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BT Redcare gives installers chance to tickets to shows at iconic venues

BT Redcare is giving its installers the chance to win tickets to top events at iconic venues around the UK. Installers registering Classic and GSM installations between now and 31 March 2018 can be entered into a monthly draw, from which two winners will receive tickets to events at the O2, Wembley, Liverpool Echo Arena, Twickenham and more. BT Redcare is also offering alarm receiving centres discounts on its products throughout the same period.

For the next six months the company has slashed the price on its Classic and GSM products. Contact your ARC to find out more. Register your Classic and GSM installations here. Terms and conditions apply. BT Redcare says you can direct any queries to your account manager or by email to [email protected] Free Download: The key to mitigating cybersecurity risks Exploiting IoT technology without creating cybersecurity vulnerabilities is one of the defining challenges in today s security landscape. This report will help you to see why third parties should adhere to secure by design principles and why the necessary convergence of IT and security departments demands a holistic approach .

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Soaring recorded crime rates put police cuts under the spotlight but reported crime drops

ONS figures Recorded crime has surged to a 10-year high, according to figures published today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The news shines a spotlight on cuts to police budgets, with Scotland Yard needing to make savings of 400m by 2020 although the government disputes this figure. And the rate at which police-recorded crime is rising is accelerating: a 5% rise was recorded in the 12 months to June 2015, followed by a 7% jump the subsequent year and 13% in the latest figures.

The latest overall 13% rise is eclipsed by an even larger rise in the violent crime category, which encompasses knife crime, sexual offences and violence against the person. The underlying murder rate has risen by 8% excluding the 35 people killed in the London and Manchester terrorist attacks (and 96 Hillsborough deaths from 1989, which were recently ruled as manslaughter and therefore included in the headline figures). There were 629 homicides recorded in the 12 months to June. The ONS figures, which are released quarterly, also highlight 711 deaths or serious injuries caused by illegal driving, a 6% rise on the previous year. Opposite trend However, figures from the Crime Survey for England & Wales which polls the general public on their experience of crime reveal the opposite trend: a 9% reduction in overall crime. However, the Crime Survey is generally regarded as less reliable at gauging trends in low-volume offences, like many types of violent crime, or nascent trends. Today s figures suggest that the police are dealing with a growing volume of crime, said John Flatley of the Office for National Statistics. While improvements made by police forces in recording crime are still a factor in the increase, we judge that there have been genuine increases in crime particularly in some of the low-incidence but more harmful categories. Police figures cannot provide a good measure of all crime in society, since we know that a large volume of it never comes to their attention.

The recent increases in recorded crime need to be seen in the context of the overall decline in crime indicated by the Crime Survey of England and Wales. Several categories of violent crime, though still rare, posted some alarming rises: A 27% rise in gun crime to 6,696 offences A 26% increase in knife crime to 36,998 offences Robbery up 25% to 64,499 Sexual offences up 19% to 129,700 Stalking and harassment up 36% to 243,086 Overall violence against the person including homicide, death or serious injury caused by illegal driving, violence with injury, violence without injury, and stalking and harassment up 19% to 1,229,260 Double-digit increases in domestic violence and public order offences Even burglary up 21% and car crime, which have been falling for two decades, are now climbing again. It isn t all bad news, with drug offences down 9% to 132,935, and incidents of non-domestic burglary falling. Severe cuts With police battling rising crime with shrinking budgets, the latest figures have given critics of austerity plenty of ammunition. The Tories can no longer hide behind claims that crime is falling to justify their severe cuts to the police, said shadow home secretary Diane Abbott. They have left our communities exposed, with police numbers the lowest on record at a time when forces are under unprecedented pressure from surging crime, an ongoing terror threat, and from covering for cuts to other services. The Sun, once seen as a staunch defender of the police, blasted Humberside Police in a bizarre front page exclusive this week about officers downtime spent on funfair dodgems, seemingly to switch the conversation from cuts to the inefficient spending of taxpayer s money. Police boss defends hard-working officers slammed by Sun for playing on Hull Fair dodgems https://t.co/4DVaHaMxQO Hull Daily Mail (@hulldailymail) October 17, 2017 Meanwhile, Simon Jenkins, a longtime critic of counter-terror policy, has noted gang violence up 18% and youth killings up 84% in the capital while resources have been bled from the police into MI5 and other counter-terror initiatives. The number of Met officers has fallen from 30,300 from 32,000 and is expected to fall further.

The Met has also revealed plans to stop investigating some low-level crimes in order to balance the books . Sarah Newton, a Home Office minister, sought to downplay the rise in crime, saying that it is clear that much of the rise in police-recorded violent offences is due to better recording . However, she did accept that some of this increase is likely to be genuine, which is why have taken urgent action to stop these crimes and keep our communities safe. This week, we began consulting on tough new laws to crack down on acid attacks and knife offences. Our domestic abuse bill will help to bring this heinous crime out of the shadows and ensure victims receive both support and justice, as we invest 100m to prevent and confront violence against women and girls. We are also investing 1.9bn to counter the cyber threats we face. Free Download: The key to mitigating cybersecurity risks Exploiting IoT technology without creating cybersecurity vulnerabilities is one of the defining challenges in today s security landscape.

This report will help you to see why third parties should adhere to secure by design principles and why the necessary convergence of IT and security departments demands a holistic approach .

Download now Related Topics Watch: The funding crisis hampering fire safety upgrades in UK tower blocks E-learning and counter-terror training are increasingly popular, survey reveals UK s first fire door installation qualification is piloted

E-learning and counter-terror training are increasingly popular, survey reveals

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT More than half of security professionals cited counter terror as an area they d like to train up in, according to a survey about training needs in the industry. Asked which topics they are most keen to upskill in, respondents most commonly said security management (63%), followed by security consultancy (61%), counter-terrorism (55%) and crisis management (47%). The survey, which was conducted by the Linx International Group, also reveals that continuous professional development (76%) is the biggest motive for undertaking training, followed by certification/training (71%) and personal development (64%).

Just over half (51%) of all respondents who are employed in a range of sectors, both public and private paid for training themselves, while 45% were funded by their organisation and 4% were financed by other means. Most security professionals said training had a meaningful benefit to themselves, their organisation and the security industry as a whole but the biggest benefit was to their own career prospects (81% recognised the benefits versus 74% for the industry as a whole and 68% for their organisation). Classroom-based training remains the most popular teaching method, e-learning is growing more popular. Some 60% of respondents having already taken part in some form of e-learning and 70% likely to do so in the future. A majority of respondents also expect their participation in distance learning, blended learning and training led by a virtual instructor, to rise. There is a clear trend towards upskilling and individuals taking responsibility for their own career development, as well as demand from industry for better qualified, certified and accredited professionals, said Ken Livingstone, group training director of the Linx International Group, which provides security, risk management and training services. This is evident through our support of the CTSP a professional register of Certified Technical Security Professionals with applications for Registration already in the hundreds within the first month of its launch. Linx International Group surveyed 1,000 respondents from around the world, with UK and Ireland accounting or 49.46%, followed by Africa (19%), mainland Europe (13%), Middle East (8%), Asia (5%), US and Central America (4%) and Australasia (1%). The research was conducted by the Linx International Group on behalf of its group companies: Linx Consultancy, ARC Training, Perpetuity Academy and Tavcom Training.

Free Download: The key to mitigating cybersecurity risks Exploiting IoT technology without creating cybersecurity vulnerabilities is one of the defining challenges in today s security landscape.

This report will help you to see why third parties should adhere to secure by design principles and why the necessary convergence of IT and security departments demands a holistic approach .

Download now Related Topics Security to be tightened at Christmas markets amid fears of Berlin-style attack At least 50 reported dead and 400 injured in Las Vegas shooting Finalists announced for the Security & Fire Excellence Awards 2017

Watch: The funding crisis hampering fire safety upgrades in UK tower blocks

Free Download: A Technical Guide to Fire Precautions and Fire Protection Current fire-safety legislation adopts a risk-based approach to fire safety in community, industrial and business premises.

This download covers legal requirements for responsible persons under the FSO, courtesy of BIFM and USHA approved UK providers of health, safety and environmental information.

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“Home automation and professional security monitoring don’t usually mix”: Essence Q&A

Free Download: The smart buildings report 2017 Are you one of the 70% felt that there was room for improvement to your smart building? If so this report will help you to reduce your carbon footprint and bottom line costs . Discover the answers to; what exactly is the difference between intelligent and smart , the benefits of being smart , the challenges/barriers to adoption and the cybersecurity risks .

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UK s first fire door installation qualification is piloted

installer training The UK s first fire door installation qualification has been piloted with a view to delivering the full course in December 2017. Run by NPTC Group of Colleges it is the first qualification in the UK to specifically how to correctly specify and install fire doors. The pilot was delivered by NPTC Group of Colleges, a British Woodworking Federation (BWF) centre of excellence, on 4 and 5 October 2017 to a group of six advanced Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) modern apprentices.

Course content includes legislation in force pertaining to: Fitting of fire doors, fire door frames and linings Specification and fitting of fire door ironmongery Fitting of fire seals on doors and frames Inclusion of apertures and associated fire regulation related to fitting of glass Effects of use on fire door performance The qualification will be available in three formats: As an optional unit for apprentices Two to three-day course aimed at experienced tradespeople Four to five-day course for individuals and organisations that specialise in fitting and replacing fire doors The qualification is expected to link with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme, which is used for larger sites to demonstrate individual competencies. Fire doors are often the first line of defence for users of a building in the event of a fire and yet they remain a significant area of neglect. Hannah Mansell, spokesperson, Fire Door Safety Week I am delighted that Wales is once again leading the way on fire safety, said Ann Jones, Labour Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd. Practical thinking and effective collaboration is needed to drive much needed change and it is particularly encouraging to see the fire door industry and NPTC Group of Colleges working so closely with the British Woodworking Federation and wider industry to meet this challenge head on. I very much hope that this pilot is the start of a change process that embeds competence at the heart of construction, increasing skill, knowledge and reducing risk. Said Mark Dacey, chief executive of NPTC Group of Colleges: As NPTC Group of Colleges, we are proud to be a centre of excellence for BWF. The fire door training, a first in the UK, shows clearly the innovative approach the college takes, working with partners and the sector, to meet their needs. Coupled with our fire sprinkler courses, the college is in prime position to deliver quality training to make buildings safer and better equipped, to meet modern safety standards. Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week and BWF technical manager, said: Fire doors are often the first line of defence for users of a building in the event of a fire and yet they remain a significant area of neglect.

Subsequently, every year lives are lost or put at risk, and property unnecessarily damaged, because fire doors have been wrongly specified, fitted or maintained. There are many critical elements to get right in the construction of fire doors, and a host of regulations governing their manufacture, installation and maintenance. But a single mistake in specification, fitting or use can render a fire door ineffective or turn it into a death trap.

Related Topics Watch: Fire, security and fire escape doors are you putting lives at risk?

Majority of renters left in dark on basic fire safety measures Residential landlords still haven t learned Grenfell lessons especially in social housing, survey reveals

Krack wifi flaw could compromise IoT devices for decades to come

WPA2 protocol Reverberations of the wifi vulnerability revealed this week could be felt for many years to come, a security researcher has claimed. Speaking to Wired, HD Moore, a network security researcher at Atredis Partners, said: We re probably still going to find vulnerable devices 20 years from now. The rapid proliferation of internet-connected devices, the infrequency of software patches, and multiple barriers to getting users to launch updates mean the vulnerability could compromise IoT security for a long time yet.

The vulnerability exposes wireless internet traffic to malicious eavesdroppers and attacks. Made by Mathy Vanhoef, a security expert at Belgian university KU Leuven, the discovery is not without precedent. However, previous wifi weaknesses were found in wifi protocols that had already been largely superseded by other, more secure protocols. WPA2, by contrast, comfortably remains the most commonly used wireless security protocol. The attack works against all modern protected wifi networks, said Vanhoef in his report. Infrequently if ever updated to guard against vulnerabilities, wireless routers used in the home are seen as problematic. Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. Mathy Vanhoef, who discovered the vulnerability All major operating systems, including Android, Linux, Apple and Windows, are affected. If your device supports wifi, it is most likely affected, said Vanhoef, who dubbed the weakness Krack (Key Reinstallation AttaCK).

Attackers who successfully exploit the weakness and mercifully that is difficult to do, say experts can cause havoc in a variety of ways. Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted, said Vanhoef. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and so on. Additionally, depending on the device being used and the network setup, it is also possible to decrypt data sent towards the victim (eg the content of a website). Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data. For example, an attacker might be able to inject ransomware or other malware into websites. Developers of IoT devices are limited mostly to email or notices on community forums in how they can notify customers and many will only find out via news reports. Some will not find out at all. Users that do become aware of the problem will have to find the patch download and navigate the sometimes irksome login process of the device s web-management interface.

Glimmer of hope But Wired says there is a glimmer of hope in pioneering new mesh-network routers with less convoluted user interface and an auto-update function. This means fixes can be implemented without input from users themselves. In a statement the UK s National Cyber Security Centre, which opened a year ago, sought to reassure the public that using the internet wouldn t necessarily expose them to risk. The attacker would have to be physically close to the target and the potential weaknesses would not compromise connections to secure websites, such as banking services or online shopping. Connections to secure websites, virtual private networks (VPN) and SSH communications are still safe, because the attack is unlikely to affect the security of information sent over the network that is protected in addition to the standard WPA2 encryption. Websites that don t display a padlock icon in the address bar, on the other hand, will create an opening for attackers. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (Cert) issued a warning on Sunday in response to the vulnerability: The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection and others. Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and Linux are particularly vulnerable because of another bug that results in the encryption key being rewritten as zeros. Not fully implementing the WPA2 protocol iOS and Windows are among the most secure, but no device or software tested has been fully immune to the weakness.

Most tech companies have already had a month and a half to fix the flaw since they were notified of the problem by the international Cert group, based at Carnegie Mellon University, on 28 August. Responding to a request for comment from The Guardian Google said: We re aware of the issue, and we will be patching any affected devices in the coming weeks. Microsoft said: We have released a security update to address this issue.

Customers who apply the update, or have automatic updates enabled, will be protected. Free Download: the CyberSecurity Crashcourse Are you even aware if you have been the victim of a cybersecurity breach? This report will help you to find out and protect yourself, Eric Hansleman from 451 Research presents a rapid-fire overview of cybersecurity , because a firewall just won t do, you need multi-layered defences to truly protect your data.

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Smart door locks give agencies, service providers and rental platforms a competitive edge whatever their size

New market forecasts predict continued strong growth in the European holiday rentals market. The data and trends also hint at ways small, medium- and global-sized providers can ensure their short-term rental portfolio stays ahead of the competition. According to exclusive SAC Insight research* commissioned by ASSA ABLOY, from a base of ‘ 23.28bn in 2016, the European holiday rentals market will be worth ‘ 32.5bn by 2023.

Compound annual growth (CAGR) is forecasted at 5.8%. For the segment incorporating agencies and other booking platforms, the numbers are equally encouraging. SAC Insight expects European revenue in the agent market to grow from ‘ 14.55bn to ‘ 20.93bn over the same period. Estimated CAGR is 5.1%, a healthy rate for holiday rentals agencies and the blossoming service ecosystem that surrounds them. For modern travellers, the smartphone is their remote control for any trip. It s a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide why not a door key, too? The growth through sales and acquisitions of international players like Airbnb, HomeAway, Wimdu and Tripadvisor will continue. Yet smaller, often localised, increasingly professional agents, individuals and booking platforms still generate almost 90% of holiday rentals revenue across Europe. A winning strategy, whatever your scale One important success factor is the value proposition of a holiday rental versus a hotel or hostel at a similar price.

Its perceived value includes service and the authenticity a holiday rental offers. But as hotels innovate with keyless check-in via app in Starwood properties, for example can rentals compete for convenience? Absolutely, if they keep pace with the modern traveller. Small providers can use deep local knowledge to ensure properties stay on the right side of local regulations, for example, ensuring guests a hassle-free stay. This will be critical for agencies targeting business travellers seeking short-term, city-centre rentals. More data from SAC Insight points, unsurprisingly, towards faster growth in online revenue, at 9.8% annually versus 3.8% for offline booking. Small-scale landlords cannot match global brands for SEO or advertising spend, so the importance of online reviews and positive word-of-mouth marketing will grow. In other words, target customer satisfaction. This is where a smart door lock provides concrete assistance and potentially, a competitive advantage.

Get smart renting and forget about keys Tired of handing over keys? For modern travellers, the smartphone is an essential companion; they treat a mobile as their remote control for any trip. It s a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide why not a door key, too? The technology is already available and affordable for rental booking agencies and the property owners they represent. Potential admin benefits for agents are obvious. With a smart door lock, you spend less time managing physical keys; you eliminate the risk of lost or stolen keys, and unauthorised copying. It s less hassle all round. If every smart door lock in your portfolio connects to a single system, even one with additional smart home features, managing multiple properties is easier. The best smart door locks can be operated via an app, whether stand-alone or as part of an integrated smart home system.

Key handling is not just an agent problem; it s a big worry for guests, too. With a smart door lock, they will never get locked out. A PIN code or smartphone app opens the front door, so there s no need to carry keys or worry about losing them. With a smart door lock, it s easy for everyone in a group to come and go as they please, because each guest can have their own temporary key. Harmonious groups are happier groups! High occupancy and satisfied customers In Italy, boutique agency Home at Hotel has already reaped the benefits of installing smart door locks on urban holiday rentals in Milan, Rome and Cagliari. Properties are secured with an ENTR lock from Yale and integrated with the user-friendly SCLAK (www.sclak.com) app-powered access system. With ENTR and the SCLAK system, it s easier for Home by Hotel to offer value-added services, including breakfast delivery, grocery shopping and extra cleaning on demand. It s straightforward for agency staff to open doors remotely to admit a cleaner or cook, for example.

Home at Hotel apartments fitted with an ENTR smart door lock receive, on average, a 9/10 customer satisfaction rating No longer are apartment keys running around with the risk of being lost or copied, says Francesco Postiglioni from Home at Hotel. We can see when a guest has left the flat and can inhibit access if they do not respect the rules. We also have full control over our service suppliers, with the exact time they spend in the flat and when an apartment is ready for the next guest. With ENTR from Yale, Home at Hotel entrusts their clients to a lock brand with decades of history securing Europe s homes and offices. Smarter locks make more satisfied guests, which in turn means more return visits and better online reviews for our clients in the holiday rentals business, confirms Omer Sagi, Smart Door Lock Business Development Director at ASSA ABLOY. The outcome has been tangible for this rental agency: Home at Hotel apartments fitted with an ENTR smart door lock receive, on average, a 9/10 customer satisfaction rating. Occupancy is 80%. Get more business from business Looking forward, there are opportunities in short-term rentals for business travel. But here more than anywhere, clients expect a seamless, professional experience.

A smart door lock is one simple way for an agency to enable round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or incurring added staff costs. This is so important, in fact, that Airbnb now require check-in without a person-to-person key handover to qualify for Business Travel Ready status. Business travel will remain a major growth area for Airbnb (and therefore also for the service provider ecosystem that surrounds it). Deals with corporate travel specialists including CWT and Flight Centre**** are already in place. Professional touches such as a smart door lock will help small and medium-sized agencies to grab a slice of this booming market for themselves. With a smart door lock, rental agencies can charge a premium, and still expect the convenience benefits to be reflected in customer satisfaction, positive word-of-mouth, return visits and favourable online reviews. A new eight-page report from ASSA ABLOY Europe s holiday rentals market is packed with more exclusive data and charts, plus expert insight on the European holiday rentals sector and how smart door locks can help you serve it better. * SAC Insight, Europe Vacation Rental Market Analysis and Forecast (2017 2023) About ASSA ABLOY ASSA ABLOY is the global leader in door opening solutions, dedicated to satisfying end-user needs for security, safety and convenience. Since its formation in 1994, ASSA ABLOY has grown from a regional company into an international group with about 47,000 employees, operations in more than 70 countries and sales close to SEK 71 billion. In the fast-growing electro-mechanical security segment, the group has a leading position in areas such as access control, identification technology, entrance automation and hotel security.

Free Download: The key to mitigating cybersecurity risks Exploiting IoT technology without creating cybersecurity vulnerabilities is one of the defining challenges in today s security landscape.

This report will help you to see why third parties should adhere to secure by design principles and why the necessary convergence of IT and security departments demands a holistic approach .

Download now Related Topics The 10 musts of museum access control and one technology that does them all Deliveries on your doormat even if you re out thanks to a smart new service from ASSA ABLOY and PostNord For connected home and residential service providers, smart locks open doors to new opportunities

Security to be tightened at Christmas markets amid fears of Berlin-style attack

COUNTER TERROR Security will be bolstered at forthcoming Christmas markets around the UK as councils aim to prevent a repeat of the Berlin attack that left 12 dead and 56 injured last year. Concrete bollards, armed police and random bag searches are among the measures being considered by police and local councils. The Local Government Association is reported to have urged councils to adhere to government guidance on protecting crowded places from attack.

Some Christmas market organisers are working with police to provide anti-terror training to staff as part of Project Griffin, a counter-terrorism initiative aimed at businesses. Depending on the terror threat level currently severe (an attack is highly likely) at the time, armed officers could be stationed around markets perimeter. Councils are stressing, however, that an armed police presence does not necessarily mean that an attack is imminent. Demand for concrete bollards has surged in the last two years following a series of attacks including incidents in Nice, Berlin and London Bridge where terrorists have weaponised vehicles in order to inflict mass casualties. Physical barriers were installed on three of London s bridges in the wake of June s terror attack at London Bridge and Borough Market. A Southampton city council spokesman has confirmed that concrete bollards will be installed ahead of 11 November when the city s own Christmas market opens. However, temporary outdoor events like Christmas markets and street festivals also require temporary solutions and the market is responding. ATG Access, for instance, has launched a lightweight road block system that can be deployed quickly and withstand the force of a 2,500kg vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour. Avon Barrier Corporation, another UK firm, is even considering how to provide protection from gunfire.

Speaking to Arab News in August, Paul Jeffrey, the company s managing director, said: We are also looking at advertising boarding, so you incorporate some kind of ballistic protection within an advertising boarding so people run and hide. I am working on some very big projects that include that sort of thing. In London, the Metropolitan Police Service has said that additional safety measures around Christmas markets like Hyde Park s Winter Wonderland are likely. The public may see additional protective security measures and barriers at events this year, in response to a number of vehicle-based terrorist attacks we have sadly seen both here in the UK and abroad, said a force spokesman. There could also be increased security checks at some events and venues so we advise the public to arrive in plenty of time to allow for this. Guidance for mitigating security vulnerabilities around major public transport hubs, recently issued by the Department for Transport to local authorities, also incorporated recommendations about deterring attackers using vehicles as a weapon . German Christmas markets have proliferated in the UK in the last two decades and are regularly packed with people, day and night. Free Download: Securing the UK s borders. Getting national security and Brexit right first time is crucial , we do not want to get this wrong.

This report considers the implications of leaving the EU for the management of the UK s borders and making it as easy as possible for international business to thrive and legitimate movement to occur in a post-Brexit UK.

Click here to download now Related Topics At least 50 reported dead and 400 injured in Las Vegas shooting Finalists announced for the Security & Fire Excellence Awards 2017 How evolving terror tactics have driven advances in perimeter security

10 Years after Penhallow: Have we learned anything?

It is now 10 years after Penhallow, which has been described as the worst British hotel fire for 50 years and I think that it is important to look back at what we have learnt from this tragic failure of our fire safety laws. To add to this we now have the Grenfell Tower Fire that will surely be the worst fire that the UK has seen in living memory. I am also including some of the fire safety failures that I found during my recent undercover inspection of hotels in the South West for the BBC to illustrate the problem.

The Penhallow Hotel Fire 2007 For those who may have forgotten what happened this was an article that I wrote following the fire The Penhallow fire: accident, arson or imcompetence? The one part of this tragic incident that has remained with me over this period is this statement given by one of the witnesses at the inquest. She told the inquest how she saw one of the victims, 80-year old Joan Harper, trapped in her blazing room. She said that firefighters with just one engine and no firefighting ladder were to ill-equipped to come to the rescue. Describing the moment firemen did arrive at the scene, she is quoted as saying: Everybody was shouting at the fire brigade to save the lady, but they did not take any actions to save her When I saw their single fire engine with one hosepipe, this just reinforced my despair. They did not have the capability to deal with the fire. Tragically, this was not the only fatality as Peter Hughes jumped from a third story window and his 86 year old mother Monica Hughes also perished. At the inquest there were also many other factors that came to light including a poor fire risk assessment, poor access, lack of water, lack of equipment (high rise ladder) and the FRS (Fire and Rescue Service) being sent to the wrong address. Following this incident the FRS went around the country informing interested parties about this fire and when I asked them about aspects such as being sent to the wrong address they replied that they had no knowledge of this but these items are clearly in the inquest records both written and recorded.

The Grenfell Tower Fire 2017 Whilst obviously I cannot say a lot about this fire I think it is important to say that, if what has been reported in the media is true, then there are a number of similarities to the Penhallow Hotel Fire particularly in respect of people being trapped in the building and late arrival of a high rise ladder.

10 Years of Fires So what have we learnt in the last 10 years as we are always informed following these tragic incidents that we must learn from these tragic fires so they never happen again . Clearly when we find out what happened in the Grenfell Tower Fire there does need to be some major changes and Brexit should give us the opportunity to make these changes but I wonder if the will and impetus is there to make the radical changes that in my opinion are needed. Another important aspect that has come to light since the Grenfell Tower Fire is the subject of how we investigate serious fires and it is my view that I have stated many times that we need to establish a more robust, independent and open system that people can trust and respect. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 Whilst Fire Certificates issued under the Fire precautions Act had their drawbacks I think that on balance it was a far better system than Fire Risk Assessments that in my opinion don t really work. There are many reasons for this and one of them is how the legislation is enforced. Figures released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act showed the number of specialist staff in 26 fire services had fallen from 924 to 680, a loss of 244 officers between 2011 and 2017. Between 2011 and 2016, the government reduced its funding for fire services by between 26% and 39%, according to the National Audit Office, which in turn resulted in a 17% average real-terms reduction in spending power. Together with cuts to the FRS we have to look at how FRA are carried out and with no real standard assessment in place and poorly defined competency levels this was a recipe for failure. I found these words from a very well respected hotelier during the BBC investigation very interesting: I wish that the old system of fire certification with annual inspection was still in place.

The interesting thing here is that back in the 70 s/ 80 s each Fire Brigade interpreted legislation differently from area to area. The problem now is that consultants and operators interpret differently which of course in turn leads to a plethora of interpretations. In addition it is hard enough being a good hotelier let alone an expert in Health and safety/fire/food safety etc etc as well, however we do try to comply coupled with contracted professional guidance. Whilst the RRO appears on the surface to offer a better solution to our fire safety needs by placing the onus on the responsible person in practice I don t think that it works for the following reasons: Poorly defined standards. Poorly defined competency levels Poor enforcement and training/experience. Lack of clarity and transparency by enforcing authorities. Fire Deaths The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 294 people died in fires in England during 2015, an increase of 21% compared with the 242 deaths recorded in 2014 and the largest increase since figures were published in 2001-02. The rise comes after a decade in which the long-term trend in the death toll from fires fell, from a peak of 469 in 2003 and obviously don t take into account the Grenfell Tower Fire. Significant Fires There are a number of significant fires that I think highlight why the system doesn t work and these are just four that highlight the tragic loss of life, our heritage and to fire service personnel.

The Clandon Park Fire 2015 I looked at this investigation https://www.ifsecglobal.com/clandon-park-fire-questions-from-national-trust-member/ because I was a National Trust Member and would like to have seen what the NT investigation had to say and because I had some concerns about the FRS Report but even though I registered an official request and complaint the NT has never made this information available about what steps they took to protect our heritage neither did they address my complaint. Whilst there was no life loss in this fire it shows how difficult it is to get answers to questions raised by the media and public. The Cathedral Green Fire (Royal Clarence Hotel) 2016 This hotel was destroyed by a fire that started in Cathedral Green in Exeter and again it raised questions from the media and public that would not be answered. This was the article that I wrote https://www.ifsecglobal.com/royal-clarence-hotel-fire-destruction-uks-oldest-hotel/ unfortunately, we still don t have answers to these important questions. Lakanal House Fire 2009 Tragically, six people, including three children, died on the 10th and 11th floors. It is reported that those who died had been told to stay in their homes by 999 operators, who believed fire safety measures would be sufficient to prevent flames and smoke from reaching them . Southwark council admitted it failed to address fire risks at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south-east London, in the years leading up to the UK s worst ever tower block fire up to the 3 July 2009. Atherstone on Stour Warehouse Fire 2007 On 2 November 2007 a major fire occurred at a warehouse near the village of Atherstone on Stour in Warwickshire. Four firefighters from the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service were killed whilst tackling the blaze.

This was the largest loss of life for a fire brigade in the United Kingdom for 35 years. BBC Inside Out South West Investigation This is the third investigation that I have carried out for the BBC and this does not convince me that the level of fire safety is improving in fact quite the opposite. The BBC asked me to look at two hotels that had recently appeared on the Enforcement Register and the first one was so bad that I notified the FRS of my concerns because of a missing fire door at the head of the stairs and a fire exit that would not open. The second one had done some fire safety improvement work but still had many problems including combustible rubbish and compressed gas cylinders stored under an external fire escape, poor fire compartmentation and poorly fitting fire doors. The third hotel was one that I could see had carried out a lot of fire safety work but needed improvement because of poor housekeeping, unprotected escape routes, fire doors wedged open and poor electrical installation. It was also good that the hotel owner was very cooperative and agreed to action the items that I had raised. The fourth hotel was one that had not been covered in the TV programme but one that I had stayed in and this was a hotel that had a great 150 year history together with many fire safety problems these were just a few: Hotel bedroom fire door with lock removed Corridor fire door poorly fitting at head Poorly fitting fire door in corridor Unprotected window adjacent to external fire escape This is where both fire escapes meet note the portable building and ventilation plant under the common bridge and staircase. There were a lot more problems that I noted but I think that you can understand my concerns I did write to the hotel and the FRS and the hotel responded indicating that they wanted to resolve the problems. Clearly, this hotel would have had a Fire Certificate under the FP Act together with a number of Fire Risk Assessments under the RRO so how did we get to this position?

1. Looking at the hotel and the standard of fire safety I can clearly see what was done under the FP Act to gain a Fire Certificate and this would probably have included bedrooms fire doors and separation of the main stair case to allow people to by pass it.

2. It is rather more difficult to establish what has been done under the RRO as the standard does not appear to have changed a great deal but there may have been some upgrading of the fire alarm and automatic fire detection but this is just a guess.

3. Clearly, the biggest problem here is where to two fire escapes converge above the portable building and the associated ventilation plant below the one stair case as any fire here may render both escape routes useless. Unfortunately, in my travels I find many hotels with similar problems and this is why I feel that the RRO is not working.

During the course of the BBC investigation I stayed in 2 hotels and visited two more and all four had problems of varying concern including one where the FRS took 7 bedrooms out of use following my report because a fire door had been removed at the head of a stair case and a fire exit would not open. I was interesting to note that this hotel had recently been the subject of enforcement action. Where to now for fire safety? The last 10 years have seen some significant failures of our fire safety standards that have clearly not given us the level of fire safety that I feel are required in this day and age.We have seen significant failures in both life and property safety in the UK and whilst it is hoped that the outcome from the Grenfell Tower tragedy will provide an answer I think that with Brexit on the horizon we need to think about how we can overcome these problems with a more open and transparent fire safety regime that people can have confidence in. Having started my career in the age of fire certificates I am well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this form of control and wonder if a combination of fire certificates and risk assessments may provide a better solution. This could take the form of a combined building control and fire certification authority that certified the building structure and approved the occupiers operational plan for its use. I does appear inconsistent in this day and age when we can go to a restaurant and find out its hygiene rating or buy a car and find out its crash rating but have no idea of the fire safety level of buildings that we stay/work in together with no way of establishing this. It would be nice to think that this information could be obtained by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests but the FRS are constrained by the Data Protection Act and are also using the response that they cannot provide this information because it may be used for acts of terrorism. I was recently trying to establish how many fire risk assessments that selected FRS had carried out in hotels and how many were found to be unsatisfactory and I was surprised at the variation in replies whilst a number gave me their figures, one indicated that they did not record this information and one required a payment of 450 for the information.

I would have personally thought that this was fairly basic information that should be easily available. I think that now is the time that the fire safety profession needs to get behind a scheme to improve fire safety to protect people and our heritage and not just to protect individual organisations or interests. Free Download: A Technical Guide to Fire Detection and Alarm Systems Fire legislation, which is written for the purpose of life safety, requires duty holders in non-domestic premises to assess fire risks and put in place arrangements for the prevention of fire and to protect people from fire when it occurs.

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