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Balancing Means of Escape and Security | Pt 1 – Counting the cost

Posted: 26/11/2013 11:09

There has always been conflict between the need for adequate levels of fire safety against the increasing need to maintain effective levels of security, particularly where means of escape (in case of fire) is concerned.

The fact that the many fires each year are started deliberately by intruders who are intent on arson, theft or vandalism highlights the correlation between fire safety and security. This poses some serious questions for those who have responsibility for protecting the building and its occupants, not only from fire but also from the threat of intrusion by thieves and vandals.

It is possible to satisfy the requirements of fire safety and security by the incorporation of an integrated package of measures, and this is often achieved where new build developments and major refurbishment schemes are undertaken. However, although achievable, some additional difficulties are encountered for an already operational building.

One of the main concerns for most managers is maintaining effective means of escape for all occupants, in the event of an emergency, whilst preventing intruders from entering.

The Need for Security

Not surprisingly, the...

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Emergency Planning | Complete Fire Safety Management

Posted: 22/11/2013 19:45

Complete Fire Safety Management is all about ensuring that you have the tools necessary to ensure you meet all legal requirements and, most importantly, that your working environment or residential space is safe for workers, visitors and occupants.

An Emergency Plan is an essential part of what CFSM has to offer and in this blog article, we will give an overview of the thought processes required to compile your own.

Why is a workplace emergency plan necessary?

The purpose of the workplace emergency plan is primarily seen as two fold;

  • To ensure those employees and any other people present in the workplace at the time of an incident are aware of the actions necessary in the event of a fire
  • To ensure the workplace can be safely evacuated in the event of a fire
  • The plan is legally required to be fully documented and kept in the workplace such that it is available for all employees, and employee’s representatives (where appointed), to view at all times. This ‘documentation’ usually takes the form of what is commonly termed the company Fire Manual/procedures...

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    Arson Prevention Strategy | Part Two – Means of Entry

    Posted: 12/11/2013 11:05

    Arson is one of the most destructive forms of vandalism and many businesses feel they are powerless to prevent it. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure your premises are more fire safe and to prevent the likelihood of arson occurring.

    Last week's blog article on the subject of arson prevention looked at prevention via security systems and lighting.  This week, we move on to discuss building entry methods and begin to touch upon fire detection and protection systems.

    Obvious means of entry: The level of protection required for the outside of your building is usually provided as a consequence of the general construction of the building. However, two areas, which will attract the attention of someone attempting to gain unlawful entry, will be doors and windows.

    Doors are susceptible to attack in a number of ways. These may include; the use of tools to drill or grind exposed hinges, the spreading of frames, the removal of panel sections, the application of pressure on the door with a vehicle (usually via a...

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    Arson Prevention Strategy | Part One – Security and Surveillance

    Posted: 07/11/2013 19:30

    In the United Kingdom, arson is a major cause of fires in buildings of all kinds. At its worst, arson leads to loss of life and significant financial damage, but persistent and minor arson can also have a detrimental effect on the economic wellbeing of your business and the community.

    In the past, arson prevention was solely down to the current building occupier to manage through implemented procedures, along with their fire safety and security plans. This article will discuss those activities which can assist in reducing the chances of arson within your premises.

    In addition to procedural measures, in recent years, designers are recognising the importance of incorporating 'arson hostile' features into a building as part of the fire safety plan. This method of 'prevention by design' will be covered in the second part of this short series.

    Protection against arson generally involves three main systems:

  • Security systems
  • Automatic fire detection & fire-fighting installations
  • Fire safety management procedures

  • Your own...

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    Fire Prevention | Through Fire Risk Assessment

    Posted: 31/10/2013 17:35

    The terms 'Fire Prevention' and 'Fire Risk Assessment' (FRA) are not always used synonymously, however, by their very nature, they should be.  Fire prevention is the generic term given to any measure which serves to avert a fire from occurring, or those means by which fire is detected.  

    Whilst strictly speaking, systems such as fire alarm and sprinkler systems do not prevent fires, they do help to prevent the spread and consequences of fire and as such are embraced into fire prevention as a whole.

    In the same way, a FRA ascertains risk levels and likely impact. Those issues which are deemed to be of a high risk are then pursued to reduce the danger and bring the issue back within acceptable and tolerable limits.

    Those risk reduction measures will generally take the form of 'Fire Prevention', particularly when the term is used in a more 'global' sense.

    On this basis, we should be adopting the FRA basis as a fire prevention tool.  FRA's should undertake the following five step process, with the vast...

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