Housing

Fire safety in prisons: When theory and practice slip their handcuffs

Just weeks after the Grenfell Tower disaster in June the newly elected Kensington and Chelsea Deputy Council leader, Kim Taylor-Smith, told the BBC that despite being a member of the council s Housing Scrutiny Committee for over a year, he was unaware of residents repeated warnings about fire safety in the building. It seemed utterly unbelievable, but if my further investigations into fire safety in prisons is anything to go by, it could well have been true. The councillor said: I was on a committee that was responsible for safety, we take steps in order to ensure safety, sometimes that doesn t work the whole issue of how we scrutinised is obviously the issue we are having to look at we will have to change.

Since 1982 HM Prisons Inspectorate (HMIP) has had the task of inspecting our prisons and in 35 years they have come a long way. Most people involved in prisons today can name Peter Clarke as the current Chief Inspector of Prisons, probably Nick Hardwick before him, maybe Anne Owers, David Ramsbotham and perhaps even Stephen Tumim before that but who can name the first two Chief Inspectors of Prisons? While HMIP was slow to get off the ground it has gathered pace, focus and professionalism since its creation but it remains seriously defective in major areas. Today, when HMIP inspects prisons it does not inspect them for fire safety that is the task of the Crown Premises Fire Inspection Group, (CPFIG) a little-known statutory inspectorate sitting quietly inside the Home Office. CPFIG did not copy a single one of the 19 cases of statutory fire safety notices issued a cross a 12-month period to the Prisons Inspectorate CPFIG, unlike HMIP, does not publish a single one of its prison fire safety reports online and, despite inspecting fire safety conditions in all prison establishments, premises which are totally immune from prosecution see page 3, it is not a member of the 21-strong National Preventive Mechanism, a body owing obligations to the United Nations (led by HMIP in the UK) that exists to monitor conditions in places of detention. No doubt it was as a result of recognising this dangerous gap between HMIP and CPFIG that the last Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, now chairman of the Parole Board, in January 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two inspectorates. It set out clearly how the two inspectorates will work together and communicate with each other, so vitally important was this deemed to be that section seven of the MOU was devoted to it in detail. The MOU makes clear both HMI Prisons and CPFIG are committed to sharing information relevant to the safety of staff members or prisoners with each other. Trigger questions It accepts that both inspectorates may receive information during their own inspections which can be relevant to the statutory responsibility of the other, and they agreed a system supporting what they called the meaningful exchange of risk information to share that information and not just information but training too.

It was agreed that CPFIG would provide the Prisons Inspectorate with what it called trigger questions , which could assist HMI Prisons inspectors to identify potential fire safety concerns during their own inspections. Moreover CPFIG would provide the necessary fire-related awareness training for HMI Prisons inspectors, so they could interpret the answers to their fire-safety trigger questions so enabling them to identify matters that potentially affect the safety of prisoners and staff. HMIP agreed that if they found reason during one of its own inspections to suspect that there is unnecessary risk to people from fire within an establishment, HMIP would notify CPFIG of their concerns and in return CPFIG agreed that if it found poor management of safety or apparent concerns about the conditions for prisoners at custodial premises, they would advise HMIP of their concerns. Both accepted that the ongoing safety of persons in prisons was, said the MOU, paramount . In the year to June 2017 CPFIG conducted 19 fire safety inspections in prisons in England and Wales. My previous investigation into fire safety in prisons found that, in 100% of those inspections, CPFIG found fire safety failing so serious that they placed the lives of prisoners, staff, contractors and visitors at risk and resulted, in all 19 prisons, in the issuance of statutory Non-Compliance Notices (NCN) and, in four cases, Crown Enforcement Notices (CEN) too. These are clearly serious matters of substance, that had the MOU been followed, either in letter or even simply in spirit, would have immediately resulted in CPFIG informing HMIP of each of these failures right? Wrong. A Freedom of Information Act response from CPFIG, dated 4 September 2017, reveals that CPFIG did not copy a single one of the 19 cases of statutory fire safety notices issued across a 12-month period to the Prisons Inspectorate.

The MOU failure to comply with the MOU started just months after it was signed. CPFIG found fire safety failings so serious they served the prison with an NCN, giving it just 28 days to correct numerous fire safety defects What is equally worrying is that no-one in the Prisons Inspectorate ever asked questions either. The right hand of the Prisons Inspectorate was blind to what the left hand across at CPFIG was doing despite their written agreement underpinned by their dual belief that safety was paramount . In the middle of this ignorance were the lives and safety of tens of thousands of people living, working and visiting these 19 prison establishments amid dangers to which the Prisons Inspectorate, like the Housing Scrutiny Committee that covered Grenfell Tower, were completely oblivious. This failure to communicate resulted in the ludicrous situation in July this year when the Prisons Inspectorate published an inspection report of HM Prison Coldingley in which it concluded that, when judged against the Healthy Prisons Safety test, Coldingley was a reasonably safe prison little knowing that it was anything but safe. And they ought to have known CPFIG certainly did. Serious defects Just 26 days after Peter Clarke marched his Prison Inspectorate team out of HMP Coldingley, on 3 March 2017 convinced it was safe, CPFIG came knocking on the Coldingley Gate and found fire safety failings so serious they served the prison with an NCN giving it just 28 days to correct the numerous fire safety defects it found. Serious defects that included: The procedure is not always followed for removing cigarette lighters and matches from prisoners in Segregation who appear to be at increased risk of self-harming through fire. Normal and/or emergency lighting doesn t provide sufficient illumination to implement the Cell Fire Response plan including the removal of a prisoner from the cell.

The measures to reduce the spread of fire and smoke were inadequate. There was insufficient evidence available to demonstrate the effectiveness of the smoke control arrangements for E wing after it was confirmed to have extraction only. The generic cell fire response plan was not suitable for the circumstances in which prisoners are not locked in their cells. The training package delivered to staff does not provide sufficient practical instruction on the use of Inundation equipment. An insufficient number of prison staff members working in residential wings were in date with their training in Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) wearing. The number of trained prison response staff members available was not always sufficient to implement the cell fire response plan effectively. The fire safety measures were not always being tested and maintained in good condition and effective working order. It is clear now that CPFIG never copied HMIP into any of these fire safety defects nor into any of the other 19 fire safety NCN and CEN s it served in the year to June 2017 either. But why didn t the CPFIG training of HMIP Inspectors in fire safety, provided for in the MOU signed 14 months before the Coldingley inspection, allow HMIP inspectors to pick up on the serious fire safety defects at Coldingley themselves?

Sources tell me it is because no such fire awareness training by CPFIG of HMIP has ever taken place. The combined failure to train, and communicate the vital fire safety failings CPFIG found at Coldingley, allowed HMIP to publish, in July 2017, a wholly misleading report declaring HMP Coldingley to be safe, when CPFIG knew it was anything but safe. What is the point of having a MOU if neither side takes a blind bit of notice about its terms? Didn t anyone in the Prisons Inspectorate even think to ask, after a year of silence, why they had neither been trained nor advised of any fire safety concerns, as the MOU provides for, by their CPFIG partners over at the Home Office? Did no one at CPFIG pick up on the fact that by failing to train HMIP inspectors, and to disclose any of these 19 prison fire safety notices to the Prisons Inspectorate, they were consistently breaching the terms of the MOU? And if not, why not? These are serious issues, they are not some minor technical defect, but real life and death safety issues where, either through incompetence or complicity, the two organisations are not speaking to each other as they have both specifically agreed to do in a jointly signed document. This month, September 2017, HMIP published a new edition of its Expectations document, going forward it is the document on which future prison inspections will be grounded. HMIP make clear on page six of this document that they employ a clear and coordinated whole-prison approach that ensures prisoners feel and are safe but that simply is not true.

HMIP, despite the contents of its MOU with CPFIG, routinely ignores fire safety. This has to stop. Systematic failure The Prisons Inspectorate exist to inspect prisons that means all four corners of it and everything within it. Inspecting a prison isn t an al a carte menu where they can decide what parts of the prison they want to inspect, such as food or cleanliness, but ignore vitally important other areas such as fire safety. The systemic failure of the MOU between HMIP and CPFIG reveals that a new system of working is urgently required if lives are not to be lost. There were 2,580 fires in our prisons last year, that s almost 50 blazes a week. Our prisons detain people with serious mental health issues, those who self-harm by starting fires, as well as those convicted of arson; the dangerous risk factors are as clear as they are gross. Yet those with specific statutory responsibilities for them and who have agreed to work together are ignoring them. We need a Prisons Inspectorate that shoulders the full burden of responsibility for the entirety of prison inspections, not one where when it comes to fire safety it can conveniently slope that shoulder in the direction of CPFIG, claiming fire safety in prisons is their bag.

Prison Inspections is HMIP s bag and the sooner they realise it the better. What we need is an urgent inquiry by the Justice Committee in Parliament into the whole subject of prison inspections. One that demands answers as to: Why so many HMIP recommendations are routinely ignored year after year in today s report on Bullingdon Prison, 70% of recommendations made two years ago have still not been implemented? Why HMIP never concern themselves with fire safety? Why HMIP never ask CPFIG why they have not had the training the MOU provides for? Why CPFIG do not tell them of fire safety notices served on prisons and why they never ask? The lives of 86,000 prisoners, 32,000 staff and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year are being put at risk because HMIP are just not fit for purpose.

I want to hear Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, repeat the words of Kim Taylor-Smith: We will have to change or are we to sit back and allow Grenfell Tower to become the lesson we all tragically failed to heed?

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.

Fire doorsets: How do we know that the fire safety measures we put in place are compliant?

Gerda As a responsible person under the RR(FS)O, we want to know that the fire safety measures we put in place are compliant, perform and are durable. Furthermore we want to show that we have done our homework accordingly. This paper highlights how this can be achieved with the focus on fire doorsets.

Fire doorsets are an integral part of compartmentation in buildings. Legislation and guidance point towards designed and fully tested doorsets: Replacement with suitable, purpose-designed and tested doorset constructions is always preferable A fire doorset s function may differ dependent on the type of doorset. A flat entrance doorset will require different test standards to that of a cross corridor doorset. For the housing provider/specifier it is important to check the test report data be it fire resistance (EN1634-1/BS476 pt 22), smoke control (EN1634-3 / BS476 pt 31) security (PAS24 or similar with BS6375) , acoustics (EN ISO 10140-2) thermal insulation (EN ISO 10077) and so on. Performance tests Do ensure that the different performance tests correlate to the same design, composition and construction for the doorset. The installation of a fire doorset impacts on whether the doorset will actually perform as designed in the event of a fire. By choosing a certified installer, through a recognised body such as BM Trada, Firas, or LPCB and working with the manufacturer s instructions, this should ensure that the work is carried out properly. Assuming we have properly checked the fire doorset test report data and certification this can be logged. However, how do we verify and document that the installation is compliant?

Often at sign-off the work is complete and the finished item is visible only. Technology is now available with image based evidence for installation stages specific to a given doorset. This not only demonstrates compliance, it also provides an audit trail. Lower costs Under the RR(FS)O there is a requirement to maintain fire doorsets and ensure they are in good repair (section 38.1) The same technology can document on-going maintenance for the doorset as well as any unscheduled repairs needing to be carried out. This translates through to lower service provision costs for the building provider, whilst future-proofing the investment. Available to use with a smart enabled phone or tablet device it is entirely mobile with a downloadable app. Tailored to the specific doorset, it provides the DNA and full history of any changes or maintenance. Particularly beneficial in refurbishment, where doorset sizes and functionality may differ, all dimensions, components and important reference information is stored with that doorset s unique code and location. This assists the building provider in the fast identification and replacement of parts where needed all of which is a necessity for fire doorsets.

The Gerda G Smart system brings auditable compliance to all Gerda fire doorset ranges. It documents effective real-time installation and maintenance of fire doorsets and provides the DNA and life history of the doorset. We see that the fire safety measures fire doorsets can offer built-in compliance for asset management. FIREX International takes place between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL. Gerda is exhibiting on stand E120. Get your free badge now. 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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Redvision previews fast, accurate, silent PTZ and customisable camera housing ranges

Video surveillance Redvision gave its customers and industry professionals a sneak preview of its latest innovations with the help of a top magician last night. The UK-based manufacturer of high-end video surveillance cameras unveiled the Valant, a PTZ camera that Redvision says moves faster, more accurately and more quietly than anything else on the market. It also gave invited guests a first look at Vega, its customisable camera housing.

Both ranges will be launched officially at IFSEC International 2017 between 20-22 June (get your free badge now ). Apart from hors d oeuvres and prosecco, attendees were treated to some impressive tricks by entertainer and magician Nick Einhorn. The cameras were even deployed as Einhorn s assistants, with a thermal camera helping him avoid a nail through the hand in one audacious trick. In another, a Valant swiveled stealthily and picked out from among many playing cards stuck to the walls about 30 feet away the very cards chosen by members of the audience (the identity of which they had obviously kept to themselves). Popular with high net worth individuals and critical national infrastructure, Redvision cameras are very much pitched at the premium end of the market and last night you could see why. The clarity of the images and accuracy of the movement were both evident, as was the complete absence of motorised sounds when they swivelled into position. The Valant even remembers and reverts to its correct position if knocked out of position. The Valant will be available in standard, adaptive IR and adaptive white light models. In a market with so little aesthetic variety, Redvision s rugged, customisable housing is an intriguing innovation.

The Hampshire-based company plans to customise the housing to specifications by customers in a wide range of markets. Guests were also shown a special feature video that showcased the cameras capabilities. The innovation that accounts for the quietness has more than just an auditory benefit. Infinity motors, which are magnetically driven, could also reduce total cost of ownership because there is less contact between moving parts and therefore less wear and tear. The event took place at headquarters of IFSEC International s parent company, UBM, in Southwark, central London. The Valant and Vega ranges will be launched and on display at IFSEC International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find Redvision on stand D1150. Get your free badge now. Visit Europe s only large-scale security event in 2017 Taking place in London, 20 22 June 2017, IFSEC International gives you exclusive hands-on access to over 10,000 security solutions, live product demonstrations, and networking with over 27,000 security professionals.

Covering every aspect of security, from access control and video surveillance to smart buildings, cyber, border control and so much more.

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DutchNews.nl – Two in three private security guards report being …

Two in three private security guards report being victims of violence

Thursday 10 January 2013

Some two-thirds of private security officials were subjected to physical or verbal violence last year, according to research by sector organisation Nederlandse Veiligheidsbranche.

Shop security guards, street wardens and traffic regulators were the most likely to be hit, spat at or intimidated, the organisation said.

One in four security workers say they are subject to violence on a monthly basis and one in 10 every week, website nu.nl1 reports.

The NV wants the public prosecution department to ensure people who attack private security guards are treated in the same way as those who are violent towards emergency service workers – meaning tougher sentences.

The department says technically this is already the case, but the NV says there is little evidence of this.

DutchNews.nl

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References

  1. ^ nu.nl (www.nu.nl)
  2. ^ Leave a comment (www.dutchnews.nl)

High Court to State: Explain Use of Private Guards in E.

Jerusalem …

The High Court of Justice today (13 December 2012) issued an order nisi instructing the state to explain the deployment of private security guards in Jewish settlement compounds in East Jerusalem. The decision follows Wednesday s hearing on a petition by ACRI against the use of private security guards under the control of the Ministry of Housing in Jewish settlement compounds in East Jerusalem. The state has four months to explain why the Housing Ministry should have the authority for security arrangements in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, rather than the Internal Security Ministry. The state must also explain why the responsible ministry should not re-examine the authorities given to these security guards.

The justices were highly critical of the deployment of the private security guards during this week s hearing and questioned the professional qualifications of the Housing Ministry to supervise such a security force. The state argued that the guards have formal responsibilities only inside the settlers homes and compounds, while in public spaces they are allegedly just like any private civilian . But the court criticized this position, with Justice Uzi Fogelman responding that when 350 security guards are armed with weapons and carry out patrols in the area, they come across as having authority. How does a regular passerby understand their role?

And is it not the role of the police to protect the general public walking on the street? ACRI and Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem petitioned the High Court in October 2011 against the deployment of the guards throughout East Jerusalem. Stationed in the heart of residential areas such as Silwan and the Old City, 350 private security guards, financed by Israeli taxpayers, are charged with protecting some 2,000 Jewish Israeli settlers living in enclaves in the predominately Arab neighborhoods.

The armed guards carry out daily policing duties such as patrols and guard watch without proper supervision and guidelines. In September 2010, Silwan resident Samer Sarhan was shot and killed by a security guard. More than two years later, the case is still under police investigation, and no charges have been filed yet.

ACRI Attorney Keren Tzafrir argued that the operation of a private security force constitutes an unlawful privatization of core policing responsibilities, disregards the responsibility of the state to provide protection to all residents, rests on vague or unknown procedures and laws, and violates the basic rights of Palestinians. Attorney Tzafrir stressed that security guards are not civil servants who are obligated to a clear and known code of ethics, but rather are private citizens employed by a private security company through a contract signed by the Housing Ministry, a body that should not be supervising public safety and order. In 2006, a public committee convened by then-Housing Minister Isaac Herzog and under the direction of Major General (res.) Ori Orr, made the unequivocal recommendation that responsibility for the security of these areas should be returned to the Ministry of Internal Security and to the Israel Police.

Yet shortly thereafter the government adopted an opposite resolution, preserving the status quo. In 2010, Housing Minister Ariel Atias sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stating that in his opinion the responsibility for security in the area must be under the professional body in charge of this issue, i.e. the Israel Police, and not in the hands of the Housing Ministry, a body that is professionally not equipped to deal with security matters.

Over the past twenty years, the rise in numbers of settlers and compounds in East Jerusalem has increased the budget provided by the Housing Ministry from NIS 7 million in 1991 to NIS 76 million in 2011.

Following the hearing ACRI Attorney Keren Tzafrir said: We hope that the insufficient and partial answers provided by the state today will convince the justices that deploying private security guards in East Jerusalem to protect settlements is an unlawful arrangement that should come to an end. Translated excerpts from the petition (English)12

Petition and state s response (Hebrew)3

References

  1. ^ private security guards (www.acri.org.il)
  2. ^ Excerpts of the petition (www.acri.org.il)
  3. ^ Petition and State’s Response (www.acri.org.il)

High Court to State: Explain Use of Private Security Guards in East …

The High Court of Justice today (13 December 2012) issued an order nisi instructing the state to explain the deployment of private security guards in Jewish settlement compounds in East Jerusalem.

The decision follows Wednesday s hearing on a petition by ACRI against the use of private security guards1 under the control of the Ministry of Housing in Jewish settlement compounds in East Jerusalem. The state has four months to explain why the Housing Ministry should have the authority for security arrangements in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, rather than the Internal Security Ministry. The state must also explain why the responsible ministry should not re-examine the authorities given to these security guards.

The justices were highly critical of the deployment of the private security guards during this week s hearing and questioned the professional qualifications of the Housing Ministry to supervise such a security force.

The state argued that the guards have formal responsibilities only inside the settlers homes and compounds, while in public spaces they are allegedly just like any private civilian . But the court criticized this position, with Justice Uzi Fogelman responding that when 350 security guards are armed with weapons and carry out patrols in the area, they come across as having authority. How does a regular passerby understand their role? And is it not the role of the police to protect the general public walking on the street?

ACRI and Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem petitioned the High Court in October 2011 against the deployment of the guards throughout East Jerusalem.

Stationed in the heart of residential areas such as Silwan and the Old City, 350 private security guards, financed by Israeli taxpayers, are charged with protecting some 2,000 Jewish Israeli settlers living in enclaves in the predominately Arab neighborhoods. The armed guards carry out daily policing duties such as patrols and guard watch without proper supervision and guidelines. In September 2010, Silwan resident Samer Sarhan was shot and killed by a security guard.

More than two years later, the case is still under police investigation, and no charges have been filed yet.

ACRI Attorney Keren Tzafrir argued that the operation of a private security force constitutes an unlawful privatization of core policing responsibilities, disregards the responsibility of the state to provide protection to all residents, rests on vague or unknown procedures and laws, and violates the basic rights of Palestinians. Attorney Tzafrir stressed that security guards are not civil servants who are obligated to a clear and known code of ethics, but rather are private citizens employed by a private security company through a contract signed by the Housing Ministry, a body that should not be supervising public safety and order.

In 2006, a public committee convened by then-Housing Minister Isaac Herzog and under the direction of Major General (res.) Ori Orr, made the unequivocal recommendation that responsibility for the security of these areas should be returned to the Ministry of Internal Security and to the Israel Police. Yet shortly thereafter the government adopted an opposite resolution, preserving the status quo.

In 2010, Housing Minister Ariel Atias sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stating that in his opinion the responsibility for security in the area must be under the professional body in charge of this issue, i.e.

the Israel Police, and not in the hands of the Housing Ministry, a body that is professionally not equipped to deal with security matters.

Over the past twenty years, the rise in numbers of settlers and compounds in East Jerusalem has increased the budget provided by the Housing Ministry from NIS 7 million in 1991 to NIS 76 million in 2011.

Following the hearing ACRI Attorney Keren Tzafrir said: We hope that the insufficient and partial answers provided by the state today will convince the justices that deploying private security guards in East Jerusalem to protect settlements is an unlawful arrangement that should come to an end.

Translated excerpts from the petition (English)2

Petition and state s response (Hebrew)3

References

  1. ^ private security guards (www.acri.org.il)
  2. ^ Excerpts of the petition (www.acri.org.il)
  3. ^ Petition and State’s Response (www.acri.org.il)

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