government

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.

This guide provides an overview of the need to know information for fire detection and alarm systems and your legal requirements, key actions, key terms and more.

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Global anti-drone market to be worth $1,205 million by 2025

A study, published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), predicts the anti-drone market worldwide to be worth $1,205 million by 2025. Players, big and small, joining the global anti-drone market suggests a dynamic and competitive industry in the coming years, according to the report. The emergence of start-ups with innovative technologies and approaches is expected to disrupt the market and intensify competition among manufacturers of anti-drones in the future.

A report by TMR evaluated the global anti-drone market to be worth $214.7 million in 2016. The market is expected to grow with a 19.9% compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2025. Government and military dominate the end-user segments with the military predicted to grow rapidly among all end-use segments, followed by the government. In terms of anti-drone technologies, neutralizing systems held the leading share in the market in 2016. North America is expected to display the leading growth over the forecast period. Firms operating in the global anti-drone market include Blighter Surveillance Systems, Dedrone Detect, Droneshield, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corporation, SAAB and Theiss UAV Solutions. Free Download: The security drones report 2017 The global security drones market will be worth $10.5bn ( 8bn) by 2020 . This report commissioned by Aviat Drones examines the prevalence, growth prospects , applications and regulatory challenges of drones and anti-drone tech in the global security market. Find out how you can benefit from this lucrative market .

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Residential landlords still haven t learned Grenfell lessons especially in social housing, survey reveals

Fewer than one in four (23%) private landlords have been in touch with tenants to discuss fire safety measures since the Grenfell Tower fire and even fewer social landlords have done likewise. Three months on from the fire, which killed at least 80 people, only 10% of tenants in social housing say they have been contacted by the landlords about fire safety. That s one of the headline findings of a survey released to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week (25 September-1 October), and the results seem to demonstrate the need for such a campaign.

Some 39% of tenants polled said they had seen fire doors propped open and 21% had noticed damage to their building s fire doors. Forty percent of renters said there is no clear fire escape route displayed. Of the 18% that have reported a fire safety infringement or concern to their landlord, almost a quarter (24%) waited weeks for a response. It is astounding to learn that in the last three months so little has been done to address the concerns of tenants and residents. Hannah Mansell, spokesperson, Fire Door Safety Week A majority (55%) say they feel uninformed about what they should do in the event of a fire and about one in four (24%) feel more anxious about living in a rented apartment since the Grenfell Tower fire. This new research shows that landlords and building owners still have a long way to go meet their fire safety responsibilities, said Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week. It is astounding to learn that in the last three months so little has been done to address the concerns of tenants and residents. Misunderstood The role and importance of fire doors remains widely misunderstood, believes Mansell, who is also BWF technical manager, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children s Burns Trust. Many people do not realise that the real job of a fire door is to hold back fire, smoke and toxic gases, delaying the spread around a building and keeping the vital means of escape route clear.

They only work properly if they are specified, manufactured, installed and maintained correctly and, of course, closed when a fire breaks out. This is especially important in high rise buildings, houses of multiple occupancy and other types of shared sleeping accommodation. Checking fire doors should be part of a regular fire-risk assessment. This should examine all aspects of fire safety management, including active and passive fire protection measures, signage, means of escape and the specific fire plan procedures. Mansell who has spoken to IFSEC Global more extensively about the fire safety landscape believes better education and greater transparency are essential to effect meaningful change. Crystal clarity There needs to be crystal clarity about the responsible person and a total transformation of attitude towards fire safety of tenants in rented accommodation. Our focus for Fire Door Safety Week in this pivotal year is to ensure all landlords and tenants have the knowledge and resources they need to stay safe. Dany Cotton, London Fire Commissioner, oversaw the fire and rescue service s response at Grenfell Tower. London Fire Brigade fully supports Fire Door Safety Week, she said.

This is an important campaign which drives home the potentially life-saving role that fire doors play in buildings, especially residential buildings such as tower blocks. It is extremely concerning that the lives of the public and our firefighters are still being put at risk by poorly maintained fire doors and people acting irresponsibly by removing self-closers or by keeping doors wedged open. We do what we can to advise the building owner, but it s time for the responsible person to really step up. Paul Fuller CBE, chief fire officer, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Good fire doors help stop fires from spreading. Fires that spread put more lives at risk and I would urge everyone to check that their fire doors are properly maintained and kept shut. Remember they don t just protect you, but everybody in the building. Paul Fuller CBE, chief fire officer of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and chairman of the Fire Sector Federation says: It is simple. Proper fire doors save lives, but only if they are correctly made and installed, and certainly not if they are wedged open or in disrepair. Too often our officers walk into a building and see fire doors in an appalling state.

We do what we can to advise and enforce the responsibilities of a building owner, but it is time for the responsible person to really step up. That s why we are supporting Fire Door Safety Week. There can be no excuse; all the resources you need to promote door safety are there on the website and free to download. Fire Door Safety Week is run by the BWF, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in partnership with the Government s Fire Kills campaign. On 30 August the Government issued fresh advice for tenants and residents on steps to take if they have any concerns about fire safety in their building: In the first instance, contact the landlord or building owner with any concerns. If still concerned and not receiving reassurance, then contact the relevant local authority or local fire and rescue service for advice. IFSEC Global is proud to support Fire Door Safety Week, which runs from 25 September to 1 October. You can pledge your support for the campaign here, and by tweeting under the hashtag #FireDoorSafetyWeek and sharing or using the wealth of resources found in the campaign s toolkit which includes a downloadable Responsible Person poster. The site also includes advice aimed at fire and health and safety professionals.

Related Topics A rogue s gallery of fire doors unworthy of the name (and perfectly good ones rendered useless) We re often dealing with decades of neglect : Hannah Mansell on fire doors and the post-Grenfell rush to improve fire safety Watch: The consequences of badly specified and fitted fire doors plus 5 tips for getting it right

Aluminium composite cladding with fire-retardant polyethylene filler and phenolic foam insulation fails BRE tests

Grenfell fallout Aluminium composite material cladding with a fire-retardant polyethylene filler and phenolic foam insulation has failed fire tests conducted by BRE. The tests have also identified 22 buildings over 18 metres tall in England that are fitted with this variety of cladding. Cladding samples from each of these buildings also failed combustibility tests.

Results of the latest tests, which were conducted in BRE s Burn Hall, mean the cladding does not conform to building regulations guidance BR135, according to the government s independent expert advisory panel launched in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. The BRE (Building Research Establishment) has been testing a variety of cladding types, to ascertain how various types of cladding panels respond to fire in combination with various types of insulation. The death of at least 80 people in the Grenfell blaze has been at least partly attributed to the rapid combustibility of cladding installed during a refurbishment of the west London tower block in 2016. The fire-retardant polyethylene filler was found to be category 2 in screening tests. The Department for Communities & Local Government will shortly publish final results for the final cladding test for aluminium composite cladding with a limited combustibility filler with mineral wool insulation along with advice to landlords based on findings from all seven large-scale tests.

Security Alliance of South Africa

The Security Industry Alliance is an Alliance of Security Associations in South Africa. As the united voice for this industry, SIA plays a key role in communicating common interest to our members this includes electronic manufacturers, service providers and distributors across the entire spectrum which includes locksmiths and in house security. The Security industry in South Africa is the fastest growing industry in terms of new businesses being established.

The Security Industry Alliance (SIA) is an active dynamic body which represents the interests of the Industry at all levels. SIA has been instrumental in creating submissions to Government on numerous topics affecting the interest of the Industry; SIA is committed to maintaining its watchdog status and representative role for the entire Industry. SIA chief executive officer Steve Conradie takes the issue of interaction with Government very seriously.

I aim to build bridges with Government departments.

It makes sense that we should work together, after all we have the same objectives.

There must be a properly regulated Industry with a positive image and SIA aims to be the vehicle which will achieve this noble goal.

UK government issues cybersecurity guidelines for connected cars

Cyber The Department for Transport has published cybersecurity guidelines for manufacturers of smart or connected cars. Written with help from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the principles implore everyone in the automotive supply chain to collaborate during the design process and over software upgrades and maintenance long after cars hit the road. The authorities are concerned about the prospect of older vehicles running outdated software.

As cars become increasingly automated and ultimately, driverless the stakes will rise. Last year ethical hackers managed to wrest control of a Tesla Model S while the car was moving and slam on the brakes (see how they did it in the video below). Attacks can even inject malicious code into the electronic control units (ECUs) and controller-area-network (CAN) bus, which control critical systems such as electric steering and braking. Mark Noctor, VP EMEA, Arxan Technologies The eight principles, which were launched by transport minister Lord Callanan, follow: Organisational security is owned, governed and promoted at board level Security risks are assessed and managed appropriately and proportionately, including those specific to the supply chain Organisations need product aftercare and incident response to ensure systems are secure over their lifetime All organisations, including sub-contractors, suppliers and potential 3rd parties, work together to enhance the security of the system Systems are designed using a defence-in-depth approach The security of all software is managed throughout its lifetime The storage and transmission of data is secure and can be controlled The system is designed to be resilient to attacks and respond appropriately when its defences or sensors fail embedded content Connecting to WiFi and external devices via Bluetooth, Modern cars are increasingly smart . The communications and entertainment systems are particularly vulnerable to attack, and can be reverse engineered to access the API libraries that facilitate data sharing between systems, says Mark Noctor, VP EMEA at Arxan Technologies. From here attacks can even inject malicious code into the electronic control units (ECUs) and controller-area-network (CAN) bus, which control critical systems such as electric steering and braking. Preventing application code from being accessed and tampered is one of the biggest priorities in protecting a connected vehicle, and it is encouraging to see the government s guidelines specifically list the ability to protect code and ensure its integrity as key principles. Manufacturers must deploy code hardening measures to prevent attackers from accessing their source code and removing vital data such as cryptographic keys which can be used to access other systems. Anti-tampering measures should be hidden in the code to alert them if the code has been changed, and prevent systems from starting if alterations are detected.

The government announced the Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Bill, which will allow innovation to flourish and ensure the next wave of self-driving technology is invented, designed and operated safely in the UK , during the Queens Speech in June. The outcome of recent efforts by the US government to engage with US automakers over the issue do not augur well. Asked by a Senate committee if they supported mandatory privacy and safety standards, executives from Google, General Motors, Delphi and Lyft were evasive. Free Download: the Cyber Security Crashcourse This report contains 40 slides packed with insight into the trends shaping the industry and how you can protect yourself. Eric Hansleman from 451 Research presents a rapid-fire overview of cyber security.

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Number of high-rises failing fire safety tests grows

Grenfell fire Tests are taking place on the fire resistance of cladding on up to 600 buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington on 14 June. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said all buildings examined so far had failed the test. Most concern Councils were told to prioritise buildings they had most concern over.

Not all the buildings affected have so far been named but a list from the DCLG identifies 14 of the areas: 1. Camden five buildings 2. Brent one 3. Barnet three 4. Hounslow one 5. Islington one 6. Lambeth one 7. Wandsworth two 8. Manchester four 9.

Norwich one 10. Plymouth three 11. Portsmouth two 12. Doncaster one 13. Sunderland five 14. Stockton-on-Tees three Separately, cladding is to be removed from nine tower blocks in Salford, while Bootle said two buildings had cladding that failed tests. The update came as Camden Council said it had told about 200 residents still refusing to vacate four of its tower blocks on the Chalcots estate that they must leave to allow improvement works to go ahead. The majority of the residents of the four buildings were evacuated on Friday night. The cladding on the buildings in the Chalcots estate is similar to Grenfell Tower where the fire is feared to have killed 79 people.

Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the firm, Rydon; the same firm that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16. The government testing programme began on 21 June with the local authorities asked to submit cladding for examination. Patrols The Local Government Association (LGA) said some councils have introduced 24-hour warden patrols to mitigate the risk before cladding is removed. It said in a statement: Where cladding fails the test, this will not necessarily mean moving residents from tower blocks. In Camden, the decision to evacuate was based on fire inspectors concerns about a combination of other fire hazards together with the cladding. The LGA said it was advising councils still waiting for results of tests to prepare contingency plans so they can take any measures needed quickly . Immediate testing Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the Grenfell Tower fire started in a Hotpoint fridge freezer within a flat on the fourth floor; the government has ordered immediate testing of the appliance. Police said the fire had not been started deliberately and the speed with which the fire spread was unexpected . Anyone who has a white Hotpoint fridge freezer model number FF175BP or graphite fridge freezer model number FF175BG have been advised to register their appliance with the manufacturer to receive any updates.

The original article was published on our sister site, SHP Online Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Multiple approvals for British and EU markets would cost the fire industry millions of pounds

FIREX 2017 IFSEC Global caught up with former Royal Navy firefighter Ian Moore about the FIA s new engineering qualifications, the innovations on show at FIREX 2017, his forthcoming talk at Europe s largest fire-safety show, and the need for a holistic approach to fire safety. Ian joined the FIA in September 2015 as the new CEO. Previously to this Ian was the Managing Director of several companies operating in the fire and security industry the most recent being Elmdene International and as a Vice President of Potter Signal.

Recently Chairman of the BSIA Export Council and BSIA Operating Board, member of several fire and security committees, he has a wealth of experience to bring. Having lived in Oman, Taiwan and UAE, Ian also brings strong International experience to support any export activities of the FIA and its members. IFSEC Global: How did you first become involved with fire safety? Ian Moore: Coming from being a weapons engineer in the Royal Navy, I misread the advertisement and thought it said Fire Arms and not Fire Alarms ! In all seriousness, I was fully trained as a firefighter in the Royal Navy and had responsibility on various ships for the fire detection, alarm and sprinkler systems fitted thought the ammunition magazines. Upon leaving the forces, it was by chance I saw the advertisement and the rest, as they say, is history. IG: Could you briefly outline what you plan to cover at FIREX? IM: The FIA s overriding message is that of raising the bar on professionalism. We believe by individual s professional qualifications and companies audited by a third party is the only way to ensure this happens.

In addition we want to promote what the FIA can do for its members which is multifaceted. IG: How much of an impact do you think the new FIA engineering qualifications will have on the skills crisis? IM: I believe it will have a huge impact as does most of the industry given the comments we have received during a recent market survey. We need to make the fire industry attractive to young entrants into the job market and having a formal qualification gained through training is a big step towards that goal. With the potential of a reduction in European skilled labour (due to BREXIT), it is very much the right time to be introducing these qualifications so that we do not get to a crisis point (although many would say we are at that point already). IG: What impact do you think Brexit might have on the fire industry and is there anything the industry can do to prepare or protect itself? IM: Brexit means different things to different companies and cannot be rounded off as good or bad. Once we know the true deals then companies will navigate themselves towards the best for them and their offering. Standards and compliance (specifically to EN) is critical and it is important Government/BSI ensure we don t end up in a position that manufacturers need multiple approvals to cover British and EU markets this would cost the industry millions of pounds in wasted fees/costs.

IG: Are there any recent fire safety innovations that you re particularly excited about? IM: There are a few and they will be on shown during FIREX. To name one that comes to mind, given that I have an imminent meeting on the subject, is Coltraco s constant monitoring of liquefied and non-liquefied gaseous extinguishing systems and water/air-tight integrity by using ultrasonic technology. It s great to see innovation, not just for innovation s sake, but something that can a make a real difference in ensuring life/property safety systems you are relying on are ready to deliver when required. IG: Is there anything that hasn t be spoken about in this Q&A that you think is important to get out to the public? IM: I believe we should always have a holistic view when it comes to fire safety. Each company will obviously promote their products/services as the right solution. Commercial decisions often reduce the option to fit belt and braces so the best solution for the money is sought. Getting a professional risk assessment will go a long way to guiding on the options so spend the time and money in ensuring you get the best advice/guidance as it will save you in the long run and will increase your chances of fitting an effective life /property safety solution.

See Ian Speak at FIREX 2017. Register for the event here. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas. From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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GAO WEST NILE VIRUS OUTBREAK.

Lessons for Public Health …

Transcription

1 GAO United States General Accounting Office Report to Congressional Requesters September 2000 WEST NILE VIRUS OUTBREAK Lessons for Public Health Preparedness GAO/HEHS

Parliamentary report flags concerns about technical skills shortage

security skills crisis A new parliamentary report is urging the government to prioritise efforts to get young people to take up apprenticeships in sectors requiring higher value technical skills, such as electrotechnical. Electrotechnical skillsets are required in a range of security industry professions, including access control, retail security and fire safety alarm systems and CCTV engineering. The electrical industry and its various sub-sectors faces a skills shortage, according to the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), which recently conducted a survey of its members and found that nearly half all businesses participating expect to see a skills shortage from 2018.

ECA s director of employment and skills Alex Meikle said: It s widely accepted that engineering disciplines, such as electrotechnical, face an ongoing skills shortage. This threatens to derail broader government efforts to develop a highly skilled, highly paid workforce. The ECA provided written evidence to the inquiry which produced the report, stating that government apprenticeship funding policy risked targeting investment at short duration, lower value apprenticeships, which are easier to deliver, rather than technical, longer duration, higher value apprenticeships. Supporting the ECA s assertion, the report has found that the the current balance of apprenticeship funding provision is skewed towards sectors with low wage returns and few skills shortages . Engineers of tomorrow We urge the government to ensure SMEs have the funding they need to train up the electricians and engineers of tomorrow, said Meikle. The apprenticeships report was compiled by a joint inquiry of the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee and the Education Committee, led by Hartlepool MP Iain Wright and Stroud MP Neil Carmichael. The ECA is the UK s largest trade association representing electrical, electrotechnical and other engineering contractors, from regional to European level. Member companies are rigorously assessed before membership is approved. The fire and security industry appears to have woken up to the grave consequences if the skills crisis is left unaddressed.

A ground-breaking apprenticeship standard for the fire and security sector was launched a few weeks ago. And John Battersby, MD of Sunfish Services, recently argued on this site that a formal engineering qualification was key to remedying the problem. Visit Europe s leading security event in June 2017 Visit IFSEC International for exclusive access to every security product on the market, live product demonstrations and networking with thousands of security professionals. From access control and video surveillance to smart buildings, cyber, border control and so much more. It is the perfect way to keep up to date, protect your business and enhance your career in the security industry.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June 2017.