both the welfare of the driver and the safety of people in the immediate area outside the school gates.

After ascertaining that the driver didn’t seem to have sustained serious injuries, Wyatt instructed him to turn the engine off in order to mitigate damage in the event of a fuel spill before finding out if the male was able to leave the vehicle.

The driver’s side was damaged – including smashed windows – and the passenger door was locked. Wyatt instructed the driver to unlock the passenger door, which enabled him to enter the vehicle and help to free the man.

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Securitas UK protective services officer Tony Wyatt

The Emergency Services had been called, but Wyatt took advantage of his First Aid training to check the driver for injuries pending their arrival. Thankfully, the man’s injuries were limited to minor cuts and slight shock and, after being examined by paramedics, the driver was allowed to leave the scene.

“It turned out that the sun’s glare off the road had momentarily blinded the driver, which is why he hit the bollard,” explained Wyatt. “I’m just thankful that I was there to help and that he didn’t sustain any serious injuries.”

Wyatt continued: “I had just completed my Emergency Fire Crew Capability (EFCC) course at the Fire Services College in Moreton-in-Marsh, giving me the confidence that I could handle the situation correctly. My thanks go to the instructors there for making the course so enjoyable and, as it turns out, highly relevant.”

Shaun Kennedy, Securitas UK’s director of specialised protective services, commented: “We aim to equip our officers such that they can effectively handle any situation they may encounter during the course of their work. This is underpinned by the fact that, to date, over 600 employees have passed the EFCC training course. It makes me especially proud that Tony and other officers have also been able to exploit the skills they’ve learned, as well as act on their own initiative, in order to be so highly effective in emergency situations outside of the workplace.”

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