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The Bottom Line July 2015 - Talks with SECOM's Head of Fire Safety

The Bottom Line July 2015 - Talks with SECOM's Head of Fire Safety

This month Simon Banks talks to Graham Bettany, SECOM plc’s Head of Fire Safety. SECOM are a global organisation operating at the local level and committed to providing state-of-the-art fire & security solutions to homes, businesses and public sector organisations.

There are aligned resources between security and fire, are SECOM seeing this as a growth sector?

The perception is that resourcing for fire and security systems is similar as they appear to go hand in hand. However, the technology is actually quite different. Fire systems protect life whereas intruder systems protect property. We see this as a growth sector for SECOM and in the future our goal is to have a good proportion of our Regional Security Sales Executives being confident enough to sell fire systems to ensure protection of life with complex installations being passed on to our specialist consultants in the Fire Division.

Considering the crucial nature of Fire systems there should be a heightened demand for remote signalling?

The law does not require buildings to have a remote link and legislation allows the reliance on individuals in the building to alert the emergency services. Therefore customers tend to only consider remote monitoring when the building is empty for a long period of time. For example a car dealership would have high value vehicles overnight protected by just CCTV. In a business of high value, it would seem perfectly sensible to protect it with remote signalling at a cost of less than £1 a day.

What role does BAFE play with an Installers’ inspectorate certified fire system?

BAFE is the scheme, NSI is the inspectorate. NSI inspect the scheme which is designed by BAFE. The scheme for fire alarm systems is SP203 and this scheme is a set of requirements for a fire company to achieve and NSI carry out the inspection. There is no requirement in law to be third-party accredited in order to be a fire alarm company. However, we would always recommend that you choose a company that is certified, as there is a huge risk to the business and its directors if there should be any loss of life or property.

In some traditional security installation companies fire may only represent 10% of the business. What can installers do to grow this?

I am not so sure it would only represent 10% of the business, I would suggest that it is significantly higher. There is a legal requirement for all commercial buildings with five or more members of staff to have a full fire risk assessment. They would therefore need to deploy some sort of fire safety measures such as a fire detection system, fire prevention measures or a simple manual system such as red call points. Installers can expand their businesses by being aware of their customer requirements and their legal obligation to provide fire safety.

This article is written by PSI magazine in association with CSL Dualcom orginal article taken from here

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