Tag Archives: security

Banham Academy apprentice “sets benchmark” for fire and security sector

The South West London-based Banham Academy continues to pave the way within the security skills and learning sector thanks to an outstanding achievement by apprentice Elliot Veheary.

Veheary has passed the End Point Assessment Level 3 for the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship Standard. That achievements marks a significant milestone not only for his career, but also for the skills training provider itself as Veheary is the first Banham apprentice to pass the necessary assessment at the Banham Academy.

This achievement is a true testament to Banham’s long-standing commitment when it comes to investing in young people by providing them with the necessary technical and vocational skills they require to embark on a career within the security and fire industries.

Since its inception, the Banham Academy has had over 100 apprentices successfully enrol on its industry-leading skills and training programmes. The business remains one of the largest industry providers of training in England and was the first End Point Assessment Centre for the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship Standard.

Elliot Veheary

Formal skills measurement

The End Point Assessment takes place over two days, involving the formal measurement of practical skills, knowledge and behaviours via a professional discussion.

Once successfully completed, the apprentice is then able to apply for membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology as an engineering technician. This demonstrates to employers that the individual has had their competence independently assessed and their credentials verified.

Also, the apprentice will have accredited prior learning for a Gold card under the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme.

Kevin Faulkner, head of the Banham Academy, explained: “Elliot’s achievement in passing the Apprenticeship Standard through our End Point Assessment Centre is a proud moment for us all at Banham. Not only is Elliot the first Banham apprentice to pass, but his achievement showcases the quality of talent that’s being cultivated through our specialist training programme. The level of skill and knowledge being demonstrated by young apprentices like Elliot is setting a new benchmark in the fire and security industry.”

Faulkner added: “I strongly encourage all employers in our industry to take on more apprentices. There are so many capable young people who are motivated and committed to bettering their futures and simply require an opportunity to do so. These homegrown, talented, young apprentices are truly shaping the future of our industry.”

The Banham Academy

Engineering career

Croydon-based Veheary joined the Banham Academy three years ago after completing a City & Guilds electrician course, which gave him the insight to find a career as an engineer. He has thrived during his time as an apprentice, duly showcasing significant personal development, and is now an integral member of the Banham team.

Veheary said: “I’m really proud of passing the Apprenticeship Standard and also being the first apprentice at Banham to do this. This is a huge personal achievement for me and I’m really thankful to the Banham Academy for all the support given to me along the way. Since joining the apprenticeship scheme I’ve learned so much. Everyone has made me feel welcomed and included as part of the team.”

He concluded: “To have been given an opportunity as a Banham apprentice has been life-changing for me. I couldn’t recommend the Academy more highly to anyone looking to gain a career in the industry. Within three years, I’m now able to install, commission and maintain even the most complex of security systems. I’m looking forward to continuing my career with Banham.”

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Mul-T-Lock hits the breaks on rise of vehicle thefts

Mul-T-Lock is offering an extensive range of advanced products that provide security protection for commercial and private vehicles of all varieties. These solutions include lock cases, Thatcham-accredited slam locks, deadlocks, euro cylinders, camlocks and padlocks.

Last year saw vehicle thefts rise by a staggering 50% in the UK, with a further 20% rise in 2020 – the highest level in four years. With cases worsening during lockdown, motorists are being warned that they face a greater risk of vehicle theft now that individuals are making fewer trips by car and spending more time at home.

The cost of a lost or damaged vehicle can quickly mount up for any business owner, not only due to the replacement of the vehicle, but also down to the effect of doing business with a reduced fleet. With vehicle thefts on the rise, business owners are quickly realising that securing their fleet and its contents can be imperative to the operational stability of their organisation.

However, the RAC has reported that only 42% of new vans are produced with an alarm fitted as standard, with 5.5% of them not even offering the capability to have one fitted.

Automotive locksmiths are specialists in their field, possessing the knowledge on how to use, adapt and develop the right products on the market in order to maximise security for both commercial and private vehicles. From on-board diagnostic port protectors through to anti-scan wallets, there are a number of solutions available to create strong sales opportunities for locksmiths who work in this field.

ArmaDLock

Durability and robustness

Mul-T-Lock’s solutions for commercial applications have been specifically designed for durability, robustness and ease-of-use, in turn allowing motorists to access their equipment and goods without hassle.

Quality is also of paramount importance when it comes to automotive security protection. Wet weather and road gritting during the icy months can lead to vehicle locking mechanisms becoming rusted and damaged with the potential for failure. However, Mul-T-Lock’s products are developed to withstand such occurrences.

Designed and manufactured to the highest specification and quality, each product is typically adapted to suit the market’s needs having evolved into heavy duty commercial offerings. Mul-T-Lock’s product range allows end users to ‘fit and forget’.

The ArmaDLock, for example, is designed to fortify the security of commercial vehicles, and in particular those carrying goods and equipment. Simple to use and install, ArmaDLock fits almost any type of vehicle door, both rear and sliding.

*Further information is available online at www.mul-t-lock.co.uk

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AMG releases all-new AMG750 Series industrial grade cellular router

AMG SYSTEMS, the manufacturer of specialist Ethernet transmission solutions for the security and critical infrastructure markets, has just issued its AMG750 Series industrial grade 4G/LTE router.

Providing remote cellular connectivity, the AMG750 Series 4G/LTE industrial router features advanced dual SIM fail-over and WAN load balancing. The fail-over function itself provides an emergency redundant path, meaning that if the primary WAN connection is lost, the router can automatically switch to a 4G/LTE wireless connection, thereby “guaranteeing” maximum network reliability for the host organisation.

The AMG750 Series’ automatic connectivity switching is essential wherever network uptime is critical for security and/or safety operations, such as within the remote deployment of life safety systems for oil and gas sector applications, or alternatively within the transportation sector. Here, a 4G back-up path is required in addition to a DSL connection.

The router’s load balancing feature achieves a ‘uniform’ traffic balance in order to make the best use of available bandwidth or to distribute traffic according to a set of rules defining which WAN feed should be employed for a given data or connection type. According to AMG Systems, this functionality affords “a superior quality of service” and particularly so within mission-critical systems.

Wireless connection

In addition to a USB port for device-logging functions, the AMG750 Series router features a dual band 2.4/5 GHz wireless connection specifically for local Wi-Fi access and supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.

Offering installers and end users alike peace of mind in addition to “the highest level” of system reliability, the AMG750 Series features dual power supply inputs along with a wide input range from 24 V DC through to 56 V DC.

In addition, fully-integrated voltage boosting technology ensures that reliable IEEE 802.3at 30 W PoE+ can be supplied to all four Ethernet ports, even when being powered by 24 V DC sources. Extending system flexibility, the industrial router can cater for legacy equipment via its RS232/485 serial data channel and may be either wall or DIN rail mounted.

“Ideal for rapid deployment, the AMG750 Series allows connectivity in scenarios where a wired connection isn’t possible,” explained Tom Exley, technical director at AMG Systems. “The Gigabit Ethernet WAN port and cellular WAN can be combined for load balancing or fail-over applications and is particularly suited to the demands of security, transportation and energy applications. The fully-integrated four-port Gigabit PoE+ Ethernet switch offers a ‘single box’-style approach for remote transmission solutions.”

*Further information is available online at www.amgsystems.com

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Intersec moves to 2022 at Dubai World Trade Centre

Intersec, the ever-popular security, safety and fire protection-focused exhibition, has been rescheduled to take place in January 2022. The move has been confirmed by event organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East.

The 23rd Edition of the three-day event was originally set to run from 24-26 January next year at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The move to 2022 follows on from extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders.

“We’ve spoken to many of our exhibitors, industry Trade Associations, supporters and partners over the last couple of weeks and have heard first-hand the many challenges they’re facing which, inevitably, is putting pressure on their ability to participate at Intersec in January 2021,” explained Alexandria Robinson, Intersec’s show director.  

Robinson added: “Moving Intersec to its customary January dates in 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre will allow time for business recovery.”

Further, Robinson stated that Intersec will be very active throughout 2021 via its ongoing webinar series, while the team is now working towards creating a virtual event early next year to engage industry leaders, regulators, Government agencies and opinion formers alike. 

“We might be restricted physically, but we know there is a definitive need for critical conversations and discussions to address the challenges the industry has faced,” asserted Robinson. “By hosting these talks via a digital forum, it enables us to remain connected with the industry and nurture our existing relationships, while at the same time sharing solutions and common goals. We’ll outline further details and plans about the digital event in the coming weeks.”

Trends and opportunities

Intersec’s popular free-to-attend webinar series (there have been 11 broadcasts so far in the last four months) has kept thousands of attendees abreast of the latest industry trends and opportunities.

“We know we have a vital role to play in connecting and supporting the industry and the Intersec webinars fulfil the remit of stimulating meaningful conversations, collaborations and success stories,” added Robinson. “We will continue to run these webinars and support our stakeholders in every way possible until we meet again in person, and safely, at Intersec 2022.”

In conclusion, Robinson informed Security Matters: “One thing is absolutely certain, and that is that our community is resilient and will bounce back. It has been involved in many front line situations throughout the course of this year and it will continue to play a critical role in the months ahead. Throughout 2021 and come January 2022, we’ll have much information to share and Best Practice to learn from each other.”

Intersec in 2020 featured 1,100 exhibitors from 56 countries, duly attracting 33,872 visitors from 135 countries.

The global industry event is supported by the Dubai Civil Defence, the Dubai Police, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), the Dubai Police Academy, and the Dubai Municipality.

*Further information is available online at www.intersecexpo.com

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Security systems developer Vanderbilt joins Euralarm

The Board of Directors at Euralarm has welcomed Vanderbilt as the newest member of the long-standing and influential association of European security and fire safety solution manufacturers, installers and service providers, with the security systems developer joining the Security Section. The latter represents companies involved with CCTV, intruder alarms and access control and serves as a key stakeholder in organisations such as CertAlarm, CEN-CENELEC, IEC and, indeed, the European Commission.

The Security Section collaborates on a regular basis in a bid to find security solutions in what is now a digitised and somewhat challenging world. Section meetings feature recognised experts offering presentations on topics such as the standardisation landscape within the video surveillance market.

Importantly, the Security Section liaises with key standardisation groups in the security field and closely follows technological developments with a view towards guiding regulation and standardisation. In terms of standards, the Security Section informs member companies of changes and advocacy activities at both the national and European Union (EU) levels.

Being a member of Euralarm, Vanderbilt will enjoy access to the extended network of national associations and major companies in the electronic fire safety and security sectors. Membership of Euralarm will realise opportunities for both parties as it also strengthens the association.

Vanderbilt is a global provider of high-performance security systems for access control and intrusion detection. The business is recognised for its future-proof, innovative and easy-to-use portfolio that contains access control systems including the ACT365 and ACT Enterprise and the popular SPC and SPC Connect intruder detection solutions.

A strong advocate of open platforms and system integration, Vanderbilt (itself an ACRE brand) understands the issues customers face and provides multiple solutions that are designed to meet these needs.

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Expertise on markets and opportunities

Companies joining Euralarm benefit from a unique insight into what is happening in European markets and the opportunities they might offer. They can not only tap into the political expertise and understanding that underpins EU policy, but also make personal connections with technical and political experts as well as potential business partners.

Euralarm members have their voice heard in Brussels and can actively support and direct standardisation and legislative processes.

Founded back in 1970, Euralarm now represents over 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry valued at 67 billion Euros. The membership comprises national associations and individual companies from across the European region.

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“87% of Britons feel unsafe at their place of worship” reveals Jacksons Fencing survey

Jacksons Fencing’s latest research has uncovered the experiences and concerns of the UK’s faith communities when it comes to criminality. Six-in-ten people of the 2,000 individuals surveyed believe their place of worship has been a target of crime, while it appears that almost half of all places of worship are targeted on a monthly basis and upwards of one-in-ten are targeted daily.

The company has released various insights into security at religious venues contained in its White Paper entitled ‘Places of Worship: Understanding Security Issues’. The findings highlight the most pressing safety concerns of the UK’s faith communities, centred on from physical and verbal harassment through to theft, burglary and vandalism.

More than half (54%, in fact) of those people surveyed agree that lots of physical security makes them feel nervous, while the majority (76%) feel safer with a certain amount of security measures in place.

Crime perpetrated at religious venues is far too frequent, with three-quarters (74%) of respondents saying their place of worship is a target of crime at least on a yearly basis. Compared to five years ago, the situation hasn’t improved. Most people (81%) report that the amount of crime on-site has either remained the same or increased.

Despite the frequency of incidences, places of worship play an increasingly vital role in society, with 44% of worshipers saying they are more a place of asylum and safety than they used to be.

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Greatest concerns

Three-quarters of respondents remain concerned about security threats, the most worrying of these being vandalism (18%), burglary, theft and robbery (17%) and personal physical attacks (17%). Of those concerned about vandalism, these individuals are most worried about broken windows (52%), damage to the building’s exterior (46%) and graffiti (45%).

With only 13% of people saying they feel secure enough at their place of worship, there is clearly much work to be done. However, while three-quarters (76%) feel safer with security measures in place, there’s a fine line to be drawn. As stated, 54% say lots of physical security makes them feel nervous.

Popular security measures taken by religious bodies include more tightly controlled access (38%), moving donation boxes to more secure areas (37%), removing valuables from display (30%) and increasing physical security measures (25%).

Moving forward, people would feel safer with CCTV (42%), alarm systems (31%), gates (27%), better lighting (24%) and the installation of security fencing (23%).

Detect, defend, deter

Peter Jackson, managing director at Jacksons Fencing, commented: “Places of worship need to be both safe and welcoming. Security has to make worshipers feel safe, provide solace and not deter those requiring support. With so many religious buildings of all faiths being regularly targeted by criminals, the security measures implemented should not only detect and defend against attacks, but they should also deter potential criminals or intruders from making an attempt at crime in the first instance.”

Michael Brooke, head of operational services for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, advised: “A sensible and practical level of security, which will not adversely affect the efficient running of the place of worship, is essential. The majority of burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who choose premises that have no obvious signs of security and where they think they will not be seen.”

Brooke added: “Having someone in place who meets and greets visitors is a great preventative measure. In particular, having someone there who knows the congregation enables strangers to be identified such that they can be either welcomed or turned away. It’s also useful to remove and lock valuables away during times outside of services.”

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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.

EuralarmAssociateMembership

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.

EuralarmLogo

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.

ChristopherPlaceShoppingCentre

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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