Grenfell fallout: The 10 questions that need answers

Grenfell fallout The Grenfell fire has vindicated many in the fire industry s worst fears about several longstanding problems. Not only that, a drip-drip of revelations is revealing a litany of other shortcomings of the council, firefighting equipment and the government s response, among others that have shocked even fire industry insiders. Here are 10 of the most pressing questions that need satisfactory answers if councils, the government, the construction industry and the fire sector can together prevent similar tragedies happening again.

1. Why is the testing of cladding limited to one type of cladding when several other varieties could be combustible too? More than 200 cladding samples taken from high-rise tower blocks in 54 local authorities since the Grenfell tragedy have failed tests, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

However, testing has been limited to aluminium composite material panels those implicated in the Grenfell fire despite the fact that other varieties of cladding may be similarly combustible. Non-ACM cladding systems CEP and Carea are not made of aluminium, but have a near identical construction to the Reynobond ACM panels used on Grenfell Tower. Niall Rowan, COO of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection, told The Independent: If you put this cladding through government testing, it would fail, I would put money on it. They are different materials to the Reynobond but they would all have a similar reaction to fire under the fire test. The government s testing scheme has used a combustibility grade of A2 or higher, requiring that material must at most be of limited combustibility . And yet, noted Rowan, Approved Document B does not require cladding meet this standard. Instead, a lower threshold is set out: class 0 (Euroclass B). These products are all Euroclass B (also known as Class 0), they are not looking to be limited combustibility, and you re going to find them all over the place, on lots of buildings, said Rowan. The Government s gone chasing after cladding and missing the bigger picture they are saying: We want limited combustibility, but the construction industry has been reading building regulations as Euroclass B for years.

This is why we have been pushing for a review of the building regulations for years and why many in the fire sector are very 2. Why was there an apparent deficiency in firefighting equipment? While initial analysis in the wake of the fire focused on cladding, firefighting equipment has come under the spotlight in recent days. A BBC Newsnight investigation uncovered multiple deficiencies, including that a high ladder did not arrive for more than 30 minutes. Also known as an aerial , the ladder would have given firegighters a better chance of extinguishing the blaze had it arrived earlier, a fire expert told the BBC. Low water pressure was also said to hamper efforts to quell the flames, while firefighters reported radio problems. Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: I have spoken to aerial appliance operators in London who attended that incident, who think that having that on the first attendance might have made a difference, because it allows you to operate a very powerful water tower from outside the building onto the building. Are cuts to the fire service to blame for the deficiencies in firefighting equipment? Or was it organisational and procedural?

Perhaps the UK s comparatively and deceptively strong fire safety record had simply bred complacency in making sure enough equipment is available. Find out more on the BBC.

3. Is the privatisation of fire-safety research a problem? Stephen Mackenzie, a fire risk consultant who has spoken out on the Grenfell fire regularly in the media, appears to think so. We ve increasingly seen over the past decades, our fire research provision within the UK, which is internationally renowned, becoming increasingly privatised, he told IFSEC Global during a recent interview. Whether it s a research establishment which is now a charitable trust, whether it s a fire service college which is now under the major government support contracts, or the emergency planning college which is under another support service provider 4. Should COBRA have been convened in the wake of the fire as it is following terror attacks? Mackenzie also believes the UK s worst-ever tower block fire warranted the most serious government response. I think we ve seen a comparison between the Grenfell fire and Finsbury Park terrorist attack, he notes.

Immediately following the Finsbury Park attack, Theresa May convened COBRA. That should have been the case on Thursday the day after the fire, or the latter hours of Wednesday. Convene COBRA, get emergency personnel leads in, coordinate with local authority responders, and have a better response and management of media, and to the families and residents concerns. I feel it could have been sharper, more effective, and then the central government may not have received some of the criticism it has. He adds that there are a number of professional bodies in the UK that can facilitate the transition from the emergency services response into the softer response by local authorities and the government. So it might be another line of enquiry for the coroner report, and also the public inquiry.

5. Why do inquiries take so long in England compared to Scotland? The 2009 fire in Lakanal House, southeast London, that caused the deaths of six people has been oft-cited since the Grenfell fire. The inquiry that followed took four years, much to the anguish of grieving relatives. But even if the lengthy process was justified on the grounds of thoroughness and that is debatable the inaction on so many of its recommendations undermined the whole exercise anyway. The swift conclusion to an inquiry into Scotland s very own tower block tragedy the 1999 fire at Charnock Court certainly shows that such inquiries need not drag on interminably.

That Holyrood seemingly took more decisive action than their English counterparts certainly buttresses this point. Stephen Mackenzie points to the conclusions of the 2000 report into Charnock Court inquiry. While this inquiry did not suggest that the majority of external cladding systems in the UK currently in use pose a serious threat to life safety or property in event of fire, they did go on to add, we do not believe it should take a serious fire in which many people are killed before all reasonable steps are taken towards minimising the fire risk. They then go on to make commentary about the inclusion of standards through the British Standards Institute, revision of the Approved Document B, and the title of that report under the reference was The Potential Risk of Fire Spread in Buildings via External Cladding Systems. We have known about this problem and issue in the fire sector, the House of Commons are aware of it. the Prime Minister s office is now aware of it, I imagine, through the national press and their own technical advisors. Holyrood, it seems, took swift action. Let s look at legislation. We did it in Scotland.

When we reviewed our fire safety legislation we also brought in new building regulations, we brought in new technical handbooks. And I believe, if memory services me correct, the most recent release was either in June 2016 or June 2017. By contrast, Approved Document B the guidance framework for construction regulations in England has not been updated since 2006. I am aware that the building regulations are under constant review. But there seems to be a dichotomy in the turnaround time: four years for the Lakanal report, one year for the Scottish Garnock report. Fire legislation report in Scotland was reviewed in 2005 whereas we appear to be limping on with a very outdated and outmoded document.

6. Are green targets, red tape reduction or austerity to blame? Inevitably, the media s focus has varied depending on the political leanings of the publication in question. While the Daily Mail predictably highlighted the prioritisation of green targets as a potential factor, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn even more predictably blamed austerity. Back in 2015, when the FSF called for a review of Approved Document B, then Conservative MP for Canterbury and Whitstable Julian Brazier said: My concern is that, at a time when building regulations are more prescriptive than ever on issues like energy saving, the basic requirement to make the building resilient to fire appears to have been lost sight of. The fact that Grenfell had just undergone 10m worth of refurbishment to enhance the energy efficiency of the building lends credence to these fears.

A leftwing poet, however, asserted that they put panels, pretty panels on the outside so the rich people who lived opposite wouldn t have to look at a horrendous block. Whether you agree with this sentiment, that the fire alarms still didn t function properly following a 10m refurbishment is nothing short of scandalous. Another strand picked up in the Guardian was the Conservative Party s (and to some extent New Labour s) long-held policy of reducing red tape. George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian that: In 2014, the then housing minister (who is now the immigration minister), Brandon Lewis, rejected calls to force construction companies to fit sprinklers in the homes they built on the following grounds: In our commitment to be the first Government to reduce regulation, we have introduced the one in, two out rule for regulation Under that rule, when the Government introduce a regulation, we will identify two existing ones to be removed In other words, though he accepted that sprinklers are an effective way of controlling fires and of protecting lives and property , to oblige builders to introduce them would conflict with the government s deregulatory agenda. Instead, it would be left to the owners of buildings to decide how best to address the fire risk: Those with responsibility for ensuring fire safety in their businesses, in their homes or as landlords, should and must make informed decisions on how best to manage the risks in their own properties, Lewis said. This calls to mind the Financial Times journalist Willem Buiter s famous remark that self-regulation stands in relation to regulation the way self-importance stands in relation to importance . Case after case, across all sectors, demonstrates that self-regulation is no substitute for consistent rules laid down, monitored and enforced by government. Crucial public protections have long been derided in the billionaire press as elf n safety gone mad . It s not hard to see how ruthless businesses can cut costs by cutting corners, and how this gives them an advantage over their more scrupulous competitors.

7. Why were the lessons from Lakanal ignored? Emily Twinch, a housing policy journalist, recently wrote in the New Statesman: I remember sitting through the Lakanal House super inquest, as it was called, four years ago.

It was amazing how many mistakes by so many people were made. It reminded me of the film Sliding Doors. If only someone had done this, or not done that. Senior managers at Southwark Council were warned by staff that Lakanal House needed a fire risk assessment they were ignored. People carrying out fire risk assessments were given little or no training, and then expected to go out and decide if a tower block was fire safe or not Cladding is being bought up again As Ian Wingfield, ward councillor and cabinet member for housing of Southwark Council at the time said: If nothing was done about it in the intervening 10 years it might have moved from medium to high risk in that period. The inquest into that fire found that panels fitted to the outside of the block in 2006-07 burnt quicker than the original materials Another issue experts are likely to look at when investigating here is the fire compartmentalisation of the building. Regulations say buildings should be designed so that if a fire does break out, it doesn t spread to other flats for at least an hour. After the Lakanal House fire, I did a big freedom of information request investigation into what attention fire brigades and councils were placing on fire safety of tower blocks. The results revealed the answer very little.

It gradually improved in the intervening years But when MPs refused to support, for example, an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill last year that would have made homes fit for habitation in the private sector, it was an indication of how little they prioritised tenants, whether private or social, in their homes.

8. Why was the advice to stay put given for the first two hours of the fire? Advice given by the fire service to stay put inside Grenfell Tower as the fire spread was only changed after nearly two hours, the BBC has reported. The policy was only changed at 2:47am, one hour and 53 minutes after the first emergency call. Based on the ill-founded assumption that the fire can be contained as it should be if suitable passive fire protection is in place the advice was fatal to any that followed it once the fire spread rapidly from the room of origin. With the death toll now still uncertain but estimated by police to stay at around 80, the policy has come under serious fire.

9. Why have calls to retrofit 4,000 tower blocks across the country gone unheeded? Coroners, fire safety professionals and organisations and fire and rescue services have repeatedly urged the government to legislate for the mandatory installation of sprinklers in social housing over many years. In February 2013, in his judgement on a 2010 blaze at a 15-storey block in Southampton, coroner Keith Wiseman recommended that sprinklers be fitted to all buildings higher than 30 metres (98 ft). In that fire, at Shirley Towers, firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears lost their lives. In a letter to Eric Pickles, then communities and local government secretary, and to Sir Ken Knight, then the government s chief fire and rescue adviser, Wiseman said that obvious precautions to prevent the fire occurring were not taken and highlighted the need for sprinklers in high-rise blocks.

The following month, Lakanal coroner Judge Frances Kirkham submitted similar recommendation to Pickles. In a previous report into the Lakanal House fire, Ken Knight had said that the retrofitting of sprinklers in high-rise blocks was not considered practical or economically viable . However, the evidence she heard at the inquest had prompted Kirkham to say that doing so might now be possible at lower cost than had previously been thought to be the case, and with modest disruption to residents . This is apparently backed up by a successful retrofit at a Sheffield Tower block in 2012. A report on the installation demonstrated that it is possible to retrofit sprinklers into occupied, high-rise, social housing without evacuating residents and that these installations can be fast-tracked.

10. Why must it take mass casualties to trigger serious change? It is a fact of human nature that we do not intuit and respond emotionally to risk in an entirely rational way. So it is that 30% of us are, to some extent, nervous about flying, yet few of us worry about hurtling down the motorway at 80mph despite the fact that you are vastly more likely to die in the latter scenario. There was no shortage of plane crashes before 9/11, yet none of those crashes had been seared into people s nightmares.

The numbers of people avoiding flying duly soared in the wake of the disaster. This was despite the fact that security was tightened following 9/11, reducing the risk of further attacks. In his 2008 book Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear, Dan Garder reflected that the thousands of people who eschewed flights in favour of driving in the wake of 9/11 actually increased their risk of dying. By one estimate, it killed 1,500 people, he wrote. On their death certificates, it says they were killed by car crashes. But, really, the ultimate cause of death was misperceived risk. Fire disasters of the magnitude of Grenfell are mercifully rare. It had been eight years since Lakanal and few remembered it. People were still dying in fires but it rarely made the front pages.

Instead, the media was devoting much of its time to the spate of terror attacks and before that, the countless terror attacks that were foiled. Politicians, believe it or not, suffer from the same askew intuition over risk as ordinary people. Faced with an inbox full of warnings about myriad threats, the Prime Minister inevitably prioritised those that seemed most immediate, most viscerally terrifying and which the media and general public seemed most concerned about. Fuelled by the decades-long trend of falling fire deaths, fire safety had fallen down the list of priorities. That is certainly no longer the case. Undoubtedly, so horrific was the Grenfell fire that something will undoubtedly now be done. Whether enough is done, or whether the right things are done, is another matter. But why must it take a tragedy of such proportions before the problems which were flagged time and again by fire organisations are taken seriously? The risk was always there.

While such fires are rare events, any sober analysis would have revealed that Lakanal could readily happen again and that casualties could be far, far worse.

And yet it is only when the industry s worst fears are realised that the momentum for change can truly build.

HID Global expands IoT services for asset management and equipment monitoring

access control HID Global has added item management to its location services and has launched new condition monitoring services that analyse equipment performance. The new additions extend the company s portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) offerings for organisations. HID location services for item management monitor the location and movement of assets and equipment across different locations or in a specific area, to help combat asset theft.

The condition monitoring services provide real-time analysis of equipment performance and health. Potential end-users include hospitals, factories and industrial firms. Optimise equipment efficiency Every day, organisations seek to address pressing concerns around the misuse, tampering or theft of assets, as well as unforeseen equipment downtime. HID s latest solutions make it possible to quickly locate items, provide valuable equipment data to optimise equipment efficiency, plus react quickly to critical events or instantly know when equipment fails, says Mark Robinton, director of strategic innovation at HID Global. The HID Location Services capabilities can quickly locate items, ranging from ladders and carts, to emergency hospital equipment. The technology also provides predictive analysis to forecast the future location of an item in environments, such as manufacturing or hospital floors, airports, or shopping centres. In many instances an item s location can impact workforce safety. Facility managers can use geo-fences to easily deploy alerts by establishing policies that monitor incoming vehicles, hazardous materials or dangerous equipment in multiple locations. HID conditioning monitoring services provide predictive analysis for ensuring the optimal performance of vending machines, conveyor belts, heating and cooling systems, medical and other equipment.

The technology can help reduce operations and maintenance costs. Accurate predicted failures of components can allow repairs and replacements to be scheduled in at suitable times, reducing down time. Bluvision, part of HID Global, is supplying the new offerings, which are based on a common platform that leverage Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and include HID s Bluzone cloud service, Bluetooth beacons and BluFi gateways. HID Global are exhibiting at IFSEC International, which takes place between 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find them on stand E1250. Get your free badge now. Can you afford not to attend? Driven by rising concerns over public and private sector safety, the access control market is set to be worth a substantial $8.6 billion by 2018. Register for IFSEC International 2017 to discover the latest products designed to protect your buildings, your assets, and your people.

Meet with leading access control suppliers, quiz them first hand on their latest products and see new technology in action.

Be part of this growing market register today

US regulator and healthcare sector fear medical device hacks

IoT The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and medical device makers are expecting more hacking attacks, according to an in-depth piece published by The Hill. Tens of millions of electronic health records have been compromised in recent years, with hospitals and health insurers hit by hackers. Now attention is turning to vulnerabilities in medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps that could make them susceptible to hacking.

The FDA is coordinating with other agencies on how to respond if a medical device hack were to occur. This is what we said to manufacturers; one should consider the environment a hostile environment, there are constant attempts at intrusion and they have to be hardened, said Suzanne Schwartz, associate director for science and strategic partnerships at the FDA s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Potentially fatal overdose In 2016, healthcare brand Johnson & Johnson told its customers that its insulin pumps had a security vulnerability that hackers could potentially use to access the device, which has a wireless controller, and cause a potentially fatal overdose of insulin. Wireless connection can be an easy access point for hackers. However, so far there have been no known cases of medical-device hacking causing patient harm, according to Zach Rothstein, associate vice president at the Advanced Medical Technology Association. Hackers can tap into a hospital, through an unsecured wireless printer, for example, and access the entire system, or take over a hospital s electronic records or lock them out of their website until a ransom is paid. In just the last few years we ve seen more than a hundred million health records of American citizens breached in a couple of well-publicised incidents, Terry Rice, vice president of IT risk management and chief information security officer at Merck & Company, told the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee recently. Rice, who sits on the Healthcare Industry Cybsecurity Task Force, believes the cybersecurity problem is significantly underreported in the healthcare industry. Reputational harm He also said organisations are unlikely to report security incidents if not required to do so because of the potential reputational harm that might occur.

The FDA says in its premarket guidance that it recognises that medical device security is a shared responsibility between stakeholders, including healthcare facilities, patients, providers, and manufacturers of medical devices. FDA guidance on medical devices also says manufacturers have an obligation to consider the cybersecurity of their devices during design and throughout the operating life of that device, potentially providing the basis for someone to allege that manufacturers have a duty to do more to secure devices. Information sharing can protect against hacking attempts. Healthcare providers, manufacturers and others are part of a group that update their defences against common threats, while congress and the industry both promote healthcare information sharing, to get it up to par with other industries, such as financial services. The problem is aggravated by the very low level of cybersecurity at hospitals in general lack of segregation and access rights, missing security patches and updates, missing or weak encryption, insecure authentication, default or weak passwords. Ilia Kolochenko, CEO, High-Tech Bridge Both the FDA and industry are hiring cybersecurity experts, with many companies also using coordinated disclosure where researchers or white hat hackers can report vulnerabilities directly to the company instead of making them public. The medical device industry, I would say in the last two-and-a-half years or so, has gone from general understanding of the issue, general participation to extreme awareness and participation in cybersecurity efforts, Rothstein said. Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company High-Tech Bridge says that ransomware, has not historically target hospitals and insurance firms, though he concedes that targeted attacks against healthcare institutions may increase in the near future as the victims usually have no other choice but to pay without a delay. The vulnerability of connected medical devices to hacking depends on various factors.

Such devices are usually made without any precaution in terms of information security but the hacker usually has to be near the device or at least inside of the hospital wireless network. However Kolochenko agrees these types of hacks could increase. He adds: The problem is aggravated by the very low level of cybersecurity at hospitals in general lack of segregation and access rights, missing security patches and updates, missing or weak encryption, insecure authentication, default or weak passwords. Connected medical devices should be strictly and severely regulated by governments, and their manufacturers should bear the liability for any negligence or carelessness during the manufacturing process otherwise medicine will become an extremely dangerous activity within the next decade. Ensure a solid security strategy at Borders & Infrastructure Expo Join other high-end security professionals at the launch of Borders & Infrastructure Expo, in conjunction with Europe s most renowned security event, IFSEC International, addressing your critical needs for large-scale security projects. By attending, you ll access leading security providers showcasing the latest advancements in both physical and cyber solutions. Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June 2017.

LA hospital ransomware payout shows astronomical cost of neglecting cyber threat

LA Hospital Ransomware Payout Shows Astronomical Cost Of Neglecting Cyber Threat

Interest in cyber security has rocketed in the last few years amid a torrent of hacks of major companies and government systems. From small businesses to the biggest corporate brands, no one is safe it seems, although the last few years have seen hospitals become a favourite target for hackers. This year a hospital s systems were even taken hostage by ransomware.

This is something we expected to see based on attacks on financial systems, Mike Ahmadi, global director of critical systems security for the Synopsys Software Integrity Group, told me. The reality is people don t just walk into banks anymore to rob them; they d rather just do it the comfort of their home whilst eating Cheetos. Ahmadi , a member of the US Department of Homeland Security Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group and part of the advisory board for the US Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, says one thing is for sure when it comes to cyber security trends: We re going to start to see a lot more malicious activity . One reasons why t s so easy to break into a system today is the power of the computer is so insane that passwords aren t even a challenge Ahmadi has been in the industry for a few years. He started in the medical industry and has since worked in industrial control systems, the automotive industry and recently started working with the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA), helping them figure out cyber security issues for nuclear facilities. One thing that has struck him during his career is a growth in awareness of the discipline. When I started working in cyber security in 2007 full-time and people asked what I did, he recalls, I would say cyber security and they didn t have a clue what that meant. Today when I say I work in cyber security, everyone knows what I m talking about. Additional opportunities As traditional crime rates continue to fall across the Western World (in contrast, it seems to the fear of crime), cybercrime seems to be heading in the other direction, while the internet of things is multiplying the vectors of possible attack.

The continued growth of technology and continued increase of power and computational power is going to create additional opportunities for hackers to break into systems. So why do the criminals seem to have the upper hand in what used to be called cyberspace, even as some traditional crimes, like burglary or armed robbery, are much less practical and worthwhile than they used to be? One of the main reasons it s so easy to break into a system today is the power of the computer is so insane that passwords aren t even a challenge, says Ahmadi. Nevertheless, growing awareness does not necessarily equate to taking the problem seriously. The software industry are really pushing back on any attempts to regulate them against cyber security issues, explains Ahmadi. If governments don t start mandating some sort of real responsibility for software companies, where many of the serious issues actually lie, I believe we may be facing a black-swan event. He believes we are getting closer to such a black-swan event a term popularised by Nicholas Nassim Taleb that means an event that is low probability, high impact and extremely difficult to predict. There will be at least one very big event that will be devastating. As much as I hope this doesn t happen, all the data seems to be pointing in that direction .

We ve done tests at some places where we ve seen you can take down an entire network of infusion pumps by just sending a couple of bad packets to the network. In early 2015, an LA hospital s entire internal computer system went down for more than a week by ransomware, which encrypted patient records and set the ransom for unlocking them at 9,000 bitcoins (almost $3.7m). It meant that the hospital was unable to access patient s records, having to revert to paper registrations and medical records and sending A&E patients to different hospitals as emergency rooms were unable to function properly. Though the systems affected were not actual medical devices, Ahmadi believes hackers were capable of doing so. We ve done tests at some places where we ve seen you can take down an entire network of infusion pumps by just sending a couple of bad packets to the network. Indicators Drawing an analogy with society s response to environmental crises, he says: We all knew pollution was getting bad, we knew about it for a long time, but by the time we started to do something on a global basis, it had grown to be huge problem. He continues: The thing that is interesting about black-swan events is that they re usually preceded by a bunch of indicators that something like this is coming we ve seen what s happening with security but the amount of action that people in the government are taking to solve the problem is nowhere near how bad the problems are getting . Ahmadi believes this is not entirely a technological problem; rather it s more of a policy and people problem. People don t want to spend the time or money, or make the change.

Unfortunately, it takes a major incident for real action to be taken. Organisations tend to be reactive rather than proactive. I was working with a major medical device manufacturer when their insulin pumps were hacked and because they faced such a huge PR issue and backlash about what happened, they put a lot of time, effort and money into fixing their problem and have now got to a point where there systems are really solid. Unfornately, the risk of anything happening in a single instance is so low it breeds complacency, even if the chances of things happening across thousands of instances is actually very high. Because we haven t had a black swan event yet, people always look at the numbers and risks and it looks like a fairly safe risk for them to take. They look at it and think: what are the odds of it happening? If you look at the numbers, the risk can be construed as being small.

I understand they re playing the odds, but if it happens, the consequences could be really huge.

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How to safeguard vital utilities from fire, terror and other security threats

Often located on large, remote sites, energy and power utilities are particularly vulnerable to attack. Damage or destruction of these critical facilities has the potential to not only severely disrupt daily life, but also threaten public health and even cause loss of life. Not only must these utilities safeguard assets, but they must also comply with exacting government standards, particularly for CPNI-classified locations.

With a range of power facilities encompassing power stations, multiple substations and the distribution network, and often operating in harsh environments and hazardous areas, there needs to be clear focus on mitigating proposed security risks and breaches, improving situational awareness and managing critical incidents. For utilities involved in nuclear power, both international recommendations and national regulations apply and are responsible for implementing the security guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as enacted under the UK s Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003. The UK Government Counter-Terrorist Response Levels system is adopted throughout the UK civil nuclear industry to ensure consistent baseline security measures are applied and that necessary incremental measures are implemented in response to a change in the terror threat. System design Compliance with, and implementation of, applicable legal requirements in health and safety, quality management and environmental protection are paramount in the energy utility environment. All projects must be risk-assessed at feasibility and design stage, with specific health, safety and environmental risk registers developed and maintained throughout the project lifecycle. Risk assessments and method statements should identify individual tasks and detail necessary controls to eliminate or minimise potential hazards. A whole lifecycle approach to system design is essential to deliver maximum safety, resilience, longevity and reliability. In particular, the adoption of industry standard devices and software platforms with common IT integration methods is essential to ensure the integration of both analogue and digital technologies and devices. A key requirement is to automate routine security and fire safety tasks.

Staff can concentrate on core business activities while protecting facilities and the distribution network with high performance risk-management systems based on the latest safety and security technologies. A typical project scope should encompass: Command and control across the estate; wide-area surveillance; video analytics; perimeter and site intrusion protection; access control for people, contractors and vehicles, including biometrics for specialist locations; alarm management; fire detection and extinguishing; phased emergency evacuation systems; lone worker monitoring and asset tracking. Information and intelligence Siemens approach is to implement layers of security and safety, starting at the perimeter to enable full control of the site, as well as monitor sensitive and hazardous areas. At the core of the system is an advanced software management platform that will integrate CCTV, video analytics, electric fencing, card access, fire protection, emergency evacuation and other multiple devices to deliver a single point for site-wide command and control. Integrated wide-area surveillance, automatic number plate recognition cameras, video analytics, robust perimeter alarms and intruder protection systems will confirm any unusual or suspicious activity and have a varying identification profile to address differing conditions, creating an intelligent electronic ring fence around the site. Effective site control is established by card access at key locations to monitor personnel activity and restrict unauthorised entry. Access control starts at the site entry points, controlling gates, barriers and road blockers with secure pedestrian access via turnstiles. This then enables accurate information for an evacuation roll call. Time zones and access zones can be configured to reflect site and operational conditions and biometrics can be implemented on high security areas to further verify the identity of individuals.

Energy and power facilities are particularly vulnerable as they extend over vast areas and can encompass a number of remote locations. It s not only difficult and expensive to safeguard large perimeters and fence lines, but the requirement for costly duct networks, together with associated power supplies and cabling infrastructure, places significant demands on available resources. Further cost efficiencies can be achieved by the adoption of solar-powered perimeter devices that utilise light, not just the sun, as their energy source and will remain powered for up to three months. Advanced fire safety For high level fire protection, fire safety systems should surpass the requirements of EN54 with superior detection, offering the earliest possible warning of fire. Detectors need to evaluate each situation minute by minute and take decisions on complex criteria, eliminating the potential for unwanted alarms and offering 100% reliability in critical locations where immediate and accurate fire detection is vital to life safety and business continuity. For sensitive and particularly demanding environments requiring an extremely high level of protection, and where immediate and accurate fire detection is vital to life safety, the adoption of aspirating smoke detection (ASD) will provide greater alarm certainty and false alarm immunity. Unlike conventional smoke detection, ASD actively draws smoke to the detector through boreholes within a piping system that runs throughout the protected area. This offers a significantly higher level of protection as standard systems can only respond if smoke can actually reach the detection element, which can be too late in critical environments. Emergency evacuation Working in tandem with high level fire detection are voice alarm systems that enable both automatic and live messaging to alert all personnel to any fire incident.

These assist in the phased, orderly and safe evacuation from multi-level, multi-occupancy buildings and should be fully integrated into the fire safety solution to provide high level protection. Research has proven that in an emergency, people will react without confusion or panic if they receive a clear, intelligible message. In many instances people hear the warning bell or sounders, but they are unsure if it is a real emergency and unclear about what action to take. They may even continue with their activities and ignore the alert. This can lead to significant delays in ensuring the area is evacuated. Voice alarm systems ensure that people are informed via the spoken word, either live or pre-recorded, about what is happening and what action to take. Clear messaging assists in evacuating all personnel safely, quickly and efficiently as they are aware of the nature of the emergency. It is vital that life-critical systems are fully supported by engineering teams who are trained to identify and interpret customer specifications, CDM requirements, relevant legislation and British standards, and the impact on health, safety and the environment. High level security and fire safety solutions save lives and protect organisations and reputations.

Furthermore, they ensure business continuity across the UK s vital services. Free download covering legal requirements for responsible persons under the FSO, courtesy of the IOSH, BIFM and USHA approved UK provider of health, safety and environmental information. Key features: A full breakdown of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 The key actions when dealing with fire precautions & protection A complete guide to maintaining procedures and requirements within your organisation.

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Belkin Energy Saving Valet USB Charging Station

Belkin Energy Saving Valet USB Charging Station

List Price

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  • Charger type: Indoor
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  • Cable length: 1.3 m
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Benefit With SIA Training for CCTV Operators – Singapore Business …

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Surveillance research performed in cities, especially crime prone areas, recommend that CCTV Autos May No Longer Be Allowed To Issue Fines2 setting up CCTV cameras act as a crime deterrent, and media reports advise a marked lessen in the variety of crime situations reported from places the place CCTV cameras are operational.

5. Alert techniques: Message or e mail, CCTV Autos Might No Extended Be Allowed To Issue Fines3 motion detection

Offline recording and storing demands challenging disk room, which can maybe ordered according to your requirements. Some tough disks array from 500 GB all the way to two TB and could allow you to shop your video information for up to 12 months.

CCTV surveillance cameras are widely accepted by residence owners all in excess of the globe as a extremely productive and practical way to reduce the likelihood of any loss or harm of residence due to crimes such as theft, burglaries and vandalisms.

Superior CCTV Cameras make use of HD megapixel or analog cameras along with a network or digital video clip recorder in compliance to the requirements of the consumer. This kind of system will enable a man or woman to closely keep track of different components of the house 24 hours a day. With CCTV programs placed strategically all in excess of your house, you will have comprehensive peace of thoughts.

CCTV Cameras can be utilised indoors and outside.

If you want to deter or scare away criminals from your residence, then use CCTV outside Cameras! Thieves will hesitate or consider twice about breaking inside your house after they recognize that you have outside security camera systems set up on your home.

Thanks to advancements in technology, folks can now uncover newer, better and much more advanced sorts of CCTV security cameras on the industry. These sorts of camera techniques are outfitted with functions that cater to a specific sort of need for instance hidden CCTV cameras for individuals who want to keep track of distinct places of their residence in a discreet method.

Furthermore, regardless of being equipped with innovative functions, CCTV security camera programs are really cost-effective and effortless to use as well. As a matter of truth, virtually everybody can afford to purchase one particular for their home. You can have a CCTV surveillance camera up and operating appropriate following acquiring it.

See how it is handy for you?

CCTV Cameras are obtainable in two diverse classes: wired and wireless. Although the most clear variation amongst both programs lies on the use and non-use of wires, there are other things that make them distinctive from each other as nicely. Wired cameras are usually outfitted with advanced features but they are bulky and challenging to set up and set up on your personal.

You will have to hire somebody to install it in your home which indicates further costs for you.

Wireless CCTV cameras, on the other hand, are very consumer pleasant and effortless to install.


  1. ^ A Advice to Pick CCTV Camera (
  2. ^ CCTV Autos May No Longer Be Allowed To Issue Fines (
  3. ^ CCTV Autos Might No Extended Be Allowed To Issue Fines (

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Surveillance growing rapidly in SE Asia

Surveillance growing rapidly in SE Asia Credit: Wikimedia, creative commons licence, Rungbachduong The surveillance industry in SE Asia is growing, according to a new market report, and Vietnam is growing faster than the rest of the region. However with a relatively undeveloped economy and infrastructure, the state is starting at a low base with just a 10% market share. Network video is already believed to outnumber analogue surveillance systems in Vietnam.

Investment in the region as a whole is increasing, with Bosch opening a new office in the Philippines last August. Speaking to local newspaper the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Wilfred Steeman, vice president of sales for Asia Pacific, said: As we see the country is growing and the need for our products gets bigger and bigger, we decided to start investing here in our own company and establish our tech support departments locally here in the country to support our security, safety, and our communications businesses. In June this year they followed this up by opening a state of the art new training centre designed to improve technical skills in the region.

The South East Asia market doesn t include the powerhouse Chinese market, which last month was touted as the largest physical security market in the world, but does include countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. Singapore and Malaysia are among the relatively developed markets in the region, but of the emerging markets Vietnam leads the way with a predicted annual growth rate of 22.3% between 2010 and 2015 in the video surveillance market. The overall GDP growth was 7.7% in 2010 driven by industry and construction.

The country has set its sights on becoming a modernised country by 2012. IMS Research report author, Cherry Li, who revealed the Vietnam surveillance growth figures said that the biggest priorities for the nation are transportation, energy, irrigation and urban development. She added: Import tax has been as high as 30-35% in Vietnam; therefore many European and American manufacturers did not focus on this market.

After entering the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Vietnam has reduced import tax, which has attracted more companies to this market.

Most of the governmental projects use network video surveillance systems; therefore the network equipment market is forecast to exceed the analogue market by 2012 in Vietnam.

A familiar tale as countries with less legacy security systems move past the tipping-point for network systems much faster than countries in North America and Europe.

Amcu won't accept responsibility for security guard deaths | News …

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa has refused to accept responsibility for the deaths of Lonmin security guards at the hands of striking workers. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa refused to accept responsibility for the deaths of Lonmin security guards at the hands of striking workers, some of whom belonged to his union.

During cross-examination by legal counsel for the deceased security guards Tshepiso Ramphele at the Farlam commission, Mathunjwa said, “We regret the loss of life but we can t take responsibility because this was the workers’ strike, not the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s strike. As a union you can t divorce yourself from the actions of your members, but it doesn t mean you agree with them.”

Mathunjwa added that as Amcu they spoke against the violent acts committed by the strikers despite not having the security to ensure that their lives would not be endangered in the process. He said the union had set up a trust fund for the benefit of the families of the deceased regardless of their union affiliation.

Mathunjwa faced a succession of lawyers on Tuesday, some of whom seemed to fumble through their questions, while others seemed to cross-examine him for the purpose of upholding alliances.

In the latter group, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza (representing some of the estranged families), spent much of the morning seemingly correcting what could be interpreted as damaging aspects of a print article chronicling the rise of Amcu, perhaps to show a pattern of abuse of power in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Mathunjwa, a former chairperson of the local branch of the union while employed at Douglas Colliery, was expelled from the organisation for leading an apparently unprotected strike in which the mine’s underground section was occupied for 10 days. When the dust settled, Mathunjwa s membership was terminated without a fair hearing, as he refused to sit in a hearing chaired by Gwede Mantashe, with whom he had clashed previously.

Ntsebeza also asked Mathunjwa questions whose purpose was to contextualise the carrying of traditional weapons cultural settings, with the aim to present the workers less dangerous than how they were portrayed by other legal teams. At some point he likened the singing of Le Num sizoyibulala kanjani to the behaviour of fans at the football stadium.

Others who sought to cross-examine Mathunjwa, like Takalani Masevhe, who represents the family of Tsietsi Monene, one of the slain policemen, seemed content to cover ground already extensively dealt with by the other lawyers.

Masevhe s main argument was that Mathunjwa acted irresponsibly by not warning the police that a looming threat was coming after one of the workers told his gathered colleague that they would finish the police off .

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union legal counsel Louis Gumbi did not fare much better, repeatedly asking Mathunjwa whether he set up meetings and released press statement to condemn the episodic incidents of violence in the period leading up to August 16.

Mathunjwa responded by saying that he had tried to get management to meet with all the stakeholders and that he did call a press conference on August 14 once he had all the information relating to the incidents.

Mathunjwa s cross-examination by advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the injured and formerly arrested miners, will continue next week.