Perimeter Protection from AUTOPA

Aston Martin is one of the most evocative names in motoring, regularly featuring in the list of ‘coolest brands’ in Britain.  When they decided to expand their dealership network, they required a showroom experience to fulfil the expectations of their demanding client base.  Working with the Stoneacre Motor Group, Newcastle was identified to become the location of the 20th dealership.

Stoneacre were required to develop a state of the art showroom and customer car suite, yet also had to ensure that the vehicles on display were secure.  AUTOPA Ltd offered their expertise in vehicle parking and security products to assist them in providing the level of security necessary for this prestigious development.

AUTOPA Ltd, working with the specification provided by Aston Martin, developed a complementary set of bespoke Stainless Steel Fixed and Retractable Bollards.  The retractable versions when lowered into the ground allow the staff to freely move the vehicles around the site, and when raised combine with the fixed bollards to form the protection required.


Security in cleaning

Hundreds of thousands of people work illegally in the UK, and unscrupulous employers have taken advantage of this in the past. Julius Rutherfoord wants to see levels of security vetting improved across the professional cleaning industry, says operations director Chris Parkes.

Despite facing fines of up to £5,000 per worker for employing illegal workers, some employers not only take this risk, but also use the vulnerable status of illegal workers to exploit them. According to UK Home Office data, an estimated 500,000 to 900,000 people work illegally in Britain, many in the capital.

Unfortunately, the cleaning industry has attracted attention for this issue in the past. It is a sector well-known for its high staff turnover, and while the best contract cleaners are working hard to improve staff retention through training and development, some seek to victimise workers, placing them and the facilities they clean at risk.

However, corrupt and unscrupulous employers have sought to take advantage of illegal workers in the past. In one case, members of management at a cleaning contractor which employed tens of thousands of operatives working in the healthcare sector were arrested for allegedly blackmailing illegally-employed cleaning operatives. The resulting media attention also had implications for the reputations of the healthcare facilities that were being cleaned, as well as for the company involved.

This serves as just one example of why facilities managers need to know what best practice looks like when it comes to security vetting in contract cleaning. All staff, from directors to cleaners, whether recruited directly or inherited through the Transfer of Undertakings process (TUPE), must have the legal right to work in the UK and pose no threat to your business. As technology advances, the professional cleaning industry should be moving towards a more system’s based approach to vetting staff and improving the safe delivery of cleaning.

Forged or out-of-date IDs

During the initial security vetting of staff Julius Rutherfoord inherit through TUPE, we often reject between 20-40% due to forged or out-of-date IDs. That shows just how complacent some contractors have become – and how strong security measures need to be. Fake documents should not pass if rigorous security vetting procedures are in place.

The best cleaning contractors will go above and beyond Disclosure & Barring Service checks when verifying identities, and have extra document authentication and pre-employment screening processes in place. Cleaning operatives can also be protected while working thanks to biometric time and attendance recognition, and GPS fleet monitoring – technology that also assures cleaning supervisors and facilities managers that the right people are on the right site at the right time.


We all have responsibilities to ensure that facilities being cleaned and cleaning operatives themselves stay safe and secure. Cleaning operatives often access facilities out of normal working hours, and cleaning contractors must have effective vetting procedures in place to safeguard the security of a site and the cleaning team, whilst guaranteeing a high level of service.

Julius Rutherfoord has published a new best practice white paper – Security in Cleaning – together with an accompanying infographic (available to download, also shown above) to highlight the challenges of ensuring the safety and security of facilities being cleaned and the operatives cleaning them. We have developed tried and tested processes which we want to share – staff and contractors have the right to work in a safe environment.


Stratus Technologies Brings Always-On Infrastructure for Smart Buildings to Global Security Community at UK Security Expo 2016

Stratus Technologies, Inc. Jason Andersen, Vice President, Business Line Management, will be addressing leading security professionals and international Government Delegations about the company’s commitment to Always-On availability for critical security applications in Smart Buildings at UK Security Expo 2016.

Andersen will speak as part of the Technology Workshop Agenda at 11am on the 30th November, day one of the two-day event for over 8,000 global end-users of security. The Expo, which also features Stratus on stand E51, is the UK’s flagship event of its type, and is organised in collaboration with the UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT), with more than 30 hosted Foreign Government Delegations in attendance.

Speaking ahead of the engagement, Andersen said, “I’m delighted to be able to address such a highly esteemed audience concerning the importance of systems availability for building security management. Any IT based security system or ‘Smart Building’ relies fundamentally upon being available and fully supported 24/7/365, and its this level of uptime and service that Stratus has been delivering, through the powerful downtime prevention capabilities of platform or software products, to our customers for 35 years now.”

The Expo is also an opportunity to get acquainted with the new end-to-end software with which Stratus announced its expanding leadership in smart building management systems during 2016. The Stratus Always-On Infrastructure for Smart Buildings software solution offers a simple way to virtualise multi-vendor building management systems and easily monitor the entire building management network – from servers to virtualised applications, to cameras, door locks and sensors. This approach is an important step forward in building security management since it allows customers to retain their existing ‘best of breed’ systems from a variety of vendors but gain the benefits of virtualisation to improve simplicity, reduce Total Cost of Ownership, and reach fault-tolerant levels of availability.

Registration for the two-day event is open and attendance is free. Stratus stand E51 will be staffed by Availability Consultants throughout the event; to book an appointment to meet and discuss Stratus software or hardware solutions, contact


Counter Terrorism for Facilities Managers

Businesses across the west are facing a prolonged period of terrorist threat but many FMs are not given the help they need to evaluate the risks to their buildings and then understand what they should do about them.

UK Security Expo (30 Nov – 1 Dec, Olympia, London) provides a key focus on facilities and emergency planning. Counter Terrorism for Facilities Managers is a free to attend workshop which covers everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. What are the top ten key things you need to know about terrorism? How to make your building terrorism resistant, communicating in a crisis and building links with safety and security. Led by Chris Phillips, former Head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office responsible for the UK Crowded Places Strategy with a panel of expert speakers including Jim MacKenzie, Special Adviser, Centre for Risk-Reducing Design, David Cox, European Channel Manager – Window Film, 3M, Peter Joyce, Chair of the London Branch, EPS and Caroline Field, Head of Risk and Resilience at BuroHappold Engineering.

The Designing out Terrorism Conference includes specialist sessions relevant to FMs on SABRE, intelligent buildings and mitigating the terrorist threat. Put learning into action on the Crisis Management Training workshop delivered by NYA. Acting as members of a corporate crisis management team, attendees will be required to structure their response to an unfolding crisis incident.

The Securing Crowded Places Immersive Demonstrator in association with the Home Office, JSaRC and CPNI uses the event venue itself as the place to be protected. The interactive feature demonstrates how a combination of technology, processes and techniques can be applied imaginatively in a variety of operational scenarios to improve protection from terrorist attack.

With over 8,000 visitors, 200 exhibitors, 6 conferences, workshops and live demonstrations, UK Security Expo is the flagship event for a global audience working in transport, government, energy, major events, communications, finance, utilities and private sector. All content is free of charge with CPD accreditation. For further information visit


What can building and facility managers learn from the success of Pokemon Go?

Ever since its launch, Pokemon Go has proved problematic for many facility and building managers. The smartphone game based on the 90s phenomenon took the world by storm when it debuted early in July. With millions more people wandering around with heads stooped and fingers primed, some are paying even less attention to the world than usual. Pokemon Go’s 1-1 map of the real world is leading intrepid explorers through buildings and onto private property in search of the perfect Pokemon, including any number of inappropriate locations.

While the game might have interesting applications for some businesses, the only impact for many businesses will be employees sneaking off in their lunch breaks. But from the view of a facility or systems manager, the success of this app tells us a remarkable amount about how people use mobile devices, and reflects on the considerations we need to have when applying concepts of big data and networked devices to the modern workplace.

The trend away from desktop and laptop PCs towards mobile devices has shown no signs of stopping. According to market analysts Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer 2015 report, 76% of adults in the UK now own a ‘smartphone’: one which combines the features of a traditional phone with a computer. A quarter of respondents do not even make a phone call in a given week and mobile phones are increasingly becoming people’s primary or only means of digital engagement.

But what does this have to do with smart buildings and the Internet of Things? Well, it’s a sure sign that phones are more than platforms for watching Netflix on the bus. When the vast majority of the population are carrying powerful computers in their pockets, it makes sense to factor those capabilities into the workplace. Replacing cumbersome PC interfaces with the familiarity of touchscreen mobile UIs could be a huge boon to productivity, reducing the usual frustration with slow, underpowered desktop hardware. Where most businesses have been afraid of the disruptive potential of personal devices, there might be a new way to look at phones in the workplace: as a seamless integration of work and personal lives.

You might come to work and sign in, open doors and access your workstation by using your phone as a keycard. The game’s GPs tracking and forthcoming Bluetooth accessory, a badge with a button and vibration feedback, suggest even greater advancements in the simplicity and autonomy of services. Constant wireless connections to a local network and the use of wearable technology could cut down on the need for such vast arrays of IoT sensors, tracking individuals as they move around a building. Wireless casting and screen sharing, projecting the view from your phone to a local display, could also be a simpler means to increase mobility and workflow.

More devices means more data, and here too Pokemon shows us the pitfalls of such digital integration. The game’s ‘Pokestops’, local landmarks that provide players with items, can have ‘lures’ attached to them that draw people to the real world location. A few reports allege that this has been used by criminals to ambush unsuspecting players.

Like the Pokestops, a network with lots of devices can be a big flashing beacon to canny cyber criminals. Large networks mean more potential points of access for those seeking to enter your network illegally, while wireless networks can easily leak out of buildings and present people outside with access, particularly with the long-range protocols utilised in big buildings. Indeed the ubiquity of mobiles and the escalating speeds of mobile networks means hackers or attackers looking to overwhelm a network can do it from almost anywhere.

Successful hacks however have been limited to very large corporations with very poor security protocols. Take the example of US retailer Target, whose customer databases were compromised because of lax security in their heating system.

Smart buildings can create more doors onto a network for people to gain access, but the process of locking them is still the same. They don’t even have to lead anywhere – the most effective deterrent can be isolating different systems on different servers. If your heating management system doesn’t need to be linked to the rest of your IT systems, don’t link it. The bulk of cybersecurity is common sense, but it has to be part of a coherent and comprehensive strategy.

As people become used to controlling everything else from their phones, it makes good sense for this to apply to the workplace. While business should scale up their IT capabilities sensibly in order to keep pace with security and ensure a capable network infrastructure, so much data already exists, and is just waiting to be utilised. An employee’s phone could become the skeleton key to all of their digital services, and the key to untold levels of commercial efficiency.

MCS delivers integrated real estate, facility and workplace management software solutions for large private or public sector organisations, helping to improve real estate performance in terms of total cost, risk reduction, employee satisfaction, brand perception and sustainability.


Interserve wins £20 million security contract extension

Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has been awarded a two-year extension of its contract to provide security services to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) worth in excess of £20 million.

Leading provider of manned guarding and security services, First Security – part of Interserve – has worked with the BBC since April 2014 when it was awarded the Corporation’s National Security Contract. This was a three-year deal to provide security services at properties across the UK.

First Security handles all manned guarding, close protection and control room operations at a variety of sites, including Broadcasting House in London, Pacific Quay in Glasgow and the Media City UK complex in Salford. The account extension will start in early 2017.

Tom Ward, director of operations for security at Interserve, said: “We have a strong working relationship and have built up a track record of delivering outstanding service across a large and diverse portfolio. We look forward to continuing our work with the Corporation for a further two years.”

First Security’s parent company Interserve is the BBC’s integrated facilities management partner. The team provide workplace support and services including cleaning, maintenance, mechanical and electrical, signage and waste management to sites across the UK.


New research reveals outsourcing of security high but professionalism is paramount

Grosvenor Services study reveals requirements when procuring security

 Competence of staff and getting the supplier to deliver on the terms of the contract are the two main challenges businesses face when outsourcing their security, new research shows. At a time when businesses are increasingly alert to security threats, outsourcing is the most popular option according to independent research conducted on behalf of facility services specialists, Grosvenor Services.

Key findings:

80 per cent of those surveyed prefer to outsource security requirements rather than use an in-house team, with half preferring to use a provider specialising solely in security.

Those who were in favour of using a stand-alone security specialist were concerned that diversification would lead to a less than satisfactory service.

An alternative is a bundled FM contract, whereby a facilities management company manages several elements of service provision such as security, cleaning and grounds maintenance. 30 per cent of those surveyed said they would prefer to opt for a facilities management provider with security expertise.

A prime reason cited for this was ease of communication by having one point of contact for multiple services.

Professionalism of onsite staff was paramount for all those surveyed, whichever way security is managed. Compared to similar research conducted on the broader facilities management market, while both expect professionalism it ranks as the most important factor in the security sector, outstripping everything else. Investment in security could be undermined by less than competent staff which could have serious consequences for the security of a company.

Meeting changing needs

Bernard McCauley, Group Managing Director from Grosvenor Services, which also owns Charter Security, said: “Organisations looking to outsource need to be confident that the supplier they’ve selected has the expertise and innovation to meet ever changing security needs in a professional manner.

“Developments, including the application of new technology and the need for increased levels of security, have raised the bar in terms of service delivery requirements. It is now time to re-educate the marketplace about how much more a modern, professional security services provider can deliver, whether a stand-alone specialist or a full facilities services company.”

The survey was conducted amongst those with responsibility for purchasing security services and included security and FM managers, primarily in commercial offices and construction companies with over 100 employees based in London.

For more information on Grosvenor Services, visit,  call +353 1 295 4866 or email or +44 (0) 203 713 7783 or email



Guardian Anti-Theft – A new generation of big rig security devices

After three years of development a completely new vehicle security device called Guardian Anti Theft is available to protect vehicles over 7.5 tonne vehicles from thieves and hijackers.

So what makes Guardian Anti-Theft so different?

Quite simply, this highly discreet device – with the press of a button on a remote control – shuts down the vehicle’s engine and keeps it locked down until Guardian is disarmed by the driver or operator.

Guardian Anti Theft is a mere 17cm x long, 8.5 cm wide and 5.3 cm deep. Installation is straightforward and quick for automotive electrical technicians – and all necessary wiring and connectors are provided – meaning ‘down time’ is kept to a minimum.

The internal engineering of the core Guardian Anti-Theft device is of one third ‘bogus’ elements and has rugged semi-potted electronics within the enclosure. Should the unit be opened to establish how the unit can be disabled, there is no indication of which components are redundant and which are not. Only top quality materials and components are used – the two 16 pin mating connects are of aeronautical standard.

Whatever type of over 7.5 tonne vehicle, thieves and joyriders will not be able to hot-wire the ignition, clone remote control codes or hack into the electronics within the Guardian control unit. This small device is so discreetly sneaky that even an on-board security system will not be able to detect it and Guardian does not interfere with any manufacturers’ in-built electronic systems in any way.

Guardian Anti Theft also has a strong defence against hijacking. Should an on-the-road vehicle be subject to a hijack attempt, all the driver has to do is discreetly press the button on the remote control whilst walking away. There are no similar devices available; Guardian Anti-Theft has founded a completely new generation of non-microprocessor vehicle security devices.

As a recent, widely reported review by Allianz Cornhill Engineering revealed, it is estimated that the UK’s construction industry alone is losing over £70 million worth of plant stolen from operational sites. This rises to a staggering £800 million a year when other costs related to the theft of each vehicle is taken into account. In the same review the point was made that because of the operational need for operational immediacy vehicles often now have a generic key. Now, with a Guardian Anti-Theft device installed, even having the ‘right’ key will be of no use to thieves.

Guardian Anti Theft for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes is available for £1275 plus VAT – a small price for a vehicle security device with a big impact on reducing on-site thefts and on-the-road hijacking. This price includes delivery in mainland UK by secure delivery to a site of the buyer’s choosing.



Door panelware and security for server racks – EMKA

Server racks are a specialist type of cabinet today often requiring the highest level in access control along with the simplest in hinging and gasketing. Primary concerns of course are regarding physical security and nullifying the possibility of data theft via removal of servers or connecting of unapproved memory devices such as thumb drives. Whereas the ventilation needs of the housed equipment leads to lightweight largely perforated doors with little need for sealing externally but a need to maintain ventilation integrity, along with a simple cushioning requirement to absorb rattles and ensure correct feel and function of the door when required.

Such a package is provided by hardware specialists EMKA with their program 3500 BioLock which adds high level fingerprint technology packaged at the door with the convenience of a low profile swinghandle, so ensuring that it really is the authorised person opening the door while ensuring gangways to be as narrow as practical – and snag free.

3500 BioLock can be used on individual racks or suites and integrated into site-wide monitoring/control systems.

The requirement for door hinging is met by EMKA with their captive pin program 1031 for lay-on doors and suits the narrow 25mm return used on such lightweight fabrications. Hinge pins on the 1031 may be readily withdrawn but are held captive. For especially light doors and side panels the 1117-U6 pin hinge is a simple, low cost, push-fit solution.

Sealing and vibration absorption of these lightweight doors is very effectively managed with a simple clip-on D profile gasket strip such as the EMKA 1011-24 which is self-gripping on flanges of 1mm to 2mm while providing up to 2.5mm of compression to ensure that unwanted materials are kept out and that the internal ventilation is not compromised by leaky door flanges.

Further information on EMKA products can be found on the EMKA website – Readers can find the latest information and news on the EMKA blog – or follow them on twitter –


Assa Abloy Security Solutions supplies hospital

A South Yorkshire District General Hospital has been supplied with a range of hardware by ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions.

South Yorkshire hospital is a 500-bed hospital, run by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Each year the hospital treats around 150,000 patients along with 95,500 A&E patients.

Foris Solutions worked closely with the Estates and Facilities team at the hospital to explore a range of hardware solutions. ASSA ABLOY cam action door closers were supplied, to ensure that the doors within the hospital are light to open while retaining closing power; ideal for use by disabled people. This assists in helping to meet the requirements of The Equality Act, specifically BS8300 and Approved Document M of The Building Regulations.

In addition, ASSA modular lock cases were supplied, which are engineered to offer a smooth performance in high usage areas over a number of years, ASSA classic lever handles were also provided.

Simon Barrett, Capital Projects Manager at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “South Yorkshire hospital has a historic relationship with ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, and ASSA products are specified throughout the hospital, so it made sense to specify hardware from a brand that we know we can trust.”

Mark Thompson, Director at Foris Solutions, said: “ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions have a wealth of experience working within the health sector, we knew that they would be able to provide a reliable hardware schedule, which will be able to stand the test of time, regardless of the high frequency of use.”

Sean Falkinder, Regional Sales Manager at ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, said: “Public-sector budgets are being squeezed hard as the government strives to deliver its planned reduction in the Budget deficit. Facilities managers in hospitals are charged with the difficult task of prioritising budgets for all areas of maintenance in hospitals. We are increasingly seeing the longer-term cost of projects becoming more of a priority; we supply quality products that offer good whole life costing, through reducing maintenance, repair and replacement expenditure.”

For further information on the full range of products from ASSA, please visit