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Protect your staff and site from arson attack!

Arson presents a risk to many businesses within excess of 3,000 attacks on the business community each year.* Whilst arson has reduced by 30% since 20211/12 there has been an upward trend with arson increasing by 15%. The report cost of arson was £1.2-1.49billion, with the potential real loss being easily more than five times that figure.*

Construction sites are particularly vulnerable to arson attacks, which can result in devastating consequences, including significant financial losses, project delays, and potential injuries or fatalities. A reality unfortunately experienced by contractors at a £200m redevelopment site in Derby last year. Local fire crews worked well into the night to extinguish a fire which was found to have been an arson attack. It is fortunate that nobody was hurt but the incident caused extension damage and disruption to the project.

What can you do to prevent such incidents? Our experts advise that businesses adopt a range of measures, including the use of guarded fire patrols, such as ‘waking watch services’.  Read on fore detailed advice and information on how best to prevent your site from falling victim to arson.

1. Conduct a fire safety assessment

For optimum site protection and management, it’s important to observe the following:

  1. Complete a comprehensive assessment of the site is carried out to identify potential vulnerabilities and implement appropriate measures. These assessments include the evaluation of factors such as the layout, perimeter fencing, lighting, and access control systems, recommending the most effective solutions to protect the site from arson and other potential threats.
  2. Install and maintain systems according to industry standards.
  3. Offer the option for remote monitoring services to allow supervisors to access the system anytime and anywhere.
  4. Regularly maintain and monitor all security equipment.

Whatever the measures in place at the start of a project, or property acquisition, it is essential for organisations to continually evaluate and update measures as work progresses and evolves. This can help ensure the area remains protected against arson and other potential threats throughout the process.

2. Clear, clean and maintain vacant sites

Businesses should adopt a range of best practices to curb the threat of arson. First it’s important to maintain a clean and organised site to help reduce the availability of materials that could be used as fuel for fires. This important maintenance includes the following:

  • Vigilance in the regular disposal of waste and debris.
  • The storage of all flammable materials in a safe, secure place.
  • Temporary structures are constructed using fire-resistant materials.

We offer a range of clearance and cleaning services to help construction firms stay on top of site maintenance reduce the risk of arson. It may not be your site that’s the problem, it could be access. A site that does not have CCTV or effective perimeter protection such as closeboard fencing or concrete security barriers could have the expensive task of cleaning up after others, such as travellers or fly tippers. Demonstrate vigilance with site maintenance and protection and deter unwanted trespassers and vandals from causing costly damage or fuel for an arson’s fire. Invest in a combination of guarded services, site maintenance and surveillance and significantly reduce the chances of a fire being started deliberately on a building site.

3. Control Site Access

We offer advanced products and services to protect construction sites from arson. Effective access control measures, such as secure perimeter fencing, security personnel, and access control systems like electronic key cards or biometric scanners help to keep intruders off your site. At SafeSite Security Solutions. we also offer customisable alarm systems that can be tailored to the specific needs of each development. These systems include wireless battery-powered sirens programmed to sound for a customisable duration and intensity, ensuring that nearby residential areas are not unduly disturbed. State-of-the-art tilt and pan CCTV cameras to monitor locations 24/7 can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring security guards. These cameras can be integrated with infrared movement sensors for enhanced security, allowing for the detection and identification of potential intruders.

Our alarm systems also use advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to avoid false alarms by accurately identifying real threats, such as humans or vehicles. For remote locations or places without a mains power supply, we can install rapid deployment mobile CCTV towers that feature four high-definition cameras for 360-degree coverage and an audio PA system that can deliver a warning deterrent to potential intruders.

3. Conduct regular staff training

Education and training for employees and contractors is also crucial. Building companies should conduct regular training sessions on fire prevention and safety, ensuring that everyone on the team knows potential fire hazards and how to respond in an emergency. This includes understanding the proper use of extinguishers and the importance of following evacuation procedures.

Employee training on fire prevention and the use of professional solutions will reduce the risk of arson and protect your people and property from the devastating effects of deliberate fires. It goes without saying that staff provided by SafeSite Security Solutions will have all the necessary training. However, site communications, briefings and literature are paramount for ensuring that all stakeholders know their roles, responsibilities and how to respond to the risk of a fire. This should form an integral part of your fire safety assessment and plan.

Next steps

Arson attacks on construction sites can have devastating consequences. By partnering with SafeSite Security Solutions and adopting best practices such as maintaining a clean and organised site, implementing effective access control measures, and providing regular employee training on fire prevention, construction companies can significantly reduce the chances of such incidents occurring. Contact the team for more information about assessments and bespoke services.

*Source: Arson Reduction Strategy 2019 – 2022, National Fire Chiefs Council

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