Security Service Engineer Vacancies

We’re hiring – security engineer vacancies at Absolute Security

Absolute Security is delighted to announce it has a number of vacancies, as the business continues to grow and meet customer demand.

The team is currently looking for:

  • Service engineers
  • Installation engineers
  • Junior engineers, including apprenticeship opportunities

..to join its busy service and installation division.

You can find out more here  and, to apply, contact Will Hucklebridge on tel 01483 791500 or email will@absolutesecurity.co.uk  No agencies please

Absolute Security Systems is a growing and successful business in the heart of Godalming, Surrey.  It was founded in 1989 and over the years has built up a loyal customer base and a great team working environment.  As well as competitive salaries, the company offers a pension and healthcare scheme and other benefits.

 

 

Securing a school’s perimeter

Fencing, gates and other perimeter security measures in schools continue to face increasing scrutiny.  Not only are Schools under pressure to tighten safeguarding measures to protect pupils and staff during the school day, many need to protect valuable equipment and prevent damage to the site from intruders ‘out of hours’.   With education budgets tightly squeezed, any loss or damage is keenly felt.

In our specialist security work with schools, we’re often asked to survey and advise on the robustness of a site’s perimeter security.  From the questions we’re often asked here are some key considerations to assist your school.

  1. Is fencing still fit for purpose?

Many schools occupy large and often fragmented sites.  As a result gaps in fencing from long-term wear and tear can go unchecked.  It is sensible to establish a regular check of the site’s perimeter fencing to ensure it still deters intruders.  Be on the look-out for any close hanging branches or buildings which can be used to help an intruder climb over fences.  If you do have trees in close proximity to your fence, do check after storms that no fallen branches have caused damage or weakened it.

 

  1. Consider CCTV

CCTV has been proven as a deterrent to intruders and also gives you a valuable source of evidence if a break-in occurs.  CCTV systems can be run off a school’s IP network to minimise the need for cabling and can be programmed to send an alert which pinpoints the exact location of a breach. Some CCTV cameras also come with sirens which can be utilised to send key security alert signals (eg in the case of a lock-down) to remote areas of a site.

  1. Ensure automatic gates comply with latest health and safety standards

Automatic gates in schools tend to come in two varieties:

  • Electronic – Those which are controlled by access passes, intercoms or fobs and then open automatically
  • Manual – Those controlled by access passes, intercoms or fobs which then require a person to push them open

In the case of the first, new health and safety regulations have come into force over recent years.  These have focused on minimising the risk to people and things of getting trapped as the gate opens or closes. Schools are recommended to ensure their gates meet the latest standards.  Do contact our team for a free assessment.

  1. Consider permission-led access control systems and doors

Some access control systems enable you to assign permissions to specific people for access to designated areas, and at certain times.  This can greatly help schools to manage and control who can and can’t access particular areas (such as science and IT labs) during the day and out of hours.  The systems can work with perimeter gates and doors on to the site too.

 

  1. Maintain a regular maintenance programme

Security systems such as intruder alarms, CCTV, access control and gates should receive a regular (annual) maintenance/service visit to ensure they remain fully functional.  Often a school’s insurer and OFSTED will look favourably on a regularly maintained system. With insurers, more competitively priced policies can be obtained as a result.

 

  1. Test your perimeter’s security for different scenarios

If you experience a problem with your school’s perimeter security, you want to be fully prepared to deal with it.  As part of the ongoing risk assessments and scenario planning schools undertake, it is worth factoring in different events involving the perimeter measures.  This will help to flag weaknesses which need to be addressed.  For example in a lock-down situation, do you want perimeter access points to be closed or open to get the intruder out and the emergency services in?  In the event of a fire, how will perimeter measures help or hinder evacuation and/or access for the emergency services?  By undertaking scenario-planning in this way, schools can strengthen their safeguarding and security procedures to factor in specific nuances of their site.

 

Summary

Unfortunately many school premises were built before security became such a concern and so present schools with many logistical issues.  Controlling access on to the site should be a key consideration of a school’s senior management. The key is to ensure perimeter security measures remain fit for purpose and support other safeguarding procedures. This can be achieved by periodic reviews, scenario planning and regular maintenance.

If you would like a free survey of your school’s perimeter security and automatic gate’s compliance with the latest Health and Safety, please contact one of our in-house education experienced surveyors on 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

 

Ofsted adopts greater scrutiny of school security during inspections

 

In recent news reports it has emerged that Ofsted is adopting greater scrutiny of school security during inspections.  In some respects schools have found weaknesses in their site security have led to their Ofsted rating being downgraded. See this report.

Inspecting safeguarding directives

Much of Ofsted’s security focus has stemmed from new directives on the safeguarding of pupils.  An Ofsted spokesperson commented:

“Ofsted does not set the standards that schools and other education providers have to meet on safeguarding. Our job is to inspect against the standards and statutory guidance set by the Department for Education.  If a school’s safeguarding arrangements do not meet these requirements, then at inspection we will judge them to be ineffective, this will lead to an overall inadequate judgement.”

Common weaknesses in school site security

Often school sites were constructed before security became such a key expectation of school management. We are often called in to survey and report on a school’s security weaknesses and these tend to stem from the following areas:

  • Gaps and weak-points in perimeter fencing.
  • Access gates not meeting current European standards.
  • Manual-locking doors (and so not linked to an access control system).
  • Open access to all areas (rather than controlled access permissions through passes and locks, particularly for key ‘at-risk’ rooms such as IT suites, science labs etc).
  • Security systems failing short of the current standards.
  • The wrong type of access control electronic locking used on fire exits and fire routes. We have seen numerous examples of this including some, which have the potential for the lock to jam under side pressure and magnetic locks remaining locked in certain fault conditions.
  • Multiple and separate fire and intruder detection systems across the site, rather than one central system which can quickly pinpoint an alert and initiate a lock-down or other response procedures.
  • A lack of CCTV to monitor and record incidents during the school day and also out of hours. Schools still have safeguarding responsibilities when it comes to how the site is used by community groups beyond the school day.

How Absolute Security create robust school security systems

Our Education specialists have extensive knowledge and experience of school security systems.  We invest time to survey the unique issues for each school’s premises in order to find a robust and practical solution which supports their safeguarding policies.

We work with both the private and state education sector and advise on, install and maintain a wide range of school security systems including:

  • CCTV systems – including HD CCTV and those utilising an IP network
  • Access control – including intercom systems, passes and with remote monitoring options
  • Electronic VMS (Visitor Management Systems) for the “signing in and out” of visitors, contractors etc as well as utilising the same system to monitor and generate reports of late arrivals and pupils leaving early
  • Security lighting
  • Automatic gates and barriers
  • Intruder alarm systems
  • Fire detection systems
  • Integrating security systems – CCTV, access control, intruder alarm and fire detection for better centralised management and control
  • Installing dedicated networks for all a school or college’s security needs (if the current IP network isn’t able to cope with the security system functionality)

 If you would value a free survey of your school’s security measures, please contact Sandy Busek and the team on tel 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

Absolute Security welcomes James Lewis from Buchanan and Curwen Security to its team

 

Absolute Security is delighted to announce the appointment of  James Lewis to its sales team.  James joins the Godalming-based security systems firm as a Business Development Manager.  He brings over 14 years’ experience in the security and fire detection industry and was previously a successful Sales and Project Manager at Buchanan and Curwen Security, before its recent takeover by Spy Alarms.

James has a track-record in successfully advising clients on a wide range of security systems including intruder alarms, CCTV and access control as well as fire detection systems.  He regularly helps homeowners, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large corporate organisations to find the right solution for their security requirements.

Helping with security requirements of all shapes and sizes

Commentating on James’ appointment, Absolute Security Chairman Andy Rees said,

“We are delighted to welcome James to our sales team.  He has considerable experience of the operational management of high profile security contracts and has a track-record in ensuring the efficient, reliable and timely delivery of security projects.  His knowledge and understanding of the high industry standards the Absolute Security team adhere to means he’s fitting in really well.  We’ve been impressed with how well he’s supporting our new and existing clients with their security requirements.”

Surrey-based support for customers

James says he’s thoroughly enjoying being part of the Absolute Security team and adds,

“Absolute Security is such a well-respected firm in the area.  The breadth of security solutions it delivers for customers and its passion for maintaining high quality standards is very impressive.  It’s also nice to be with a Surrey business again, as my last firm was bought by a Kent-based company who closed the local office.  Saying that, I’m enjoying meeting Absolute Security’s customers around the whole of the South East of England and helping them find the right security solution for their needs. ”

About Absolute Security Systems in Surrey

Absolute Security specialises in a wide range of security systems and are accredited with many Security Industry Professional Bodies, this includes being a Gold-level Member with the National Security Inspectorate (NSI).

James Lewis can be contacted at the Absolute Security offices on tel. 01483 791500 or by emailing sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk.  More information about Absolute Security’s services can be found at www.absolutesecurity.co.uk

Home network security tips

Increasingly we find more and more homeowners favouring devices which run off their home networks. This no longer just includes laptops, mobile phones and tablets – CCTV and intruder alarms as well as smart TVs and some household appliances have the capability to integrate within a home network.

Security tips for your home network

The security of such networks has recently been in the spotlight.  We wanted to reassure customers that, when it comes to our installation of security systems on a home network, we follow best practice security guidance.  We also wanted to share some simple but valuable tips to help homeowners further protect the security of their home networks.

  1. Choose complex passwords – wherever possible select passwords for device logins which have a minimum of 8 digits and include a mixture of upper and lower case letters and numbers. Avoid using dates of birth and obvious numbers instead of letters (for example 3 for Es and 5 for Ss).  Give each device a separate password and change passwords regularly.
  2. Storing passwords – avoid having a list of passwords on your computer, phone or tablet. If you really need to write down passwords to remember them, do so on a bit of paper and store this in a safe in your home.  Better still, use password manager software to create and securely manage complex passwords.
  3. Anti-virus software – ensure your anti-virus software is up to date for your home PCs, and that it is a reputable one with a proven track-record and good reviews.  When downloading any software, ensure it is from a reputable source.
  4. Be more wary with emails – ensure all family members are wary of any emails requesting the re-keying in of login credentials, as these may be phishing. If you give your login details to a third party you can be liable for any adverse consequences and fraudulent activity which happens on your account.
  5. Public WIFI – when out and about, avoid using public, unsecured, WIFI networks to connect to sites which have your personal details such as online banking, security apps etc.
  6. Regularly back-up your data – adopt a regime of regularly backing up your data to minimise any disruption should a computer/device fail. If you are just relying on a Cloud-based back up consider storing an alternative on an external hard-drive device or USB stick which is stored in a safe in the home.
  7. Two-factor authentication – for some devices such as access control systems, consider having a two-step login, such as a security fob and access code, or a security fob and fingerprint swipe. This gives you added security.
  8. Fingerprint authentication – fingerprints are becoming a popular alternative to passwords and are a feature of many computer and mobile phone security. If you are keen to use this route, ensure only your fingerprint is designated in the system for your key sites.  Be careful of adding other family members, especially children.
  9. Suppliers and contractors – if you are having suppliers and contractors around your home be careful about giving them access to your home network WIFI. Also, if you’re going out, ensure all computers and devices auto-lock after a few moments of non-use.
  10. Check your insurance cover – if loss of data could have serious consequences for you (for example if you run a business from home), explore if your insurance policy covers this and increase cover if necessary. Also, check that devices sitting on your home network are covered by your policy and comply with any security conditions your insurer stipulates.

Can we help?

And if you are looking to integrate CCTV, access, intruder and fire detection systems in your home, please talk to one of the team about the most secure ways of doing this.  Call 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

Glow in the dark technology takes on a new dimension in fire safety

Emergency lighting is widely used as a secondary lighting source that switches on automatically when a building’s normal power supply disrupted to the primary lights. In the case of a fire within a premises, it can be really helpful in facilitating a safe evacuation.

Introducing Photoluminescent strips

One criticism of emergency lighting, however, is that the lights are usually located on the ceiling and, in the case of a fire, the smoke rises and collects smother all lights both primary and secondary.  As a result of this concern, we’ve recently seen businesses show an interest in Photoluminescent strips.

Photoluminescent materials were originally designed to complement existing emergency lighting systems. Advances in technology and improvements in their light intensity now mean that, in many circumstances, they can replace secondary electrical/battery emergency lighting altogether.

Photoluminescent fire evacuation and guidance systems

We work with photoluminescent specialists Ecobrite Ultra who have devised evacuation/guidance systems which do not require electricity. The intensity of light and glow from the photoluminescent (glow in the dark) materials used, are making them a popular choice to signpost exit routes.

The strips and photoluminescent signage can be set at waist level or lower and so create a guidance system should ceiling lights get obscured by smoke or fail. As part of a system, lifesaving appliances and fire-fighting equipment can be signposted with the photoluminescent materials so, in the case of an emergency, they are easy to locate.

Lifespan and maintenance

The strips typically have a 10year life span and unlike electrical lighting do not require a regular maintenance programme. The intensity of the light in the materials has also been proven to be visible to those with impaired vision and Ecobrite Ultra is doing a lot of work with the RNIB.

Want to know more?

Photoluminescent materials can be used both inside and outside a building (for example to signpost external fire safety assembly points). If you would like to learn more about integrating them with your fire detection please contact our team on 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk.

A reminder of employers’ responsibilities for fire safety

fire-exit-2

When it comes to fire safety, businesses have a duty to keep their employees safe and it’s wise to check that, as an employer, you are complying with your responsibilities under The Fire Safety Order 2005.

Business fire safety obligations

Each business should have a designated ‘responsible’ person for the purpose of fire safety.  They should:

  • Regularly undertake and review a fire risk assessment of the business premises – this should take into account fire hazards (fuel, ignition and oxygen), people’s location around the premises, risks (of a fire starting, risk to people, fire hazards and obstacles for a fast and smooth evacuation).
  • Inform staff about the risks identified
  • Put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures – such as equipping a fire detection system, making sure there is protection if flammable or explosive materials are used or stored and ensuring there are accessible exit routes
  • Create and publicise within the business a plan for an emergency
  • Equip staff with information, fire safety instruction and training

 

Local fire and rescue authorities have the right to inspect premises and can issue fire safety notices with changes your business needs to make in relation to fire safety.  If you do not follow the current UK fire safety regulations you could be fined or sent to prison.

 

The government has produced an excellent guide for businesses about how to comply with fire safety law.  See – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: a short guide to making your premises safe from fire

In the guide fire precautions recommended to businesses include:

  • A fire-detection and warning system which is able to warn people in all circumstances
  • A means of fighting a small fire in the form of multi-purpose fire extinguishers with a guaranteed shelf life. Typically there should be 1 extinguisher for every 200 m2 of floor space and at least one extinguisher per floor.
  • Designated safe routes for people to exit the premises – ideally there should be more than one route and stairways, corridors and areas near fire exits need to be clear of obstructions and flammable materials
  • Suitable fire exit doors which do not need a key or specialist knowledge to open them

 

Other fire safety measures

It is also sensible to consider these other fire safety measures as part of your planning:

  • Emergency lighting or photo luminescent strips which can guide people to fire exits if the normal lighting electricity source fails
  • Fire safety signage pointing the quickest and safest exit routes
  • An ongoing management process to ensure fire safety systems in the business are regularly checked and re-assessed
  • A regular training programme to ensure staff are fully knowledgeable of fire risks in the premises and the procedure to follow if a fire breaks out.

 

When it comes to purchasing fire safety equipment and services, the Fire Industry Association, is a good source of knowledge for the relevant British Standards.  The information they provide can help you to select equipment which meets the latest safety standards.  The FIA can also guide you on its accredited members for selection and installation of fire equipment.

 

Can we help?

And for over 25years we have helped businesses of all shapes and sizes put in place the right systems and procedures to comply with their fire safety obligations.  If you would like a free survey to discuss fire detection in your business, please contact the team on tel 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

Integrating your home security systems

homeOver the past few months we’ve experienced a rise in interest from homeowners keen to integrate CCTV, access, intruder and fire detection systems in their home.  This essentially gives them just one central home protection system to manage.  Also, when systems integrate in this way you gain more precise information about incidents in and around your property.

The systems typically utilise wireless and IP technology to keep cabling and impact on décor to a minimum. Most also provide an app option to enable homeowners to check on their home and possessions whilst they’re away.  In addition to this the systems can provide useful logs of activity to help homeowners check up on who has accessed their property and when (for example cleaning, childcare or delivery people).

In the case of people experiencing anti-social behaviour or neighbour disputes, CCTV and security lighting working in conjunction together has proved to be an effective deterrent.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of integrating different security and fire detection systems in your home, contact the team on 01483 791500.

 

Are you getting the most from your business security system?

Window Film For Small BusinessesMost business owners recognise the need for security in order to protect their staff, stock, equipment and property.  But how many make the most of the latest technologies to enhance their management of the business and its effectiveness?  Here’s a summary of how the latest security systems are helping businesses of all shapes and sizes

Greater precision

Intruder and fire detection have become more precise in pinpointing the exact location of an incident on a premises and issuing alerts.  At the same time, CCTV has embraced high definition, so pictures are now incredibly clear and no longer serve up those fuzzy, grainy images of old.

Discreet

Many systems now use Wireless technology or the business IP network, which has meant a big reduction in the cabling required.  This has in turn brought down the cost of systems and their installation. It has also improved their discreetness in an office, shop or other business environment – particularly where there is limited space.

App technology

Security systems haven’t been immune to app popularity and many now feature them to enable the business or property owner to dial in remotely to their system to access logs, see what’s going on (in the case of CCTV) and monitor access points around the premises.

Integration for efficiency and aid decision-making

As security technology gets smarter many systems are integrating more with themselves (for example CCTV, intruder detection, fire detection and access control) and also with other applications.  This makes things far more efficient for business owners to monitor. Retailers may also be interested to know that some CCTV systems now offer heat map analysis of footfall and customer behaviour around the shop floor, to help inform decisions about where best to locate special offers and particular product ranges.

More affordable

You would think that a sophistication in technology would mean a rise in costs, but this isn’t generally the case.  In recent years, costs have tended to come down.  Security LED lighting costs in fact have dropped by almost 20%.

With an uncertain economy ahead, business owners can also opt for leasing as a means of spreading the payment of their system over 3, 5 or 7 years.  The system’s annual maintenance costs can be built into the fixed monthly payments too.

With Absolute Security’s leasing arrangements through our partners, Reality Finance, you will own the equipment at the end of the leasing period unlike some other security providers like ADT.  Don’t forget too that an annually maintained security system may reduce your insurance premium and its worth speaking to your insurance provider.

 

For more information about how to improve the security of your business, contact the team on 01483 791500.

 

School’s out for summer (but we’re not)

public-sectorIt may be the summer holidays for Schools across the country but it’s certainly a busy time for our surveyors and engineers.  They are using the time to spec, install and maintain a variety of different school security systems.

Over the past few years Security has become a major part of a school’s management and governance responsibilities.  Senior management teams are under increasing pressure to ensure their school fully complies with the latest safeguarding and other staff and child protection obligations.

Smarter technology

The sites and structures of many school buildings have traditionally presented challenges when it comes to creating the right level of security protection.  The good news is that technological advances have meant intruder, access control, CCTV and fire detection systems are now more precise in pinpointing incidents across a site and issuing an alert.

Less cabling and lower costs

At the same time, wireless technology and security systems which utilise a school’s existing IP network are reducing the need for cabling and, as a result, the cost of systems is coming down. It also means that installation work can often be done discreetly during School hours, and not necessarily left till the holidays.

Greater systems integration for management efficiencies

Security technology is also integrating far more effectively with other school systems and processes.  Access control systems now integrate with electronic registration, cashless vending and school printer networks to establish permissions and provide logs and audit trails.  These systems no longer rely on identity passes, and often now feature bio-metric functionality such as fingerprinting to avoid problems occurring with lost cards.

Creating a positive learning environment

Security will always be a key concern of school management teams and rightly so.  They are responsible for ensuring both pupils, staff and equipment remain safe and secure in the School site. Security systems are helping them fulfil their obligations and create a positive learning environment.

For example, CCTV systems are supporting work within schools to tackle bullying and ensure the effective implementation of anti-bullying policies. Where schools lease out their premises out of hours, CCTV and access control systems are helping to reduce damage, theft and alert school managers to behaviour which is at odds with the school’s safeguarding policies.

If you would like to learn more about how we could help your school or college with its security arrangements, contact the team on tel 01483 791500.