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Arson Risk

by msecadm4921

The possibility of assets literally going up in smoke – whether by accident or through arson – is a risk.

Fire detection is one of the non-security services that remote monitoring can provide.

One Friday night, a fire was started deliberately outside the perimeter of the Edinburgh yard of SGB, a supplier of products and services for building and civil engineering firms. The fire quickly began to rage with flames rising to 25 feet high; and 35 feet from a diesel storage tank. Had this caught fire, the whole yard could have gone up, significantly damaging scaffolding and aluminium equipment..

The Corps is the guarding company providing 24-hour central monitoring for the site. Bill MacGregor at The Corps recalls: “Within minutes of the fire starting the system’s alarm went off, after the passive infra-reds (PIRs) associated with the cameras picked up a change in temperature. We called the fire brigade and keyholders immediately, who arrived within minutes and were able to control the fire before any damage was done. Without swift action from everyone, this could have been a catastrophe.” The site had had installed a detection system, ADPRO from Vision Systems, a week earlier. The system transmits colour video images and simultaneous bi-directional audio. Within seconds of an alarm activating, cameras linked to the system provide pictures for alarm verification by monitoring station operators. The product, installed at 13 of SGB’s sites throughout the country, has helped to prevent numerous incidents.

David Reeve, SGB Group Security Manager, says: “ADPRO works well because we get such good pictures. The audio link enables us to speak to intruders, tell them to leave the premises and warn them that the police have been called. We have detected many incidents and prevented would-be thefts. One of our more remote branches had a particularly high number of unwanted visitors, but operators from The Corps have always been alerted by the system and used the audio link. This has invariably led to the intruders running off and leaving the equipment behind. We’ve also used the system internally, to look back at any in-house accidents or other incidents."

Norman MacLeod, a former police officer, is SGB’s regional security manager, based in Scotland. He believes the right solution goes a long way in keeping intruders at bay. "If an effective system, such as ADPRO, is installed and monitored correctly then it serves as a very useful deterrent. Being covered by CCTV also provides peace of mind, both internally and externally."

SGB plans to install the system at more of its sites. Mr Reeve says: “We will prioritise the sites we consider most at risk, in terms of where they are located and the merchandise that they contain.”

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