Tag Archives: security

Euralarm opens its doors to Associate Members

Prior to organising its Extraordinary General Assembly and following a decision taken by the membership, Euralarm is now opening its doors to Associate Members. Founded back in 1970, Euralarm represents over 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry. Collectively, these organisations are valued at 67 billion Euros.

At present, Europe finds itself in a time of change. New technologies, digitisation, new standards and regulations are pointing towards a new era, but life safety and security for European citizens whether at home, at work or travelling throughout Europe are going to remain key considerations.

The fire safety and security industry has a vitally important role to play in keeping Europe a safe place. In relation to this, the work of Euralarm is supported by a broad representation of stakeholders caring for a safe and secure society. That support ensures that Euralarm can contribute towards a safe and secure environment.

Euralarm provides leadership for the fire safety and security industry, offering their expertise to policy-makers and standardisation bodies alike. The organisation proactively supports a European Single Market strategy for the sector. As part of that strategy, and as the only Trade Association in the sector, Euralarm has a local team operational in Brussels.

Until now, the membership of Euralarm was open to national associations and companies who want to tap into the political expertise of the organisation and understand how European Union and local policy is impacting the fire safety and security industry and its markets.

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Seeking new members

Euralarm is now calling upon stakeholders who want to contribute to the move to the next era to join the organisation. Those stakeholders include research organisations, certification bodies, associations, insurance companies and consumer organisations.

Associate membership allows companies to make personal connections with technical and political experts, share expertise on standardisation and be heard and influence standardisation and legislative processes. Stakeholders who become associate members will be kept in touch with the latest trends in regulation and technology and benefit from direct access to a repository of Euralarm documentation produced by members and the professional team resident at the Trade Association.

Associate members are also welcome to network with industry experts during the annual Euralarm Symposium in addition to other focused events.

Associate membership brings with it observer status. There are no voting rights attached or rights to chair a Euralarm Section or Euralarm Committee. Associate members have the right to participate in the activities of the Trade Association and its sections and have access to relevant section and cross-sectional information.

*Organisations interested in joining Euralarm as associate members can send their application in writing to the General Management or visit the Euralarm website at www.euralarm.org for more information

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“Adopt Date of Withdrawal as effective implementation date of standards” urges Euralarm

Euralarm is pushing for the updating of national Codes of Practice at the point when new standards become available. The development of new or otherwise revised standards follows a certain process that’s finalised with the ratification of the standard by the standardisation body (eg CEN, CENELEC, etc). Following the ratification there are dates that the new or revised standard is available, announced and published followed by a date that the former standard or the former version is withdrawn. 

When a new or revised standard is published, Euralarm asserts that the national authorities must clearly define when the new (edition of a) standard will be implemented into the local building, fire or other codes. Given that products have to be compliant and therefore must be tested, certified and approved by recognised test laboratories, certification bodies and approval agencies, this means that some time is required following the date of availability of the standard.

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In certain countries, though, local authorities require to demonstrate compliance to the latest edition of the standards (ie “as soon as published”). For example, this is very much the case with the Civil Defence Fire Code operated by the United Arab Emirates that’s widely used in the Middle East.

Obviously, it’s impossible to comply with this requirement. Due to general industry readiness, a delay is necessary to allow manufacturers time to develop fully-compliant products and – when required – to have their products tested, certified and approved.

On that basis, Euralarm is recommending that regulatory authorities adopt the Date of Withdrawal as stated in every EN standard as the effective date of implementation of new standards into Codes of Practice. The Date of Withdrawal marks the date that former versions of a given standard become obsolete.

Information referencing the Date of Withdrawal of standards can be found on the respective websites such as those operated by CEN or CENELEC.

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Good governance should be “differentiator and business enabler” for security integrators

Businesses are at risk of falling behind if they fail to see the advantages of good governance and the benefits it can bring. That’s according to Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business.

Brendan McGarrity, head of risk and design at Evolution, argues that ‘box-ticking’ to meet a legal, regulatory or compliance obligation should not be the strategy to adopt and implement.

McGarrity informed Security Matters: “I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of ‘ticking a box’ either because we don’t understand or believe in something, but simply need to get it off our desk. I’m sure, also, that there are some of those with a security remit who do much the same when it comes to governance in relation to risk. There are clear advantages and true benefits to be realised from good governance.”

As an example, McGarrity quoted a Quality Manual. “To some, it’s a manual that, once completed, can sit on a dusty shelf or be lost in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless and until a quality inspection’s due. Then there are others who see it differently. They would view a Quality Manual as a proactive tool for instigating continual improvements to a business and its operations.”

Standard Quality Control Certification Assurance Guarantee Internet Business Technology Concept

Readily embracing quality

McGarrity notes certain sectors, such as the pharmaceutical or high-tech electronics industries, embrace quality readily, and realise the benefits such an approach can bring, but others are less willing until an event obliges them to see and think differently.

He also pinpoints the Surveillance Camera Commissioner as an interesting case and highlights the example of a major retailer who sought accreditation with the Commissioner, not because they had to, but because they realised the benefits from doing so.

“The business was not obliged to have Surveillance Camera Commissioner accreditation. It did not need to tick a box. It did so to demonstrate genuine leadership and strategic influence across the sector. The senior stakeholders were engaged and found to be suitably impressed, and their brand and reputation enhanced among stakeholders and customers alike. They also realised the commercial and operational benefits that Surveillance Camera Commissioner compliance could bring. Benefits that far outweighed the costs involved, not least an increase in public confidence in the way the systems were operated and managed.”

Compliance as business enabler

McGarrity added: “Though such compliance wasn’t essential to the business concerned, the organisation saw it as a business enabler and one that affords the company competitive advantage.”

For McGarrity, that’s the key point. “Good governance should be a differentiator,” he concluded. “High-end integrators see it as an opportunity to put distance between themselves and the volume-based installers who are perhaps not as focused on building long-term relationships. That said, good governance only becomes a differentiator if the true benefits are properly understood and realised.”

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Christopher Place Shopping Centre places trust in combined security and cleaning service provider Axis Group

Christopher Place Shopping Centre in the heart of St Albans in Hertfordshire is taking a new approach to security and cleaning by integrating these services and awarding the total contract to Axis Group. The new approach aims to simplify the management of the two services and, by working with the right provider, add a more meaningful layer of support for the key people delivering the important services on site.

In her role as Christopher Place Shopping Centre manager, Catherine Morris is determined to derive the best output from her service partners. As such, it’s hugely important that her management team and the those working on the front line always feel supported.

“Previously, we had two providers,” explained Morris, “which kept cleaning and security separate. When both were under-performing, I took this as an opportunity to see what else was out there and how we could take advantage of having one partner.”

Axis Security and Axis Cleaning and Support Services have been awarded the combined contract to look after the security and cleaning services at the location which is managed by building consultancy and property management company Workman.

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Professionalism and knowledge

Axis already enjoyed an established reputation among other Workman centre managers:  Morris said: “I was listening to their feedback and included Axis on the invitation to tender. They have demonstrated their professionalism and knowledge from the very beginning, and I’ve been impressed with their attention to detail. I have a small team so the additional support that the security and cleaning staff receive from Axis is crucial. The Group takes my requests seriously and take the management of my staff seriously as well.”

Morris described the handover process and employee TUPE as having been a very straightforward process. “It went so smoothly you wouldn’t know it was happening. Axis’ operations teams gave the employees the utmost support during the transfer process. Not only did all the staff receive a pay increase, but they are also now benefiting from an attractive package of additional benefits from Axis.”

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group CEO, asserted that the Group has extensive experience of delivering combined services to the leisure sector and is ideally placed to support Christopher Place Shopping Centre. “Our management and operations teams understand this type of environment and the high standards that need to be delivered to support the management team and the important front line staff. We are delighted to be working with Catherine and her teams at Christopher Place, and look forward to delivering a high level of customer service in all areas.”

Support from additional staff

Axis is going to be supporting Christopher Place Shopping Centre with additional staff to help out during busy periods, and especially so in the lead-up to Christmas which brings with it a schedule of events. Going forward, Axis will also be able to provide the employees with additional training when required.

Christopher Place Shopping Centre is an open pedestrian mall offering shops and restaurants to St Albans’ residents and visitors. It operates on a significantly large site spanning 169,000 square foot. The cleaning and security teams are responsible for the entire site including the mall itself, the loading bays, service corridors, lift lobbies, the car park and shops located along the site’s periphery.

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Meggitt CEO Tony Wood appointed president at ADS

Tony Wood, CEO of Meggitt and former president of Rolls-Royce Aerospace, has been appointed president of the ADS trade organisation for the security, defence, aerospace and space industries. Wood succeeds Colin Smith. The appointment comes ahead of the 2020 Farnborough International Airshow, where the spotlight will be on the UK’s aerospace, defence and space industries, the latest developments in sustainable aviation technology, and attracting future engineering talent.

Wood commented: “It’s an honour to be appointed ADS president and I look forward to championing the industries we represent: industries that connect people across continents, ensure our national security and put advanced technology into space.”

He continued: “2020 marks a year where both sustainability and social purpose will be high on our agenda, underpinned by the innovation that continues to be the hallmark of the industries we represent. We’re looking forward to working with the new Government to take forward our industrial partnerships, investing to create a more sustainable future and deliver a national space programme. We keenly anticipate contributing to the Government’s planned Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review and ensuring that our industries remain equipped to provide outstanding levels of support to our Armed Forces, the police and the Security Services.”

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Tony Wood

In addition, Wood observed: “We’re also looking forward to the 2020 Farnborough International Airshow and the opportunity to showcase to an international audience the fantastic products, services and innovations created by our members.”

ADS CEO Paul Everitt enthused: “It’s a great start to 2020 for ADS to welcome Tony Wood to the role of president. He brings extensive knowledge of our industries. His experience and drive will be an asset to ADS and to our members.”

Everitt also stated: “I would like to think Colin Smith for his support, advice and dedication in his two years as ADS president, which have seen our members continue to grow, the development of our industrial strategy partnerships with Government and a first Farnborough International Airshow at our new Exhibition and Conference Centre.”

As president, Wood leads the ADS Board, which is composed of representatives from each of the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, including vice-presidents from each industry. The appointment of ADS president is made for a two-year term.

Wood has been CEO of Meggitt since January 2018, having joined the company as chief operating officer in 2016. He was Rolls-Royce’s president for aerospace from May 2013 to January 2016, and previously spent 16 years with Messier-Dowty.

Wood is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and of the Association of Project Management.

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3M welcomed as new member at Euralarm

Euralarm has welcomed 3M as a new member. The company will join the Extinguishing Section of Euralarm whose activities cover automatic extinguishing systems using gas, water, foam, powder and aerosols, oxygen reduction systems, portable equipment and other manual means of fire-fighting as well as fire-fighting agents used in either fixed automatic systems or portable equipment.

3M will now benefit from Euralarm’s services in terms of representation in front of European institutions and standardisation organisations. This includes the monitoring of legislative and standardisation issues relevant to the industry.

3M will have access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors from which Euralarm forms its membership. The new membership will create opportunities for both parties as it also serves to strengthen the association.

With corporate operations in 70 countries and sales in more than 190 countries, 3M has more than 90.000 employees worldwide, sells upwards of 55.000 products and holds 25.000 patents.

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3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid

The clean agent fire extinguishant of the company, namely the 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, was developed as a halon replacement and hydrofluorocarbon alternative. It’s a next generation synthetic clean agent mainly used in stationary extinguishing systems for the protection of critical assets in enclosed areas. It has a very fast extinguishing time, is electrically non-conductive and leaves no residue.

The company’s extinguishant is designed to balance concerns for human safety, performance and the environment. Upon release through a specially designed extinguishing nozzle, it vaporises immediately and distributes as a gas within seconds.

The agent has the highest margin of safety for human occupancy among clean agents, including inert gas, making it the ideal solution for occupied spaces. Due to its physical properties, the agent protects irreplaceable paper documents, electronics and other high value assets.

Insight into European markets

Companies joining Euralarm gain a unique insight into what’s happening on other European markets and the opportunities that they might offer. They not only tap into the political expertise and understanding of European Union policy, but can also make personal connections with technical and political experts and potential business partners.

Being a member of Euralarm enables companies and associations to gain expertise on standardisation. Members have their voice heard in Brussels and can support (as well as help to direct) standardisation and legislative processes.

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Texecom sponsors new competition to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities in security and surveillance industry

Along with CSL and Hikvision, Texecom is sponsoring the new Electronic Security Systems Competition at this year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE on 21-23 November at the NEC in Birmingham.

WorldSkills UK and Skills for Security launched the competition to raise awareness of apprenticeship and career opportunities in the security and surveillance industry.

Attracting over 70,000 visitors, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event. The event also hosts the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competitions which see the UK’s top apprentices and students compete to win Gold, Silver and Bronze in their chosen skill.

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This year, for the first time, visitors to WorldSkills UK LIVE will be able to watch apprentices take part in the Electronic Security Systems Competition which has been designed to reflect the role of an electronic security engineer and the high standards that are expected within the industry.

“Texecom has been a long-standing supporter of engineering apprentice training within the security industry and we’re delighted to partner with WorldSkills UK and Skills for Security for the launch of this competition,” explained Clym Brown, Texecom’s marketing director. “Electronic security fundamentally protects people’s lives and livelihoods and, as such, is a very worthwhile endeavour for young people to consider as a career choice. This new competition will highlight the skills and innovation in the industry to a wider audience, as well as increasing the training level and knowledge base of electronic security apprentices already involved.”

As part of its commitment to helping the next generation of security engineers and installers adapt to the digital revolution, Texecom recently launched the Texecom Academy. Designed to help security professionals stay ahead of the digital curve, it redefines what it means to be a security professional by providing the skills, tools and mindset that will define the future of security for installers and their end customers.

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Axis Group receives Employee Engagement Award nomination from Institute of Customer Service

Axis Group, one of the UK’s fastest-growing security, cleaning, Front of House and support services organisations, has been selected as a finalist in the Institute of Customer Service’s ‘Customer Satisfaction Awards’ within the Employee Engagement Strategy category.

The nomination is in recognition of the Axis Group’s people strategy. Launched in 2015, it features nine distinct business components, all feeding into the central Employee Engagement and excellent customer service focus. It’s now the cornerstone of the business’ company ethos and integral to Axis’ ongoing goal of becoming ‘The Employer of Choice’ within its sector.

Reward and recognition programmes, Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, communication and Axis Group’s employee portal are all tools that Axis uses to further employee engagement and satisfaction. The company also offers counselling, health and financial well-being initiatives, all of which have helped to increase staff retention by 20% in just four years.

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Jonathan Levine, CEO at the Axis Group CEO, stated: “We’re constantly having to look at innovative ways in which to attract and retain the best talent and develop remuneration packages that go beyond ‘traditional’ benefits. We achieve this through encouraging excellent performance, clarifying responsibilities and delivering tailored and engaging learning and development programmes.”

Levine added: “We want our employees to feel motivated, committed and empowered to act in the moment to resolve problems, display empathy, demonstrate consistency and continuously find ways to improve both customer and personal experiences.”

The nomination follows the Axis Group’s ServiceMark Accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service, which was achieved as a result of its drive to put customer service at the forefront of its business.  

ServiceMark is a national standard recognising an organisation’s achievement in customer service and its commitment to upholding those standards. It’s awarded based on customer satisfaction feedback, a six-day assessment of standards and employee engagement with an organisation’s customer service strategy.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the hard work and dedication of so many people has been recognised with this nomination,” concluded Levine in conversation with Risk Xtra. “It’s the recognition we need to stand out in front of current employees, future employees and customers for being a company that values its people.”

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New wave of UK universities adopts SafeZone solution from CriticalArc

UK universities including the University of Greenwich, the University of South Wales, the University of East Anglia, the University of Manchester and the University of Central Lancashire are adopting CriticalArc’s SafeZone service for improved campus security.

With more than 25% of universities now using SafeZone across the UK, it has grown from being an innovative technology deployed by pioneering institutions to become a mainstream ‘must-have’ solution for the higher education sector.

SafeZone addresses key challenges for universities by enabling students and staff alike to quickly and easily reach their campus safety and security teams and by allowing first responders to respond to calls for assistance up to 50% faster.

It improves the safety, security and well-being of students and staff, both on campus and off, and raises security team preparedness for a full range of events they may face, including major incidents. SafeZone enhances student satisfaction as well as student well-being and is now helping universities to succeed globally as they work to attract and retain students with safer and more welcoming learning environments.

University Building

Through its advanced Command and Control software, SafeZone OmniGuard enhances team efficiency, with real-time situational awareness making it easier for command teams to see and co-ordinate resources to address incident ‘hotspots’. Safezone also supports heat mapping to enable patrol pattern optimisation and improves workplace Health and Safety, serving as a powerful lone worker solution.

Expanding the team

Announcing the latest wave of adoptions, CriticalArc confirms that it’s also expanding its team with the appointment of two new customer success managers. They will work closely with system users to spread Best Practice, provide support and help deliver maximum benefits from SafeZone.

Sean Edge takes on this important role for CriticalArc in the UK, while Karl Palma will be working with customers in Australia.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, managing director for the EMEA and APAC regions at CriticalArc, stated: “With the number of SafeZone users now expanding rapidly, we’re investing not only in developing the technology and its capabilities, but also in delivering and sustaining high-level customer support for our growing network of users.”

In tandem with its success in the higher education sector, SafeZone is also being adopted increasingly in other key areas including implementations in the critical infrastructure, transport, utilities, Government and healthcare sectors, with rapidly developing markets in the US, Australia and, indeed, globally.

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GCHQ accelerator launches with The Landing to support start-ups in improving digital safety

In partnership with GCHQ, The Landing and global tech accelerator UP Ventures have been selected to deliver a ground-breaking accelerator: the Safe Citizen Digital Innovation Lab. Applications to join this GCHQ accelerator, which will start in early 2020, are being sought from companies who have customer-facing technology solutions aimed at improving citizen digital safety across the North West. 

This follows on from the GM Future of Health Challenge accelerator which received unprecedented application numbers and is now underway with a cohort of 15 companies, led by UP Ventures at The Landing, in the heart of Salford’s MediaCityUK.

GCHQ is a world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency with a mission to keep the UK safe. In parallel with celebrating its centenary year, GCHQ is opening a new strategic hub in the heart of Manchester.

GCHQ is excited to engage with the thriving tech ecosystem in Greater Manchester and the North West and will be imparting exclusive tailored technical expertise into the programme. The GCHQ accelerator seeks start-ups that have harnessed cutting-edge technology in a creative way to make a difference to day-to-day life. This could be anything from informing and, in turn, empowering citizens by providing new insights from connected devices and services through to the creative use of data to deliver social impact in the region.

GCHQ’s deputy director for Manchester stated: “The Greater Manchester community has been fantastically welcoming to GCHQ and we’re just as pleased to be here. This accelerator programme is an early chance for us to begin working with the buzzing tech community in the North West. The ‘Safe Citizens’ theme for the accelerator combines our passion for exploring innovative cutting-edge technology with our desire to make a real contribution to the region. We look forward to building relationships with a diverse range of technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs.”

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Pioneering “a new kind of security”

In order to pioneer a new kind of security as it expands into Greater Manchester, GCHQ is seeking to engage with external partners in the region, sharing unique technical expertise and collaborating with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, industry and academia to make a difference in the community.

Danny Meaney, CEO of UP Ventures, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for emerging tech businesses to gain unique access to GCHQ’s world-class engineering and technology teams, as well as leading digital thinkers and our strong investor network.  We’re excited to help bring another initiative to the market that has the potential to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives through applied technology here in Greater Manchester and the North West. We’re also pleased to build on our long-standing and successful partnership with The Landing.”

The 16-week accelerator programme will leverage unique technical infrastructure and facilities, including the Vodafone 5G Innovation Lab which provides real world urban environments for demonstration of products and services of MediaCityUK. GCHQ is keen to contribute to the fabric of Greater Manchester. Therefore, the programme welcomes submissions that provide “life impact” solutions for vulnerable groups across the region, empowering and connecting citizens through the ingenious use of technology.

Dan Sodergren, head of business services at The Landing, observed: “Thanks to our unparalleled facilities and a commitment to innovation from all partners, this is a significant opportunity for companies to explore how a ‘Smart City’ can work for its customers. Using technology for good is something we’re incredibly passionate about and we’re excited to receive applications from those who can really make a positive difference to all of our lives in the 21st Century.”

*Apply to the Safe Citizen Innovation Lab 1: http://thegchqaccelerator.mystrikingly.com

**Deadline for entries is 8 November. Successful applicants will be announced by 13 December and the programme begins on 13 January 2020

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