Tag Archives: Housing Associations

Notting Hill Genesis surveillance upgrade project witnesses Cloudview and Amthal Fire & Security working in tandem

Amthal Fire & Security has been working closely with secure cloud CCTV specialist Cloudview in order to upgrade legacy network surveillance systems and realise smart cloud-based and, importantly, compliant solutions for the benefit of staff and residents involved with Notting Hill Genesis. 

Notting Hill Genesis is one of the largest housing associations in London and the South East, with its head office at Kings Cross and five further site locations requiring high quality protection for more than 1,500 office-based members of staff.

Amthal Fire & Security has been working closely with Cloudview to take responsibility for security maintenance across the office portfolio, alongside ensuring the safety and security of residents housed in both new and existing dwellings.

To ensure efficiency savings, compliance and smart capability when it comes to CCTV, Notting Hill Genesis’ visual data partner Cloudview has supplied its specialist systems for Amthal Fire & Security engineers to install across the office and development network.  The new system removes the need for DVRs and allows authorised personnel instant and secure remote access for the management of evidential footage stored as required in case of a threat or an emergency scenario.

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Compliance with the GDPR

Suki Kahlon, office services manager for central services at Notting Hill Genesis, informed Security Matters: “The need to update CCTV systems for ensuring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was of paramount importance, both for the Notting Hill Genesis team and also for our residents and their safety. Partnering with Cloudview and, later on, Amthal Fire & Security has been of great benefit. They understand our working environment.”

Kahlon continued: “Both companies operated in such a way as to enable a scalable upgrade programme of works across our office base and various housing developments. Essentially, our ambition is that wherever we have CCTV systems in place, we want to upgrade to the cloud and bring our networks together in a centrally managed visual data infrastructure. The Cloudview solution has been well received by building managers and authorised personnel.”

To date, Amthal Fire & Security’s installation and maintenance teams have completed install works at the head office in Kings Cross and at the West London office in Hammersmith, in addition to new housing development connections.

Visual data

The new surveillance technology is created to offer alerts when instant action is required and based on what’s identified as a threat. Visual data can be accessed anywhere at any time and on any device. It can also be shared immediately and saved for up to 12 months if required, with 30-day delete options as standard in order to comply with the GDPR.

Crucially, the data is only accessible to authorised personnel, all of whom have audit control capability for full compliance.

Stephen Bates, CEO at Cloudview, observed: “Notting Hill Genesis is committed to providing safe and secure communities in which residents can thrive. Equally, the client is very clear on its responsibilities to its team members who are at the heart of these communities. The need for smart surveillance technology that can be centrally managed is integral. We were delighted to offer a solution that could bring these requirements together. With the help of Amthal Fire & Security, we have enabled a seamless installation process between all Notting Hill Genesis’ offices and housing developments.”

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Phil Bryant, manager of the strategic accounts team at Amthal Fire & Security, added: “At the heart of social enterprise is the overriding need to create homes and communities in which residents want to live, with management taken care of by the dedicated local teams employed by Notting Hill Genesis. The organisation now has smart systems in place to ensure ongoing safety and security.”

Bryant continued: “The Cloudview system installed by Amthal Fire & Security, with both of us operating in constant collaboration, has proven to offer best value and significant efficiency savings that can be maintained to ensure ongoing compliance and simple maintenance plans. It also allows Notting Hill Genesis staff to have a much more reactive and instant approach to any threat identified, thereby affording total peace of mind.”

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Fire door safety campaigners “step up first line of defence”

Through Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW), fire door safety campaigners are working to ensure public and private sector landlords and building owners stop risking the lives of tenants and ensure fire doors are correctly inspected, specified, fitted and maintained.

Fire doors are the first line of defence against devastating fires and, when properly built, installed and maintained, they save lives and protect property. Despite this, fire doors across the UK are still often badly fitted, non-compliant, left propped open or damaged and, as a result, could be putting millions of lives at stake.

The team behind FDSW 2018 (which runs from 24-30 September) is gearing up for its campaign that will continue to educate about the critical role that fire doors play in delaying the spread of smoke and fire and keeping occupants and firefighters safe.

The FDSW campaign – entitled: ‘Fire Door Five: Shutting the Door on Fire and Smoke’ – aims to draw attention to the importance of properly-fitted and accredited fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can play in preventing the spread of both fire and smoke.

Part of the activity will see campaigners explore the need to establish a Building Safety Fund to help pay for vital and potentially life-saving fire safety improvements in Local Authority and Housing Association accommodation.

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Informed decisions

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for FDSW as well as being the British Woodworking Federation’s (BWF) head of technical research and insight, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “Through Fire Door Safety Week, we will once more renew our efforts to ensure that residents, landlords and building owners across the UK are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions that will improve safety.”

Mansell continued: “There’s no doubt that, when fully-fitted with their correct and compatible components, properly installed and maintained, fire doors play a crucial role in saving lives in the event of a fire. The legacy of neglect means that more lives could be lost as a result of sub-standard fire protection measures. We know that the necessary corrective actions will cost money and that’s precisely why we are asking the Government set up a Building Safety Fund for Housing Associations and Local Authorities such that they can carry out replacement and repair works. Finance should not be used as an excuse. The stakes are too high.”

Mansell went on to state: “Tenants and the general public will, as always, play a key part and make sure their voices are heard by reporting fire doors that are propped open, damaged or in poor condition, rather than waiting for landlords or building owners to inspect fire doors. Indeed, as part of Fire Door Safety Week, we have created a Five-Step Fire Door Check to help people check their fire doors and empower them to report faults.”

Massive learning curve

Over the last year, there has been significant discussion about the responsibility of landlords, councils and Housing Associations to ensure the safety of their tenants, but according to Mansell there’s still a massive learning curve in terms of awareness about how fire doors that are correctly specified, installed, maintained and of course closed can limit the effect of fire and smoke, and what to do in the event of a fire.

“Due to this uncertainty, our focus for Fire Door Safety Week in 2018 is ‘shutting the door on fire and smoke’. We want to educate everyone on how effective fire doors can be in stopping the spread of fire and smoke.”

A national campaign, FDSW is run by the BWF, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in partnership with the Home Office’s own National Fire Safety Campaign. Throughout the week, there will be numerous events and campaign activities designed to raise awareness about the importance of fire door safety.

*To access a free toolkit of fire safety advice resources to help run your own FDSW activities visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk

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