Our latest news provides you with a summary of news articles, we share fire safety and security tips and advice, helping your business to stay safe and secure.

SS Systems Adopt The Future Of Fire Inspection Software

May 28th, 2024|

SS Systems Adopt the Future of Fire Inspection Software We are pleased to announce that we have taken the decision to switch our current operational management software to Uptick. The team at Uptick are passionate about improving the safety of the buildings that we all live and work within, and believe that there is a better way to maintain building safety, and we at SS Systems share that same passion. This belief underpins our decision to proceed with the implementation of a modern, cloud-based solution that focuses on intelligent digitised job management software for building maintenance and compliance. By providing innovative solutions to SS Systems customer problems, we're helping them to excel within their businesses every day. This ultimately leads to safer buildings across the world. Uptick is also ISO 27001 certified as a software application. The ISO 27001 certification is widely recognised as the highest standard for managing information security. It’s not just about software architecture, it’s a framework that must be integrated into the very way the company is operated to minimise the risk of data loss or theft. ISO27001 covers [...]

Fire Safety Competence In UK Care Homes

May 20th, 2024|

Fire Safety Competence In UK Care Homes CROSS UK, an essential platform for collaborative reporting on fire and structural safety issues, has drawn attention to concerning incidents within care homes across the UK. These incidents point to a worrying lack of competence among maintenance staff, particularly in areas crucial for fire safety, such as fire door maintenance and the role of fire risk assessors. Recent reports from CROSS UK underscore the urgent need for heightened vigilance and professionalism in upholding fire safety standards within care homes, where the safety of residents is paramount. One unnamed Fire and Rescue Service has expressed significant unease regarding the competency levels of maintenance personnel responsible for ensuring the safety of care home residents. This unease follows two troubling incidents where inadequate electrical and fire door maintenance posed serious risks to vulnerable occupants. These incidents highlight a troubling pattern where unqualified individuals are entrusted with critical safety tasks, leading to potential hazards and endangering residents' wellbeing. For example, firefighters responding to an emergency call discovered faulty electrical connections in a care home specialising in end-of-life care, directly linked [...]

Fire & Rescue Incident Data For 2023 In England

May 13th, 2024|

Fire & Rescue Incident Data For 2023 In England Recent data from the Home Office's Incident Recording System (IRS) sheds light on fire and rescue operations throughout 2023. Spanning the last decade, these figures delve into response times, fatalities, and casualties. For the year concluding in December 2023, there were 269 fire-related deaths stemming from 250 fatal fires, a slight uptick from the preceding year's 257 fatalities in 238 fatal fires. The report underscores the importance of response times in optimising emergency services. Moreover, it provides valuable insights into fire-related fatalities and injuries, guiding targeted interventions to bolster fire safety measures. Equipped with this data, decision-makers can implement informed strategies for proactive risk mitigation. Key findings for the year ending December 2023 include: • Fire Rescue Services (FRSs) responded to 592,996 incidents, marking a 5.6% decrease from the previous year's count of 628,034. This represents a 2.6% increase compared to figures from five years ago (578,150), and a notable 12% rise from a decade ago (529,167). • Analysis of all incidents attended by FRSs reveals that fires constituted 24%, fire false alarms 42%, [...]

Technical Bulletin Relating To The Painting of Fire-Resistant Cables

May 7th, 2024|

Technical Bulletin Relating To The Painting of Fire-Resistant Cables This technical bulletin delves into the repercussions of painting fire detection and fire alarm system cables, shedding light on its potential effects on cable integrity, fire resistance, and other hazards that may arise during a fire incident. While water-based paints pose less risk compared to oil-based ones, they still pose a threat to fire resistance and may release harmful gases. The act of painting may lead to manufacturers no longer guaranteeing the long-term fire resistance of cables post-painting. This bulletin is provided by the Fire Industry Association. BS 5839-1 offers guidance on designing, installing, commissioning, and maintaining fire detection and fire alarm systems in non-domestic settings, recommending the use of either Standard or Enhanced grade cabling for FD&A systems. The Code of Practice stipulates that all cables utilized for fire detection and fire alarm systems should have a single common colour, with red being the preferred option, although other colours may be used. The cable colour for FD&A systems should differ from that of cables for other general electrical services within a building, ensuring [...]

SS Systems In Attendance At The NEC Fire Safety Event

April 29th, 2024|

SS Systems In Attendance At The NEC Fire Safety Event The Fire Safety Event is dedicated to supporting industry professionals and organisations in improving and maintaining the highest standards in fire safety management. The 2024 Fire Safety Event will be at the NEC in Birmingham over Tuesday 30th April to Thursday 2nd May. Representatives from SS Systems will be in attendance and available for face to face meetings and discussions. Join us for an electrifying showcase of the latest products and solutions in fire safety, this is the perfect opportunity to gain direct insight into improving business protection and continuity. Don't miss out on one of the major events of the year. Benefits of attending: • Gain CPD points and hear from leading industry experts including government officials, lawyers, and manufacturers. • Source 10,000+ of the latest fire protection and prevention products and solutions. • Receive practical advice and experience live demonstrations. • Network with the entire community of 9,500+ fire safety professionals, from Fire Safety Managers, Officers and Risk Assessors to Insurers–Consultants, End-User and Manufacturers. Call our sales team to arrange a [...]

NHS Trusts Witness A Concerning Surge In Fire Occurrences

April 22nd, 2024|

NHS Trusts Witness A Concerning Surge In Fire Occurrences Recent data from NHS Digital unveils a troubling uptick in fire incidents documented by NHS trusts, with 1,372 fires logged in the 2022/23 timeframe. This reflects a notable spike of over 18% from the preceding year, equating to nearly four fires occurring daily across NHS premises. This escalation underscores a pressing need for heightened fire safety protocols within healthcare establishments. There is more than just an emphasis on the pivotal role of fire doors in upholding safety and regulatory compliance within healthcare environments. The recent surge in fire incidents reported by NHS trusts serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges in maintaining safety standards within healthcare facilities. While fire doors are crucial, they are just one component of a comprehensive safety strategy. A fire safety specialist can offer strategic counsel on various aspects, from hardware selection to evacuation procedures, providing continuous guidance and regular inspections to ensure the fire safety plan remains current. A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stated: "We have allocated substantial resources to enhance [...]

Safe Spaces Scheme Extended To Private Security Industry

April 15th, 2024|

Safe Spaces Scheme Extended To Private Security Industry The Safe Spaces initiative, introduced by the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) last year to enhance the safety of retail environments for individuals in need of assistance, is expanding its scope to include private security organisations and individuals. Referred to as Operation PORTUM, the Safe Spaces program is a comprehensive framework that businesses can enroll in to foster secure environments within retail outlets for employees, customers, and vulnerable community members. While numerous national retailers have already enlisted, the NBCC recognises the significant role played by private security entities in maintaining customer safety and security within these environments. Consequently, private security firms are encouraged to join the initiative, committing to raising awareness among security personnel about Operation PORTUM and its guiding principles. They are also urged to provide guidance on how security officers can effectively utilize these principles to support and assist individuals in distress. Supt Patrick Holdaway, leading the NBCC, emphasised the likelihood of individuals seeking help from private security officers in stores, underscoring the importance of ensuring these employees are familiar with the Safe [...]

New Guidance On Fire Risk Appraisals Of External Walls Is Now Available

April 8th, 2024|

New Guidance On Fire Risk Appraisals Of External Walls Is Now Available The Facade Special Interest Group, a collaboration between the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), has issued guidance on 'Proportionality and Risk in Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls (FRAEWs)' aligned with PAS 9980. This comprehensive document delves into crucial considerations surrounding risk acceptability and the proportional nature of remedial actions, in accordance with PAS 9980 recommendations. Tailored for fire engineers conducting FRAEW assessments, the guidance offers initial direction on understanding risk acceptability and proportionality in remedial measures. Specifically designed to complement PAS 9980, which emphasises the necessity for proportionate decision-making in regards to remedial actions, this document provides further insights to aid fire engineers in determining the appropriateness of recommending such measures. While the focus of this guidance centres on residential apartment buildings, consistent with PAS 9980's scope, its principles can be adapted for application in other building types. It assumes a foundational understanding of risk, hazard, and consequence concepts as delineated in conventional risk assessment procedures, without delving deeply into these matters. Additionally, it [...]

Police Are Failing Retailers As Co-op Reports Record Crime Levels In 2024

April 2nd, 2024|

Police Are Failing Retailers As Co-op Reports Record Crime Levels In 2024 The Co-op has raised an alarm over the soaring levels of crime, stating that incidents of retail crime have reached unprecedented heights, with a staggering 35% surge year on year. The retailer disclosed that over 175,000 incidents were documented in the initial half of the year, averaging nearly 1,000 incidents daily. Expressing urgent concern, the Co-op emphasised the necessity for a swift change in police response, revealing that a substantial 71% of serious retail crimes go unanswered. Consequently, retailers find themselves repeatedly targeted by offenders and criminal groups who operate with impunity. Highlighting the severity of the situation, the Co-op recounted an inner-city London store being 'looted' three times within a single day, underscoring the unsustainable nature of such rampant crime, which could potentially render certain communities inaccessible to local businesses. Prioritising the welfare of its members, employees, and communities, the Co-op urged all police forces and crime commissioners to focus on apprehending prolific offenders and dismantling local criminal networks that operate with impunity. Data from the Association of Convenience Stores [...]

Company Directors Found Guilty Of Endangering Lives With Fire Safety Breaches

March 25th, 2024|

Company Directors Found Guilty Of Endangering Lives With Fire Safety Breaches In a shocking development, two Directors of a West Bromwich based company, have been sentenced to prison for endangering residents' lives due to flagrant violations of fire safety regulations. This revelation, brought to light by the West Midlands Fire Service, underscores the severe repercussions of disregarding fire safety protocols. The transgression occurred at Metro Court, a four-story residential complex located on High Street, West Bromwich, predominantly occupied by residents. During routine inspections, West Midlands Fire Service uncovered serious breaches of fire safety regulations. Despite receiving a prohibition notice from fire safety inspectors, the Directors and their company persisted in compromising the safety of approximately 80 residents. The inspection revealed alarming deficiencies, including the absence of power to the building's fire alarm system, its malfunction, presence of combustible materials in the staircase, and multiple fire doors wedged or propped open. These critical lapses warranted the issuance of a prohibition notice, barring the premises' residential use. However, subsequent visits revealed that residents continued to inhabit the premises, prompting swift intervention from the fire service. As [...]

Surge In Electric Bike Popularity Raises Fire Hazards Concerns

March 18th, 2024|

Surge In Electric Bike Popularity Raises Fire Hazards Concerns The expanding market for electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds presents a positive trend in reducing carbon emissions, as studies indicate their low carbon footprint. However, this growth also brings attention to the electrical safety risks associated with electric two-wheelers. In countries like China, a hub for e-bikes, and cities such as London, where e-bikes gained popularity later, there's a noticeable increase in fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters. Aviva, an insurer, has observed an increase in customer claims related to fires caused by rechargeable e-bikes exploding during charging, including incidents involving faulty e-bike batteries and second-hand purchases, notes Hannah Davidson, a senior underwriting manager for Aviva. A survey conducted by Aviva reveals that 71% of adults in the UK are unaware of the signs indicating that a lithium-ion battery, commonly found in e-bikes and e-scooters, is close to failing. These warning signs include heating, leaking, swelling, and unusual smells and noises. The rapid rise of e-bikes has outpaced regulations. For example, the UK lacks regulations concerning e-bike chargers or kits to convert standard bikes into [...]

Immediate Appeal For Restaurants To Reassess Fire Safety Measures

March 11th, 2024|

Immediate Appeal For Restaurants To Reassess Fire Safety Measures Fire and Rescue Services emphasise the critical importance of fire safety for residents residing above food outlets, highlighting the increased risks associated with insufficient safety measures. Restaurant owners and proprietors of food establishments are strongly advised to review their fire safety protocols, especially for premises with residents above or below. Fire and Rescue Services have expressed concerns about the heightened risks in such setups, stressing the immediate need for thorough safety measures. Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have emphasised the potential dangers in buildings where upper or lower floors are used for living spaces, particularly when accessed through a single unprotected staircase from public or kitchen areas. A spokesperson from the service commented, "In the event of a fire, these conditions significantly elevate the risk of injury or fatality. It's crucial to have appropriate fire safety measures in place to protect lives, including those of residents, employees, and customers, as well as to safeguard property and business interests." The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 requires business owners to conduct fire risk assessments to mitigate [...]

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